blog advertising is good for you

Monday, October 07, 2013

Media-Whore D'Oeuvres



"Let me start by acknowledging: Obamacare is not perfect. Neither is Medicare. Neither is Social Security. Or capitalism. Or your household. Any large system—whether proposed by Republicans or Democrats or any other circus barkers—will have flaws, many of them unfixable, that cause bumps and starts. If we required perfection in all things, we wouldn’t even have a military. Demanding such unrealistic performance is a prescription for overall failure as a nation—as a wiser person than me once said, the great is the enemy of the good. And we need the good because, fundamentally, the American health-care system stopped working properly long ago. (Unfortunately, this will get a little wonkish—screaming 'death panels' and 'socialism' is far easier than explaining medical economics.)
Normally, I would start this discussion by providing chapter-and-verse details about the 47 million men, women, and children who now have the opportunity to obtain health insurance, to live longer and healthier lives, to avoid needless bankruptcies. But, in what to me is one of the saddest developments in our nation’s history, that reality is irrelevant to ardent Obamacare opponents. Words like 'takers' and 'slackers'are thrown at the uninsured, as if they have brought their pre-existing conditions, jobs without benefits, or low-paying positions on themselves. One Tea Party type I spoke with actually said the way to solve the health-care problem would be for the lazy uninsured just to take jobs that provide insurance benefits—as if there were tens of millions of such employment opportunities out there, unfilled. It’s the kind of simplistic answer that allows for the willfully blind to ignore the realities of the uninsured." (VanityFair)


"President Obama has handed over the reins of leadership on government funding and the debt limit to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.). Reid is now fully in charge of his party’s negotiating strategy, a significant change from past showdowns with Republicans. He has taken the initiative from Obama, who played the principal role in the 2011 debt-limit talks and New Year’s fiscal cliff deal. Some Democrats on Capitol Hill are relieved by the switch. The majority leader has brought a more pugnacious style to the debate, bashing House conservatives as 'anarchists' and mocking the 'Banana Republican mindset.' This is a welcome change for Democrats who thought Obama was too accommodating to Republicans during previous crises ... 'There’s no question, Reid is now the quarterback,' said a Senate Democratic aide. That became clear when Reid persuaded Obama last month to abandon an effort to set up a bipartisan meeting of congressional leaders before government funding expired. Reid is pursuing a high-stakes strategy in the hope that by staring down Tea Party conservatives now, he will dissuade them from demanding major concessions in exchange for passing future bills essential to the smooth functioning of government. His biggest asset has been the solid unity of the Democratic caucus, liberals and centrists alike, despite personal preferences for higher spending levels and changing key elements of the Affordable Care Act." (TheHill)


"Huma Abedin is still torn between Hillary Clinton and her husband Anthony Weiner. Since Weiner’s failed mayoral bid, Abedin has now refocused on advising the former Secretary of State as she mulls a possible 2016 presidential run. But a source tells us Hillary has issued an ultimatum to Abedin that the doting wife must dump Weiner if she wants a top role in her campaign and administration. A source tells us, 'Hillary is horrified by Weiner, and thinks that he is an embarrassment to his accomplished wife. She wants Huma to leave him behind. But Huma is torn between her family and loyalty to Hillary.' But Hillary has conceded that if Huma stays with Weiner she will be 'looked after' and helped into a comfy, but less high profile role." (P6)



"On September 26—a day that just happened to be the 27th anniversary of his swearing-in as associate justice—Antonin Scalia entered the Supreme Court’s enormous East Conference Room so casually that one might easily have missed him. He is smaller than his king-size persona suggests, and his manner more puckish than formal. Washingtonians may know Scalia as charming and disarming, but most outsiders tend to regard him as either a demigod on stilts or a menace to democracy, depending on which side of the aisle they sit. A singularity on the Court and an icon on the right, Scalia is perhaps more responsible than any American alive for the mainstreaming of conservative ideas about ­jurisprudence—in particular the principles of originalism ­(interpreting the Constitution as the framers intended it rather than as an evolving document) and textualism (that statutes must be ­interpreted based on their words alone). And he has got to be the only justice to ever use the phrase 'argle-bargle' in a dissent." (NYMag)


"Early last week, a friend invited me to join her and two other friends for dinner at La Grenouille. Fortunately I had no other commitments for the evening. I do love the company of my friend, but an invitation to dine at La Grenouille is almost like a royal command in itself. I know that is hyperbole, but it fits the  “common” experience for most who dine there. It is the last of the great French restaurants of New York which first came greatly into fashion with Henri Soulé’s Le Pavillon, which first opened at the World’s Fair of 1939 and then moved into Manhattan where its location was a fixture on Park Avenue and 57th Street in the Ritz Tower. M. Soulé was the granddaddy of the style: smart, chic, expensive, French, and very very good. In the glory days of the 1960s we had La Caravelle, La Cote Basque (also owned by M. Soulé), Lespinasse and several others.There are probably several reasons that could be offered as to why La Grenouille alone has survived. It is surely not the only expensive restaurant in town. In fact, if you are a comparative shopper, there are several other restaurants that are similarly or more highly priced. None compare with the 'experience' of  La Grenouille. I think what we are going to show you on this Diary will help explain it. First of all, in New York, perhaps because of its 'survival,' La Grenouille represents a 'history' of an era that is still fresh enough in memory to be sought after. Opened at this same location in 1962 by Charles Masson Sr. and his wife Gisele, it has from the beginning offered excellent cuisine, excellent service, in a beautiful and classically serene atmosphere. Flowers – which appealed to M. Masson – always were a signature. Lighting was another." (NYSocialDiary)


"The high-society divorce between Whitney St. John and James B. Fairchild took another nasty turn when warring husband and wife faced each other on either side of a gate at their marital mansion. As directed by a court order, a photographer, appraiser and engineer arrived at the couple’s Bridgehampton home Wednesday to catalog its condition and contents — including jewelry, clothes, furniture, paintings, rugs — before the couple’s divorce trial on Oct. 15. But sources said St. John was waiting for the inspectors with a security guard who demanded their IDs and to escort them around the property. Meanwhile, Fairchild was watching on the other side of the gate in case the team encountered any issues.But things quickly got so ugly, the inspectors gave up and left the house after 20 minutes without completing the appraisal. 'They didn’t get very far,' a source said. 'Whitney hired some sort of goon to guard I don’t know what.' Sources added that St. John refused to move a car that was blocking the photographer’s shot of the home, refused to allow the fotog’s assistant to enter the gate and told the workers they were required to be with her guard at all times." (P6)

No comments: