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Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Media-Whore D'Oeuvres






"The jockeying among Republicans to replace Eric Cantor (Va.) as House majority leader began Wednesday within hours of his stunning primary loss.The No. 3 Republican, Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (Calif.), is expected to seek Cantor’s post as majority leader, the second-ranking post behind Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio). But he faced an immediate challenge from a Texas conservative, Rep. Pete Sessions (R-Tex.).Sessions, the chairman of the House Rules Committee and a former GOP campaign chief, began making calls to colleagues after Cantor’s loss seeking support in his bid for majority leader, according to a person close to the congressman.The wrangling follows Cantor’s shocking upset at the hands of Tea Party challenger David Brat, who defeated the heir apparent to Boehner.When exactly Cantor’s post will be vacant remains a key question, and he and other top GOP leaders were meeting behind closed doors at the Capitol on Wednesday morning.
House Republicans also called a closed-door meeting of their full conference for 4 pm Wednesday.
Cantor could serve out his term as majority leader or step down from the leadership immediately.
The race to fill McCarthy’s position as whip heated up as well, as Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.) moved rapidly to challenge Rep. Peter Roskam (R-Ill.), the chief deputy whip who has been eyeing the spot for months." (TheHill)





"Eric Cantor’s defeat in Virginia’s GOP primary stunned the Washington political world.But in historical terms, it should not have come as a shock. House Republicans have been eating their young since the Eisenhower era, and the race has been always to the right. If it seems hard to imagine a leaner, hungrier conservative Cassius than Cantor, rewind to the Cold War. That’s when Joe Martin, a rock-ribbed conservative newspaper editor and publisher from Massachusetts (who served two stints as the only GOP speaker between 1931 and 1995), was toppled from the House leadership by a self-described 'gut-fighter' from the Midwest: Charles Halleck of Indiana.Halleck was pudgy and pugnacious — with a W.C. Fields nose and a prodigious thirst for distilled spirits. Cantor’s primary nemesis — a virtual unknown named Dave Brat — is by contrast Simon-pure. But the pattern of insurgent attacks on the establishment is well-established. 'Republicans are great for killing off their kings,' Rep. John Dingell (D-Mich.), the longest-serving member of the House, told me a few years ago. GOP leaders have traditionally not been toppled by peaceful transitions, but by internal coups. The only shock about Cantor’s loss is that it was handed to him not by his rival internal colleagues, but by voters in his own Virginia district — voters whom he had courted for years.In September 2010, when Speaker John Boehner unveiled the GOP leadership’s 'Pledge to America' in a Northern Virginia lumber warehouse, Cantor stood at his side, coiled forward as if ready to leap to the microphone. He was not invited to speak, and his countenance reflected his disappointment. The Republicans reclaimed the House that November, but Cantor’s place in the order since has never been clear.Was he a team player, or a cobra waiting to strike? Was he helping his speaker, or feathering his own nest? It has been conventional wisdom among the D.C. chattering class that Cantor would someday, somehow, make a bid to topple Boehner’s speakership." (Politico)


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"I hate to say it, but Maureen Dowd is right. I'll say it right to her. You, madam, are correct: The edibles in Colorado are way too god damn strong. But you didn't have to be a dick about it. I personally love edibles. I eat them all the time and have written about my fancy-free experiences with them in my VICE column. For those stories, my focus has not been on the debilitating effects that too much edible pot can have. I don't deny that it exists. I just choose to focus on the positive aspects of weed in the hopes of humanizing potheads like myself. I have colleagues that fight the dirtier battles, those against the organized ignorance that has plagued our favorite plant for so long. Those guys and gals have had a rough road, but their efforts prevailed at the opportune moment when public opinion revealed a new preference and the federal government shrugged its shoulders and looked the other way. Since that moment, Denver became the petri dish for legal weed, and an industry took form in a relatively neat, orderly fashion. Any less would have been disaster for the movement. The burgeoning industry continues to bare its growing pains for the world to see, but the consensus strives for legitimacy. These are not the renegade activists that Dowd paints them to be when she complains, 'the reefer crowd gets mad at the suggestion of any regulation, no matter how small or helpful.' In fact, the reefer crowd wants its industry to succeed for more reasons than Ms. Dowd wishes to consider when she uses her platform to detract from its progress. Are the edibles too strong? Yes. Sorry. When you consume a lot of weed regularly, you lose track of how little it might take to ruin a novice's evening. A cookie probably shouldn't have six regular doses in it because, seriously, who the fuck eats a sixth of a cookie?" (Papermag)





"With the launch of new site after new site in 2014, it's been a fascinating time to watch digital media try to figure itself out. Amid the turmoil of disruption, buffeted by tech companies' control over information distribution, but aware of new fields of possibility, the past few years were filled with defending legacy brands. So this new round of sites—Vox, FiveThirtyEight, the Upshot, Matter, Circa, Inside—seem like the first full-fledged embodiments of a bunch of arguments about what will work in digital media. There's been lots and lots of chatter about them, for good reason. These are exciting sites and they're doing great work, and they are also making mistakes and doing weird stuff as they find their identities. There's a lot to talk about individually and as a group.But the more I thought about what's different in this era of media relative to earlier ones: none of these sites is focused on a area of coverage. They are, instead, about the method of coverageFiveThirtyEight is the most clear about this in Nate Silver's manifesto about their method: 'FiveThirtyEight is a data journalism organization.' Ezra Klein at Vox also talked about the need  'to build an organization from the ground up, dedicated to doing the things that I wanted to do, which is creating this persistent explanatory content.' Circa makes news content designed for phones, built on a new method for structuring the data (quotes, locations, etc) that resides inside stories: 'At Circa we do things differently. The process of creating a story requires the writer to tag information in a structured way.' The Times' Upshot focuses on 'plain-spoken, analytical journalism.' David Leonhardt was so specific in spelling out how it would cover the news that he even specified his preferred grammatical point of view: 'One model for our work is Tara Parker-Pope, who runs The Times’s health-focused Well blog. She talks to readers directly, using the first and second person.'Inside has the most extreme method in this basket of sites. They promise readers only '300-character, fact-filled updates [that] give you what you need to know while on the go.'" (TheAtlantic)









"The DEA, NYPD, and Westchester Police teamed up yesterday to take down four strippers whose latest business venture involved dosing rich guys, stealing their credit cards, and, in some cases, blackmailing them with compromising photos. The four women, along with the manager of the strip club that employed them, were charged with conspiracy, grand larceny, assault, and forgery for their scheme, which targeted a hedge fund manager, financial manager, doctor, and real estate agent.The strippers, who worked at a place called the Roadhouse NYC Gentleman’s Club in Queens, would pick up guys at bars, drug them, and take them back to the club. After shuffling the drugged men into private rooms, they'd steal their credit cards and forge their signatures. In some cases, the strippers brought their marks to hotel rooms and took compromising photos of them with men and women. Once the men slept it off, the strippers blackmailed them with the photos." (NYMag)


Princess Gloria von Thurn und Taxis unveils Chelsea Hotel art show


"German aristocrat Princess Gloria von Thurn und Taxis — known variously as the 'punk princess' or 'Princess TNT' — arrived at the Chelsea Hotel for her art exhibition on the back of leather-loving architect Peter Marino’s Harley-Davidson.The royal, 54, wore oversize glasses and an American flag helmet. Inside perusing her 60 portraits, including images of Patti Smith, Iggy Pop and Bob Dylan, were guests Jeff Koons, Aby Rosen, Calvin Klein, Jeffrey Deitch and Andres Serrano as well as nightlife gurus André Balazs, Nur Khan and Susanne Bartsch.The show, 'Come On Darling, Don’t Be Mad,' was commissioned by the Chelsea Hotel’s Ed Scheetz and Richard Pandiscio." (P6)






"Two nights ago, also over at Cipriani 42nd Street, The Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) and the FIT Foundation honored trustee and foundation chairman (and former Kohl’s president) Dr. Jay H. Baker; Bergdorf Goodman’s Linda Fargo; and jewelry designer, philanthropist, and FIT trustee Joan Hornig at its annual gala. Again, more than 600 attended the black tie event, and raised $2.5 million -- $1.4 million in ticket sales, plus $1.1 million from two endowed scholarship gifts that were announced at the event. During his remarks, Dr. Baker announced a $1 million gift from his wife Patty and him! He received his award from two Baker Scholars, after which more than 30 scholarship recipients joined the Bakers on stage. Then George Hornig surprised his wife, honoree Joan Hornig, by announcing a $100,000 scholarship in her name to be given to a Jewelry Design student who has demonstrated a commitment to giving back.  Alber Elbaz presented the award to Linda Fargo. 'Linda,' he said, 'is a dreamer, but Linda is also a doer .... You push all of us designers to design with no fear because you love original design.' Linda is the quintessential New Yorker." (NYSD)

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