blog advertising is good for you

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Media-Whore D'Oeuvres





"As we wrap up our publishing schedule for 2013, we looked into the Crystal Ball to offer some predictions for next year. While the picture is still a little hazy for the 2014 midterms, we’ve got some other prognostications related to the political year to come and some hints about what you should expect. 1. At least one additional U.S. senator will announce his or her retirement in 2014. We’re giving ourselves some wide latitude here, because it’s possible the retirement will come after the 2014 midterms. But we suspect at some point next year another senator will decide to quit; the question is, will it be an incumbent who determines he or she cannot win in 2014 — similar to ex-Sen. Ben Nelson (D-NE), who retired in late 2011 after realizing his perilous political position — or will it be someone who retires for another reason — like ex-Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-ME), who left the game in early 2012 because of frustration despite having an easy road to another term.While it’s not technically a retirement, another important development shook the Senate Wednesday evening: Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT) is reportedly going to be nominated as ambassador to China. Baucus had previously announced his retirement, but this would open up his seat well in advance of the midterm election. After Baucus would resign, Gov. Steve Bullock (D) would then reportedly appoint Lt. Gov. John Walsh (D) to fill out the rest of Baucus’ term. Walsh was already running for the seat, and being an incumbent would make him a stronger candidate both against his main primary opponent, ex-Lt. Gov. John Bohlinger (D), and Rep. Steve Daines (R), the likely Republican nominee and current general election favorite. Obviously, there are a lot of moving parts here, so as of this writing — Wednesday evening — we’re not going to change our rating in this race yet. But provided this scenario unfolds as follows — Baucus resigns, and Bullock appoints Walsh to the seat — we’ll be very tempted to move this race from Leans Republican to Toss-up. 2. There will be at least one surprising result in a Republican Senate primary. Several Republican senators are facing primary challenges next year, and there are also Tea Party insurgents running in other Senate contests who are hoping to win the Republican nomination over more establishment-oriented challengers. Frankly, we think there is a little more smoke than fire in many of these races, but it’s also clear that the battle for the soul of the GOP continues, and that there are several outside groups (like the Club for Growth and the Senate Conservatives Fund) that will fund outsider candidates. So expect at least one upset in a Republican Senate primary this year in which either an incumbent senator goes down (like Richard Mourdock’s primary win over then-Sen. Richard Lugar in Indiana last cycle) or an establishment favorite is knocked off before he or she can advance to the general election (such as Sue Lowden’s loss to Sharron Angle in Nevada’s 2010 Senate primary)." (Sabato)


"Patty Hearst’s husband Bernard Shaw, who’d been a highly decorated police officer, died at the age of 68 this week. Shaw, who most recently served as Hearst Corporation’s VP of corporate security, passed away Tuesday in upstate Garrison after a long illness, the company confirmed. A source said he had valiantly battled cancer, and that his family, including his wife and their daughters — Gillian Hearst Simonds and Lydia Hearst-Shaw, as well as Patty’s sister Anne Hearst and other relatives — were with him when he died. The 37-year romance between Hearst and Shaw read like a Hollywood fable. After Patty was kidnapped by the Symbionese Liberation Army and arrested for robbing banks for the underground gang, she met Shaw, a San Francisco cop who was hired to guard her while she was out on bail. The two married in 1979 after she was released from prison. 'It was a 30-plus year love story between Patty and Bernard. He was a great guy and had won three awards for valor,; said a family friend. She reportedly would wear a replica of his police badge around her neck after they met. Shaw is also survived by his son Thomas Shaw and daughter Heather Shaw." (PageSix)



"Hallelujah, they finally get it right. I’m not saying Yes doesn’t belong inside, and Deep Purple for the riff to 'Smoke On The Water' alone, but it’s been years since there was no controversy and everyone agreed. Except for maybe Kiss. But the point is there’s no hip-hop, no jazz, no Madonna, no questionables like Patti Smith, everyone is deserving and it’s about time ... LINDA RONSTADT Oh baby don’t it feel like heaven right now/ Don’t it feel like something from a dream The waiting truly is the hardest part. The fact that Linda Ronstadt wasn’t inducted upon initial eligibility is a travesty. That she had to get sick for these moribund men to vote her in… These same men who jerked off to her, who didn’t even need a picture, who could just close their eyes, because she was just that ubiquitous, everyone knew the cute style icon the men wanted to impress and the girls wanted to befriend. Linda Ronstadt was the seventies’ biggest female rock star. Hell, only Zeppelin and the Eagles were in her league. But men hate letting the women inside. Then again, Linda never begged. She snorted cocaine and screwed the desirable people just like the guys. Which is why she was always an insider and the idiots on this committee are not. Because musicians comprise a club, and the fans are not included, not the critics, only the writers, players and singers. They’re who we want to be. And inside the inner sanctum…it’s all jokes and references and life in a lane so fast only the strong survive. If I were Linda Ronstadt I’d give the R&RHOF the middle finger and refuse to show up. But she will. And I know she won’t be conciliatory. I know she’ll tell it like it is. She’s not afraid to be three dimensional, to speak her truth, which is why she’s a star and you’re not." (Bob Lefsetz)

"Black folks upset by the absence of black inductees to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame really shouldn't. I mean is that institution really the place to expect a true representation of artistry by musicians of African descent? As it's name suggest its parameters are defined by 'rock & roll' as documented by Rolling Stone magazine. That's its core. Which means black music is primarily viewed via how it impacted white musicians. R&B, funk, disco, hip hop, etc have always been second class citizens among its voters. Chic and LL would only take a backseat to Kiss in this context. I've actually always been surprised when a worthy black artist makes it into that building in Cleveland. So 'whatever' folks." (Nelson George)


"Brooklyn's Al Goldstein had one of those captivating personalities that it's easy to not recognize is actually the presentation of mental illness until it all collapses and the interior self is revealed. An incredibly intelligent and hilarious man crippled by self-hatred, an inside-out Woody Allen, a lecherous troll from out of the Qumran caves, mid-life Al Goldstein washed up like a whale onto New York's public access channels. There he talked endlessly, lecherously and also quite hilariously, documenting New York City in a way that no one else did.For a man who worked in the industry of hardcore pornography, Al Goldstein apparently only ever spent six days in Rikers, although he was by his account arrested more than 24 times. His early life was at least more interesting than his time at Screw ... In the entwined pornography and publishing businesses, Goldstein acquired an actual fortune, including a townhouse on East 61st Street, and then lost it all. For a period, he was on probation and homeless. He never acclimated to the attention economy. Supported in his final years by Penn Jillette, who kept him in an apartment in Staten Island, he spent his last ten years in ill health and sometimes unhappy circumstances. In 2010, he nearly reconciled with his son but took ill before the meeting could take place. He was also an American hero, and the story of his life is appropriately American-sized." (TheAwl)


"Quite often when I am doing speaking engagements, client briefings or press interviews, I am asked questions like: “Given the events in Syria and Libya, is the jihadist movement stronger than ever?” It is a good question, but it is also one that is not easily answered in a five-second sound bite or a succinct quote for print media -- it really requires some detailed explanation. Because of this, I’ve decided to take some time to provide a more thorough treatment of the subject in written form for Stratfor readers. As I thought through the various aspects of the topic, I came to believe that adequately covering it requires more than one Security Weekly, so I will dedicate a series of articles to it. When gauging the current state of the jihadist movement, I believe it is useful to use two different standards. The first is to take jihadists' goals and objectives and measure their progress toward achieving them. The second is to take a look at insurgent theory and terrorism models to see what they can tell us about the state of jihadist militant networks and their efforts. This week we will discuss the first standard: the jihadists’ goals and objectives. Next week we will discuss insurgency and terrorism theories, and then once we have established these two benchmarks we can use them to see how the various elements of the jihadist movement measure up.There is a widely held narrative that jihadists are merely crazy people who employ violence for the sake of violence. This is clearly false. While there are unquestionably some psychotic and sociopathic personalities within the movement, taken as a whole, jihadists' use of violence -- both terrorism and insurgency -- is quite rational. It is also worth remembering that terrorism is not associated with just one group of people; it is a tactic that has been employed by a wide array of actors. There is no single creed, ethnicity, political persuasion or nationality with a monopoly on terrorism. Jihadists employ terrorism as they do insurgency -- as one of many tools they can use to achieve their objectives. Arguably, the objectives the jihadists are pursuing through the employment of violence are delusional. Although we can question whether or not they will be able to achieve them through violent means, we simply cannot dispute that they are employing violence intentionally and in a rational manner with a view to achieving their stated goals. With that in mind, we will take a deeper look at those objectives.It is very important to understand that jihadists are theologically motivated. In fact, in their ideology there is no real distinction between religion, politics and culture. They believe that it is their religious duty to propagate their own strain of Islam along with the government, legal system and cultural norms that go with it. They also believe that in order to properly spread their strain of Islam they must strictly follow the example of the Prophet Mohammed and his early believers. While all Muslims believe they must follow the Quran and the Sunnah, the jihadists allow very little space for extra-religious ideas and severely limit the use of reason to interpret the divine texts. Historically, after leaving Mecca, Mohammed moved to Medina, where he established the world’s first Islamic polity. He and his followers then launched military operations to raid the caravans of their opponents. Mohammed’s army eventually conquered Mecca and a large portion of the Arabian Peninsula before the Prophet’s death. Within a century of Mohammed’s passing, his followers had forged a vast empire that crossed North Africa and most of Spain to the west, reaching to the borders of China and India in the east. Just as Mohammed and his followers had conquered much of the known world, the jihadists seek to reconquer this empire and then expand it to encompass the earth." (STRATFOR)

No comments: