blog advertising is good for you

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Media-Whore D'Oeuvres


"My argument was that the three tenets -- ferocity, weakness and insanity -- form a coherent strategy. North Korea's primary goal is regime preservation. Demonstrating ferocity -- appearing to be close to being nuclear capable -- makes other countries cautious. Weakness, such as being completely isolated from the world generally and from China particularly, prevents other countries from taking drastic action if they believe North Korea will soon fall. The pretense of insanity -- threatening to attack the United States, for example -- makes North Korea appear completely unpredictable, forcing everyone to be cautious. The three work together to limit the actions of other nations. So far, North Korea is acting well within the parameters of this strategy. It has detonated nuclear devices before. It has appeared to disgust China before, and it has threatened to suspend the cease-fire. Even more severe past actions, such as sinking a South Korean ship in 2010, were not altogether inconsistent with its strategy. As provocative as that incident was, it did not change the strategic balance in any meaningful way. Normally North Korea has a reason for instigating such a crisis. One reason for the current provocation is that it has a new leader, Kim Jong Un. The son of former leader Kim Jong Il and the grandson of North Korea's founder Kim Il Sung, Kim Jong Un is only 30 years old, and many outside North Korea doubt his ability to lead (many inside North Korea may doubt his ability, too). One way to announce his presence with authority is to orchestrate an international crisis that draws the United States, Japan, China, Russia and South Korea into negotiations with North Korea -- especially negotiations that Pyongyang can walk away from.The North Korean regime understands the limits of its strategy and has been very sure-footed in exercising it. Moreover, despite the fact that a 30-year-old formally rules the country, the regime is a complex collection of institutions and individuals -- the ruling party and the military -- that presumably has the ability to shape and control the leader's behavior. It follows that little will change." (STRATFOR)


"Last year's campaign season left candidates with at least two giant takeaways. First, never assume what you say at a private function will stay private. And second, it’s usually best not to talk about rape. Democratic actress Ashley Judd, who is gearing up to take on Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell next year in Kentucky, is already breaking both of those informal rules. She is a self-described 'three-time rape survivor' who, according to a Huffington Post report by Howard Fineman, said last month at a private dinner in Louisville that since she has survived rape, 'I think I can handle Mitch McConnell.' Obviously, Judd is not a man making nonsensical, some would say morally reprehensible, statements about rape. She’s a woman, a rape victim, and an activist for women’s health who wrote about being raped as a child in her 2011 autobiography. If you do a Google search for 'Ashley Judd rape,' you will get 1.4 million hits that include mentions of her book, her comparison of strip mining to rape, her assertion that she and other Apple customers are "financing mass rape," and her response to Missouri Senate candidate Todd Akin's strange comments on rape. She is used to talking about rape in a way that other people aren't. Still, is it wise to liken the challenge of rape to the challenge of defeating McConnell? And to assume that the remark won't make it to publication? If there was any doubt about the end of the truly private political event after candidate Barack Obama's 'cling to guns or religion' experience in 2008, it vanished last year when Mitt Romney’s remarks about the "47 percent" surfaced on video for all to see (and use in their ads). Even before Judd’s rape remark was reported, Republicans were trying to frame her as this year’s Akin – a single candidate who could damage a whole party. The Akin rape debacle fed into preexisting perceptions of the GOP as anti-woman and anti-science. Judd is already being depicted by Republicans as a flaky Hollywood liberal – a stereotype Democrats have struggled with for years, between trips to collect cash from Hollywood liberals. Cash is, in fact, Judd’s calling card. She can raise big money, the reasoning goes, so she will keep McConnell busy at home and keep in Kentucky chunks of GOP money that might have been used for other races. On the off chance she pulls out a win, all the better." (NationalJournal)


"Billionaire George Soros is finally fighting back in the legal wrangle with his former mistress Adriana Ferreyr — countersuing her for defamation and assault, and alleging she threw a glass lamp at him during an argument in bed. Soros’ lawyers last night filed their response to the Brazilian bombshell’s $50 million suit in 2011, which claimed he promised her a $2 million apartment at 30 E. 85th St. but instead gave it to her love rival, his now-fiancĂ©e Tamiko Bolton. Soros’ papers state: 'Soros and Ferreyr . . . engaged in a physically intimate relationship over the course of several years. [They] continued to date other people. [At the time of the alleged assault in 2010] Soros was approximately 80 years old, and Ferreyr was approx. 27 years old.'" (PageSix)



"I went down to Michael’s to meet Carol Joynt and Rachel Pearson who had come up from our nation’s capital on the Acela for some business and our lunch. Carol, you may remember, was our ace correspondent in Washington for a few years until the Washingtonian magazine made her an offer she couldn’t refuse. She’s an industrious and prolific journalist, as she demonstrates as the Washingtonian’s editor-at-large. She brought along one of the first copies of her memoir 'Innocent Spouse,' which has just come out in paperback (first published by Broadway Books in 2011). In a way it’s a woman’s story, but in another way it’s the story of a lot of us, including those of us who grew up in households where there was an 'innocent spouse' where one knew much less about the other than he or she realized.  Carol’s a romantic – this I know about her because I was her editor for a good length of time, and both of us are by nature curious about those we have in our life. So I can see that she was 'swept away' when she met the man who became her husband. And she was very happy until ... he died.  Then she was left to sweep up. This is her story and it’s not a pretty one – in parts – but Carol is one of those women who can take care of things (like children and a mortgage and food on the table). My own mother was like that. They’re the strongest of our lot, in my opinion. And often the most dramatical in their approach to life. I know: it’s not a word, but it should be. Carol introduced me to Rachel, another Washingtonian, a friend of hers, a smart woman with a lot of curiosity and enthusiasm. She has her own marketing and communications firm – Pearson and Associates – down there." (NYSocialDiary)



"Miami billionaire Jeff Soffer had a change of heart, and decided he wanted to settle down with supermodel Elle Macpherson after he cheated death in a helicopter crash that killed his best friend last November. Soffer and Macpherson, who dated for two years before splitting in March 2012, were engaged over the weekend in London, we’re told. They reconciled shortly after the Bahamas chopper tragedy, which claimed the life of Soffer’s longtime friend Lance Valdez." (PageSix)


No comments: