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Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Media-Whore D'Oeuvres



"Legendary Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward's new book 'Obama's Wars' hasn't hit stores yet, but the New York Times' Peter Baker got a copy and has published some choice excerpts. Some highlights, per Baker:* The book describes President Obama pushing a withdrawal timetable because, 'I can’t lose the whole Democratic Party.' * The US Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan Richard Holbrooke says of the new strategy, 'it can’t work.' * Lt. Gen. Douglas E. Lute, the president’s adviser on the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, is said to think president’s reviews of the strategy going forward did not 'add up' to his ultimate decision. * Gen. David H. Petraeus tells an aide that he disliked talking with White House senior adviser David Axelrod because he was 'a complete spin doctor.' A senior administration official who read the book says 'the President comes across in the review and throughout the decision-making process as a Commander in Chief who is analytical, strategic, and decisive, with a broad view of history, national security, and his role.' The official says of the descriptions of the infighting in the book that 'the debates in the book are well known because the policy review process was covered so exhaustively.' To make its argument, the White House provided these excerpts from the book to prove the following points: Focusing the review around central questions - 'Obama had questions he wanted answered more concisely. Can al Qaeda be defeated and how? Do you need to defeat the Taliban to defeat al Qaeda? Can a counterinsurgency strategy be effective in Afghanistan given the capacities of the Afghan government? What can we realistically expect to achieve in the next few years. What presence to we have to have in Afghanistan in order to have an effective counterterrorism platform?'" (Jake Tapper)



"It was dusk when we strolled the few blocks to 63rd and Madison. There were a lot of people walking home or to dinner, and we saw several people we knew. I love that about New York: millions living and working here, and you run into people from your neighborhood, your past, your hometown, and your last month’s lunch date all in one short stroll on Madison Avenue at 7 pm ... Several women put their drinks down when I went to take their pictures. This is a fairly new habit. I’m not sure where it came from. Maybe the smoke police who’ve succeeded so well they needed a new issue. The drink police. No drinks in hand when being photographed. Oddly most of the women who put down their drinks are drinking water with a lime in it. It’s complete silliness but many have been sufficiently intimidated into going along. It’s hilarious, and yet even the most intelligent women in the room (not all of course) fall for it. They were also actually drinking pink champagne (besides the water) – and loving it – over at Leviev. Uh-oh, don’t tell mama." (NYSocialDiary)



"The funniest part of the decidedly unfunny Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps takes place in the first 15 seconds: Gordon Gekko, reclaiming his belongings upon his release from prison ('gold money clip: no money'), is handed back his cell phone, in all its football-sized, 1987 glory. It seems that Gekko, poster child of the junk bond era, is officially a dinosaur." (TheDailyBeast)



"They called off the divorce, then they called their real estate broker. Stephanie Seymour and Peter Brant celebrated their last-minute reconciliation by house-hunting, sources told Page Six. The former Victoria's Secret model and the polo-playing millionaire have been scouting out townhouses on both sides of Central Park since Monday with Brown Harris Stevens broker Elizabeth Sample, sources tell The Post's Jennifer Gould Keil. Sample, who could not be reached for comment, has been showing the couple un-renovated townhouses that Seymour -- who has been looking for some time -- could not afford on her own. After months of mudslinging, the love birds engaged in many public displays of affection as they toured various properties around town, sources said. Brant, whose White Birch newsprint company has generated a $500 million fortune, already owns homes in the Hamptons, Palm Beach and Connecticut. But his one-time mistress, Alyssa Pallett, told The Post's Reuven Fenton that Seymour and Brant's newfound happiness reeks of a business deal. 'They deserve each other -- I don't think it's genuine,' the 24-year-old blonde said. 'It's just way too sudden. I think more likely they worked out some sort of deal, like it was strictly business. That would be like him.'" (PageSix)

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