blog advertising is good for you

Friday, December 20, 2013

Media-Whore D'Oeuvres


"Has Barack Obama turned into George W. Bush? This terrible fate, desperately hoped for since the outset of Obama’s presidency by the Bush administration veterans as a kind of vindication fantasy, has become a new conventional wisdom. It has been floated, with varying levels of certainty, by Chuck Todd, Chris Cillizza, Bill McInturff, Ron Fournier, and Politico. It is certainly true that Obama’s approval ratings have fallen to Bush-2005 levels. It’s also entirely possible they’ll fall further still: The administration’s panicky preparations for January suggest the first month of actual Obamacare coverage may be just as chaotic and unpopular as the onset of Medicare Part D. Yet the Bush comparisons state, or imply, broader forces at work than mere sagging approval ratings. They suggest a presidency that has hit a new inflection point beyond which its credibility is severed and its agenda broken. And that conclusion falls apart because it completely misses how power works in the Obama era. If you measure the power of Obama’s presidency as the ability to move his agenda through Congress, his presidency has been dead since Republicans took control of the House in January 2011. If you measure it by his ability to use his popularity to force the opposing party to cooperate, it has literally been dead from the outset. In Obama’s first few weeks, with approval ratings in the seventies, he could not persuade a single House Republican to support a fiscal response to the most dire economic emergency in 80 years. Bush’s power worked very differently. He enjoyed control of Congress for most of his first term and the first two years of his second. What’s more, his opposition party genuinely feared being seen as obstructionist. Substantial minorities of Democrats decided to vote for elements of Bush’s agenda on the calculation that being seen as bipartisan, and winning narrow concessions, made more political sense than opposing Bush. A dozen Democratic senators voted for the Bush tax cuts, and another seven abstained. Democrats supported the porky energy bill, and could have blocked Medicare Part D through a filibuster but decided not to. Republicans like to blame Hurricane Katrina for fundamentally breaking Bush’s presidency. It’s a handy rationalization both for Bush loyalists, who can blame his failure on a single freak event, and for conservatives, who can avoid implicating conservative ideology. (NYMag)





" This Christmas our thoughts need to be with our fellow Christians who are being threatened in the biblical lands. No ifs or buts about it, they are being told to either join the Sunni-led opposition to Assad and renounce Christianity or die. After decades of protection by a secular-leaning dictatorship, the Saudi-financed jihadists are giving ultimatums for a very dark future for Christians. There already has been Christian cleansing in Syria, especially in Homs, where 90 percent of the Christians have fled the city for Assad-controlled areas near the Lebanese border.In Iraq things are not much better. Cities such as Mosul and Tikrit, which is near Saddam’s hometown, were once vital centers of Christianity. No longer. Iraq’s Christian population, estimated to have been 1.5 million, has fallen by half. Thank you George W. Bush, a great Christian thinker, at least in Texas. In Egypt, there are at least seven million Christian Copts who are now treated as third-class citizens and mostly confined to squalid quarters. Things have improved in Egypt since the overthrow of the Muslim Brotherhood gang, but rest assured that if the Salafists have their say, and they still do with the military in power, the Christians are doomed in the long run." (Taki)




"Wednesday, it was Michael’s. For those who can’t stay away, it was a big day. It was also the last Michael’s Wednesday this year. Next Wednesday is Christmas and the following is New Year’s. And then we make resolutions and start all over again. I was lunching with Rikki Klieman, who is known to the world for her frequent appearances first on Court TV, and now on CBS This Morning as a legal analyst. She is also well known in New York and Los Angeles as the wife of Bill Bratton, the newly appointed Police Commissioner under incoming Mayor Bill de Blasio. Mr. Bratton has previously served as Commissioner of the Boston Police Department; once before in New York (1994-96) and Chief of the Los Angeles Police Department from 2002 to 2009. The Klieman-Brattons married in 1999. They’ve had a social profile in New York since day one. We’ve been in the same room together numerous times although I’d never had a real conversation with them.I say that only because they’ve always been a 'couple' in my perception – versus a single (Mr. Big and the Little Woman, etc.). It occurred to me as I was writing this that that “perception” of mine, of them, is probably the result of a very dynamic duo. Because what I learned at lunch is how full both their lives are with their own personal responsibilities and objectives.Because Rikki Klieman is nothing if not dynamic. We’d known each other on a 'hi' basis for some time, but never to have a conversation. Several weeks ago we were seated next to each other at a dinner at Shirley Lord’s. That led to this lunch. This is one of the wonders of New York – the constant connecting.She’s a fascinating lady. Forthright, upfront; a girl from Chicago. Born into very modest circumstances, she went to Northwestern where she majored in theatre, then to law school at Boston University, then on to an appointment as assistant DA for Middlesex County (Mass.); then joining a law firm in Boston, then starting her own private practice. I could just see her in the courtroom; no kidding." (NYSocialDiary) "Mariah Carey belted out her hit songs for Angolan despot José Eduardo dos Santos and his family last weekend for more than $1 million — even though she apologized in 2008 for performing for Moammar Khadafy’s family, a human-rights watchdog says. A smiling Carey posed for a picture with the Southern African dictator, his daughter and his wife.'I am happy to be here in this room, and I am honored to share this show with the president of Angola,' the pop singer said at the gala, according to the Human Rights Foundation, a nonprofit that focuses on protecting and promoting human-rights globally. The foundation blasted her for taking payment from a 'tyrant.' 'Mariah Carey can’t seem to get enough dictator cash,' the group’s president, Thor Halvorssen, said." (PageSix)

No comments: