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Monday, November 17, 2014

Media-Whore D'Oeuvres





President Barack Obama talks with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. | Official White House Photo by Pete Souza
Official White House Photo by Pete Souza


"The coalition of voters that twice elected President Obama to the White House might not be there for the Democratic nominee in 2016, party strategists are warning. Following their disastrous showing at the polls this month, many Democrats have consoled themselves with talk of how the groups that fueled Obama’s resounding victories — namely minorities and young people — will make up a bigger slice of the electorate in two years’ time. But some fear the party is placing far too much trust in demographics, while ignoring the unique circumstances that led to Obama’s rise.
'I don’t think the Democratic Party should take anyone for granted, or should just assume that these voters are just going to back our nominee, and more importantly, going to turn out for the same level as President Obama,' said Democratic strategist Doug Thornell. 'They’re going to need a reason and they’re going to need a message.' Obama won the Electoral College handily in 2008 and 2012, vanquishing the GOP with a coalition of millennials, minorities and women in swing states such as Ohio, Iowa and Colorado. The wave of support gave Obama the former GOP strongholds of Virginia (in both elections) and North Carolina (in 2008), stirring anxious chatter among Republicans about being locked out of the White House for years to come. Obama’s victories, combined with the rising Latino population, have convinced many Democrats that the presidential map is skewing decidedly in their favor. Yet some question whether the supposed advantages will materialize when the name at the top of the ballot isn’t Barack Obama." (TheHill)





"During a break from plotting the GOP takeover of the Senate, in a campaign based largely on dissatisfaction with the president, Mitch McConnell took a phone call from Barack Obama.Congress was about to leave for a five-week summer recess, and Obama and Senate Democrats were anxious: The president needed his people in places like Qatar, Kuwait and Algeria — something that could happen only with McConnell’s cooperation. McConnell agreed. A dozen ambassadors were approved in July, more than half the number confirmed in the previous seven months. Whenever there’s been outreach by the president and a desire to cooperate by McConnell — mostly over small things, but also in ending last year’s government shutdown — the president and Senate Republican leader have been able to get results. Now, as Obama and his aides consider life with a Republican-controlled Congress, they look at the incoming majority leader as the only person on Capitol Hill who can help deliver on a second-term legacy achievement. 'A grown-up' is how one White House aide described McConnell.It’s not as if Obama and others in the White House have forgotten their history with McConnell, but he looks better than other potential partners. The president’s relationship with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s caucus has hit the rocks. He finds House Speaker John Boehner tedious and unreliable: Too many false starts and acrimonious endings have marred their relationship. House Democrats, for their part, are increasingly full of complaints about the president, but there will be so few of them come January that they’ll hardly matter.That marks a dramatic shift from the early years of the administration, when McConnell famously vowed to make Obama a one-term president.'McConnell was dead set on jamming the president, and that defined the relationship until now,' one senior administration official said. Now, the official said, 'McConnell and Obama are starting from scratch.'Nonetheless, it’s still unclear how the White House will be able to cut deals with McConnell without causing a revolt among Hill Democrats. And it’s unclear whether McConnell will be willing to cut deals that might put Boehner in hot water with conservative House Republicans." (Politico)

            



"This weekend, yet another woman — the 14th — came forward with rape accusations against Bill Cosby. Publicist Joan Tarshis says the comedian drugged and assaulted her multiple times in 1969, a crime she kept silent about for decades. 'As more and more of his rape victims have come forward, all telling similar stories,' Tarshis tells Hollywood Elsewhere, ' he time is right to join them.'At the time of the alleged assault, Tarshis was a 19-year-old comedy writer who had flown out to L.A. to work with Godfrey Cambridge. She met Cosby through some friends and began hanging around the set of his sitcom The Bill Cosby Show ... Tarshis says she never spoke a word of the alleged assaults for 20 years. She joins more than a dozen women who have accused Cosby of raping them over the course of decades, including Barbara Bowman, who last week wrote an op-ed in the Washington Post, asking, "Bill Cosby raped me. Why did it take 30 years for people to believe my story?" Cosby has stayed silent about the charges, and his lawyer says the comedian 'does not intend to dignify these allegations with any comment.'" (NYMag)


Looking towards the back of Sette Mezzo where Mr. Scorsese was celebrating his birthday last night.


"Last night JH and I met at Sette Mezzo for a business din. The place was hopping. In one corner there was a birthday dinner for Martin Scorsese. I have no idea who were among the guests (the table was behind me) although I saw Fran Lebowitz enter and they made a docu (of her) together, so no doubt .... At another table Woody and Soon-Yi were dining with a friend. Across the way Hilary and Joe Califano were dining with Jeanne and Herb Siegal. Next to them, Larry Gagosian his lady friend, while next to them Peter Hayward and Shirley Lord were dining with  Antonia and Spiros Milonas and friends, and at the table behind us Hannah Pakula and Alice Mayhew, plus dozens more like ‘em." (NYSD)


Power couple Joshua and Shoshanna Gruss to divorce


"Joshua Gruss, the son of financier Martin Gruss, and his wife, fashion designer Shoshanna Lonstein Gruss, are getting divorced. The couple, who have three kids, were married in 2003 at the Metropolitan Club. The couple has confirmed the split to Page Six, telling us that it is 'amicable and sad,' adding that they planned to raise the children together. Joshua is the CEO of Round Hill Music. Shoshanna started her eponymous label in 1998 and formerly dated Jerry Seinfeld, meeting him when she was 17 and he was 38." (P6)





"I don’t mind spiders. I don’t want them crawling on my skin, but I’m happy to see them crouched in their webs and waiting to score a hapless fly, a deviant sugar ant. Provided they are doing their job I won’t interfere.But these days I’m faced with a dilemma. Recently come to live with me is a small spider. He’s in a corner of the kitchen with a low slung clumsy unwieldy web. There are bits beneath him all over the floor. He’s a slob. When I was a kid I was the bug killer of... the family. Siblings were squeamish and would run screaming from rooms at the first sight of anything small and dark and moving fast. I was the one sent in to deal with insects. It’s not that I liked them, or had some fetish for them. I didn’t want to possess them or put them in glass jars and examine them. No, it was an uneasy truce between the skeeters and I. For relocation purposes I would find a stick around which to wind the web and with it the prisoner arachnid and run the whole thing outside and fling it into a bush. Even a paper tissue would do, just to pin down and gather up the tiny prey so as to toss it out a window. I was inspired by the praise from family members who would cling to each at a distance from me, and quiver until the operation was over. Mosquitos, however, suffer a different fate altogether. If I’m bitten or not I will go after them. Like they are Bloods and I’m a Crip, and it’s a matter of principle. I’m an expert at killing mosquitos." (Christina Oxenberg)

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