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Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Media-Whore D'Oeuvres



"Twenty-eight heads of state of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) will meet in Lisbon on Nov. 20 to approve a new 'Strategic Concept,' the alliance’s mission statement for the next decade. This will be NATO’s third Strategic Concept since the Cold War ended. The last two came in 1991 — as the Soviet Union was collapsing — and 1999 — as NATO intervened in Yugoslavia, undertaking its first serious military engagement. During the Cold War, the presence of 50 Soviet and Warsaw Pact armored divisions and nearly 2 million troops west of the Urals spoke far louder than mission statements. While Strategic Concepts were put out in 1949, 1952, 1957 and 1968, they merely served to reinforce NATO’s mission, namely, to keep the Soviets at bay. Today, the debate surrounding NATO’s Strategic Concept itself highlights the alliance’s existential crisis." (STRATFOR)


"WHERE: The Prius 10th Anniversary extravaganza at the Wright Organic Resource Center in Malibu, featuring a performance by M. Ward, a DJ set by Shepard Fairey, and a Farm-to-Table dinner by Jim Denevan. WHO: Artist Shepard Fairey, the man behind the "Obey" Giant, and work that challenges concepts of icons, advertisements, propaganda and politics. WHAT HE WORE: A vintage Minor Threat tee that said, "We're not the first, I hope we're not the last," Adidas shoes, Obey corduroy pants, and a skull and crossbone belt he got in Koreatown. Papermag: What pop icon are you currently interested in? Shep: M.I.A. is very intriguing, because she mixes fashion, politics and music in a very fluent way." (Papermag)

 

"Political waves create a great deal of uncertainty. If there is a wave, exactly how big will it be? Who could possibly be swept away in the tsunami? In a cycle when Republican House strategists are talking about taking out Democratic veterans such as Budget Chairman John Spratt (S.C.), Transportation and Infrastructure Chairman James L. Oberstar (Minn.) and Rep. Chet Edwards (Texas), chairman of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Military Construction and Veterans Affairs, strange things can happen.  Members assumed to be safe suddenly find themselves in tough races. We know Republicans are making a run at Democratic Reps. Ben Chandler (Ky.) and Tim Walz (Minn.), but could Democratic Reps. John Yarmuth (Ky.), Niki Tsongas (Mass.), Lincoln Davis (Tenn.) or Russ Carnahan (Mo.) lose? Here are a few incumbents who weren’t targeted at the beginning of this cycle (or even six weeks ago) but could find themselves in uncomfortable positions." (CQPolitics)


"In 1975 when I had a business in Pound Ridge, New York, one of the staff called in late one morning because a beautiful stray dog had shown up at her door. Because she couldn’t keep it she called the ‘SPCA to come get it and they were late in showing up. I told her to come on in and I’d go wait for the truck. She told me he was a beauty but very grungy looking. She’d locked him in her garage while waiting for the ‘SPCA. When I got to her house, there he was standing on hind legs looking out the garage door window, and barking. This great big dog with the mane like a chow, the body of a shepherd and the color of a lion. My friend was right: he was beautiful. But here’s the part where you might think I’m nuts. The moment I laid eyes on him looking through the garage door window, barking with his head cocked to one side, as if to say: help me, I thought: 'it’s my father. I have to take him.' That’s what I thought; no kidding. 'It’s my father.' Just came; stuck in my craw out of nowhere. I don’t go around thinking these things, and I never had before, and never have since; but I was positive." (NYSocialDiary)


"The most shocking revelation yet about Eliot Spitzer, the disgraced former governor of New York, was reported in a fly-on-the-wall piece by Howard Kurtz of The Washington Post about preparations for Spitzer’s new CNN TV show. Kurtz apparently didn’t realize what he had, because he buried this jewel deep in the article. He describes the show’s producers looking for a 'light' question to pose to the two hosts (Spitzer and columnist Kathleen Parker) and sundry guests. 'Favorite novel?' someone suggests. Apparently not: 'Spitzer hasn’t read one since college.' Wait. Eliot Spitzer’s been out of college — Princeton, no less — for 29 years, and he’s never read a novel in all that time? What’s he waiting for? 'Anna Karenina' isn’t getting any shorter. Aren’t you suspicious of a politician who has not cracked a novel for a quarter-century? Does he have any inner life at all? Maybe Spitzer inhales histories and biographies. And maybe Daniel Patrick Moynihan didn’t read novels either. But he wrote 18 books. And novelists read him. A new collection of Moynihan’s letters and journals has just been published by Public Affairs, elegantly edited by former New York Times reporter Steven R. Weisman. (Moynihan died in 2003 after four terms in the Senate and a lengthy stint in the executive branch.) Among many gems is a letter to John Updike, thanking Updike for commenting on something Moynihan had written. 'Dear John,' it began. Moynihan seems to have been on a cordial first-name basis with nearly every prominent person in American politics, scholarship and culture." (Politico)


"Former Sony Music executive vice president Lisa Ellis scored some face time with Google chairman and CEO Eric Schmidt this weekend as part of his hunt for a president of Google's new digital music store. The search engine is prepping to launch tentatively titled Google Music as early as the end of this year. Ellis dined with Schmidt at The Lion Saturday night, joined by Ellis' ex-flame, Harold Ford Jr. Ellis' digital and licensing experience from her days at Sony make her somewhat qualified for the job. But industry insiders suspect Ellis, now a founding partner at investment firm Fireman Capital Partners, isn't in the running but is helping Schmidt brainstorm on other candidates. Andy Rubin, Google's vice president of engineering, is currently overseeing the music project, which will challenge Apple's iTunes. Google and Ellis didn't respond to calls." (PageSix)

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