Thursday, January 31, 2008

Corsair Classic

Michael Bloomberg Probably Won't Run

While the idea of Bloomberg running for President in 2008 was intriguing, especially with the economy as an issue, it probably won't happen. One: Schwarzenegger and Lieberman -- two giant political IOU's in Bloomie's pocket -- have formally endorsed McCain. Two: McCain is probably going to be the Republican nominee, and Bloomberg is a big McCain man. Three: If Obama wins the Democratic nomination -- and this is not an inconceiveable event -- there would be already be two centrists (McCain, Obama)running, leaving zero political maneuvering room, and less logic for a Bloomberg candidacy.

Can he still run? Sure. He has a billion dollars to play around with, but it is unlikely.

Update: The Draft Bloomberg site is drawing anemic support.
Media Whore D'Oevres

"As John McCain neared his momentous primary election victory in Florida after a ferocious campaign questioning his conservative credentials, right-wingers buzzed over word that he had privately suggested that Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito was too conservative. In response, Sen. McCain recalled saying no such thing and added that Alito was a ''magnificent'' choice. In fact, multiple sources confirm his negative comments about Alito nine months ago. McCain, as the 'straight talk' candidate, says things off the cuff that he sometimes cannot remember exactly." (Novak)

"No one knows Mike Tyson—or wants to know Mike Tyson—as well as director James Toback (When Will I Be Loved, The Pick-Up Artist), who's completing a documentary about the tempestuous boxer. So what's the scary guy like? "He's a great guy," Toback told me at an event last night. "He's linguistically very gifted, although malaprops sneak in there from time to time. There's no line between what he's thinking and what's being expressed. No guile and manipulation." I guess when he bites your ear off, he does it without any silly game playing!" (Musto)

"Mr. Mickey knows Sundance is last week's news but he just has to post about the fabulous Ray Ban Visionary Award party that happened there last week. Ray Ban honored Quentin Tarantino who made a delightful speech and proved what a fabulous freak he is. Speaking of fabulous freaks, the award was presented by Dennis Hopper! Two great tastes that taste great together. Meanwhile, the super hip band the Bravery performed and were soooo fun ... Anyhoo, sadly the boys didn't create such a great impression at the ski lodge where we were all staying. Mr. Mickey heard tales of belligerent drunken shenanigans from several Lodge employees! That's rock 'n' roll!" (Papermag)

"Obama campaign manager David Plouffe seemed to be setting expectations low for February 5 on a conference call with reporters this morning, but he also seemed optimistic about the relationship between his candidate’s supporters and Edwards’ supporters ... 'We will be announcing, later today, that we’ve had a lot of supporters of Senator Edwards join us,' Plouffe went on. Later he said, 'In our view, first of all, we are trying very very hard to make the case to his supporters to join out campaign…these are change voters.'" (Observer)

"Gisele Bündchen has been confirmed to attend the Rag & Bone show in New York, less than 24 hours before the Super Bowl. Does that mean that she won’t be supporting her man Tom Brady in what is possibly the biggest football game of the modern era?" (Fashionweekdaily)

"The 15 January car bomb that exploded beside an armoured United States embassy vehicle in Beirut, killing three bystanders, was the latest in a spate of violent incidents in Lebanon. It was similar to previous bomb attacks against Lebanese political, media and security officials over the past three years. While Syria has been accused of the earlier bombings, Lebanese investigators and analysts were more cautious in attributing blame for the US embassy vehicle attack as they believe independent Sunni jihadists have been responsible for a spate of security incidents in January ... It was the first attack on an official US target since the 1975-1990 civil war ... Investigators told Jane's the remotely detonated device weighed approximately 10 kg and was buried 15 cm below the ground in the central meridian separating the north- and south-bound lanes. Unlike other IEDs used for assassinations in Lebanon over the past three years, it was not a shaped charge explosion, but a simple blast device containing no shrapnel." (Janes)

"Final ballots to pick the winners of the movie industry's most sought-after awards -- the Oscars -- were sent to voters on Wednesday, four weeks out from Hollywood's biggest night of the year. The ballots, sent to 5,829 voting members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, list nominees in 19 categories for the Oscars, which will be announced on February 24." (Indiewire)

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Media-Whore D'Oevres

"The surest signs of a campaign in trouble are the hokey stories about confounding expectations. You could hear a bunch of those stories on the campaign trail with Rudy Giuliani this week. His pal Jon Voight recalled how it looked like he had no chance to get cast in Midnight Cowboy in 1968. His campaign chairman Bill McCollum recalled how it looked like the Republicans had no chance to take back Congress in 1994. And the candidate told a few confounding-expectations stories himself about beating the Mafia and taming New York: I've been doing the impossible all my life!' So this is how it ends for America's Mayor, although he never quite said so in his Florida concession speech last night." (Time)

"Howard (Stern) asked Artie (Lange) if he was pleased with his appearance. He said that he thinks that it was actually the best one yet. He said he had a fantastic story to tell this morning about yesterday. He said that the Letterman appearance went really well. He met Paris Hilton in a special room that she had for her and her entourage. Artie said that he has a tiny room to stay in there and Paris had something a little bigger. He said that about 10 minutes before the show Teddy said that Paris wanted to meet him. He didn't know why he'd want to meet her though. Artie said that he wanted to watch Paris do her interview with Dave and maybe make a funny reference to something that she says and he didn't want to meet her first. She was very insistent though so he went back to meet her. He said she was there like a queen with her feet up on the desk and just hanging out. Artie said that Paris was stunningly beautiful and she oozes sex. He said that she was very soft and felt like a rich chick. He said that she smelled good and rich." (Marksfriggin)

"As the car industry here in the US wanes and the geopower of the US wanes, the term The Big Three will cease to mean GM, Ford, and Chrysler and will mean the three global superpowers; China, Europe, and the United States.That's the conclusion I come to after reading Parag Khanna's piece in this weekend's New York Times Magazine. I highly recommend this article. It opened my eyes to a bunch of things that are happening right now or are going to happen in the next 5-10 years." (AVC)

"Speculation that Washington’s two most eligible singlesHillary Rodham Clinton’s fashionable traveling aide Huma Abedin and New York’s dashing bachelor Congressman Anthony Weiner—are dating has become 'common knowledge' among the campaign press corp, according to a reporter on the trail. Reached for comment by the Transom, Mr. Weiner, who has reportedly stepped out with television hostess Alli Joseph and ABC correspondent Gigi Stone, opted not to deny the rumors. 'I’ve got nothing for you on this, buddy,' he said." (Observer)

"Longtime Scientologist Nancy Cartwright — best known as the voice of Bart Simpson — last year gave the church $10 million to help spread the word of founder L. Ron Hubbard into other galaxies. It was all part of Scientology’s Global Salvage effort, which aims to 'de-aberrate' Earth — meaning to rid mankind of psychology ills and other 'aberrant' behavior." (PageSix)

"As midnight brought in Martin Luther King Day, DJ Honey Dijon nimbly mixed in the 'I have a dream' speech, and you haven't seen so many puzzled queens since the Village People went new wave." (Musto)

"Michelle Obama just spoke this afternoon at a fund-raiser on the Upper East Side for her husband’s presidential campaign, and one of the more prominent people present was Alma Rangel, the wife of Representative Charles B. Rangel, according to a person familiar with the fund-raiser who attended the event. Mr. Rangel has been a leading supporter of Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, so his wife’s attendance at a fund-raiser for Senator Barack Obama, Mrs. Clinton’s chief rival, seems noteworthy. Other guests at the Obama fund-raiser included Victoria Kennedy, the wife of Senator Edward M. Kennedy, the powerful Massachusetts Democrat who endorsed Mr. Obama on Monday; John W. Rogers Jr., a Chicago mutual fund executive who has been one of Mr. Obama’s top fund-raisers; and Patricia Blanchet, a Haitian-born artist and the widow of the '60 Minutes' correspondent Ed Bradley, who died in 2006." (NYTimes)

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

The State of The Union: Clearing B(r)ush

Bush, stubborn to the last, finally learns bipartisanship as his presidency draws to a close. After which all that will be left is his legacy in Mesopotamia. Like most two-term Presidents before him, after six SOTU addresses and seven year at his back, George Walker Bush delivered his valediction in tones of twilight. His senior advisers that he began with, once rosebud fresh, are off to the greener pastures of the private sector. And the remnants --loyalists, all -- rose, then seated at the applause lines, cued to signal servile appreciation of each talking point delivered.

What has animated this President is the eschatological gut-knowledge -- his Faith -- that he knows that History will vindicate his decision to invade Iraq.

Let us proclaim the mysteries of faith ...
Media Whore D'Oevres

(image via

"Quick on the heels of her critically acclaimed performance providing the Democratic response to President George Bush's State of the Union speech last night, newly recognizable Kansas governor and silver fox Kathleen Sebelius announced her endorsement of Senator Barack Obama for president this morning. Obama's presently headed to a rally in El Dorado, Kansas, which is the hometown of his maternal grandfather, and Sebelius is attending to 'welcome him back to Kansas and join the campaign.'" (Radar)

"Bill Richardson has held most important government jobs, but America just wasn’t ready for a Mexican citizen to be its president. We’ll get there, with Hope. He still could be a vice presidential selection, however, and now the non-loser candidates are aggressively courting his endorsement. Barack, Hillary Clinton, Bill Clinton, Ted Kennedy, perhaps even Franklin Delano Roosevelt somehow — they have all been jamming Richardson’s phone line, most likely offering 'back room deals.'" (Wonkette)
Lieberman Touts McCain's Chances Over Democrats

Senator Joe Lieberman, who, oddly, fought -- and lost -- a gruesome campaign for the Democratic nomination in Connecticut is now touting the chances McCain has at beating ... the Democrats. From TheHill:

"Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.), who caucuses with the Democrats, touted Sen. John McCain (Ariz.) on Tuesday as the only Republican who can beat the Democratic nominee in the general election.

"'Look at the polls. John McCain is the only Republican who can defeat the Democratic candidates in November. And that ought to count for something,' said Lieberman, who was the vice presidential candidate on the 2000 Democratic ticket and calls himself an 'independent Democrat.'"

Clearly Lieberman won't be McCain's veep because the former POW is already suspect among the Republican party base. They would never sit still for a Democrat -- even a Democrat of Lieberman's dubious philosophical background -- teaming with a moderate Republican. Still, we can easily envision a Secretary of Defense Lieberman in a McCain administration (Bushies were actually floating him as a possible Rumsfeld replacement). Gre-a-at.
Naomi Campbell: Deniro Was My First True Love

PDA-cracking model, or, as we like to call her, "Blackberry Morasses (Exaggerated cough suggesting feigned detachment)," Naomi Campbell is as sexy as she is dangerous. Would we have it any other way? And she still has nice things to say about her ex-lover, Bobby Deniro. From the 3AMGirls:

"She's known for the odd tantrum or 10 so it's nice to see Naomi Campbell still has some loyal friends.

"Her Facebook site boasts several exes, including Robert De Niro.

'''He was my first and true love, and we were together six years,' thrills Naomi."
Media Whore-D'Oevres

"What the general Obama campaign doesn’t know is that on Thursday, Ted calls Barack to tell him that he will endorse and work for him. They pick Monday for the announcement. Only Barack and his campaign manager, David Axelrod knows of the endorsement. The campaign staff is told that Obama is returning to D.C. for the State Of The Union address. A few people ask 'what’s the big deal about the SOU and why should we take the day off?' not knowing that the Kennedy endorsement event is being planned for Monday at American University. Sunday, Bill Clinton makes his remark about comparing the Obama victory to the Jesse Jackson victory in 1988 furthering inciting the racial rhetoric. This comment further infuriates Ted, who not only delivers a speech rebuking the racial remarks on Monday, he plans the next 8 days to campaign (including Arizona and California) to pursue the Hispanic vote for Obama, thereby blunting any union endorsements Hillary Clinton has garnered." (NYSD)

"Mansour Dadulluh, the Taliban's most prominent military commander, was sacked on 29 December, according to a statement released by the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, the name used by the Taliban. Taliban spokesmen subsequently confirmed the dismissal, but did not provide details of Mansour Dadullah's misdeeds. Mullah Omar, the group's overall leader, previously advised him to follow the rules of the Islamic Emirate and 'not to fall into the lap of others.' ... Numerous theories have been put forward to explain Mansour Dadullah's dismissal, but his increasingly close relationship with Al-Qaeda was the real reason, according to a senior foreign official in Afghanistan who spoke to Jane's. High and mid-level Taliban commanders contacted by Jane's had little respect for Dadullah. Some said he was only promoted in an attempt to safeguard his brother's networks and as a face-saving exercise to mitigate the psychological blow of Mullah Dadullah's death. While the dismissal of an ineffective commander is unlikely to weaken the insurgency, it has highlighted divisions within the Taliban. The Taliban is increasingly split between those who follow the old leadership and those who take their cue from Al-Qaeda." (Janes)

"NBC sued Dick Wolf, one its biggest program suppliers on Friday, asking the court for an interpretation of a contract provision that gives Wolf executive producer fees if and when any of the three 'Law and Order' series are cancelled. The suit, which was filed in L.A. Superior Court by Scott Edelman of Gibson Dunn & Crutcher, seeks declaratory relief or reformation of the contract. No money damages are sought. The suit, which was filed in L.A. Superior Court by Scott Edelman of Gibson Dunn & Crutcher, seeks declaratory relief or reformation of the contract. No money damages are sought." (Variety)

"Those looking for a fun way to fill the Monday night time slot formerly reserved for the Marc Jacobs after-party, needn't worry. The effortlessly cool Chloë Sevigny has come to the rescue. Sevigny and Opening Ceremony will take over Webster Hall on Monday February 4, for an evening of all-night revelry to celebrate the New York launch of Chloë Sevigny for Opening Ceremony. The party will be co-hosted by M.A.C Cosmetics and Self Service magazine. And be prepared for an all-nighter--the exclusive invitation lists the time as '10 p.m. until late,' and we expect this fête to go well into the morning. The Slits are scheduled to perform at midnight and a slew of top DJs are slated to play--Paul Sevigny, Benjamin Cho, Brian Degraw, Leo Fitzpatrick, and Nate Lowman will all take turns spinning. Expect the coolest kids on the fashion block." (Fashionweekdaily)

"Two things became clear on a conference call held earlier by Clinton campaign manager Patti Solis Doyle, communications director Howard Wolfson and chief strategist Mark Penn this morning. One: they do not want anyone to forget that Barack Obama’s national media buy means that he has ads running in Florida. Two: they are determined to get Florida and Michigan delegates seated at the national convention, despite the pledge all three top Democratic candidates took not to campaign in those states (and despite the fact that neither Barack Obama nor John Edwards were on the ballot in Michigan)." (Observer)

Monday, January 28, 2008



The Corsair never liked Rudy Giuliani. Nor could we understand why last summer every media outlet in the chattering class treated him like The Second Coming. We knew, ultimately, that his messy private life (his children are decidedly pro-Obama) and his utter lack of foreign policy expereince would implode his thimble-deep candidacy.

And so it has come to pass. From Newsday:

"Rudy Giuliani appeared to have New Jersey in his back pocket. As the former New York City mayor's sputtering bid for the Republican presidential nomination heads to a crucial test in Florida on Tuesday, however, victory is no longer assured anywhere _ not even in his home state or its closest neighbors. Even Giuliani's ability to remain in the race through Super Tuesday is in doubt."

One day we are all going to sit around and laugh at how astonishingly stupid Giuliani's foreign policy paper truly is.
Media-Whore D'Oevres

"Dramatic (Sundance) jury head Quentin Tarantino provided a round of laughs as he took to the stage Saturday night in Park City to present the winner of the jury award for best feature (awarded to 'Frozen River' by Courtney Hunt). He reminisced that when he came to Park City with 'Reservoir Dogs' he never won an award, 'and it felt shitty...'" (Indiewire)

"Saturday morning in Davos is the time when the chief executives who attend the World Economic Forum like to head for the ski slopes. The skies are blue, the snow is pristine and the best runs are empty of holidaymakers. Only the hard core remain in the ugly conference centre listening to the session on the global economy chaired each year with brio by Martin Wolf of the Financial Times. This year, though, the hall was packed: what Wolf rightly called the 'high tide of complacency' in 2007 has been replaced by a deep pessimism about the possibility of a US - perhaps even a global - recession ... As Larry Summers, the former US Treasury secretary, noted waspishly, this was a mildly historic moment - the first time in a quarter of a century that the fund had deviated from its iron belief in balanced budgets and fiscal consolidation to call for a classic Keynesian approach to economic slowdown. Strauss-Kahn, though, is clearly worried. He wheeled out the cliche of the moment - a perfect storm - to describe how the world had got itself into its fine old mess: a period of low interest rates leading to too much cheap money sloshing around the globe; a breakdown in credit and risk management due to the failures of self-regulation in the private sector; and short-comings in financial regulation and supervision, particularly in the US." (Guardian)
Does Rachel Ray Prefer Starbucks?

A Blind Item from The NYPost's Page Six:

"WHICH daytime gabber should be nicer to her staffers? She snipes at them all day long, particularly if they bring her the coffee she endorses - she prefers Starbucks."
Ted Kennedy To Endorse Obama

Wow. Sucks to be a Clinton. The filthy tone of the Clinton campaign -- especially their comparison to Obama's South Carolina victory to the marginal campaigns of Jesse Jackson in '84 and '88 -- have driven Ted Kennedy to endorse Senator Barack Obama, thereby conferring the much-saught-after patina of Camelot (Patrick joins Caroline and Ted). Let's see if the Clinton's continue their race and gender based divide-and-conquer routine. From MSNBC:

"Ted Kennedy Is All In: The New York Times front-pages the news of Ted Kennedy endorsing Obama, which occurs today at 12:15 pm ET at American University in DC. "Both the Clintons and their allies had pressed Mr. Kennedy for weeks to remain neutral in the Democratic race, but Mr. Kennedy had become increasingly disenchanted with the tone of the Clinton campaign… He and former President Bill Clinton had a heated telephone exchange earlier this month over what Mr. Kennedy considered misleading statements by Mr. Clinton about Mr. Obama, as well as his injection of race into the campaign."
Media-Whore D'Oevres

"It is 2016, and the Hillary Clinton or John McCain or Barack Obama administration is nearing the end of its second term. America has pulled out of Iraq but has about 20,000 troops in the independent state of Kurdistan, as well as warships anchored at Bahrain and an Air Force presence in Qatar. Afghanistan is stable; Iran is nuclear. China has absorbed Taiwan and is steadily increasing its naval presence around the Pacific Rim and, from the Pakistani port of Gwadar, on the Arabian Sea. The European Union has expanded to well over 30 members and has secure oil and gas flows from North Africa, Russia and the Caspian Sea, as well as substantial nuclear energy. America’s standing in the world remains in steady decline." (NYTimes)

"While we weren't at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza for last night's DGA Awards, one of our loose-lipped Defamer informants just sent us the following tip regarding an incident involving an the one of Hollywood's most unpredictable actresses, Sean Young. Yes, the same Sean Young who once appeared on The Joan Rivers Show decked out in full Catwoman gear in hopes of landing the role that would go to Michelle Pfieffer. Anyway, after taking time to hurl insults towards both Marion Cotillard and Julian Schnabel (the former en français, no less!), the scourge of James Woods' life was (allegedly) booted from the premises by a security cop." (Defamer)

"People-watching (at davos, Switzerland) is half the fun. One night, I managed to weasel my way into a reception thrown by Kleiner, Perkins for Al Gore and Bono. George Soros was hanging out in the corner. I met Elie Wiesel on the line for the metal detector. Ran into David Cameron ... I was at two dinners with Emma Thompson and sat across the table from Howard Stringer and Jeff Zucker. That’s how nutty this place is." (BuzzMachine)

"Dear DPC: If you want to know what's conspicuous and interesting about Washington in this moment between South Carolina and Super Duper Tuesday is the trend away from the Clintons among die hard liberals who live and work here and who you would otherwise assume are total tools of the Hillary and Bill machine. The media may report there is disenchantment, but it's tangible here in the city that could be their home again for four years. This is a hard-bitten and often cynical group, and to see them sort of light up at the prospect of Barack Obama is like watching dried plants that got suddenly watered. He has struck a profound chord.It did not go unnoticed here that Greg Craig, a former Clinton lawyer and loyalist, came out for Obama. And the ripple of effect of Caroline Kennedy's New York Times endorsement is only just beginning. What people here were asking Sunday morning is: "How do the Clintons intend to besmirch her? How will they marginalize and neutralize that voice?" How do they ignore Ted Kennedy, who also jumped on the Obama bandwagon? The growing Obama support force here hope now that if John Edwards bails out — which is expected eventually — that he'll side with Obama, and that Al Gore — seemingly in hiding — will come out for Obama, too. How can he not? What possible reason have the Clintons given him to be in their camp?" (NYSD)

"I'm told that Terry Semel wants back in the movie biz in a big way. His pals know he's been working on something big behind the scenes. 'I'm looking at everything,' Semel is saying privately. But now I can report that the former Warner Bros co-chairman who failed at Yahoo! is actively considering two possibilities for a Hollywood re-entry via New Line Cinema or MGM." (DeadlineHollywooddaily)

"A few months ago I had dinner with an old friend who told me an amazing story. Two years before, a nice guy with no experience at all in real estate had come to him and said that there was a fortune to be made betting against the U.S. housing market. This fellow hoped to raise money for a hedge fund whose sole purpose was to do this, by shorting the subprime mortgage market. He asked my friend to invest with him but my friend turned him down. Now my friend felt foolish. 'It all happened exactly like he said it would happen,' he said. 'In every single detail.' The hedge fund creator's name was John Paulson. And -- as Bloomberg News's Jenny Strasburg and Anthony Effinger and the Wall Street Journal's Gregory Zuckerman laid out recently -- by making between $3 billion and $4 billion for himself in 2007, he appears to have set a Wall Street record. In the long history of money-making, no one has ever made so much so fast. As the Journal story also showed, Paulson's instincts now tell him to lay low and avoid calling attention to his fantastic triumph over his fellow Wall Street man. 'He is reluctant to celebrate, while housing causes others pain,' the Journal explained." (Bloomberg)

"The probing and lively Theater Talk is the go-to show for Broadway buzz, with your yin-yang hosts Susan Haskins and Michael Riedel serving as your proverbial ushers. I just shot a segment for them with Daphne Rubin-Vega, Rent's original Mimi, about that boho smash's impact and legacy as it goes into foreclosure. In the green room, Daphne told me that at the height of her Rent explosion, her dad would get e-mails from guys saying his daughter almost turned them straight. I know the feeling; she once flashed me her cleavage to show me the holographic bra she had on, and I immediately ran home and burned my Madonna records." (Musto)

Friday, January 25, 2008

Bill Clinton, Character Shaped By Democratic Elections

The old adage says that Democracy is the worst form of government, except for everything else. Bill Clinton's character and soul -- if you believe in such a thing as a soul -- was shaped almost entirely out of democratic electoral politics. If it seems as if there is nothing stern and of principle beneath the mild, silver-haired, pro-middle class veneer, you are probably correct. Perhaps that explains why he seems to lack a thing called shame (And, lightly in his defense, why he was probably so effective in managing the post-Cold War peace dividend). Clinton is entirely utilitarian; he exists to make the largest amount of people happy. In return, he gets Validation, Self-Esteem and Power. Is that a fair trade?

Much ado has been made of Bill Clinton as the archetype of Boomerness. It is now de rigeur to profile Clinton in glossy magazines as being the largest cat in the jungle, the embodiment of the elite Martha's Vineyard-Napa Valley-nexus Beltway Boomer. He likes golf, women, and internationalism.

There are other ways, however, to assess Bill Clinton other than as the embodiment of the upper-percentile of his generation. In fact, looking at Clinton through Boomer-tinted sunglasses (Raybans, to be sure) means engaging in the same tedious Generation Game -- we are only the product of our historical circumstances -- that Obama is trying, gamely, to elevate us from out of. Liberal-conservative; Boomer-Xer; Masculin-Feminin: Manichean, bi-polar interpretations of Reality gave us President Bush, a man so resolutely stubborn he has nearly brought this great Nation to calamitous ruin.

Michael Bloomberg and Obama, cleverly, have already perceived the subtle shift away from the Manichean. Even Congress, with the bipartisan stimulus package, seems to be moving into post racial, post partisan strategy. Americans -- and, soon, the rest of the world -- are growing disgusted with demogoguish appeals to their lowest common themes, namely, our blood, our melanin count in our skin, our gender, our sexuality. Our collective humanity and our particular individualities are so much larger than the cheap appeals that a low-grade piece of ass politician might make to our race or our gender. Curiously, though, when a politician of significant rhetorical skill makes such a low appeal -- for example Pat Buchanan and Lou Dobb's discovery of the g-spot of the Republican Party: Then Damn Mexicans -- it sets the emotions aflame. And when the emotions are aflame, the mind is usually on vacation.

But back to Clinton. How about we look at Clinton as he represents himself in his astonishing autobiography My Life (If you haven't read this book, please do; it is the best Presidential memoir since Ulysses S. Grant's magnificent memoirs). The most striking fact that comes out of reading this book is that Bill Clinton began running for office -- student council -- at an alarmingly early age, and continued, essentially, to the present, where he labors in the stables of Hercules for his wife (And, we cannot fail to note, for his legacy and for his continued political relevance). The scenery-chewer lobbied to get to Georgetown, maneuvered at Yale Law, jaw-boned his way into Oxford, then, back to politics in the South where he veered -- at just the right time judging the political winds, after Senators Moynihan and Jay Rockefeller issued aristocratic declinals -- to go against the then-immensely popular post-Persian Gulf War Bush, 41.

And now, it seems, Clinton's latest, endless campaign is for his wife, so that: a) His legacy is secure, b) He is once again relevant, c) He returns the favor for her remaining on board post-Lewinsky, and d) He'd possibly become Secretary General of the United Nations, a position that clearly he covets, and may actually someday possess.

Charmed, I'm sure (Exaggerated cough suggesting feigned detachment).

Bill Clinton's entire life has been the clarification of the central theme of his being elected The Most Popular Boy. Looking at Bill Clinton this way -- and not simple as a specimen of 50something, Middle aged man-psychology -- is almost touching. Bill runs to live; he lives to run. Every election is a validation of self. Sad.
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Media-Whore D'Oevres

(image via NYtimes via Origlia/Getty Images)

''Italy’s government finally fell Thursday, after Prime Minister Romano Prodi lost a confidence vote that made it clear that Italy’s leaders know they face a deep political and economic crisis but are venomously divided over how to solve it. Emblematic of those divisions, during the debate one senator rushed in fury to the desk of a colleague, Stefano Cusumano, and taunted and apparently tried to attack him. Mr. Cusumano, 60, reportedly cried, then collapsed. 'If I had the chance, I would have spit in his face,' said the attacker, Senator Tommaso Barbato, who had to be held back by his colleagues. His action came after Mr. Cusumano changed his vote to support Mr. Prodi." (NYtimes)

"Last night Casey Ribicoff gave a small birthday dinner at '21' for our friend Peter Rogers. The hostess, this writer, Liz Smith, Adolfo, Elizabeth Peabody and Alex Hitz. Casey had placecards made of cookies. Peter is holding his for my camera. After dinner they took our picture. I’m saying 'keep your eyes open' because lotsa times people get nervous and don’t. This crowd didn’t get nervous, as you can see ... Last night they were talking about the campaign. Nothing about the Financials. Nothing. The Campaign though covered the gamut of candidates. Hillary, Obama, McCain, Giuliani, Romney, Edwards, Huckabee. To varying degrees. Hillary got a lot of time because everyone at table has met her or knows a lot of people who have. And she’s one of our Senators. Not everyone at the table would vote for her although there was none of this hate Hillary stuff that you so often encounter. Mrs. Ribicoff is the widow of the late governor and senator from Connecticut Abe Ribicoff. Her political connections on a national level are excellent and she by nature has the gift of friendship. So everyone paid attention when she had something to say." (NYSD)

"Though animation isn't the movie form most expected from a war memoir, cinematic masterpiece Persepolis stunned guests including Christine Baranski, Bob Colacello, Gaby Hoffmann, and Deepak Chopra at the Diane von Furstenberg-hosted movie screening in Midtown Thursday night. While many knew the plot about a young Iranian girl who starts a personal revolution, the backstory between the designer and the writer was a welcome anecdote. Marjane Satrapi and von Furstenberg were destined to meet for ages: Satrapi wore a DVF dress when she won the Jury Prize in Cannes, claiming it was her good luck charm, and von Furstenberg had owned Persepolis for years, even gifting it to friends, though she was still unsure of exactly what to call the genre. 'Graphic novel? Is that the way you call them? I didn't know that! I've read a few; I read Maus, and then I read this one. I was going to say comic book. I'm glad you taught me that!' she exclaimed." (Fashionweekdaily)

"One has to be careful even when hugging a big, friendly bear that one is not suffocated," warned EU enlargement commissioner Olli Rehn in June 2007, speaking of Russia's backing for Serbia over Kosovo's looming independence. Belgrade's big, friendly bear is now in the wings, waiting to see if its favoured candidate will triumph in a presidential showdown and shift the country decisively away from the West. The first round of Serbia's presidential elections held on 20 January saw ultranationalist Tomislav Nikolic of the Serbian Radical Party (SRS) take the lion's share of the vote with 39.4 per cent, setting him up for a widely predicted showdown against incumbent Boris Tadic of the Democratic Party (DS). With turnout at an extremely high 61 per cent in the first round, and Prime Minister Vojislav Kostunica in the role of kingmaker, the ultimate outcome is still unclear. Tadic believes Serbia's future is in the EU and also believes Serbia needs Europe more than the bloc needs Belgrade." (Janes)

"And right when you thought you got rid of me... Hi guys, I am back! And I have a question: why are you reading this blog if you think I am a douche bag? Come on, click away from this page and make room for all those who like me, because yes, they are many and many more. Did I get rid of you? Did I now? Okay then, keep reading, but now the douchebag is you!!! ... Now let's talk about my TV project. I was approached by Lifetime and asked to participate in an episode of their show Top This Party. Basically, the show follows you and your party planner's trials and tribulations throughout the process of trying to plan the best party EVER. Since I just got the endorsement campaign, and my friend Brittny Gastineau wanted to throw me a party for that, we just jumped at it and said YEEEESSSSS!" (Fabian Basabe/Papermag)

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Media-Whore D'Oevres

"Table 1. 'Mayor' Joe Armstrong, Sharon Hoge and a table full of handsome gents ... Table 6. Kathie Lee Gifford, Eduardo Verastegui & Lisa Dallos. Kathie Lee (looking splendid in vintage Ralph Lauren winter whites) joked with me about one tabloid's breathless report of her close friendship with the dashing Eduardo, the star and producer of the critically acclaimed Bella. 'I told my husband he needs to come to lunch with us,' she quipped. 'And I made sure I had my wedding ring on today!' ... Table 8. New York Social Diary's David Patrick Columbia with FishbowlNY's Ron Mwangaguhunga ... 20. Glamour editrix Cindi Leive (looking fab in a killer Givenchy mini trench, Yves Saint Laurent skirt and Michael Kors platforms) with Dave Zinczenko fresh off his appearance on Ellen yesterday. " (FishbowlNY)

"In New York on Wednesday, that quiet I mentioned about Tuesday went away and the streets of Manhattan were jammed and gridlocked once again, just like old times. Down at Michael’s the place was jumping and full-up. The beautiful and intrepid journalist Phoebe Eaton, just back from South America where was getting lessons in polo (oh really?); at the center table in the bay, Joe Armstrong, Sharon Hoge, Chris Buckley, Maurie Perl and Michael Clurman were holding their annual Shirley Clurman Memorial Luncheon." (NYSocialDiary)

"Joseph Myers, a local man who watched Obama speak in a high school gymnasium in this struggling town in the north-east of the state, said he had been leaning toward John Edwards until he saw Monday's CNN debate, replete with its rancorous Clinton-Obama exchanges. 'That swayed me' in Obama's favor, Myers said, accusing Clinton of 'trying to deflect' legitimate questions by attacking her main rival." (Observer)

"A chic crowd gathered at The Modern at MoMA Wednesday afternoon to prove that it's fashionable to save corals. The event, hosted by Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Michael Kowalski, chief executive officer of Tiffany & Co., Sylvie Chantecaille, and designers Lela Rose, Sophie Buhai and Lisa Mayock of Vena Cava, and Michael Aram, marked the launch of Too Precious to Wear, a program of the ocean conservation organization SeaWeb." (Fashionweekdaily)

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Madonna Still Has Juice, Baby

While culturally Madonna is probably over, she occupies a comfortable niche among her celebrity peers who regard her as suffused with fabulosity. An indicator of her juice is that a recent screening of her husband's reliably shitty movie attracted the biggest stars in the city. From our favorite social chronicler David Patrick Columbia in NYSocialDiary:

''This was one of the starriest nights for the already starry-eyed and stars-in-their-eyes nights when the Cinema Society and Piaget screened Guy Ritchie’s Revolver. It was standing room only and the room was so full of so-very-VIPs that you could hardly stand it.

''The director’s wife, the living cultural pop icon Madonna, arrived for the screening at the Tribeca Grand Hotel, and arrived again for the packed to the rafters party at the Gramercy Park Hotel rooftop afterwards. The paparazzi were practically passing out from excitement.''

Among the revelers: Sarah Jessica Parker, Michael Stipe, Donna Karan, Zac Posen, Calvin Klein, Liza Minnelli, Barbara Walters, Alex 'A-Rod' Rodriguez, Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana, Ingrid Casares, Tina Brown, Glenda Bailey, Ivanka Trump and, for good measure, Rufus Albemarle.

To paraphrase Ray Liotta -- who was also, as it happens, in attendance (Exaggerated cough suggesting feigned detachment)-- ''One day, one day, some of the kids from the neighborhood carried my mom's groceries all the way home. You know why? It was out of respect.''
Media Whore D'Oevres

"So, About That Andy Samberg Dating Joanna Newsom Rumor... It's true true true! Let's just say, we have our sources..." (Papermag)

"Last night I had my one night out experiencing the craziness that is Main Street in Park City. The entire slushy street was filled with people -- think Times Square at rush hour -- lining up outside of various parties. As my group approached the after-party sponsored by Hypnotiq for Be Kind Rewind, directed by Michel Gondry and starring Jack Black, a mob scene broke out on the sidewalk a few doors down. Who could it be? Hysteria grew, camera phones flashed. The answer? Ms. Paris Hilton. 'I saw your tape, Paris!' one hopeful youngster cried out. The party for Be Kind Rewind, drew a good-looking, mostly LA-type crowd. We can't help but wonder -- who are these girls that can brave these temperatures with short skirts and no tights? ... Elsewhere, apparently, 50 Cent played a set and rumors continue of a secret U2 show." (Observer)

"After a huge buildup about the commercial prospects of this year’s Sundance — where they said the writers’ strike and ambient private money could fuel a frenzy of acquisitions — buyers have their hands jammed deep into their coats, responding to both the cold snap and the fear that they will spend too much on movies that deliver too little ... Main Street, of course, plays host to a few other activities besides movies. Every night there are frantic scrums in front of all manner of privatized nightlife options, with hierarchies of both need and power calculated by the minute. People in headsets examine hopefuls for credentials, wristbands, status or appearance, then decide whether they merit entrance to the warm and magical places within. Which were plenty warm in the main, though rarely magical: rooms full of absently good-looking young people who seemed more interested in an incoming text than the people around them. Those who fought their way in soon found themselves fighting equally hard to get out." (NYTimes)

"Since invading the then-independent Tibet in 1950, Beijing has ensured tight military and political control over the strategically important area. Struggling against this control has been the spiritual leader of Tibetan Buddhists and last independent political leader of Tibet, the 14th Dalai Lama Tenzin Gyatso, who was 15 when China invaded and in his early twenties when he fled the region to India in 1959. Now 72 years old, he and his Tibetan government-in-exile are concerned that his death and reincarnation (the present Dalai Lama is believed by Tibetan Buddhists to be the latest in an unbroken lineage of incarnations) will eliminate the possibility of political accommodation with China, given the Dalai Lama's role as the symbolic focus of the Tibetan issue. For its part, Beijing similarly believes the Dalai Lama's demise will remove a figure of symbolic force and sap the movement of much of its international resonance. It is therefore seeking to, and believes it can, manage the Dalai Lama's death with alacrity and prevent any deterioration in security." (Janes)

"Everyone knew There Would Be Blood and there would be Daniel Day-Lewis for Best Actor but no one could anticipate that there would be so many surprises! First, Keira Knightley (Atonement) and Angelina Jolie (A Mighty Heart) were both shut out of the Best Actress race while Ellen Page scored a nod for her brilliant performance in Juno — seriously, see this movie! ... Rounding out the Best Actress race is Cate Blanchett for the blah Elizabeth: The Golden Age (she was also nominated for Best Supporting Actress in the far superior I'm Not There), Marion Cotillard for La Vie En Rose, Laura Linney for The Savages and inevitable winner Julie Christie for Away From Her." (PageSix)

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Media-Whore D'Oevres

"PROFESSIONAL life aside, Kate Moss has been keeping a low profile of late - but that didn't mean the supermodel was going to disappoint the paparazzi with a low-key event when she turned 34 yesterday. Crates of Champagne were seen being wheeled into her new home in St John's Wood yesterday morning, sparking rumours that the party would remain there. At around lunchtime, however, Moss left for The Dorchester looking demure in a white blouse and black trousers. With daughter Lila Grace, 5, in attendance alongside beau Jamie Hince and TopShop boss Philip Green, the party started kicked off with a Champagne reception before Davinia Taylor, Kelly Osbourne and Meg Mathews arrived for a spot of pampering. The guests then changed into Ziggy Stardust-style glam outfits and de-camped to Soho club Punk, where Moss's Chanel jumpsuit and gold star painted over one eye sparked a media frenzy." (Vogue)

"Clinton agents for many months have privately warned prominent Democrats that Obama as the presidential nominee could not withstand Republican scrutiny ("cannot take a frisk"). While denying my reports of this activity, the Clinton campaign went public when Obama's threat became real instead of merely potential. Billy Shaheen, Clinton's New Hampshire chairman, explicitly raised this long-ago use of cocaine and marijuana, and was fired ... Prior to Tuesday night's Democratic debate in Las Vegas, both campaigns declared an end to the 'race debate' over whether Martin Luther King or Lyndon B. Johnson was most responsible for civil rights legislation. But the fight really was about the Clintons' resenting an obstacle on their return to the White House. A prominent Democrat who saw the former president this week described him as 'furious, outraged, angry and utterly dismissive of Obama.'" (Novak)

"Remember all that laundry Kiefer Sutherland was doing in jail? has learned: Jack Bauer is separating Gary Collins' whites from his colors.The Daytime Emmy-winner joined Kiefer in the Glendale City Jail on Monday to serve four days for a DUI conviction. Collins isn't required to do any work because he's in on the 'pay to stay' program." (PageSix)

"The editor of KARL ROVE'S memoir will be PRISCILLA PAINTON, who has been deputy managing editor of Time and yesterday was named editor in chief of the Simon & Schuster adult trade imprint. Painton is well-known on the campaign trail - earlier, as a political correspondent and more recently as the editor in charge of Time's coverage of the re-election of Bill Clinton in 1996, the rise and fall of Newt Gingrich, the recount of 2000 and the 'Person of the Year' cover on George W. Bush. Earlier this month, she was out in Iowa with her 14-year-old daughter, Isabel Smith. And she first met Karl years at ago at an on-the-road dinner that included Donna Brazile - Painton's first hint that Rove was more multi-dimensional than most people realized. Painton's job as editor in chief, which starts March 3, includes acquiring manuscripts, mentoring authors and leading a team of editors. The Rove project is separate, for Mary Matalin's Simon & Schuster imprint, Threshold Editions." (Politico)

"I left the McCarthy apartment, hitching a ride with Ed Lobrano to the Upper East Side where I was having dinner with my old friends Marianne and Steve Harrison at Swifty's. Swifty's was jumping. Coincidentally we were seated next to Dominick Dunne. This was very interesting to Marianne who is a big DD fan and told the man that he was the only reason she read Vanity Fair. Dominick was having dinner with London's Nicky Haslam and Nina Garcia. Across the way Felicia Taylor was deep in conversation with Richard Ziegelasch, and waiting for their table was gallery owner Leila Heller and friend." (NYSocialdiary)

"As EU governments focus on securing ratification of the proposed Lisbon Reform Treaty in 2008, United States policymakers are concerned its provisions could present serious challenges to transatlantic intelligence and homeland security co-operation. The main US reservation is that, by transferring additional law and justice functions from the individual EU member states to EU institutions, the treaty could disrupt existing bilateral relations between US and EU governments without establishing anything better." (Janes)

"This year's touch-and-go awards season received a major boon in the form of Tuesday's National Board of Review of Motion Pictures gala. The Bulgari-sponsored Cipriani affair drew an Oscars-worthy crowd of celebs, including Julie Christie, Jennifer Garner, Ben Affleck, Javier Bardem, and Denzel Washington ... But Juno's Ellen Page was thrilled to learn Winslet had made it at all. 'She's here? Oh, wow,' exclaimed Page, who counts the Titanic star as one of her two idols (the other is Patti Smith). Would the fresh-faced starlet introduce herself? 'No,' she said. 'Too shy.'" (Style)

"Time columnist Joe Klein created a stir at the Council on Foreign Relations earlier today when he suggested that "an element of unwitting sabotage" may be behind Bill Clinton's series of apparently off-message comments while campaigning on behalf of his wife. Klein speculated: 'He's worrying, 'Maybe she's going to be a better president than I was' ... Klein presaged these remarks with a heavily ironic comment that he would not 'ever, ever want to speculate about what's going on inside of Bill Clinton's mind.'" (Observer)
Manskirts, Anyone?

Forget about last night's excessive use of guyliner on American Idol. Check out the current Prada Man's project: manskirts. Or, as Vogue UK is calling it, "Prada's tutu-waisted trousers (Exaggerated cough suggesting feigned detachment):"

Mama says wha-a-at?!

(image via fashionweekdaily)
Lunch At Michael's

Our wonderful FishbowlNY colleague Diane Clehane does a wonderful job painting the picture of yesterday's media machers at Michaels yesterday:

''Table 1. Jerry Della Femina, Jeff Greenfield, Gerry Imber and the gang.

''... Table 4. Mike Ovitz and Nantucket Nectar co- founder Tom Scott talking about something juicy, no doubt. (Sorry, I couldn't help myself)

''... Table 7. Producer Beverly Camhe and author extraordinaire Gail Sheehy ... In the middle of our discussion of the fates of Hillary and Obama, CBS's Jeff Greenfield happened by. Eager for his take on things, Beverly floated the idea of the possibility of a Hillary-Obama ticket. No way, says this veteran political commentator. Says Jeff: 'Strip away the race and gender issues, and it's a senator from New York and a senator from Illinois. Senators pick governors (for their running mates) and governors pick senators. They can't win with that. It's two blue states.'''

The full table breakdown here.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Corsair Classic

Has Jon Stewart lost some edge because of the writers strike? Why didn't he grill this cat?

Pt. I (via newsbloggers)

Pt. II:

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Paris Is Still Burning?

Is she keeping up with the ValTrex?

(image via pagesix)

Happy Birthday Amy Sacco

Club queen Amy Sacco's 40th birthday party in Vegas sounds positively Petronian in it's Felliniesque decadence. From Fashionweekdaily:

''Dear Daily,

''Diva Las Vegas!!! If you have to turn 40, like I did last Thursday...there is really nowhere in the world to be other than in Las Vegas.

''...Now, my motto is nothing exceeds like excess...and after a massive five-course feast at the new Ago restaurant at the Hard Rock Hotel, (chef Sergio Santoro was actually there personally overseeing our dinner), we had to do some major dancing ... By the time the professional dancers retired at 3 a.m. for the evening, noted author Carole Radziwill, looking stunning in a gold Naeem Khan mini dress, stepped onstage to fulfill her lifelong dream of becoming a Vegas go-go dancer...soon followed by Lady Yvonne, myself, sexy (strip-tease) mom of three Janine Perri-Hodgkins, and Shri Yoga guru Elizabeth Rossa--not to be outdone by our other wild women--Jamie Tisch, Angie Harmon, and West Coast PR maven Shara Koplowitz, not to mention the "diva" of Las Vegas himself--writer, comedian, and artiste, HRH Michael Schulman.

''Afterwards I was greeted by late night 'celebrity butler' Benicio Del Toro at the Penthouse ... One thing was definitely gained aside from another year--a whole life's winnings of fun.

Love and margaritas,
Amy Sacco''

For full post click here.

(image via patrickmcmullen/nymag)
Corsair Classic

(image via MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images/ via foreignpolicy)
Media-Whore D'Oevres

"Comedian Tracy Morgan of Saturday Night Live and 30 Rock fame has sold his autobiography to Spiegel & Grau, a young division of the Doubleday group at Random House that is about to launch its first full list ... According to the S&G book list, an inventory of all of the the house's acquisitions, Morgan's book will cover his entire life story, 'from the Coney Island projects where he grew up to his days on the streets of Brooklyn selling crack to the escape that stand-up comedy promised and his eventual discovery by Martin Lawrence and Lorne Michaels and the alcohol addiction that threatened his life and career.'" (Observer)

"In 2006, the Canadian Coast Guard icebreaker Amundsen became the first ship in history to sail through the Bellot Strait - roughly 350 n miles north of the Arctic Circle - during the month of October ... The disappearance of Arctic sea ice raises serious sovereignty and security issues for the five nations that claim parts of the Arctic Circle's outer ring - Canada, Denmark, Norway, Russia and the United States - as well as for indigenous peoples in the region. Arctic nations are locked in a multitude of territorial disputes that were once considered academic, but are morphing into flashpoints that may spark armed conflict ... The countries are vying for access to new commercial shipping lanes and vast energy reserves no longer shrouded in ice." (Janes)

"Those of us who have always wondered why award shows have to be so infernally long got our answer on Sunday night at the Golden Globes: they don’t, but all meaning is derived in such matters from the script that goes with such ceremonies. The windy speeches, the tears of joy, the fashion miscues, all arrayed over remarkable superbeings in gossamer frocks are what people turn the television on for. Without pomp, there is no circumstance, at least in Hollywood." (NYTimes)

"Among a barrage of prominent statewide elected officials to back Obama publicly this month is Arizona governor Janet Napolitano, and U.S. Sens. Ben Nelson of Nebraska and Tim Johnson of South Dakota. What all three politicians have in common is that they are Democrats who have cracked the code in getting elected in states where Republicans historically have triumphed at the presidential level. George W. Bush won these states both times." (Politico)

"For six whole weeks, a local comedy group has sent me (and I presume other press people) a getting-to-know-you gift every single day in hopes of grubbing some media notice. I'm talking 30 freakin' gifts! That's more than Christina Crawford had to give to children less privileged than herself every Christmas!" (Musto)

"Two founders of the bipartisan Unity08 effort launched a new campaign to draft independent New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg into the presidential race Tuesday, saying he is the right candidate to overcome bitter partisanship and oncoming economic problems. Former Republican consultant Doug Bailey and Gerald Rafshoon, a former communications director to President Carter, argued that Bloomberg is the answer to a 'severe economic recession' that is threatening the country." (TheHill)

"Ronnie Wood's a Rolling Stone who did gather moss - Kate Moss - when he wept at his son Jamie's wedding. Supermodel Kate hugged Ronnie, 60, when it all got too much for him during Jamie's wedding to his long-term love Jodie. Our insider said: 'Ronnie wept as Jodie produced a framed photo of the grandparents and Ronnie's brothers who have died. It was all very emotional.'"(3AMGirls)

"Teams set up radio masts and tested communications at two separate locations in the city. The military was assessing whether Patriot Advanced Capability 3 (PAC-3) surface-to-air interceptor missiles could be deployed at such sites. Concern over North Korea has prompted Japan to up its missile defence." (BBC)

"Opening Friday is Woody Allen’s new film, Cassandra's Dream, a tense but strangely unsatisfying thriller about two English brothers forced to commit a heinous crime to pay off some debts. Ian (Ewan McGregor) dreams of opening some hotels in L.A. which will solidify his relationship with his beautiful but high maintenance actress girlfriend (Hayley Atwell), while his gambler brother Terry (Colin Farrell) owes a fortune to loan sharks. When they appeal to their rich Uncle Howard (Tom Wilkinson) he agrees to help them if they commit a murder for him. Woody Allen once again delves into the slippery slope one can experience after 'crossing the line' -- you can call it another of his 'Amoral Tales.'" (Papermag)

Monday, January 14, 2008

Media-Whore D'Oevres

"We had the pleasure of checking out the freckly British phenom Kate Nash last night at the Bowery Ballroom. What a voice! While the sound was a little off (it seemed as if her band was a little loud in comparison to her sweet, raspy voice), she was a delight to see live. We briefly chatted with her this afternoon (for a larger magazine feature that’ll run in the near future -- stay tuned! ) right before she was due for a soundcheck on the Conan O' Brien show. She told us about her post-show exploits out on the New York town: 'I went to a transsexual karaoke bar called... Lucky Cheng's? I said I wanted to do karaoke and someone mentioned this place. Everyone was like, 'it's so bad you can’t go there, it's rubbish. Come to this party with us -- Mark Ronson’s gonna be there.' And I was like, 'Let’s go to the transsexual karaoke bar.'" (Papermag)

"'I'm so glad the Golden Globes were cancelled because it draws more attention to this,' said Patricia Arquette, clad in a red disco sari and just back from a trip to India, on Saturday night. 'This' was a black-tie gala and fashion show sponsored by Vogue, Cartier, and Ford celebrating the tenth anniversary of the Art of Elysium, a nonprofit organization that encourages actors, artists, and musicians to donate their time to children with serious medical conditions. In the crowd at St. Vibiana's, a former cathedral in downtown L.A., were Harrison Ford and Calista Flockhart (who, along with the rest of the Brothers & Sisters cast, came in support of co-star and co-host Balthazar Getty), Casey Affleck, Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi, Ashley Olsen, Rachel Bilson, Camilla Belle, and Lenny Kravitz." (Style)

" As Marianne Williamson toasted the release of her newest work, The Age of Miracles: Embracing the New Midlife, at the Upper East Side brownstone of Tom and Kathy Freston, she had few wise words about the cycle of book publishing. 'When you're young, the issue is whether or not your book got published,' the Hervé Leger-clad author joked. 'But when you're older, the issue is whether or not anyone gives a shit!'" (Fashionwekdaily)

"Despite a writers' strike now in its eleventh week, one network executive can soon breathe a sigh of relief. Come Jan. 15, Fox President of Alternative Entertainment Mike Darnell's top-rated singing competition American Idol will steamroll into prime time. Some 30 million viewers have tuned into the Fox talent show in seasons past--and with a dearth of viewing alternatives on CBS, General Electric's NBC and Disney's ABC due to the work stoppage, those numbers are poised to grow in the show's seventh season." (Forbes)

"In some scenarios, Time Warner could just end up being a movie studio and cable-television company: an all-Hollywood entity, and a very large and successful one at that. Which could set off another big deal. It could be combined with NBC Universal, which is owned by General Electric, either in partnership or sale. Reports in the business press have it that G.E. might put NBC Universal on the block after the 2008 Olympics. But the dealmakers of Wall Street also seem intrigued by the possibility of G.E.’s buying a future cable-free version of Time Warner. As another well-known media investor put it, 'There’s two big studios, which fit nicely. If you look at a lot of NBC’s hit shows, they come from Warner Bros. Television anyway.' The only big overlap would be with CNN and MSNBC. But both have strong Internet businesses." (NYMag)
Corsair Classic

Link via Observer:

Friday, January 11, 2008

America And Pandemonium

It was the worst of times; it was the worst of times. Isn't it curious how mightily Pandemonium reigns in contemporary politics? Chaos bestrides the globe like a colossus. Serbians versus Kosvars; WGA versus ATPMP; Kikuyu versus Luo; Persia versus America; Red States versus Blue States. Everywhere are contrary forces in conflagration, wryly spitting wrath.

The American Republic has gone through quite a bit of rough going in the past 10 years, no? While the Clinton era was marvelous economically, it's foreign policy objectives were mixed at best. But as bad as all that was, the Manichianism of the current occupant at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue has left our nascent neo-empire in a peculiarly binary sort of bind. Either/Or -- the central narrative of religious faith -- is the dominant political reality.

But what of we who do not wear our religion on our sleeves (Averted Gaze)?

As we soldier off into the meat of the 21st Century we can thank Karl Rove for introducing such iron-clad divisions into the vocabulary of American political discourse. To be sure, there were always North/South division in this country; such divisions predate even Abraham Lincoln. Agrarian-Urban; Jeffersonian-Hamiltonian; Slaver-Abolitionist; Black-White; Papist-Protestant; and so on ...

But the degree to which, in the past decade, our politicians have been dividing-to-conquer us is truly alarming. Senator Hillary Clinton's shameless appeal for the woman's vote comes to mind. It always comes back to sex with Scorpios.

The Senior Senator from New York, amazingly, is not even attempting to conceal this strategy of getting the majority of women, a particularly potent force within the Democratic party. This, of course, will attract the countervailing force of the Republican candidate -- whomever may be -- into appealing directly to men and trying to siphon off a fraction of undecided women to craft himself an electoral majority.


Very Girls-versus-Boys, that.

We have come full circle from the politics of religion and race to the politics of genitalia. How positively Scorpionic, no? When, O Dear, Lord, Endless Administrator of The Cosmic Order, will we have a candidate that appeals to us as human beings -- irrespective of gender or race or existential proximity to Jebus -- interested in a strong, prosperous and humane America, first among a stable community of nations (The Corsair sips at a jeroboam of aged champagne)?

Imagine, if you will, if the Republican candidate is McCain. Usually the republicans appeal to the baser, more masculine interests of voters (fear, national security, law & order). The Clinton strategy, cunning, is that women outnumber men so, meh. But it is also not inconceivable that Hillary Clinton, in achieving the Democratic nomination will have wounded Senator Obama politically-mortally. The Clinton's -- educated politically in Arkansan backrooms -- roll like that. Unfortunately, the Republicans will have calculated for the eventuality of a brutal Democratic primary race against Senator Obama. It is only logical. And it is not inconceivable that an overly violent campaign against the only sitting African-American Senator might precipitate a small but significant percentage of African-Americans either staying home or abandoning the Clinton legacy altogether. And John McCain (Or the comical Huckabee, for that matter), as far as Republicans go, are not entirely un-warm and fuzzy. This is a possibility that the Clinton's would do best to think on deeply as they run their crassly binary -- poor women versus uber alles -- campaign.

Compromise, Bush 43 has decided, after a spell, is for suckers. He learned these lessons from managing the failed campaign of his diplomatic father and -- from the distance of Texas -- the defeat of the Great Compromiser, former Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole. The one-dimensional mind of Bush, unable to probe the lessons of the remote past, stretches back to the 80s, to Reagan, to a Republican majority held together by a man of (questionable) principles. And so Bush 43 does his best Reagan impersonation with what can only be properly construed as a simian versatility (Exaggerated cough suggesting feigned detachment). Bush clears brush; Bush has a ranch; Bush has a "special relationship with a more articulate British Prime minister. Just like Reagan.

Odd, of course, is the unnatural Father-Son dialectic that this sets up as Reagan isn't Bush 41's father. Equally unnatural are the binary relationships in opposition to each other that are everywhere around the globe flaring up. The late, great Daniel Patrick Moynihan, whose political crystal ball was so clear (and we are the worse in his absence), predicted this panmdaemonium with the lack of strong, enforceable International Law.

But that would be Compromise.

Perhaps Obama is right. We need to get beyond this binary configuration of contemporary politics. We are not, however, going to get to that promised land with Hillary -- just as perniciously as Bush, 43's appeal to Evangelicals -- dividing us into our gender roles.

Is it because The Corsair was born under the Sun in Gemini that these binary divisions seem, right now, so mightily pronounced?

(image via irvinghousingblog)
Why Is This Man Laughing?

Corsair Classic

Media-Whore D'Oevres

"Everybody hates Chris (Rock)... when he starts with the chat-up lines. Enjoying a night out at Mo*vida in London's Soho, the funnyman gazed into the eyes of one of our spies and purred: 'You've got beautiful skin.' What?!" (3AMGirls)

"Nearly every day a tiny new development trickles out from the stealth presidential campaign of Michael R. Bloomberg, the billionaire mayor of New York. He has talked with Chuck Hagel and Sam Nunn, potential running mates. He has delivered a tart critique of the presidential field. He is conducting intricate polling to test his appeal in all 50 states. Mr. Bloomberg’s dalliance with the idea of running for president has stretched on and on, with his enthusiastic approval despite the public denials. But even before actually entering the contest, Mr. Bloomberg may have already risked losing something: people’s patience." (NYTimes)

"Rising oil prices will have differing security implications for countries that are net oil importers or net oil exporters. For oil exporters, higher revenue flows could bolster authoritarian regimes, reducing domestic political risk while potentially increasing international belligerence. For oil importers, the rising cost of imports will put heavy pressure on government and consumer accounts. For the wealthier economies this will result in only minor disruption to the population, potentially increasing political risk. However, for more marginal economies the financial burden could put heavy pressure on incomes, increasing the risk of social unrest." (Janes)

"Sir Paul McCartney has been given something to smile about amidst his ongoing divorce battle after daughter Stella gave birth to her third child. Fashion designer Stella gave birth a baby boy, named Beckett Robert Lee Willis, in a London hospital on Tuesday morning." (Thisislondon)

"Mr. (Harvey) Weinstein told The New York Times that his New York-based company had come to terms with the Writers Guild of America in a deal similar to the one reached last week by United Artists, the first independent movie company to reach an interim contract with the writers, who have been on strike since Nov. 5.: (Observer)