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Friday, October 05, 2012

Media-Whore D'Oeuvres


"As the whoppers tumbled from his smiling lips, Pinocchio Romney’s nose grew so long that it was practically poking out the eye of his mournful opponent. But even had it struck raw cornea, the president would have politely removed the intruding proboscis to say, 'Governor Romney, I probably agree that the nation could do with a good eye-watering, though we disagree on the manner in which it would be administered,' or some such snappy retort ... Some of us saw this coming, for truthfully, while he was often an astonishingly inspiring orator before the crowds, Obama was not an especially nimble television debater in 2008. Hillary often cleaned his clock, but he had already got the nomination numbers in the bag, and he lucked out in the election with his opponent’s choice Sarah Palin as running mate and the unfolding of the Bush mega-meltdown.What does this tell us? That Obama is someone who perhaps thinks of The People in an abstract rather than personal way—or who at least rises to the occasion best when summoned by rhetoric. But television isn’t like that. Its 'debates' aren’t really debates at all, but a way of making a personal connection with millions of people as if there were just a handful of them in the room. Television feeds on bright little bursts of energy, like the hopped up yapping that Romney has mastered along with the capacity of turning complex issues into a chummy infomercial. One of his lame pre-packaged zingers was that as a father of five boys, he’s gotten used to people repeating an untruth in the hope that saying it often enough would make it true. It was directed at Obama’s and the Democrats’ shocking allegation that Romney and his party are in favor of tax cuts for the wealthy. But if Obama had been remotely on his game it ought to have rebounded against Romney, for that is precisely what his party has proposed for three decades, all the while claiming against massive historical evidence that those tax cuts would pay for themselves by stimulating economic growth. There was something else that went badly missing from what, if you are a Democrat, was a wretchedly dispiriting evening—and that was the opportunity of articulating a clear, strong, unapologetic affirmation of the principles by which the Democratic Party has tried to govern America since the New Deal: of compassion in times of hardship; of fairness when sacrifices are called for; of integrity and competence when cleaning up the wretched mess so often left by the other side; of realism in the face of wishful thinking; of a national community rather than a collection of self-interested individuals." (TheDailyBeast)


"I don’t know who was the dumber of the two: the Greek banker who was in a hurry to spend 100 million big ones for a London pad or the American woman who accidentally walked off a cliff in Alaska while texting. Both dummies survived, which goes to show the Almighty must have a weakness for the desperate. All I know is that the Alaskan broke some bones after falling 60 feet off a cliff while texting. Apparently she had continued to text while flying downward. The only thing that surprises me is that it took so long for someone to fall off a cliff while texting. Bankers laundering money is another matter altogether. Lavrentis Lavrentiadis is an unusual Greek name, although it has not been unusual for Greek officials to cheat on their taxes and purchase grand houses overseas. It’s called laundering money, and the Russians are even better at it than the Greeks and the Chinese combined. London is one big money-laundering machine. It should change its name and simply call itself Laundry." (Taki Theodoracopulos)



"Wednesday night for the premiere of the James Bond documentary 'Everything or Nothing: The Untold Story of 007' at MoMA ... (model Marina) Theiss, who’s repped by Ford Models, and (model Amanda) Salvato, who’s repped by Select and has appeared in Maxim, kept the statuesque former Olympic rowers company while they mingled with guests including 'License To Kill' villain Robert Davi, Solange Knowles, Jeffrey Wright, Gloria Reuben, Theophilus London and Chace Crawford. Meanwhile, Chris Noth drew attention from female fans, including model Kate Upton, who appeared nervous to meet the man still known as Mr. Big at the after-party. Noth, however, should be the nervous one. While sitting in the theater before the movie started, he was asked by a friend for his cellphone number. Noth obliged, whispering the number discreetly. But the hard-of-hearing buddy repeated the digits loud enough for surrounding guests to hear, prompting several of them to type his number in their own phones. He shouldn’t be surprised if he gets a few prank calls from girls named Carrie. Noth sent us a response (quoting 'Mission Impossible') last night: 'In the spirit of 007, my cellphone will self-destruct in 5 . . . 4 . . . 3 . . . 2 . . . '" (PageSix)


"'All of my friends are here,' Carine Roitfeld beamed at her latest ball, which is fast becoming something of a fashion week tradition. Sure enough, there were models aplenty at the fête for her MAC makeup collaboration—Karlie, Arizona, Natalia, Joan, Cara, Kasia, Eniko—not to mention that Haider Ackermann, Alexander Wang, Azzedine Alaïa, Riccardo Tisci, and Nicolas Ghesquière were all there. Like all good parties, it started late and ended later, giving a lucky few—including the Brandolinis, Alexia Niedzielski, and more of Giambattista Valli's front-row femmes—the opportunity to catch Moncler's annual dinner at Caviar Kaspia, hosted by Remo Ruffini and Giamba himself. At Carine's, the dress code was black tie and, in a nod to its hostess, smoky eye." (Style)


"On a recent August morning in the ballroom of the Townsend Hotel, in the affluent town of Birmingham, Michigan, Jimmy Lee, the vice-chairman of investment banking at JPMorgan Chase and one of the grand old men of Wall Street deal-makers, was quoting General George S. Patton Jr. 'Moral courage is the most valuable and usually the most absent characteristic in men,” Lee told the audience of 150 or so JPMorgan Chase clients, who were gobbling up berry parfaits and quiches under crystal chandeliers. Patton, none of the older people there needed reminding, was the swashbuckling military genius who led his troops through fierce fighting in North Africa, Sicily, and France during World War II. But Lee was not interested in the war hero per se. Rather, without a trace of irony, he was using Patton’s words to describe his boss Jamie Dimon, JPMorgan Chase’s C.E.O. 'Jamie Dimon,' said Lee, 'has moral courage running through his veins.If moral courage consists of speaking your mind wherever you are and whenever you like, then certainly Dimon, like Patton, has got that. When, a few minutes later, Dimon, dressed casually in white sneakers, Wrangler jeans, and a blue Vineyard Vines polo shirt, took the podium from Lee, he weighed in on everything from last summer’s debt-ceiling crisis ('a disgrace') to the tax system (also 'a disgrace'), to his former mentor Sandy Weill’s recent pronouncement that the big banks should be broken up ('Just because another bank messed up doesn’t mean we should take apart JPMorgan. . . . If there isn’t a JPMorgan straddling the globe serving clients, then a Chinese bank will happily fill that role'), to the wisdom of Obamacare ('I was in favor of universal health care, but what we did didn’t fix the problem; we just did the universal part'). And as everyone who knows Dimon expected him to do, he offered up a full-throated defense of businessmen and a plea to end what he calls the 'regulatory assault' on Wall Street. 'It may seem that businesses go to Washington and complain a lot—like a boy who cries wolf,' he said, 'but there are real issues here that are important for our country and our industry. The denigration of business hurts America, because the secret sauce for our economy is confidence I don’t want to hear that nonsense that all business is bad.'" (VanityFair)


"Last week I had lunch at Michael’s with Bonnie Lautenberg. Bonnie is the wife of Senator Frank Lautenberg of New Jersey. She and the Senator have been married for quite a few years after a very long courtship – Bonnie had been an early  widow, and involved in her father’s real estate business.I’ve known her in passing for a few years. She is the daughter of the late Michael Steinberg who had five daughters whom he evidently treated like princesses – responsible princesses, that is – because to this day they all revere the man, and they’re all personally industrious. Bonnie is launching a special project that she’s been working on for several years. After withdrawing basically from the day to day of her father’s business, she studied Photography at the International Center of Photography. She created a project for herself that has blossomed into a major program. It’s an exhibit of portraits of 113 Senators from the 109th and 110th Congresses. Each senator was photographed in his or her office or anywhere in the Capitol building that they chose. These photographic appointments included Bonnie asking each what they considered their legacy piece of Legislation and/or what are they most proud of having accomplished in the Senate, and what do they want people to know about them?" (NYSocialDiary)



"Democratic strategists are eyeing the forthcoming debate between Vice President Biden and Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) with a mix of hope and nervousness in the wake of President Obama’s widely panned performance in his initial encounter with Mitt Romney Wednesday night. On the plus side, some Democrats feel that a strong performance from Biden next Thursday could turn the page on the president’s near-debacle in Denver. But they also worry that Biden’s legendary capacity to state his views in an inartful fashion could backfire. More prosaically, there is the possibility that the vice-presidential clash will be an insignificant sideshow, which would mean that Obama might have to wait until the second presidential debate on Oct. 16 before righting his ship. Across the Democratic ranks, the reverberations from the president’s poor showing were clearly still being felt Thursday. 'Joe Biden needs to go back to the effective organizing principle of the Obama campaign, which was at some level not adhered to last night,' said Chris Lehane, a strategist who worked in the Clinton White House and on Al Gore’s 2000 presidential campaign. 'He needs to be the aggressor, keep the foot on the gas,' Lehane added, noting that the economic fundamentals were so problematic, from Team Obama’s perspective, that 'it’s like you’re going up a hill. The moment you take your foot off the gas pedal, gravity is going to start pulling you down in the opposite direction.'" (TheHill)













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