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Saturday, September 22, 2012

Media-Whore D'Oeuvres


"(Bloomberg's Josh Barro): Anything is possible, but I find it hard to imagine Romney winning at this point without a major external event that damages the president or a boneheaded move from Obama that would be atypical of his previous, fairly steady performance. I think the leaked fund-raiser video was quite damaging, and the damage will become more apparent through October as the Obama campaign uses the footage over and over in attacks. One reason this is such a problem for Romney is that he's inscrutable — he's the most opaque major-party nominee since Nixon, and people have been reduced to guessing what he really believes and cares about. This provides something that fits an already bad narrative about him: that he doesn't care about the little people, that he's an out-of-touch rich guy and that will flow through in his policies. So, I think that was something he needed to overcome, and it makes it much harder for him to do it, and the economy isn't quite bad enough for people to look past it. As for how he could win, I don't think something like a few strong debate performances is enough. He's already had a lot of exposure and is unlikely to drastically change the public perception of him through the debates. And Obama is unlikely to make the kind of blunders that, say, Newt Gingrich did that hurt him. (NYmag)


"The other day I was on a talk show where the host asked me, 'Are we better off now than we were before the Arab Spring?' And I said, 'Who is we?' The furious attacks on U.S. diplomatic outposts in the Middle East have left many Americans feeling that the neighborhood was a lot safer when it was patrolled by pro-American generalissimos. But for Egypt, Libya, Tunisia, and Yemen -- the countries where citizens overthrew those hated rulers -- the demonstrations were a sideshow, if a mortifying one. The tumult offered a forceful reminder that 'good for us' is not the same as 'good for them.' I have always assumed that a more democratic Middle East would be good for the United States in the long run, but bad in the short run. George W. Bush was right when he said, in his second Inaugural Address, that 'the survival of liberty in our land increasingly depends on the success of liberty in other lands' -- or at least he would have been right if he had said something less resonant, like 'our security depends on legitimate government in the Islamic world.' In the long term, good for them is good for us. In the mean time, however, freedom releases poisons as well as noble aspirations. One of those poisons, of course, is anti-Americanism. Of course, there's nothing new about explosions of hostility to the United States in the Arab world; what's new is how far they're allowed to go." ( ForeignPolicy)


"When you step off the elevator in the nondescript Flatiron building that houses Terence Koh’s latest project (at 1133 Broadway every night from 7 to 9 p.m. through Sept. 22), you’ll feel a bit lost. The hallways are painted a dull yellow and have linoleum floors, like a public high school, and the room numbers are in the four digits because you’re up on the 26th floor. The correct room soon becomes apparent, though, as its numbers are in white instead of black, like the others. But here things get hazy: this reporter was relieved of his notebook shortly after arriving. What else do I remember about the experience? I knocked on the white door, and a white twentysomething guy, dressed in black monk’s garb, held a finger to his lips, admonishing me not to talk. With notecards inscribed in curling script, he explained that this was 'One Person at a Time,' and that I should put everything I had on me in a toolbox outside the door; that I would receive a key to this toolbox; that I was to remove my shoes once I got to the anteroom, whose white neon signs proclaimed beauty and truth." (Gallerist)


"Anti-Japanese riots aren't a new phenomenon in China, but the ongoing demonstrations across the country have surpassed previous outbreaks in both their extensiveness -- over a hundred cities -- and their perfervid declarations. One banner, hung over an Audi dealership, declared that the Japanese should be exterminated; another called for a nuclear strike on Tokyo; a woman's hospital featured a neon sign announcing that Japanese females would absolutely not be treated. The issue of sovereignty over the uninhabited islands, known as Diaoyu to the Chinese and Senkaku to the Japanese, sparked China's fevered response ... Despite their intensity, these demonstrations, like the half-dozen that preceded them over the past 25 years, are abating. In the past, China has long been able to hold Japan's economy hostage after political disputes, and it is likely to get its way economically this time as well. The two economies are deeply interlinked; trade between them in 2011 was worth almost $350 billion. China is Japan's largest trading partner and absorbs just under a fifth of Japan's total exports; Japan is China's third-largest trading partner, after the European Union (EU) and the United States. China's economy, which overtook Japan's as the world's second largest in 2011, is expected to grow at the reduced but still healthy rate of more than 7.5 percent in 2012; Japan's economy by contrast could contract in the third quarter of this year. Though it never recovered from the bursting of its economic bubble in 1990, Japan remained the world's second-largest economy until China edged it out of that spot in 2011. The triple earthquake-tsunami-nuclear meltdown of March 2011 curtailed domestic auto production; disastrous floods in Thailand in October of that year closed Toyota, Nissan, and Honda factories. Shortages of power resulting from the shutdown of reactors and strong public sentiment for ending reliance on nuclear energy meant fuel shortages and higher electric bills. To make matters worse, the global economic downturn depressed demand for the country's exports, and a strong yen made Japanese products less competitive in world markets. In that same annus horribilus, Japan recorded its first trade deficit since 1981." (ForeignPolicy)


" The actress/director/producer was there to drumbeat her funny, touching, new memoir, 'My Mother Was Nuts.' Penny (Marshall) worked the room non-stopAll earthlings available to the siren song of PR queen Peggy Siegal — and a few aliens, too — descended in full force on The Monkey Bar. I do mean such as David Geffen, in jeans and sneakers ... Calvin Klein, beautifully suited up ... Barry Diller and Diane von Furstenberg ... Art Garfunkel (Penny’s old flame) ... Lorne Michaels ... Graydon Carter ... Fran Lebowitz, who is determined not to smile too much as she moves around the room — this keeps unwanted admirers at bay ... Roger Friedman, reporter extraordinaire ... Carol Kane ... Gayle King ... Andy Cohen ... Mort Zuckerman ... Jacob Bernstein ... Tom Brokaw ... Barbara Walters, regal in a gorgeous red coat. You get it. It was one of those, 'if a bomb dropped' evenings.  Joy and Regis Philbin were there, still talking about the Marvin Hamlisch memorial. 'Now, that was a memorial,' said Joy. Turning to Regis, she continued, 'That’s what I’ll try to do for you.' Regis feigned horror ...Anjelica Huston was there. Her necklace was admired. 'Oh, look at these rubies,' she said, pulling rocks that seemed the size of Easter eggs from under her blouse. 'Lauren Hutton gave them to me. She got them in Nepal or one of those exotic places she was always traveling to. I kept admiring them, and finally she just gave them to me. I wore her out.'
" (Liz Smith/NYSD)


"'Like most moms, I’m always busy,' says Leelee Sobieski, taking a break at her neighborhood park while her duties as jungle-gym chaperone to two-and-a-half-year-old daughter Louisanna (Lewi for short) are assumed by her husband, designer Adam Kimmel.  ... Just as she and Kimmel are taking the year off, the same could be said about certain works they own, like a painting by controversial Austrian artist Hermann Nitsch that was moved to storage after Lewi was born. 'When you have kids, you don’t want to put up evil paintings,' Kimmel explains." (Vogue)



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