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Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Media-Whore D'Oeuvres

"President Barack Obama will deliver remarks at the AIPAC conference March 4, one day before he sits down with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the White House, a reprise of the difficult meeting they held there last year. 'We are pleased to announce that the president will address this year's annual AIPAC policy conference in Washington, D.C., on Sunday March 4. The president welcomes this opportunity to speak to the strengths of the special bonds between Israel and the United States,' White House spokesman Jay Carney said Tuesday. He confirmed that Obama and Netanyahu will meet March 5. The order of events will be opposite of last year, when Obama spoke the day after his tense and awkward meetingwith Netanyahu in the Oval Office, where Netanyahu appeared to lecture Obama on Israeli security. Obama will speak to AIPAC Sunday morning, the two leaders will meet Monday, and then Netanyahu will address the conference Monday evening.
Netanyahu and Israeli President Shimon Peres will speak at AIPAC, along with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), Sen. Carl Levin (D-MI), Sen.Johnny Isakson (R-GA), President of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars and former member of Congress Jane Harman, CNN Contributor Paul Begala, Democratic strategist Donna Brazile, Fox News contributor Liz Cheney, and editor of The Weekly Standard William Kristol. Carney also commented on the visit of National Security Advisor Tom Donilon to Israel this past weekend, where he met withNetanyahu and a host of other senior Israeli officials, including National Security Advisor Yaakov Amidror, who coordinates the Iran portfolio, Mossad chief Tamir Pardo, Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz, and Military Intelligence head Aviv Kochavi." (ForeignPolicy)



"Treasury Department officials were in frequent contact with credit-rating agencies last year as they tried and failed to prevent the first-ever downgrade of U.S. debt, emails obtained by The Hill show.
The internal documents, acquired through a Freedom of Information Act request, show that Obama administration officials were in touch with Standard & Poor’s (S&P), Moody’s and other rating agencies in an effort to assuage doubts about the nation’s top-tier credit rating. That campaign ultimately failed on Aug. 5, when S&P became the first and only rater to downgrade U.S. securities. On the day the downgrade was announced, Treasury and S&P traded a flurry of emails, the documents reveal. Matthew Rutherford, Treasury’s deputy assistant secretary for federal finance, received a draft copy of the decision at 1:42 p.m. from John Chambers, the chairman of S&P’s sovereign-ratings committee. 'Matt Here is the draft ratings update. It hasn’t been fully edited yet, so there could be some small additional changes,' Chambers wrote. Treasury officials scrambled to get in touch with S&P after receiving the downgrade document, the emails show. 'We are trying to reach you all. Are you free to talk?' Rutherford wrote to Chambers at 2:50 p.m.
At 3:11 p.m., Rutherford emailed,  'ready when you are.'" (TheHill)

"This past Thursday night, I went down to Pier Sixty at the Chelsea Piers where Careers Through Culinary Arts Program (C-Cap) hosted their annual benefit honoring Michael McCarty (of Michael’s – need I say more). The program was started more than 20 years ago by Richard Grausman, cookbook author, culinary educator, to promote and provide culinary employment opportunities for underserved youth. The word “underserved” has come into the parlance as a substitution of the formerly frequently used “underprivileged,” now a synonym in the world of philanthropy. Either way, the intention is more than honorable but effective. It is community taking the reins that somehow government and politicians are unable to do even with the billions available to them ... The honorary chairs were Bette Midler and Martin von Haselberg, who have been involved with C-Cap along with their longtime friends Kim and His Honoree-ness, Michael McCarty." (NYSocialDiary)

"Billionaire entertainment mogul David Geffen has split up with his long-term partner, Jeremy Lingvall. Sources tell us the pair have gone their separate ways after six years together, because 'the relationship had simply run its course.' The source added, 'There is nobody else involved.' Geffen, 68, confirmed the split last night but refused to comment further. He and Lingvall had long been inseparable despite a 40-year age difference between them. Indisputably handsome actor Lingvall, a graduate of the University of California, was often seen aboard Geffen’s yacht and accompanying him to high-profile events, including President Obama’s first state dinner at the White House." (PageSix)


"There were beauties and beasts at Mulberry yesterday, not to mention some very clever party planning. Having organized their post-show soirĂ©e at the Savile Club just a few doors down from Claridge's, site of the label's runway show, creative director Emma Hill and co. cannily repurposed the morning's stage dressings, placing bunches of padlock-shaped gold balloons in various nooks and throwing hairy goatskins (a nod to the Fall collection's Where the Wild Things Are vibe) over leather couches. Mulberry's takeover gave the likes of Michelle Williams and Elizabeth Olsen a reason to party at a place where the fairer sex is only allowed in after six ... Alexa Chung lingered at the raw bar downstairs as guests were summoned up to dinner, declaring the oyster shucker's chain-mail glove "a good look." Michelle Dockery, somehow looking even more luminous than she does on Downton Abbey, stumbled on the grand staircase as a photographer's flash went off. "Delete that," she half-joked. Happily, Lana Del Rey made no missteps during her after-dinner concert. Hill, recalling the time the trending songstress (and namesake of Mulberry's latest bag) performed for the brand in Los Angeles, enumerated what might be Del Rey's most impressive trait: "the ability to silence 40 editors." This time, too, you could have heard a pin drop the moment she took the stage. The opposite was the case over at Vivienne Westwood's after-party at The Box, where you couldn't make out anything Damien Hirst was saying to his host, Francesca Hammerstein, even if the two of them were sitting right next to you. Florence Welch cheered exuberantly for the club's hopped-up burlesque—a slightly more conservative version, it should be noted, than in New York—from her table near the stage." (Style)


"It’s a bitterly cold evening in Washington, and Sarah Jessica Parker, New Yorker to her fingertips, frequent Vogue cover girl, and star of the most stylish sitcom in history, is not at Fashion Week, but here at my dinner table, studiously avoiding the 'F' word: fashion. 'That’s so un-Carrie of you!' I tell her when she confesses with pride she never attends Fashion Week shows and parties. 'But I’m not Carrie Bradshaw! I have other interests besides fashion!' she insists. Indeed, she does. That’s why she is a member of the President’s Committee on Arts and Humanities, which champions arts education and awareness, and why she is here, of all places. On February 13, the President bestowed the National Medal of Arts and National Humanities Medal on distinguished American artists and writers like actor Al Pacino and poet and scholar John Ashbery. The evening before, a dinner was held in their honor at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian, and I was kindly invited by my friends at the Ovation Group, one of the major sponsors of the evening, to be their guest." (WashingtonSocialDiary)


"Blogs are good vectors for ultra-specialized views or angles. To name but a few: The Numbers Guy in the Wall Street Journal pores over statistics, or FT’s Datablog on data-driven journalism. For lighter fare, let’s mention WSJ’s Heard on the Runway about fashion (one of the most viewed), or WSJ’s Juggle on 'choices and tradeoffs people make as they juggle work and family'. What a blog shouldn’t be: a dump of disorderly news contents belonging to established home page sections, random bursts of disorganized thoughts, or a receptacle for journalists’ frustrations. As for the question of collective blogs vs. individual ones, I favor the individual blog: better gratification for the writer and, for management, more accountability and quality control." (MondayNote)

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