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Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Media-Whore D'Oeuvres

"After the election, the titans of finance are showing up to play in Washington — ready to fight for a grand bargain even if it means raising taxes. For Wall Street, the aim is simple: Get a big budget deal that provides stability for investors by eliminating the threats of government shutdowns, credit-rating downgrades, debt ceiling disasters and wide fluctuations in spending and tax policy. But to get there, some on Wall Street — who ordinarily would share the conservative aversion to higher taxes — believe the circumstances are so dire they are ready to pressure Republicans to abandon orthodoxy for a more important goal: to prove that Washington won't hold the economy hostage to its own partisan dysfunction ... It's unusual for some of the most well-known CEOs to come out so publicly on a political issue, a sign that Wall Street believes the business of Washington has bled into the business of America — dragging down the economy to the point where they need to weigh in personally." (Politico)

"The news over the weekend was that Queen Elizabeth is giving Bernard Arnault, the head of LVMH, an honorary knighthood 'for services to business and the wider community.' And just what would those services of a Frenchman to the wider community of Brits be? Smells good, looks good, feels good ... and leaves you in a luxurious languor (from the bubbly)? On Britannia! I don’t know Mr. Arnault but I would be surprised if he weren’t secretly impressed. I mean, wouldn’t you be? Although Mr. Arnault is known to have important friends in the UK. Six years ago when Tony Blair’s daughter Kathryn was doing an intensive course in language and culture at the Sorbonne, it was reported by Gordon Rayner and Peter Allan in the Daily Mail that Mr. Arnault provided the young lady with 'accommodation, transport and security' services from October 2006 to January 2007 at an estimated cost of more than $100,000. Well, isn’t that what friends are for? The news of Mr. Arnault’s honor comes on the heels of the news of his plan to apply for a Belgian citizenship because of the new French President Hollande’s proposed raising the tax rate to 75% for anyone earning more than a million euros a year. A Belgian paper put out the headline 'Welcome, Mr. Arnault.' Then Liberation, the 'left-leaning' newspaper in France put out the headline 'Get lost, you rich jerk.' In French, of course ... (le jerque riche?)." (NYSocialDiary)


"President Obama, whose rise to the White House was powered by his sparkling oratory, is looking to his infamously gaffe-prone deputy to put his campaign back on track this week. Vice President Biden is preparing for his Thursday evening clash with Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis) with real intensity, keenly aware that Obama’s dismal showing in the first presidential debate has boosted Mitt Romney and raised the stakes for the Democratic ticket. In recent days, aides say the vice president has scrutinized video of Ryan's speeches and interviews, studying them the way an NFL team would examine tapes of its opposition in the run-up to Game Day. The vice president has also read 'Young Guns,' the book Ryan co-wrote with Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) and Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) To date, Biden has had three mock debates, with his most recent session on Sunday. He will have several more dress rehearsals in advance of the real encounter in Danville, Ky., aides say. Until then, Biden will be holed up for much of the week in a Wilmington, Del. hotel — the same one where he prepared for his face off with Sarah Palin four years ago.  In his prep sessions, Biden is joined by Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), who is playing Ryan, and Obama senior strategist David Axelrod, as well as longtime Biden confidantes including adviser Mike Donilon, Ted Kaufman, his former chief of staff in the Senate, and Ron Klain, his former chief of staff at the White House." (TheHill)


"Threats against the United States are many and complex, but Washington's main priority is ensuring that none of those threats challenge its fundamental interests. Somewhat simplistically, this boils down to mitigating threats against U.S. control of the seas by preventing the emergence of a Eurasian power able to marshal resources toward that end. It also includes preventing the development of a substantial intercontinental nuclear capability that could threaten the United States if a country is undeterred by U.S. military power for whatever reason. There are obviously other interests, but certainly these interests are fundamental. Therefore, U.S. interest in what is happening in the Western Pacific is understandable. But even there, the United States is, at least for now, allowing regional forces to engage each other in a struggle that has not yet affected the area's balance of power. U.S. allies and proxies, including the Philippines, Vietnam and Japan, have been playing chess in the region's seas without a direct imposition of U.S. naval power -- even though such a prospect appears possible." (STRATFOR)

"Howard (Stern) said he went to get a physical last week. He said there was an article about how people will get one and then die of a heart attack the next day. They say that the chest x-rays and EKG really don't tell you much. Howard said you can die out of the blue like that. Howard said he asked his doctor what he thought. He said the doctor told him it's fine if you want to save some money and not go every year. He said that they can detect some stuff in the blood work and things like that. Howard said why not get it. Robin said screenings are fine once a year.  Howard said he hates the finger in his ass. He said they check your prostate and it's not fun. Howard said he has one that's a bit enlarged. He said it's difficult to pee sometimes. Howard said he gets a colonoscopy every 5 years so they have to do the finger every year. Howard said he doesn't even know what he's feeling for. Howard said he has known his doctor for a long time. He said his name is Bob and he lays on his side while he's doing it and he's saying 'Oh Bob!' over and over. Howard said he goes in slowly at first and then goes in knuckle deep and gives it a twist. Howard said that's when he goes 'Oh, oh, oh!' Fred played some romantic music and some sound effects while Howard told that story. Howard said the doctor has him read from Fifty Shades of Gray while he's doing it.  Howard said he checked out pretty good for this check up. He said that he had gel dripping out of his ass though." (Marksfriggin)

"Richard Gere was told off by a diner at Nick & Toni’s in East Hampton on Saturday night when he began chatting with the guy’s gorgeous wife. When the hubby had enough, he told the star, 'Get the [bleep] out of here' — but Gere still wouldn’t stop gabbing in the blonde’s ear. Gere was spotted with a group of his agents at tony Nick & Toni’s after picking up a lifetime achievement award at the Hamptons International Film Festival. But during dinner, a blonde at another table — where three couples were sharing a meal — seemed to catch his eye. 'He kept staring at this woman,' an eyewitness says, to the point where “her husband seemed agitated by it.' But Gere, who’s married to actress Carey Lowell, didn’t stop there — he got up and approached the strangers, spies say, to zero in on the blond beauty. 'He approached the other table,' our witness says. 'He didn’t acknowledge anyone around her. He was leaning in and trying to talk to her, leaning into her ear.' The woman, our spy says, 'was looking at [Gere] like, ‘What are you doing here?’ ' When her hubby had enough, “He said, ‘Hey, listen. Get the [bleep] out of here,’ ' according to our source.But Gere didn’t get the message. 'He didn’t leave,' the spy says. 'He just tilted his head to lean in. He bent back down to her. He didn’t give a [bleep]. It was a bad situation.' Before things got more heated, Gere headed out, and the hubby headed outside to see that he was gone. The rest of Gere’s group stayed for another half-hour, but, 'There was tension in the room.' After he left, the woman who caught his eye “was trying to make [her husband] calm down,” the spy said. 'It ruined their night.'" (PageSix)



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