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Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Media-Whore D'Oeuvres


"U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Egyptian Foreign Minister Mohamed Kamel Amr announced a cease-fire between Israel and Hamas during a Nov. 21 news conference in Cairo. The cease-fire is expected to begin at 9 p.m. local time. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reportedly told U.S. President Barack Obama that he is willing to give the Egyptian-brokered cease-fire a chance. This cessation of violence is likely highly tenuous. Israel will only agree to a truce if it has guarantees from Egypt -- overseen by the United States -- that the Palestinian arsenal of Fajr-5 long-range rockets will be neutralized and that measures will be taken to prevent future weapons transfers to Gaza. It remains to be seen what details surface on this core Israeli demand, especially given its incompatability with Hamas' demand for the blockade on Gaza to be lifted. There is also the outstanding issue of Iran, which Israel has pointed to as the center of gravity in the conflict. The Fajr-5 rockets are Iranian-made, and Iran facilitated the movement of those weapons into Gaza. Iran may have an interest in prolonging the conflict and could try to use militant levers in Gaza to derail the truce. Israel must also contend with the broader dilemma of future Iranian attempts to smuggle advanced weaponry into Gaza. This is where Egyptian cooperation with Israel on border security becomes crucial." (STRATFOR)


"Public polls took a beating from Republicans this year, most of whom insisted they were inflating Obama’s numbers to discourage GOP voters. But in the end, many of the public polls showed a very tight race nationally, although some of public surveys did show Romney leading in the final weeks of the campaign. And Messina isn’t letting the pollsters off easy. 'Most of the public polls you were seeing were completely ridiculous,' Messina said. 'A bunch of polling is broken in the country.' With the data-heavy operation, Messina said the campaign could consistently see where the public polls were going wrong. The campaign calculated the early vote split within 1 percentage point and the Florida results with .2 percentage points, Messina said. He pointed most squarely to the lack of cellphone users included in most public polls. Federal regulations prohibited using an automated dialer to contact cellphone users for polling. Instead, a live person must dial and talk to the potential voter being polled and that makes conducting polls with cellphone users more expensive.
As a result, many public polls leave cellphone users out of their samples. Messina said the growing popularity of cellphones as the only point of contact for young voters and minorities left key constituencies for Obama out of the polls and skewed the numbers for Romney in some samples.
'Cellphone usage has changed the industry,' Messina said." (Politico)



"On Wednesday, November 14, 2012, Max Mara and the Associates Committee of The Society of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC) hosted the annual Fall Party at The Four Seasons Restaurant in New York. The lavish evening was Co-Chaired by Hayley Bloomingdale, Joanna Baker de Neufville, Emilia Fanjul Pfeifler and Cynthia Smith with Honorary Chairman Maria Giulia Maramotti of Max Mara. The glamorous evening included cocktails, dinner, and dancing for a high-profile crowd from the fashion, music, arts, philanthropy, and New York society spheres. Associates Committee Chairman Shoshanna Gruss welcomed more than 365 guests. During dinner Nina Pickett, Administrator of the MSKCC Department of Pediactrics spoke to the importance of the Pediatric Family Housing Endowment’s work for child cancer patients and their families, followed by an auction led by Sotheby’s auctioneer Jamie Niven." (NYSocialDiary)


"'I'm so nervous, but I'm at the same time so excited,' said R. Kelly, in a black tuxedo jacket and sunglasses, holding an unlit cigar in his red-leather-gloved hand. Before a theater of journalists and friends, he was about to unveil the first installments since 2007 of his serialized R&B opera, Trapped in the Closet. (Read our A to Z guide to the series here.) 'Five long years, I had to save up my money, dollar by dollar,' he joked. Trapped in the Closet is an alien, and I'm an astronaut. Now let's get this ball on the road." The lights dimmed and the camera came up on a Chicago skyline. Someone in the back yelled: 'Cathy! Rufus!' The audience was shown into a book-lined study, something out of 'Masterpiece Theater,' where Kelly's narrator summed up the story thus far: 'Everybody's got a closet.' We won't go much further to spoil the narrative developments before they become available to the public (this Friday on IFC). There are two new characters, both played by Kelly, named Dr. William T. Perry and Beano. There's another reference to En Vogue. Just as notable are the musical developments. Reality show-style confessional scenes occasion a rock guitar version of the "Trapped" theme; Pimp Lucius sings over a funky "Theme from 'Shaft'" pastiche; a chase scene is soundtracked by an uptempo disco beat." (Papermag)

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