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Thursday, October 03, 2013

Media-Whore D'oeuvres



"Tuesday, Oct. 1 represented perhaps the best day for Democrats in the U.S. House this cycle. At midnight, the federal government shut down, an event that Democrats believe will greatly damage their Republican adversaries. At this point, it’s hard to see how Republicans ultimately come out of this battle looking good: Republican leaders seem to be worried sick about the showdown, and it’s probably only a matter of time before Speaker John Boehner cuts a deal with President Obama that does not involve significantly delaying or defunding Obamacare. (The GOP House gambit may also collapse via defections in the Republican ranks.) Democrats also got good news in the congressional generic ballot polling. Quinnipiac’s national survey showed Democrats with a notable nine percentage point edge (43%-34%) on the generic ballot, which asks respondents whether they plan to support a Democratic or Republican candidate in the next U.S. House race in their district. Public Policy Polling and Rasmussen, two other firms, showed Democrats leading by five and four points, respectively, in other surveys that came out this week. These polls aren’t yet predictive, but the results are noteworthy nonetheless — all three pollsters showed an uptick for Democrats from their prior survey. Does this mean that the House is in play? Not necessarily: We continue to believe that the Republicans are strongly favored to hold control of the House, although we’re less certain that Republicans are better positioned to add seats. Given the natural advantages Republicans have going into this midterm, the blame for a collapse — if it indeed happens — probably could be summed up in a Radiohead lyric from a song (“Just”) released around the time of the last government shutdown: “That’s what really hurts/ Is that you do it to yourself/ Just you and no one else.” Simply put, there’s no reason why the House should be in play this cycle, and if it is in play the Republicans will have only themselves to blame." (Sabato)


"At yesterday’s meeting in the White House, John Boehner floated a possible solution to the shutdown and debt ceiling hostage crisis: a Grand Bargain, according to Jake Sherman and Carrie Budoff Brown and Robert Costa, who adds that Boehner brought up the idea himself. Yes – the elusive Grand Bargain, like Bigfoot, has been spotted again. The development is best understood as an expression of the House leadership’s heightening desperation. No more than a few dozen Republicans actually wanted to shut down the government — the rest merely feared the ire of the enflamed activist base. The shutdown does hurt the country, but at huge cost to the GOP’s national standing. The Republican threat to keep punching themselves in the face is not going to yield any concessions. Members of the House’s pragmatic wing are openly calling on Boehner to reopen the government; the number of House Republicans publicly endorsing a clean continuing resolution is enough that, if a vote were held, it would pass. Yet the obvious untenability of the shutdown has not produced any sense of conciliation among the great mass of the House Republican caucus. To understand the thought process here, one must abandon conventional game theory and delve into elemental psychology. Representative Mark Meadows asserted yesterday, “This fight now has become about veterans, and about National Guard folks that perhaps — reservists that are not getting paid.” That these things have happened as a result of the GOP’s own decision is not the point. The fight has taken on a life of its own. One Republican tells Byron York,' I think there's a sense that for us to do a clean CR now — then what the hell was this about?' ... So Boehner’s members are angrier than ever, yet trapped in a strategy that can’t work, the failures of which merely intensify their resolve not to surrender. At first, House leaders floated a plan to get through the shutdown debacle by extending it into the debt ceiling, which expires on October 17. But that merely worsened the dilemma. Conservatives expect a ransom from the shutdown, and can’t get it, and expect an even bigger ransom from the debt ceiling, which Democrats also refuse to negotiate. The Grand Bargain is an escape route to mask the retreat by making everything bigger." (Chait)



"Teen Vogue's Young Hollywood Party, feting the mag's 11th anniversary at a West Hollywood home, had both teen stars (Hailee Steinfeld, Kiernan Shipka) and "kids of" (Patrick Schwarzenegger, Hannah Bronfman). But two on hand were both: Sasha Spielberg, 23, and Theo Spielberg, 25. The DJ siblings released their EP Brother/Sister earlier in 2013 under the name Wardell and have signed with Roc Nation, the company founded by Jay Z, for management. Meanwhile, Sasha recently sold the pilot Girls Without Boys -- co-written with Emily Goldwyn (daughter of John), with Rashida Jones producing -- to ABC. 'But music is still my passion,' Sasha tells THR. 'I am going to find a way to balance both.'" (TheHollywoodReporter)

 


"It was Wednesday and where was I? Michael’s of course. Very very busy but uncharacteristically not so much clatter-chatter. Probably a lot of business being conducted when you consider the sources. Looking around the room and the garden: James Chanos (hedge fund founder – Kynikos); Jim Attwood (Carlyle Group) Richard Descherer (Wilkie Farr; Bloomberg lawyer), Richard Kang (MTV); David Zaslav (Discovery Communications); Josh Harlan; Dah Boyz (minus two): Gerry Imber, Michael Kramer, Jerry della Femina; across the aisle from them: Calvin Klein with Deborah Kenny (founder and CEO of Harlem Village Academies; and next door: Jesse Kornbluth (Headbutler.com), Wendy Goldberg, Marshall Cohen. Moving along: Robert Kramer (Adirondack Capital), Marie-Josee Kravis with Vartan Gregorian; Eva Mohr with Nikki Haskell; Peter Price with Lynn Sherr; Pat Rosenwald; Henry Schlieff (Discovery Channel); John Sykes, president of Clear Channel; CNN’s Felicia Taylor with CNBC’s  Ron Insana ..." (NYSocialDiary)



"It was business as usual at Michael’s today, which means it was wall-to-wall moguls (Barry Diller, David Zaslav), EICs (Liz Vaccariello, Alison Brower) and TV newsers (Ron Insana, Felicia Taylor and Lynn Sherr) – and plenty of other famous faces. I was joined by Star Jones, one of my favorite regulars at 55th and Fifth, who I met when I was one of the first reporters to cover the freshman season of The View. Suffice to say there’s been plenty that’s happened in Star’s professional and personal life since then, and she’s come through it all wiser, funnier and more determined than ever to forge her own path. Sitting at Table 1 today, nibbing on her kale salad with a side of salmon, she practically glowed with happiness." (Mediabistro)

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