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Monday, June 25, 2012

Media-Whore D'Oeuvres


"'Show me your papers' is the most familiar provision of Arizona's tough immigration law, but it is not the most consequential. As such, the Supreme Court's decision Monday to allow that provision of the state law to stand is still a victory for the Obama administration. Conservative critics of the federal government's complaint against Arizona had hoped for a wholesale endorsement of the state law. Instead, Arizona got permission to do what local police officers all over the country already do on an ad hoc basis -- check with federal officials about a questionable person's legal status inside the United States. The Supreme Court agreed with the federal government's argument that the three other questionable parts of Arizona's law -- warrantless arrests, ID requirements, and criminalizing work of undocumented workers -- improperly stomped on the federal government's role of enforcing immigration law. 'Federal governance of immigration and alien status is extensive and complex,' the high court held in an opinion written by the moderate Justice Anthony Kennedy. He was joined by four other justices -- Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer, and Sonia Sotomayor. In other words, it wasn't even close with five justices on board and Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas only dissenting in part. Justice Elena Kagan did not participate in the deliberations because of her previous work on the issue with the Obama administration." (TheAtlantic)


"Former xoJane.com blogger Cat Marnell, who quit her job because she couldn’t give up drugs, has found a handy new home at Vice magazine. The beauty writer, who famously told us she’d rather 'be on the rooftop of Le Bain looking for shooting stars and smoking angel dust' than hold down a job, will be a weekly contributor with a column called Amphetamine Logic, where she opines on life while under the influence. Vice Editor-in Chief Rocco Castoro said he has no qualms that her habit could get in the way of work. 'We’re not worried in the slightest'' he said. 'In fact, it’s the New York society pages who should be worried. If she blows it, they’ll have to find another writer who’s worth writing about.'" (PageSix)


"Fifth. The Daily News announced on Friday that the house at 973 Fifth Avenue had sold to an undisclosed buyer for $42 million. Houses have always fascinated me since I was a small boy. It was the impact of the design and the size, aesthetically speaking, but even more was my curiosity about Who lived there, and What were they like?  It so happens the little boy grew up to be a man who has had the pleasure of learning more about them, and often first-hand. 973 Fifth has always been one of those houses for this New Yorker – along with its birth companion, 972 Fifth, which was built at the beginning of the 20th century for Helen and Payne Whitney as a wedding gift from Mr. Whitney’s uncle Oliver Payne one of the pleasures of my business is to learn more about them. When I was that little boy with the big eyes, such houses were imagined to be someone’s dream come true, so enormous, so magnificent. Kings and Queens in their castles. Now that magnificence still resonates at times although the enormity and its posture had proved mainly irrelevant, and even at times a burden, when it comes to human life." (NYSocialDiary)


"Forget renting out the upstairs room of the Spotted Pig and/or flying 12 of your best friends to the Turks and Caicos for a spa weekend. The hottest celebrity birthday trend is about as unglamorous as hot celebrity birthday trends get: taking a spin class at SoulCycle. First, back in December, SoulCycle devotee Jake Gyllenhaal inadvertently started the trend by spending the morning of his 31st birthday at a SoulCycle class in Union Square. Then in late March, Star Jones kicked off her 50th birthday weekend with a private group class at a SoulCycle in New York. A few days later Lady Gaga celebrated her 26th birthday with a spin class for her buds at West Hollywood's SoulCycle. Then in May, Lena Dunham also celebrated her 26th birthday at SoulCycle, but in New York, with New Girl's Max Greenfield (pictured at left) and her dad in attendance. Today, we learned that over the weekend, actress Minka Kelly (pictured below) spent the morning of her 32nd birthday at SoulCycle in L.A., and that afterwards she was presented with a cupcake." (Papermag)




"If it weren’t for one or two things, Daniel Shak wouldn’t be such a well known guy. His hedge fund, SHK Asset Management, wasn’t what you’d call a major player. But by investing the $10 million fund in gold futures, then liquidating the position, Mr. Shak set off the largest single day drop in gold contracts traded on the Comex. Some months later, Mr. Shak stumbled upon some hard to find info about his ex-wife, the professional poker player Beth Shak, that has renewed the hedge fund manager’s fame. According to the New York Post 'In the summer of 2011, Daniel became aware that Beth owned and failed to disclose an extensive . . . collection of Christian Louboutin shoes . . . and other high-end designer shoes and bags,' his suit says. A few questions ..." (Observer)


"Washington is in for one of its wildest weeks in a long time, and the stakes could hardly be higher for President Barack Obama. The Supreme Court is expected to hand down its landmark decision on the president’s signature first-term achievement, the 2010 health care law, a ruling with huge implications for Obama’s legacy and his prospects for a second term. A second high court opinion on Arizona’s immigration law will touch on another hot-button campaign issue. Across the street at the Capitol, meanwhile, Congress will confront two critical legislative disputes that Obama has put at the forefront of his campaign lately: student loan rates and highway funding. Obama has taken every opportunity to prod GOP congressional leaders to keep loan rates from doubling and urge them to fund federal highway programs. Laws covering both will expire June 30.As if that weren’t enough drama, the House is expected Thursday to vote to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress for failing to fork over thousands of pages of internal Justice Department documents detailing why federal officials allowed guns to fall into the hands of Mexican drug cartels. The Fast and Furious scandal has been simmering for months, but it boiled over last week when a House committee voted to hold Holder in contempt of Congress despite an administration claim of executive privilege. If the House approves the measure, it will be the first time in U.S. history that one of the chambers has voted to hold a sitting attorney general in contempt ... Voters head to the ballot box in less than five short months, and the confluence of events this week could alter the course of the campaign for the White House and Congress." (Politico)


"'I love everything Prabal does—every woman wants a piece in their closet,' Joan Smalls told Style.com last night at Indochine, where the designer Prabal Gurung and his friends Diane von Furstenberg, Jenna Lyons, and Liu Wen, among others, were toasting his recent Resort collection. And when she said every woman, Smalls wasn't kidding: 'He hasn't given me a piece,' she said. 'I think we need to talk about this' ... Later, after the Brit singer Paloma Faith sang a pair of songs that had everyone saying, 'Wait, she was amazing, what was her name again?' Gurung surprised his pal Zoe Saldana with a birthday cake. 'Now that I'm later in my life, it's about accepting what I need and not what I want,' the actress said." (Style)

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