blog advertising is good for you

Friday, March 23, 2012

Media-Whore D'Oeuvres


"On March 9, President Barack Obama flew to Petersburg, Va., to tour a Rolls-Royce aircraft engine plant. He’d been to Petersburg before as a candidate, when he stopped his campaign bus to grab lunch at a burger joint. That was in 2008, when he could still blame someone else for the misfortunes of the people he met inside. On this visit, the president was long on optimism and short on promises, despite all the recent good news about the economy. That morning, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported 227,000 jobs had been created in February, capping the best six months of job growth since 2006. The stock market had doubled over the past three years. Unemployment was falling. But Obama took care not to boast. The economy has gotten off to a good start each of the past two years, only to slump in the summer, and in Petersburg, Obama cited the favorable jobs report only in passing. 'Day by day, we’re restoring this economy from crisis,' he said. 'But we can’t stop there.' Between now and Election Day, Obama must convince people he has steered the economy well enough to warrant another term. He can make a strong case that he’s gotten some big things right. His administration halted the worst downturn since the Great Depression and rescued the financial sector with a plan that drew on private, rather than public, funds to recapitalize ailing banks. Despite the best efforts of an intractable Congress, he kept the government from shutting down or defaulting on its debt, which bought the economy time to heal. But Obama and his advisers also failed to recognize the shape and scope of the crisis and hesitated to push for new jobs programs once they did (FIG. 1). Even with overwhelming assistance from the Federal Reserve, growth remains tepid and unemployment, though falling, remains high at 8.3 percent. No modern president has been reelected with a rate above 7.2 percent." (BusinessWeek)


"Robin Harding and John-Paul Rathbone insist that the United States is feeling pressure from the developing world over the World Bank leadership question. They also think the dynamic surrounding the Bank leadership race is quite different than it was in the case of the International Monetary Fund ... I don't see it. To me, the situation appears quite similar to the IMF leadership race (with the U.S. and European roles reversed): The United States is essentially insisting on its prerogative to name the Bank president, Europe quietly agrees, and the rest of the world is making gestures at resistance but shows no real inclination to put up a fight. The two developing world candidates that have reportedly emerged--Nigeria's Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala and Colombia's Jose Antonio Ocampo--look set to play the role of mostly symbolic competitors that Mexico's Agustin Carstens and Israel's Stanley Fischer played in the IMF race. The only real difference in the dynamic is Jeffrey Sachs' very public campaign for the position." (ForeignPolicy)


"The Obama administration on Friday will nominate Dartmouth College President Jim Yong Kim to lead the World Bank, choosing a global-health expert to head the development institution. Dr. Kim, an American physician who was born in South Korea and raised in Iowa, is a surprise pick for a job that has usually been held by people with political or banking experience. President Barack Obama planned to make the announcement Friday morning ahead of a trip to South Korea. Dr. Kim, who became Dartmouth's president in July 2009, is a former director of the Department of HIV/AIDS at the World Health Organization. He holds a medical degree and a doctorate in anthropology, both from Harvard University. Other candidates for the World Bank job include Nigerian Finance Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, a former top World Bank official whose nomination was announced Friday, and Jeffrey Sachs, a prominent development economist at Columbia University who launched his own campaign for the job and has won endorsements from some smaller developing nations." (WSJ)


"I went to a small dinner last night that Shirley Lord Rosenthal gave for her friend Mercedes Bass. Conversation at table (at my end ) was about politics and books and the occasional celebrity anecdote. Lively and interesting. Food delicious; and most of the guests old friends (with some new for garnish). Last night was also the Frick’s Young Fellows Belle Epoque Ball. The invitation read “Half After Eight Until Midnight”and “Black Tie – Fin de Siecle Elegance.” I thought I would have got out of dinner before, but it was 11:15 when I got to the Frick. Half-expecting the place to be emptying, I was surprised to see it in full swing. This was a great party. The Frick is a leader in marshalling the troops of the emerging generation of leaders in New York. They all look like kids to these eyes, but in fact many are already grooming themselves to participate in the best of New York. I’m talking about culture, philanthropy and civic interests." (NYSocialDiary)


"Whitney Houston drowned, with cocaine fresh in her system, following a possible heart attack, according to her newly-released initial autopsy report. The Los Angeles County Coroner's Chief of Operations, Craig Harvey, stated that Houston appeared to have used cocaine "in the time period just immediately prior to her collapse in the bathtub at the hotel," though no traces of the drug were found in her room. TMZ is claiming her supplier removed the evidence before authorities arrived. Harvey added that the results of toxicology testing indicated Houston was a chronic cocaine user, and also that the Pope was Catholic. Or, anyway, one of those things. Atherosclerotic heart disease, which can lead to blockages of blood flow to the heart, was listed as a contributing factor to the 48 -year-old's death. Tests also revealed the presence of marijuana, Xanax, Benadryl, and a muscle relaxant called Flexerill in Houston's system, though this cocktail of drugs was not believed to have contributed directly to her demise." (Gawker)


"It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas: nonstop snowfall, an empty main street, and the closing of the Palace hotel as well as the Eagle club. (I give the traditional closing-day speech at the club, and my oration this year was deemed politically incorrect.) The older I get the more I like it off-season. The toadies and parasites of the truly rich have followed their masters to places such as St. Barts or the Bahamas. Tarts, pimps, art dealers, jewelry salesmen, real-estate sharks—you name them, we have them. During the season, that is. New money needs new art, and there’s a lot of the former around during the busy season. One disgusting little man infiltrated my backgammon game and passed his catalogue around. It’s a sad day when a man can’t even relax over backgammon without a Japanese-made Modigliani being shoved in his face. There are also some magnificent unsigned Picassos and some extremely rare ones spelled with one ‘s.’" (Taki)


"Paper Magazine's outrageous editorial director, Mickey Boardman, would like to start off by saying, 'Despite my girth — or maybe as a result of — I am not a connoisseur of fine cuisine.' Unless someone else is paying. In which case Boardman will happily ingest 'a lovingly-prepared baby radish grown organically by communist lesbians in the Napa Valley.' Besides the Weight Watchers soup he once made that 'was so stressful, I had to lay down for a week, he refuses to cook anything, abandoning his stove for so many years that Con-Ed wants to disconnect him. Read about Mickey's takeout from the cute guy at Cafe Habana and peanut M&M's with Vogue on the side in this week's New York Diet. Friday, March 16 For breakfast, I have my usual carb-overload of one egg on a poppy-seed bagel, not toasted. I get one of those very un-chic hash brown patties, too. I wash it all down with a Diet Dr. Pepper. Horrifying, I know. I do Weight Watchers on and off ... even when I'm 'off,' I love sitting at the Village Temple on 12th Street with a group of housewives who all just ate a big bag of Oreos in the shower; forget hipsters, those are my people." (NYMag)


"The Chanel road show is a formidable machine. It just rolled into Tokyo for a three-day celebration of Karl Lagerfeld's new book The Little Black Jacket, which launched Wednesday night with a party in a backstreet off Omotesando and a dinner at the Park Hyatt. That will forever be the hotel where Bill Murray and Scarlett Johansson plighted their obtuse troth in Lost in Translation. X-zillion floors above Tokyo's magic carpet of lights? Who wouldn't feel turned on? But this celebration felt more like a family affair. That's what it's like when Karl takes to the road. In Tokyo, there was his usual small circle of intimates, including Vanessa Paradis, Amanda Harlech, Stephen Gan, Virginie Viard, and Sébastien Jondeau; longtime professional collaborators like DJ Michel Gaubert, Sam McKnight on hair, Peter Philips on makeup; plus the customary coterie of devastatingly attractive French starlets: Gaspard Ulliel, Clémence Poésy, Astrid Bergès-Frisbey. That's one big mobile comfort zone, so it was no wonder there was so much talk about kids at dinner. Pressed to pick a favorite from the 120 portraits he shot for the book, Karl nominated the picture of his godson Hudson Kroenig. (He also said he was partial to his partner on the project Carine Roitfeld's revamp as Coco herself, which is the book's cover.)" (Style)



"Former Sen. Arlen Specter (Pa.) says he might vote for Mitt Romney in November, depending on which version of Romney shows up for the general election. 'I’m going to wait to see which Romney it is,' said Specter in an interview with The Hill at his elegant apartment in Georgetown. Specter, who gave President Obama the 60th vote needed to pass landmark healthcare reform legislation through the Senate, applauded Romney for signing similar reforms into law while serving as governor of Massachusetts. He made headlines across the nation in April of 2009 when he left the Republican Party to become a Democrat. His switch gave Obama the votes he needed to pass two of his biggest legislative accomplishments: healthcare reform and Wall Street reform. Specter had served more than 28 years in the Senate representing Pennsylvania as a Republican and chaired the Judiciary Committee during the confirmations of Supreme Court Justices John Roberts and Samuel Alito. Now a registered Democrat, Specter says he does not regret voting for the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, which extends healthcare benefits to more than 30 million uninsured Americans. 'The legislation to provide maximum healthcare coverage in America is a sound decision.I think Romney was right when he did that. I think that’s a right decision,' Specter said. Romney met with Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.), a leading Senate conservative, and other lawmakers on Thursday to assure them he is committed to repealing the 2010 healthcare reform law if elected president." (TheHill)

No comments: