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Thursday, September 20, 2012

Media-Whore D'Oeuvres



"Changes like increasing the candidate’s face-to-the-camera time and talking about his generic Republican economic plan in more specific terms doesn’t sound like that new of a plan. It may not even be a new plan at all, but quite possibly stuff Romney had been planning to do all along. The point of pitching the story to Politico, I would guess, is to brand whatever they’re doing as a 'new plan,' and thus avoid the death spiral of despair and carping the campaign seems perilously close to falling into.What remains to play out is the damage from Romney’s leaked fund-raiser video. I argued at the time that the comments themselves would have little to no direct harmful effect on Romney. Very few of the 47 percent of Americans with no income tax liability think of themselves that way. People don’t distinguish between 'income taxes' and 'taxes.' That’s exactly why the classic Republican rhetorical trick is to say the former, and make the audience think it’s the latter. (George W. Bush pledged to cut taxes for all income tax payers, which freed him up from having to cut taxes for workers who owed payroll taxes but not income taxes.)The broader possibility for damage, though, is that the video could simply destroy Romney’s credibility. He has already been stuck with an image as a stereotypical selfish rich Republican. Here is a story that confirms the stereotype in a way that makes it all that much harder for Romney to surmount it. He can promise to represent '100 percent.' He could spend the rest of the campaign giving away his fortune and washing the feet of orphans. But if voters presume he’s doing all this for public consumption, and that the genuine Romney comes through when he thinks voters aren’t listening, then the darker portrait of his plan painted by the Obama campaign will appear more credible.There’s really no tactical shift Romney would undertake that would change the fact that he’s currently on track to lose this election. He needs some large exogenous event." (Jonathan Chait)


"After shuffling many of our House ratings, it’s pretty obvious that the race for the House remains locked in a battle of trench warfare, with little obvious movement on either side. Given that the Republicans start from a position of great strength -- Democrats need to net 25 seats to take control of the House -- the GOP remains a heavy favorite to hold the lower chamber of Congress. Our new ratings show 195 safe seats for the Republicans and 156 safe seats for the Democrats, with 14 likely Republican seats and 13 likely Democratic seats. That leaves 23 leaning Republican and 20 leaning Democratic with 14 toss-ups. Only 57 of 435 seats -- 13% -- are in the leaning or toss-up categories. Our last full House update projected a Democratic gain of six seats; this time, we’re projecting a Democratic gain of four seats. Given the nature of the House -- where many races are likely to be close to the end and where reliable polling is relatively scant, compared to Senate or gubernatorial races -- our projections are bound to change, perhaps dramatically, in the last seven weeks before the election. But the center of gravity in this race -- two sides locked in a close contest -- is clear, and it favors the Republicans." (SabatosCrystalBall)


"The Obama administration has nominated Cheryl Saban, wife of Israeli-American billionaire Haim Saban to be the U.S. representative to the upcoming session of the United Nations General Assembly.Saban — a mega-donor who was at one time the top giver to the Democratic Party — has been intensely courted by the Obama campaign to try to level the playing field between the Democrats and big-money outside groups. He was a staunch supporter of Hillary Clinton in 2008, and largely sat out the general election that year after President Obama clinched the nomination. But this cycle, he wrote a check to the Obama campaign for the first time. And over the summer, he finally donated $1 million to super PACs backing Democrats.He recently penned an op-ed in the New York Times, defending Obama's polices in Israel and announcing his full support for the president. He also visited the White House at least twice, meeting with President Obama and then-chief of staff Bill Daley. After a December 2011 meeting, he told the Hollywood Reporter that his conversation with Obama helped change his mind and that it was 'time to get active again'  in politics. In Democratic circles, he's largely been seen as a possible counterweight to big-money Republican donors like Sheldon Adelson and the Koch brothers." (Politico)


"The situation in East Asia is tense. Japan and China, two of the most powerful countries in the world, are locked in a bitter dispute over eight tiny, uninhabited islands in the East China Sea. The volatility of the issue -- compounded by the fact that the waters around the islands are rich in natural resources -- is such that it’s hard to know what will happen next. But there’s one prediction that I would already dare to make. I don’t think that this lingering feud bodes well for the fate of liberal democracy in the region. The two sides can’t even agree over what the islands are called: They’re known as the Diaoyu to the Chinese, as the Senkakus to the Japanese. The argument over who has ultimate control over them has now boiled over, sending tens of thousands of angry Chinese into the streets in more than 85 cities. Some of those protestors have turned into rioters, attacking Japanese visitors or setting Japanese-operated businesses on fire. The government in Beijing recently dispatched six surveillance ships into Japanese-claimed waters around the islands, prompting fears about a possible clash between the two antagonists. One Chinese newspaper even called for launching nuclear missiles at Japan if it doesn’t concede sovereignty. The rising tensions have led some to wonder about the possibility of war between the two countries. But even if it doesn’t come to that, the consequences are potentially devastating. Trade between the two countries is now worth some $345 billion a year. Some Japanese factories in China have already cut back on production due to the political instability. Chinese demonstrators have been calling for a boycott of Japanese goods. Anything that slows down the flow of goods and services between the two countries is a bad idea at a time when both are struggling to keep their economies chugging along." (ForeignPolicy)


"The 3rd annual Moet Hennessy Financial Times Club dinner in San Francisco was hosted by John Ridding, CEO, Financial Times, and Jim Clerkin, CEO, Moet Hennessy US, and featured guest speaker Dick Costolo, CEO of Twitter. The evening opened with a champagne reception, followed by a meal prepared with a special menu created by chefs Pam Mazzola & Nancy Oakes. The after dinner speech took the form of a candid conversation between Dick Costolo and Gillian Tett, columnist and assistant editor of the Financial Times. The exclusive, invite only dinner gathered 80 leaders in business, finance, technology and politics. The Moet Hennessy Financial Times Club is in its ninth year and annually holds 4-5 dinners in Paris, London, Tokyo, Shanghai, New York and San Francisco. Previous speakers have included President Nicolas Sarkozy; Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook; Sir Rocco Forte, Chairman and CEO of Rocco Forte hotels; Rod Eddington, British Airways; Pascal Lamy, World Trade Organization; Sir Neville Isdell, former Chairman and CEO, Coco-Cola; Jeff Bewkes, Chairman and CEO of Time Warner; and Prince Albert de Monaco." (NYSocialDiary)


"Ice-T: The thing is, the game is wrong. We could write other books, and call them Drug Dealer, Bank Robber, Extortionist. There are no good games. In the underworld, negativity is held in a high regard. The more savage you are, the cooler you are. This is just a story about the underworld. This is not an attempt to promote it. The truth of the fact is that there is glamour involved in the negative shit. The guys robbing a bank are having a ball. When you are involved in drug dealing, it’s exciting. You see a movie like Blow, and there is some reason why people do it. If you tell the true story, you are not glamorizing it. The true story is, even if it seems exciting, the horror and the pain that comes along with it, it isn’t worth it. I think at the beginning of this movie, you hate the fuck out of Iceberg Slim. You think this is a brutalized guy. This is a terrible person. Then you see him have this epiphany in prison, take care of his family in the ghetto, defending his family. It’s an interesting story about how people change. henever people ask me how I did all of these negative things in my life, I quote Fargo. I say, 'Well, it seemed like the right thing to do at the time.'  The movie isn’t about pimping; it’s more of a portrait of a criminal. Pimping just happened to be what he did. We tried to explain some of the factors that went into his distaste of women. I’m sure there were women that lived the opposite of that, that were abused by their fathers, and today fucking hate men to death. Like Chris Rock said, his momma kinda invented the pimp." (VanityFair)


"Robin (Quivers) said there was a guy from John Varvatos and he was a very good looking guy. Robin asked if he sees that guy and thinks ''maybe.'' Robin said he was as beautiful as any woman. Howard (Stern)said that's James Shuck and he helped him get into that suit. Howard said he actually is in love. Howard asked Robin if she would ever think of having sex with a hot woman. Robin said no. Howard said that's how he thinks too. Robin said that guy was so good looking that it was like looking at a woman. Howard asked Robin if James or John Stamos is more her type. Robin said John is more manly. Howard said that John Stamos was on Twitter and this is why he's off of it for now. Howard said he has to stay away from it for a while. He said if he writes about being on Letterman then people will say that all he wants to do is promote himself on there. Howard said he can't figure out what people want. He said he'll post pictures of his wife on there and they ask what he's trying to prove. He said then they start web sites devoted to how ugly his wife is. He said it's vicious. He said they say they're his fans too. He said they call him a scumbag for not being on radio. He said they should cancel their subscription then. He said Twitter might be okay for the regular guy but it's not for him.Howard said Stamos got on Twitter and said he liked his Letterman appearance. Then he looked underneath that comment and people were going off on John saying that he's a suck ass. Howard said that's the nicest thing he could have said to him about being Don Rickles heir apparent and people just bash the guy. Howard said it's relentless on twitter. He said it's like being bullied in school." (Marksfriggin)



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