blog advertising is good for you

Friday, June 29, 2012

Media-Whore D'Oeuvres

"The Washington Post has run a fewexcerptsfrom Rajiv Chandrasekaran's latest book, Little America: The War Within the War for Afghanistan. It contains such shockers as the revelation that inter-service rivalry at the Pentagon led to bureaucratically sub-rational outcomes. As Captain Renault said to Rick, 'I'm shocked, shocked to find that gambling is going on in here!'  Rajiv gets a few things right. He claims that 'U.S. commanders thought that managing the NATO alliance was more important than winning the war.' A lot of the senior brass seems never to have fully internalized the strategic importance of the war in Afghanistan, despite two presidents insisting that it was a vital American national security interest. When Bush and Obama can agree on something, you have to at least consider they may be right. But much of the book dwells on interagency rivalry in Washington during the early months of the Obama administration, when I served as a staffer on the NSC. Here, Chandrasekaran embellishes, dramatizes, and exaggerates until the story is no longer recognizable.
In Chandrasekaran's telling, there was an epic rivalry between the State Department's special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, Richard Holbrooke, and the NSC's special coordinator for Afghanistan and Pakistan, Doug Lute. I worked for Lute during some of the period covered by Chandrasekaran's story. There was plainly a rivalry of sorts, but Chandrasekaran blows it out of all proportion and neglects obvious historical and institutional factors at play. The NSC and the State Department have been rivals since the NSC was created in 1947, and the rivalry endures across policy issues and regardless of personalities. Add to the standard institutional competition the fact that the Obama administration decided to have two separate 'special' leads for Af-Pak policy, one at State and one at NSC, and it is unsurprising that the two offices clashed over their confusing, overlapping and unclear roles. That's the natural consequence of the president's poor managerial decisions and the administration's neglect of clear institutional organization." (ForeignPolicy)


Here's a sampling of the Who’s who that turned up to promote the coming 2013 film Makers: Women Who Make America. This is being backed by PBS and AOL and made by the creative Dyllan McGee. My pal the writer/promoter/fashion plate/mover-shaker, one Peggy Siegal, took me to this event at the charming Casa Lever, owned by one Abby Rosen, just off Park Avenue. The food was super but the 'names' were off the wall.  Just a few: the aforesaid Ms. Steinem ... Diane von Furstenberg, Arianna Huffington, Tina Brown, Katie Couric, Magee Hickey, Deborah Roberts, Veronica Pittman, Faith Ringold, Carolyn Roehm, Blaine Trump. Campbell Brown, Gayle King, Star Jones, Jill Fairchild, Amanda Foreman, Gigi Stone, Joanne Lipman, Geraldine Fabrikant, Jennifer Maguire, Joanna Cowles, and on and on." (NYSocialDiary)


"Mitt Romney's presidential campaign has raised $4.3 million since the Supreme Court ruled that President Obama's healthcare law is constitutional. Romney started raising funds immediately after the decision, and in a message to supporters Friday morning his campaign spokeswoman said he had raised $4.3 million from 43,000 donations. 'As of this morning, we have raised $4.3 million with 43,000 donations online,' spokeswoman Andrea Saul said. 'The Supreme Court may have found ObamaCare constitutional, but it remains just as disastrous for job creators as the day the law was passed. ObamaCare is a job killer — it raises taxes, cuts Medicare and puts government between patients and their doctors,' Saul added." (TheHill)



"This year's Serpentine Gallery summer pavilion was created by Herzog & de Meuron in collaboration with Ai Weiwei, the Chinese dissident artist who was not permitted to leave Beijing for the Tuesday night opening. Inside the semi-underground steel and cork structure was a major exhibition of the work of Yoko Ono. Three generations of Jaggers showed up to take it in—Amba, Jade, and Bianca—the lattermost of whom we found transfixed in front of a video installation of John Lennon's naked (and quite hairy) butt in motion on a rotating spool. 'Utterly fascinating' was her verdict." (Style)

No comments: