blog advertising is good for you

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Media-Whore D'Oeuvres

"Foreign policy, including the use of military power, isn't an end in itself. It consists of tools and instruments designed to achieve specific and hopefully well-thought-out ends. Those ends -- let's call them interests -- are theoretically supposed to drive a country's foreign-policy strategy. Sounds pretty simple, right? So what are America's interests in the Middle East? Are there core goals and priorities that are more important than others? Does the country pretend certain things are more important than they really are? And how do you think it is doing in protecting those interests? These are really good questions, and they're not asked nearly enough. One reason is that since 1945, when the United States began to get its feet wet in the region, largely as a consequence of oil, Israel, and the Russians -- that complex triumvirate of things it was trying to either protect or guard against -- its core interests have remained pretty much the same. Today, if you take the Russian bogeyman out of the picture (sorry Mitt), add Islamists and counterterrorism, and subtract a few Arab dictators and authoritarians, U.S. interests remain pretty much the same. To keep commerce free (I think Obama means oil), the United States supports the authoritarian Saudi kings. To keep the region secure, it backs the repressive Khalifa monarchy in Bahrain, which gives the U.S. Navy's 5th Fleet the port access that allows it to project power across the Gulf. And to stand up for Israel, the United States gives the Egyptian military $1.3 billion per year to protect the peace treaty and turn a blind eye while the generals protect their praetorian privileges. As far as championing the rights of the Arab peoples, see America's largely hands-off policy on Syria -- correct though I believe it to be. I'm not complaining, mind you, just reporting. But the United States needs to be clear and stop pretending." (ForeignPolicy)

"Earlier this year, former Bush political strategist Karl Rove issued a mea culpa about his opposition to then-Gov. George W. Bush’s selection of Dick Cheney as his running mate in 2000. '[Bush] knew I was opposed and invited me to make the case against his idea. I came to our meeting armed with eight political objections. Mr. Bush heard me out but with a twist: I explained my objections with Mr. Cheney sitting, mute and expressionless, next to the governor.' (Oh, to have been a fly on the wall in that room.) After the meeting, Bush told Rove he was right about the political problems the Cheney selection would have presented, but he said, effectively, that Rove just had to deal with them. Even though Cheney of heavily-GOP Wyoming added nothing in the Electoral College, Bush got elected anyway, barely, and Rove said Bush was right to have not listened to him about Cheney. Cheney was selected to add gravitas to the ticket, and Bush preferred him to some swing-state possibilities, such as Gov. Tom Ridge of Pennsylvania. The Cheney selection seems instructive now as we continue to assess Mitt Romney’s selection of Paul Ryan. Like Cheney, Ryan is a pick made with an eye to governance as opposed to politics. Unlike Bush, Romney didn’t need to add gravitas to his ticket because Romney does not suffer from the same competence and experience questions that Bush faced. Besides, adding a man two decades his junior -- Ryan could pass for Romney’s son, much like Dan Quayle could have passed for George H.W. Bush’s son in 1988 -- doesn’t add gravitas to Romney’s ticket, no matter how sharp Ryan may be. Instead, the Ryan selection seems to tell us more about the direction of Romney’s governing plan should he win the election. This wasn’t a choice Romney made to boost his electoral chances; rather, it was a choice to help him if and when he occupies 1600 Pennsylvania Ave." (SabatosCrystalBall)

"Michael’s was busy, noticeably calmer with so many of its patrons off on the summer vacations. Liz Smith was there, lunching with Ellen Levine of Hearst and Joni Evans of wowowow.com which is now live every Wednesday at 11 o’clock on Sirius. Moving around the room Mickey Ateyeh, in New York briefly, taking a break from her round the world tours and turns; Debra Fine, author of 'The Fine Art of Small Talk,' with David Berkin; Kevin Magee and Scott Greenstein, head of Sirius XM Radio; Martin Bandier of Sony's current publishing arm, Sony/ATV, with Marshall Rose, real estate investor husband of Candice Bergen; Jason Binn who has just launched a new quarterly luxury magazine D Jour with Gilt Groupe, with media mogul Richard Beckman; Carmine Coppola; Ed DeYoung; Michael Fricklas of Viacom; Harold Holzer, Senior VP for External Affairs at the Metropolitan Museum; Stefan Kaluzny, Managing Director of Sycamore Partners, a New York based private equity firm; Chris Meigher of Quest, which comes out with its 19th annual Quest 400 List this week; Shelly Palmer of Fox TV; National Jewelry Institute’s founder Judy Price and Aggie Gund; Henry Schleiff of the Discovery Channel, with Paula Zahn; Allan Schwartz; Gillian Tett of the FT; Pete Peterson, co-founder with Steve Schwarzman of Blackstone; Stan Shuman and Alan Patricoff; Shelley Zalis; mega-agent Boaty Boatwright with the multi-tasking cooking, gardening, animal rights advocate and handbag designer Cornelia Guest." (NYSocialDiary)

"Congratulations to former Goldman Sachs sorta-honcho Jon Corzine, who's going to skate off somewhere (somewhere pretty far away from his former clients) after he beats the rap on his latest car wreck, accidentally evaporating A BILLION-PLUS DOLLARS of his customers' money at MF Global. Now everybody there is suing everybody there, and Corzine is thinking about starting a hedge fund, but only after he 'accepts the invitation' to testify with federal prosecutors. This is the pig who came on board at MF and fired 1400 people right off the bat, replacing them with some obvious incompetents, after a long career of skating by on risky trades and cocked-up positions, capped off by going neck-deep in crazy European debt positions. Guess what? You can actually pretty much do anything now! Just say it's an accident and you just don't know what happened." (Choire Sicha)







No comments: