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Monday, March 26, 2012

Media-Whore D'Oeuvres


"On March 19, the New York Times described a classified U.S. Central Command war game conducted this month that simulated the outcome of an Israeli attack on Iran. According to U.S. officials who discussed the results with the newspaper, the game 'forecasts that the [Israeli] strike would lead to a wider regional war, which could draw in the United States and leave hundreds of Americans dead.' Marine Gen. James Mattis, commander of Central Command, found the outcome 'particularly troubling' because an Israeli first strike would have 'dire consequences across the region and for United States forces there.' The article, with its discussion of 'dire consequences,' is one more indication of the gap between the Israeli government's calculations concerning Iran and those of the U.S. government. Why that analytical gap exists should be of interest to policymakers. The military's conclusion that U.S. forces in the Persian Gulf region could suffer hundreds of deaths following an Israeli strike could be an indication that U.S. commanders and policymakers have not adequately prepared for such a scenario. But perhaps most important, we should examine what goals U.S. officials had in mind when they leaked the results of the supposedly secret war game to the New York Times." (ForeignPolicy)


"In a conversation that was picked up Monday by live microphones, President Obama privately told Russia he will have 'more flexibility' to deal with missile defense after the election.  Speaking to Russian President Dmitry Medvedev ahead of a global nuclear security summit in South Korea, Obama asked for 'space' and 'time' to deal with the missile defense issue. 'Yeah. I understand. I understand your message about space. Space for you,' Medvedev said. 'This is my last election,' Obama said. 'After my election, I have more flexibility.' 'I will transmit this information to Vladimir,' said Medvedev, who will hand the Russian presidency over to Vladimir Putin in May." (TheHill)


"The Republican primary is transitioning from hard-fought campaign to its next stage, a reckoning that Mitt Romney will be the nominee. Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum have also moved to their next act: hecklers, rather than competitors, with little money to even air cable-TV ads, increasingly far-fetched scenarios for going to Tampa and shrill rhetoric. With a mix of resignation about Romney and eagerness to get on with the business of defeating President Barack Obama, conservative and establishment GOP officials are going beyond their time-will-tell talking points to all but declare the race over. 'After a long and grueling primary, it is clear that Mitt Romney is the best candidate to face President Obama and fix the mess of his one and only term,” said House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), who is set to endorse Romney on Monday and call on Republicans 'to unite and work together' to take back the White House. Still, Gingrich and Santorum appear intent on trudging forward — and the former Pennsylvania senator’s thumping win in Louisiana on Saturday offers him a fresh rationale. But increasingly, the Republican clash is less like the 2008 Obama-Hillary Clinton epic and more reminiscent of the Democrats’ 1992 nomination battle. It was clear in April of that year that Bill Clinton was going to be his party’s nominee, but Jerry Brown refused to drop out even as the Arkansas governor amassed a massive delegate advantage. Like Romney, Clinton had outspoken critics in the party, such as then-Pennsylvania Gov. Robert Casey, who reinforced Brown’s hopes of an open convention." (Politico)


"This past Thursday night over at the Frick Collection they held their annual Young Fellows Ball. This is usually an 'end of winter' event but what with the 70 degree temperature outside and the canopies of pink magnolia blossoms festooning over the terraces and the property as well as in Central Park across the street, it was more like sumer is a-cumin’ in. More than 600 guests (also supporters) gathered at the Fifth Avenue mansion amid the fin-de-siècle splendor of the former Frick family residence, for the Belle Époque Ball, sponsored by Donna Karan New York. The event planners and designers took their inspiration from the current special exhibition Renoir, Impressionism, and Full-Length Painting. This must-see show brings together nine grand-scale depictions by the painter of life in Paris in the 1870s and 1880s -- including several enchanting images of Parisian dancing couples in fashionable dress. At about 9:15 p.m. 17 members and friends (Cator Sparks, Price Latimer Agah, Lucy Lang, Scott Asher, Linnea Wilson, Sarah Maslin Nir, Kate Fleming, Jane Ko, Fay Cantor Stephens, Olivia Windisch, Alex Cohen, Ariana Lindermayer, Ryan Hayward, Musa Okwonga, Alice Kabukaru, and Charlotte Vignon arrived from the Plaza in three horse-drawn carriages for a most grand entrance." (NYSocialDiary)


"'I was seduced by the fact that you have to walk through a sex shop to get here,' said Jefferson Hack of La Bodega Negra, the underground Mexican eatery where he held last night's joint f—te for the Spring '12 issue of Another Man and the launch of BLK DNM at Browns Focus. Co-hosted by BLK DNM's Johan Lindeberg, the event lured the likes of Jamie Hince, Dame Vivienne Westwood, Jude Law, and artists Dinos Chapman, Tim Noble, and Sue Webster into the dimly lit Soho restaurant for dinner and dancing. And its sex shop entrance, complete with neon 'Girls! Girls! Girls!' signs and 'Peep Show' painted on the door, enticed, rather than deterred, party guests. 'I felt very comfortable,' laughed Daphne Guinness about crossing through that particular threshold. In attendance: plenty of girls, girls, girls. Alexa Chung, Josephine de la Baume, and Georgia May and Jade Jagger all stopped by for a drink and a dance. And even though the new issue of
Another Man riffs on the theme of the gentleman's journey—'it's about how a modern gentleman lives his life on the road,' Hack said—a special collector's edition features a modern gentlewoman on the cover: Kate Moss." (Style)


"'The Good Wife' star Julianna Margulies has little sympathy for scorned political wives. 'I remember thinking, Get off the stage!' she told More magazine’s April issue about watching Silda Spitzer and Dina McGreevey stand humiliated at press conferences as their husbands admitted wrongdoing: 'I couldn’t believe the women were gullible enough to get up there, and I couldn’t believe that the men could be such [bleep]holes as to ask.' Margulies, who plays a lawyer whose politician husband gets caught up in a sex and corruption scandal, doesn’t know if she’d have the strength to stick around if her own real-life partner strayed. 'I don’t know if I could do it, because I think I’d be playing [the betrayal] in my head the whole time,' said the actress, who wed Keith Lieberthal in 2007. 'I don’t know if I’d ever be able to be fully present, and I don’t want to live that way . . . Maybe the Spitzers and the Clintons already had an arrangement . . . frankly I don’t care. There are some things where you go, ‘It’s none of your business.’" (PageSix)


"The spotty cellphone service at Midtown media mecca Michael’s has always been a blessing and a curse. While patrons, especially those on AT&T, have been frustrated for years by dropped calls or no service at all, it has facilitated full concentration on the networking and the power players in the room. But finally media mogul Jason Binn could take the interrupted service no more, and enlisted Gilt Groupe CEO Kevin Ryan’s top tech team to fix it. Michael’s General Manager Steve Millington told us, 'Kevin’s team installed a repeater, which has given everyone in the restaurant who had problems with AT&T, full service. The only thing I am afraid we still can’t fix is mobile phone etiquette at the table.'" (PageSix)

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