Monday, March 31, 2008

'Cause even a Swedish Man-whore's Got To Eat!

Reptilian Swedish Man-whore Nicklas Soderblom (Averted Gaze), that one-time oily other half of our favorite Nicolette Sheridan, has fully lived up to all that creepy promise that was evident in his raptor eyes from Day 1.

We stumbled across this curious truffle in the underbrush of Liz Smith's column today. From The NYPost:

"PERSONAL trainer Nicklas Soderblom had a nearly two-year affair with Nicollette Sheridan. The Soderblom pitch is, he got 'so caught up in her lifestyle that he lost sight of his own life.' Translation: She dumped him in 2005 for Michael Bolton, and now this guy's Nicollette-less, which means his career ain't white-hot. Angry, he thus did what you'd expect he'd do. Wrote a book about their former love life. Title: 'Not a Desperate Houseman.'"

We have had, over the years, a passing interest in the Fate of The Nicolette (tm). In fact, we once posited that in the event of a nuclear attack, it will be up to Keith Richards and Sheridan to jump-start an embattled and irradiated human civilization. So thoroughly resilient are her loins and his, of course, circulatory system. Throughout the 70s, 80s, 90s, Nico has managed, with gymnastic flair, to blast some of the more forgettable idols of American pop-culture -- the ever-greasy Baio, the ever-priapic Marcus Allen, and the thoroughly pharmacological Leif Garrett (The Corsair pours himself a glass of Grappa) -- and we wondered if her fortunes would ever rise to meet her outsize Brobdingangian ambitions in LalaLand. She seemed, at the time, relegated to play bit roles on nighttime soaps and, romantically, on the margins of Hollywood's C-List where oily athletes are on the prowl.

The pendulum swings. And after a little hit called Desperate Housevives, Sheridan, Hollywood Survivor, catapulted all the way to the upper reaches of the B-List, fer sure. How lame then that the Swedish manwhore is there ... to remind her ... of mess Nico left when she went away.

It is, to be sure, unbecoming for a manwhore to speak of the intimate details of the temporary arrangement that is any relationship with Sheridan. It goes without saying that Sheridan will dump you if something else better comes along. Even as outside observers of the shallow fabulousity that is Sheridan do we know this. And so, we imagine, did Nicklas Soderblom.

But No. From The NYPost:

"In her offer to publishers, his collaborator, entertainment reporter Bonnie Robinson, calls the story 'revealing . . . tumultuous' and says Soderblom has 'many, many insights' into the 'jealousies, fights, etc.' of the bitter rivalry that went on with 'Desperate Housewives.' She calls him 'a man who fell passionately in love with a self-centered celebrity.' He being a real proper gent calls Nicollette 'stressed out' . . . fearful of 'competition' . . . 'a middle-aged woman in Hollywood' who 'sees 'Desperate Housewives' as her last big break.' He tells how competition ate at her. How, when excluded from one group shot, 'she started crying' and said, 'They don't give a - - - - about me.' He tells all her secrets."

These are secrets? In what universe? To the gossiply-illiterate, perhaps, but these are not secrets to those of us who have followed Sheridan's career, luridly, with an odd mix of Darwinian curiosity and an abiding childhood fascination with the psychology of reptiles.

No, we still love us our Nicolette Sheridan, who is sort of a Paris Hilton without the trust fund, the stupidity or the latent racism (Exaggerated cough suggesting feigned detachment). We have said this before and we shall say it again -- loudly and tyo the Four Winds -- If there was no such thing as Nicolette, we would have to invent her.
Katie Holmes Does Broadway?

Katie Holmes, who, according to our pal Carolyn Torem Craig from Papermag, is "... is beautiful and incredibly well put-together, but has the most unnerving stare," may be going to Broadway. From The Observer:

''First Katie Holmes tackles Tom, then childbirth. Next up, the Great White Way? Ms. Holmes may emerge from her post-Suri cocoon to flutter onto a Broadway stage next season. The Dawson's Creek star is in negotiations to appear in a revival of Arthur Miller's 1947 play All My Sons. The play is based on a true story—ripped from the headlines, as it were—about a man who sold faulty airplane parts to the U.S. military during World War II."
Media-Whore D'Oevres

"Soul legend James Brown was finally buried—temporarily, anyway—after his body sat around like a discarded frozen cannoli as relations squabbled over his fortune. Well the bickering has had another effect. According to singer Screaming Rachael Cain—an old friend of mine and an insider in this situation—the movie about Brown starring Usher has also been put on hold until his estate has completely divvied up the property. So until they get their 10 cents they can't get YOUR 11 dollars. Cain told me Brown's manager's reaction to the whole posthumous mess: "It's chaos—just the way James would have liked it.'" (Musto)

"So far, there are only a few actors officially attached to Oliver Stone's W., the epic biopic about our current commander-in-chief. Josh Brolin was cast as President George W. Bush back in January, then recently Elizabeth Banks was chosen as his wife, First Lady Laura Bush, and last week James Cromwell and Ellen Burstyn were locked into the roles of former President George H.W. Bush and former first lady Barbara Bush, respectively." (Cinematical)

"Slowly but steadily, a string of Democratic Party figures is taking Barack Obama's side in the presidential nominating race and raising the pressure on Hillary Clinton to give up. Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota is expected to endorse Sen. Obama Monday, according to a Democrat familiar with her plans. Meanwhile, North Carolina's seven Democratic House members are poised to endorse Sen. Obama as a group -- just one has so far -- before that state's May 6 primary, several Democrats say. Helping to drive the endorsements is a fear that the Obama-Clinton contest has grown toxic and threatens the Democratic Party's chances against Republican John McCain in the fall." (WSJ)

"Does your mom still have an AOL account? Does she email you her random, yet charming, thoughts on life and love? Does she wish you called more often? Postcards From Yo Momma collects all these emails and broadcasts them to the Internet. Your mom might be on there too!" (Postcardsfrommymomma)

"The main opposition party pressed its claim on Monday that it had won a landslide election victory to unseat President Robert G. Mugabe, but the government said nothing about the presidential vote 48 hours after ballots had been cast. The only official announcement was that both sides were tied in early parliamentary results.At a news conference on Monday, officials from that opposition party, the Movement for Democratic Change, claimed to have seen the results from more than half of the constituencies, and it said that according to its calculations the opposition presidential candidate, Morgan Tsvangirai, had won 60 percent of the presidential vote to beat Mr. Mugabe, who has been president for 28 years." (NYTimes)

"Although under-reported, the phenomenon of radicalisation in Macedonia's minority Muslim populations is being closely observed by Macedonia's counter-intelligence services and their Western partners. Macedonian authorities have already contributed actionable intelligence in at least one major Western European counter-terrorism operation. Although ethnic Albanians (25 per cent of Macedonia's population of two million people are Albanian) make up the majority of the Balkan country's Islamic extremists, smaller Muslim groups, such as the ethnically Macedonian Torbeshi and Gorani populations (approximately 150,000 people), are being disproportionately affected by foreign Islamists." (Janes)

"The chic set usually reserve Saturday nights for staying in, but this weekend, hosts Marianne Boesky, David de Rothschild, and Arden Wohl coaxed them to the Marianne Boesky Gallery in Chelsea for a private dinner benefiting the Nest Foundation ... The likes of Gilles Bensimon, Diana Picasso, Waris Alhuwalia and Chiara Clemente, Claire Bernard, Lydia Fenet, Ivanka Trump, and Vanity Fair's Punch Hutton sipped champagne and white wine while dining on on Four Story Hill Farm beef, wild striped bass, and apple tatin with maple walnut ice cream. Given the current obsession for both nesting, the concept and the Nest Foundation, the charitable enterprise, one had to ask: how do you nest? 'It all happens in the bathroom!' laughed Trump, who wore a long-sleeved beaded vintage frock. 'The minute I get home, that's where I go. I love to take baths.'" (Fashionweekdaily)

"If you don’t know about the Waverly by now, then there’s no reason why you should. But it is, arguably the hottest restaurant in New York these days. At least for a certain crowd ... On Saturday, for example, we arrived for our nine o’clock reservation just as Farah Diba, former Empress of Iran, arrived with her entourage. The place was packed and it stayed that way for the rest of the night (we left about quarter to midnight): Charlie Rose and a very pretty brunette; Dave Zinczenko, editor-in-chief of Men’s Health (who’s rumored to be named 'Editor-of-the-Year' very soon) with Hilary Schorr; Calvin Klein holding forth with Toto Bergamo (in from Venice), Ross Bleckner, Christopher Makos; Kim Raver (from 'Lipstick Jungle'), Dan Abrams with Jaime Murray (remember her in 'Dexter'?), Cynthia Rowley and her husband Bill Powers; Ron Perelman with Danielle Levine and his daughter Caleigh, Matt Blanc (head of Showtime) and his wife Susan; Rufus Albemarle, million dollar model Jessica Stam, Simon Hammerstein, and on and on into the night." (NYSocialdiary)

"Lupe Fiasco is playing an 'intimate' (even more intimate than the last intimate one in NYC) at SOB's on May 14th. Tickets are on sale. Kanye West showed up last time Lupe played SOB's. Lupe & Kanye are going on tour together starting in April. The SOB's show is actually the night after they play Madision Square Garden." (BrooklynVegan)

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Is The Republican Party The Ticket That Imploded

The Republican Party is a curious beast, touting free-market competition while, internally, operating like an aristocratic social club. The Demorats -- pinko's all -- are, ironically far more competetive in spirit. Anyone with a lick of political sense could have predicted that former Senator Bob Dole would have his clock cleaned by Bill Clinton in 1996. It was a train wreck waiting to happen to anyone with a clear political crystal ball. George Stephanopoulos -- then a Clinton lackey, brimming with thumos -- all but celebrated as the Kansas Senator clinched the nomination, knowing what was evident.

And, let's face it: as thoroughly decent a man as George Herbert Walker Bush, 41, is, he was -- and always will be -- a lousy, bloodless politician. Remember his inability to connect with voters about "the vision thing"? The Bush, 41 rise was due to political appointments made in back rooms smelling of fine brandies and cigars. And after a career of upwards ascent, facilitated by the Republican Establishment, Poppy got his turn, and, in due course won because the Democrats picked -- through open competition -- an even bigger bloodless looser in 1988. Cause that's how the Republican Party operates. It is a vertical-based, hierarchical "Daddy Party." That's why it's McCain's turn. The Republican voters realize this, no matter how oddly undemocratic and non-free market competition as that position is. In many ways the Republican Party is the intellectual grandchild of the Federalists -- more aristocratic than small d democrat.

Isn't it odd that the Democrats, who are, according to the Republican narrative thread, anti-competition is so much more competitive in its primary process than the Republicans. No one could ever imagine the Democrats simply giving the nomination to someone because of seniority (for further reference, see: Hillary Clinton).

Will McCain, who is a decent American suffer the same fate as Bush, 41?
Media-Whore D'Oevres

"Al Gore, despite the lowest political profile, is talked about among prominent Democrats as their leading candidate for 2012 if they fail this year. The Democratic consensus is that there will be no second chance for Sen. Hillary Clinton. She is blamed for wounding Sen. Barack Obama so severely that he might fail in November. Gore has kept out of the 2008 Democratic presidential contest, in contrast to his embarrassing 2004 endorsement of front-runner Howard Dean just before Dean flamed out. Since then, Gore's prestige in Democratic ranks has soared while winning the Nobel Peace Prize and Hollywood's Academy Award. He will be 64 in 2012." (Novak)

"Lines were long at the polling stations here well before morning had unscrolled its first light. And when the doors did not open exactly at 7 a.m., voters in the impoverished township of Warren Park rushed the schoolyard gate, most of them desperate to cast a ballot to oust the man who has been president for most of their lives, Robert Mugabe. Spurred by a chaotic economy and fears that Saturday’s election would be rigged, people fled Zimbabwe to South Africa. 'People want him gone, finally and forever gone,” said Charles Musonza, an out-of-work tailor and one of those surging toward the front. 'Zimbabwe has been ruined by Mugabe. There is no future if he wins.''' (NYTimes)

"Hillary Rodham Clinton’s cash-strapped presidential campaign has been putting off paying hundreds of bills for months — freeing up cash for critical media buys but also earning the campaign a reputation as something of a deadbeat in some small-business circles. A pair of Ohio companies owed more than $25,000 by Clinton for staging events for her campaign are warning others in the tight-knit event production community — and anyone else who will listen — to get their cash upfront when doing business with her. Her campaign, say representatives of the two companies, has stopped returning phone calls and e-mails seeking payment of outstanding invoices. One even got no response from a certified letter. " (Politico)

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Media-Whore D'Oevres

"Across much of the Western world, the Dalai Lama is known as the beatific spiritual leader of a humble community of Buddhists, beloved in Hollywood, Congress and the White House, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize. Chinese leaders cast him in a different light. They call him a separatist and a terrorist, bent on killing innocent Han Chinese and “splitting the motherland.” That gap in perception, which has grown immeasurably wider in the two weeks since violent unrest rocked Tibet, is breeding pessimism that Chinese leaders are willing — or perhaps even able — to embark on a new approach to Tibet even as it threatens to cast a long shadow over their role as hosts of the Olympic Games this summer." (NYTimes)

"History may record that there were three distinct windows of opportunity for Al Gore to play a decisive role in this year’s Democratic primary contest. The first was in the days leading up to Super Tuesday, on Feb. 5, when it seemed Barack Obama could do no wrong and a critical mass of establishment endorsements was piling up in his favor. The second occurred this month when Florida and Michigan seemed to rule out re-votes, delivering a crushing blow to Hillary Clinton’s hopes of catching up in the popular vote. And the third—and perhaps most irresistible—will arrive in June, after the voting is over, but before the Clinton campaign can launch a final, all-out push to make Mr. Obama the unelectable candidate. 'If Gore were to weigh in, he would have to do so before the superdelegates begin breaking for either Obama or Clinton' said a former Gore adviser, after laying out the various scenarios that might prompt the former vice president to get involved. 'The superdelegates constitute the last true contest in this race. And for many, Gore is someone they talk to, listen to, and whom a lot of them admire and respect. Having him make a closing argument for either candidate would carry significant weight with some of these last-man-standing voters'" (Observer)

"Howard (Stern) said that he used to hate living at home. He said he was so happy to go to camp when he went. He ended up talking about how his parents would threaten him with an ice cream scooper so that was really confusing to him. On one hand he'd get ice cream with it and on the other it would hurt him." (Marksfriggin)

"Because the market for news spoofs (what with Saturday Night Live, The Daily Show, and The Colbert Report) is apparently still not saturated, CNN's Headline News is launching its own weekend news parody show, called Not Just Another Cable News Show, on April 5. Not that big a surprise, really; given that Headline News already has Glenn Beck and Nancy Grace every night, haven't they already been airing goofy faux news for some time now?" (Popwatch)
Corsair Poll

Bravo, Laura Linney

For some time now we have been passing fans of Laura Linney, observing her career maneuverings from the margins, getting a sense of it all. Clearly, she was of another calibre. But was she, we asked ourselves, a Meryl Streep? For every Dustin Hoffman performance in Kramer Versus Kramer, there are always a thousand dozens of particularly assy Chris O'Donnell events (Exaggerated cough suggesting feigned detachment). Though, granted, Linney's hair in The Exorcism of Emily Rose was obnoxiously aggressive (Averted Gaze), she has always exhibited a sort of prickly intensity that suggests, attractively, that she is incapable of descending into US Weekly magazine status. Laura Linney is, above all, a serious goddam person.

With her masterful performance as Abigail Adams, Laura Linney has proved that, yes, she is that all-too-rare creature: an American Artist. The series, which is perhaps argument that TV is getting better. Thank you, HBO, for shouldering the exuberant production costs, and thank you, Laura Linney, for a performance that shows us the outer limits of the possibilities of human talent.

We like, on this blog, to lampoon that which deserves lampooning, but it is all-too rare to bow from the waist to artistic excellence. Bravo, Laura Linney.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Dean Wants Closure By July 1st

While we understand how Dean is treading carefully here, trying to appear as objective as possible, he really should have put his foot down sooner. This shit is a present to Senator McCain, who is already aping Senator Hillary's campaign attacks.

Really; Obama should be addressing McCain right about now, not engaging in fisticuffs with Hillary, who has, according to Slate, a 12% chance of winning. Same with Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who secretly is an Obama supporter. And where the fuck is Al Gore? From Politico:

"A potential game-changer from CBS News and 'The Early Show.' Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean says he wants superdelegates to make a decision by JULY 1 -- the most specific he has been in his effort to prod the party to decide between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton before the Democratic National Convention in late August.

"Harry Smith asked if after the nominating contests end with the South Dakota and Montana primaries on June 3, 'Do you want the superdelegates to have some sort of vote immediately so that you'll know months in advance of the convention what the outcome is?'

"Dean replied: 'Well, I think the superdelegates have already been weighing in. I think that there's 800 of them and 450 of them have already said who they're for. I'd like the other 350 to say who they're at some point between now and the first of July so we don't have to take this into the convention.'"

Media-Whore D'Oevres

"In a surprise move, Senator Bob Casey of Pennsylvania has endorsed Senator Barack Obama in advance of the April 22 Democratic primary. Mr. Casey had said he would remain neutral in the race in part because he wanted to help broker a reconciliation between Mr. Obama and Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton afterward." (NYTimes)

""The story is a lie," Sean 'Diddy' Combs fumed when he heard about last week's new investigative report on Tupac Shakur's 1994 shooting. 'I am shocked that the Los Angeles Times would be so irresponsible as to publish such a baseless and completely untrue story.' Well, of course he was shocked. The L.A. Times had just accused his buddies of carrying out the (initial non-fatal) shooting, and claimed FBI reports proved that Diddy and the Notorious B.I.G. knew of the attack in advance — pretty serious allegations to wake up to one morning 14 years after the fact! Still, the Times wouldn't have run such an explosive story if they didn't have rock-solid evidence, right? Right? Except, apparently, they did just that. Yesterday, The Smoking Gun posted an eviscerating takedown saying that the Times had been duped by a notorious forger who'd fabricated those FBI reports out of whole cloth." (Popwatch)

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Media-Whore D'Oevres

"It was a family affair for David Beckham last night as he took to the field to earn his 100th cap for England. The Beckham clan filled abn executive box in the Paris stands to watch the father-of-three achieve his milestone – only the fifth player to do so. Wife Victoria looked proudly as she held on their sons Romeo, five, and three-year-old Cruz, during the friendly against France." (Thisislondon)

"Getting older while staying relevant, Madonna's back with more music, and my ancient ears can still hear it, but a DJ and Madonna fan named Danny Echi sent out a mass e-mail saying that her new song, '4 Minutes (to Save the World),' should actually be called '4 Minutes to Make More $$$$$$.' Wrote Echi: "This is just a corny commercial track. The Madonna shout-outs on it are corny, as if no one knew her name or she's trying to be cool hip-hop, which she's not. This is just a sell-out. It sounds like a James Bond movie theme. I think they tried too hard to repeat Timbaland's 'Give It to Me' featuring Nelly Furtado and Timberlake." (Musto)
Separated At Birth?

Hillary supporter, Jack Nicholson? (image via thisislondon)

-- And hairy Hominoid, Bigfoot. (image via skeptic)

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

The Night Padma Gave Me The Evil Eye

Once, on the Upper West Side, Padma Lakshmi gave me The Evil Eye. It was evening, maybe 9 pm, about 10 years ago. As The Corsair was walking towards Central Park West we spied Salman Rushdie and Padma Lakshmi approaching. They had probably come from some event, as Lakshmi was in full glamazonian splendor -- all legs, heels and swishy dress -- hanging on Rushdie's arm flirtatiously. As The Corsair stared, perhaps a little too boldly, Padma fixed me with The Evil Eye, as if to say: You'd better not play the literary fanboy, mister; just walk away.

And just like that they passed. This was deep in the Fatwa moment, and we can't blame Padma with over protectiveness as they had no bodyguards or anything. But we cannot fail to note that even as she gave us The Stink Face, Padma was just stunning.

No wonder all the billionaires want to play with her.
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Tuesday, March 25, 2008

On The Zimbabwe Vote

What motivates a man to grasp a country by the throat and make its GDP their personal pocket change? This is a question that The Corsair has asked himself for years, with increasing melancholy. Our theory -- put forward in African Dictator Chic -- is that a broken, impoverished childhood, one that, alas, is all too common in Africa, rewards a certain type of rapaciousness that when left unchecked, blooms at twilight into the dark flower that is the Dictatorial Personality Disorder.

But what about the shame? Can a human being, after wrestling in the oils of political power for over 20 years by sheer brutality, ever sleep? Do not the crimes ever catch up with the man -- and they are always of that gender -- in the House of Sleep? We have always been of the belief that Paranoia, the chief characteristic of the Dictatorial Personality, is the metastasization of their own murdered shame. And, of course, since the dictator has made -- unnaturally -- their nation an outgrowth, an extention of their own persona, that country becomes as disordered and despotic as their leader.

Sophocles' Oedipus Tyrannus, one of the wisest political dramas ever, tied together the destruction of a city-state and how it is tied to the fate of their leader, Oedipus of the House of Laius. Can anyone presently watching the unfolding events in Zimbabwe not make that powerful and tragic connection?

In Oedipus Tyrannus, Thebes is rocked by plague; in Mugabe's drama, Zimbabwe is rocked by AIDS. And hyper-inflation. Sophocles brilliantly symbolized the unnaturalness of a dictatorship by commingling Oedipus' thumoeideutic passions with the crime of incest. Mugabe's unnatural and unlawful lusts and excesses are, once again, up for debate in an all but staged election. From The New York Times:

"Voters will go to the polls Saturday, with President Robert Mugabe, the iconic leader of a nation enduring catastrophic hardship, trying to retain the power he has held for 28 years. Here in Harare, there is the usual speculation about the political winds. In what provinces is the president’s party strong? Where is it weak? But the more frequent conjecture involves the mechanics of an outcome that is presumed to be rigged.

"'Even if Mugabe only gets one vote, the tabulated results are in the box and he has won,' said Andrew Moyse, who coordinates a project that monitors coverage in the Zimbabwe news media."

Would that someone had the wit or will to remove Mugabe's sickness from the Zimbabwean theater.
Paris Hilton: "West Africa Is A Great Country"

The Corsair could say something particularly vicious, highlighting the colossal ignorance of Paris Hilton, but, rather, we think we'll just let the quote stand, uncommented upon, as a monument to the failures of our educational system, because a mind is a terrible thing to waste. From FoxNews:

"While vacationing with her boyfriend, Good Charlotte rocker Benji Madden, in Johannesburg, South Africa, this past weekend, Paris was asked for her thoughts on South Africa. Her response?

"'I LOVE Africa in general, South Africa and West Africa. They are both great countries,' she said, according to various reports."
Priscilla Presley: Slink Cat

Too Wong Foo, Priscilla Beaulieu.(image via wikia)

(image via thisislondon)

What is it about plastic surgery that, when done to excess, makes the patient look -- and how does one say this so as not to offend? -- like a big ole fucking tomcat? It is almost as if there was an invisible line -- a human-to-meow marker, so to speak -- which, when crossed, metamorphoses human beings into the feline species. Nature is saying: Yes, you have the technology, but I, dear civilized Western nation, am the final arbiter with what you have been given. Don't fuck with your face, mortal, else you will revert to a small carnivorous species of crepuscular mammal (Averted Gaze). From Thisislondon:

"Priscilla Presley has been attracting catty comments for her increasingly feline features that perhaps betray a flirtation with cosmetic surgery.

"But her dance routine on show Dancing With The Stars saw her make fun of her much-criticised image, with a raunchy routine which saw her crawl across the floor just like a slinky big cat."
Media-Whore D'Oevres

"Demi Moore joined director Michael Radford at Cinema Society for a Piaget-sponsored screening of Flawless, a crime drama set in 1960s London ... Guests, including Andre Leon Talley, Russell Simmons and Porschela Coleman, Jamee & Peter Gregory, Arden Wohl and Elise Øverland, enjoyed cocktails, dinner and Piaget cookies. Comedian Pauly Shore even made an appearance. 'I was staying in this hotel and decided to come upstairs, and this is what I found!' exclaimed Shore, who is in town promoting the DVD release of Natural Born Komics.'' (Fashionweekdaily)

"It's getting harder and harder to keep tabs of all the people being thrown under the killer bus running amok through our political discourse.Some say the Clinton campaign threw Geraldine Ferraro under the bus after her bird-cheep about Obama catching all the breaks because he's black, while a more Machiavellian minority suggest that Ferraro threw herself under the bus--taking one for the team, as it were--in order to launch that insidious meme into the mainstream while giving Hillary disavowal distance. Now, of course, we have a ragged chorus howling in faux indignation that Obama threw his kindly white grandmother under the bus when he should have fed firebrand Reverend Wright to the sacrificial tires." (JamesWolcott)

"When Gov. David A. Paterson told NY1 News on Monday that he had used marijuana and cocaine as a young man, he was joining a list of New York politicians who have answered such questions in recent years. Here is a guide to what they (and a few national figures) have said." (NYTimes)

Monday, March 24, 2008

Corsair Classic

Media-Whore D'Oevres

"Lindsay Lohan has been spotted wearing a ring with the initials SR on it, and all the really savvy kids are buzzing about what that stands for: Sam Raimi? Sally Rand? Steve Reeves? No, is pretty certain it's Samantha Ronson, the illustrious DJ and sibling of Mark who's suposedly Lindsay's lover, I mean girlfriend, I mean accomplice ..." (Musto)

"A Ukrainian police officer serving with the UN force in Kosovo has died from his injuries following violent clashes with ethnic Serbs in the northern part of the divided town of Mitrovica on 17 March ... NATO and UNMIK leaders responded angrily to the violence, warning that the clashes had crossed "red lines" that had been explained to Kosovo Serb leaders, and in the short term one can expect KFOR to forcibly reassert control over northern Mitrovica." (Janes)

Friday, March 21, 2008

Corsair Classic

It's Time To Grow Up, Senator Obama

As we said, it is now time for Obama to grow up, show some political maturity, and add Hillary Clinton as running mate. Here's reason #35, from CNSNews via Drudgie Poo:

"The lengthy Democratic primary contest bodes well for Republican chances of holding the White House, a new poll suggests.

"As Democratic Senators Barack Obama of Illinois and Hillary Clinton of New York slug it out for the nomination, many of their supporters -- at least in Pennsylvania, site of the next major primary -- aren't committed to the party's ticket in November, according to a Franklin & Marshall College Poll.

"Among Obama supporters, 20 percent said they would vote for Sen. John McCain of Arizona, the Republican nominee, if Clinton beats their candidate for the nomination. Among Clinton supporters, 19 percent said they would support McCain in November if Obama is the Democratic nominee."

When Hillary won Ohio, it became obvious. there is no way Obama can argue for Evan Bayh or Mark Warner. he HAS to pick Hillary for Veep. Do this now, or forever cleft the Democratic Party in twain, Senator Obama.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Zoey Channel At SWSX, where The Corsair used to work, turned us on to this. Although it is kind of rockabilly-ish, and suited for a summer in Brooklyn (It is still winter inh NYC), this, oddly, works for us. And it is not just Zooey's saucer-sized eyes. From papermag: "Unless you have been living under a pop culture rock, you know that our girl Zooey Deschanel and our boy M. Ward have teamed up under the moniker She & Him and recently put out an album called Volume One. It's filled with the types of songs that could be sung on a creaky front porch swing and that go well with a jug of fresh lemonade."
Odd Couple?

(image via fashionweekdaily)

Further proof that Soon-Yi has softened Woody Allen. Twenty years ago Allen would have written off the fashion world as inconsequential in the face of a meaningless existence. Now he's kissing Donatella Versace's hand. Kind of sweet. From Fashionweekdaily:

"Wherever Donatella Versace goes, loyal fans flock. The platinum-tressed maven practically had Madison Avenue at a stand-still Tuesday night when she made a rare cameo at Barneys New York to launch her spring men's wear line--a momentous comeback after a 15-year absence from the retailer's designer third floor ...Woody Allen and Soon-Yi Previn, meanwhile, came, took a photo, and scooted back out. 'I've been friends with Donatella for a while, and one important thing that I learned from her is to never say no to her,' said Allen."
Media-Whore D'Oevres

"The Vatican on Thursday rejected an audiotaped accusation from Osama bin Laden that Pope Benedict XVI was leading a 'new crusade' against Muslims, but Italian security officials were concerned about the threats included in Mr. Bin Laden’s new message. 'These accusations are absolutely unfounded,' the Rev. Federico Lombardi, the pope’s chief spokesman, said in a telephone interview. 'There is nothing new in this, and it doesn’t have any particular significance for us.' The new audio message attributed to Mr. bin Laden was released Wednesday night and was addressed to 'the intelligent ones in the European Union.' It was posted by the SITE Intelligence Group, a group based in Bethesda, Md., that tracks Qaeda postings on the Internet. The audiotape listed broad grievances, but specifically mentioned the pope, and coincided with the busiest week of the year at the Vatican, leading up to Easter Sunday." (NyTimes)

"The annual Patrick McMullan’s St. Patrick’s Day party took place on ... St. Patrick’s Day at Home on West 23rd Street. For the three or four of you who don’t know, Patrick McMullan is the most famous photographer in New York. The mere mention of his first name and everyone knows who you mean. Furthermore he knows everybody, gives lots of parties (many of which promote and sell his several volumes of photographs of New York and even global events and parties). He serves as an ambassador of good introduction to thousands of people and manages to take pictures of all of them all the time." (NYSocialdiary)
Overheated Fundamentalist Rhetoric

Have you ever seen videotape footage of when Pentecostal churchgoers dance with venomous snakes? It calls to mind the meaning of "Lunacy," which suggests that the victim is a servant of the voices of the moon. Or, worse, have you ever observed the religiously over-emotional victim -- because that's how The Corsair views them -- when they "speaketh in tongues" (Averted Gaze)? Cannot we find a credible linguist to for-once-and-for-all prove that the gibberish that they speak(eth) is not "The Ancient Language Jesus spoke." It can only be properly construed as mush-mouth.

What is it with supposedly religious preachers that veers almost violently into the boiling whirlpool of overheated rhetoric? Isn't the religious realm -- the sphere of the sacred -- supposed to elevate one's consciousness into the ethers, beyond the mundane, and not descending downward into the lambent flames of fiery lust? Or, worse, they guide one into a literal and not symbolic understanding of the meaning of sacred texts. Are they -- those religious fundamentalists -- wholly incapable of understanding the spiritual irony of parables (The Corsair sips a chilled Chateaux D'Yquem)? Religious texts -- composed in the realm of the sacred -- cannot by their very nature yield their secrets except through higher irony. But try telling that to a nimrod like Pat Robertson (Yale Law '55).

There is nothing about the poisonous diatribes of Farrakhan, or of the Fundamentalist Imams, or of Christian Evangelical hucksters that elevates the spirit of the listener. Rather, the experience of the rhetoric of the fundamentalist mind incites the red-ripe passions, overheating the listener even as the speaker emits a hot message festooned, unintentionally, with a frothy and rich saliva (Exaggerated cough suggesting feinged detachment). It is, to be sure, an entirely messy affair; such are emotions. Religion ought to control emotions, not be held captive to their riots.

And we criticize more than just the Reverent Wright, whom, we cannot fail to note, the right-wing radio rabble-rousers play incessantly, pandering to their second generation of white-flight listeners. But we also criticize, in a cool and measured tone, the preachers of the Evangelical Right as well as their "intellectual cousins," the Islamic fundamentalist clerics preaching the destruction of Israel as well as the destruction of civilian targets en route to acts of terrorism.

How positively Godly, no?

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Media-Whore D'Oevres

"Government contracting documents show that the U.S. Air Force preferred the size and capability of aerial refueling tankers offered by Northrop Grumman Corp. and the parent of Airbus, giving the two an edge in winning a high-profile $40 billion contract over Boeing Co. The Air Force also had concerns about Boeing's costs for early development work and about its past program management, according to Air Force documents reviewed by The Wall Street Journal ... Last month, the Air Force selected Northrop and European Aeronautic Defence & Space Co. to supply 179 tankers, an upset over the favored Boeing bid. Since then, Boeing and its congressional supporters in Washington state and Kansas have tried to challenge the decision.Boeing last week formally protested the contract loss to the U.S. Government Accountability Office, citing a range of issues that include a biased process, problems with Air Force cost analysis that raised its estimates by $5.2 billion and trade subsidies for Airbus. A decision is expected by mid-June. An Air Force spokeswoman said the service ran a fair and open competition and that Boeing was within its rights to protest. A Northrop Grumman spokesman said it 'won the tanker competition fair and square.'" (WSJ)

"Think About Life were, unlike me at that point, full of energy and they put on a pretty good show, though I thought the sound was a little too muddled. So many New Yorkers are in Austin for SXSW, you basically run into more people you know or recognize while you're at SXSW than you would on any other week back home. This show was no exception, and one easily recognizable member of the crowd was Bronques from Last Night's Party who also seemed to know some people who were with the band...... probably related to his former life as a Canadian musician, and probably what got him to this somewhat random rock show ... I was going to eventually end up at the late-night VICE party that started at midnight, but that prospect wasn't totally exciting me either because the lineup was Jay Reatard, Fucked Up, and Dark Meat - all of whom I had already seen either that day or the day before. That's when my friend said he was off to the Perez Hilton party." (BrooklynVegan)

"When the cast and crew of CBS’ How I Met Your Mother were informed that Britney Spears was slated to do a guest stint on the show, no one knew what to expect.. 'I kept saying, You’re serious? She’s going to do it? She’s not going to back out?' Mother costar Neil Patrick Harris (Barney) says in this week’s cover story of TV Guide magazine (March 24 issue; on newsstands March 19). Spears not only showed up on time for her first day of work, but she was early—and by accounts a consummate professional; there were no outbursts or diva antics or outrageous demands ... 'She was so funny and she already had her character down pat,' adds Alyson Hannigan (Lily). 'I had no idea she had such great comic timing.'" (TVGuide)

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Corsair Classic

How magnificent is Samantha Power:

Media-Whore D'Oevres

"The pop queen and her movie-director husband's seven-year marriage is on the rocks, according to Page Six sources and reports out of Britain. Madonna is said to have lost respect for Ritchie when she found out he had embellished his past,' one in-the-know Briton told us. 'Far from the tough, working-class London dude he adoringly echoed in 'Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels,' he's actually a privileged, prep school boy who chose to affect a gangland accent and walk with a street swagger. Brits can spot this at 100 yards, or hear it in an accent. Yanks, alas, can't.' But while Madonna might feel she has worn out her welcome in England, Ritchie is loath to leave his native country. "He's known in the UK as a moviemaker homeboy-made good,' our source explained, 'while in the US, he's just the foreign half-wit who took Madonna from her American homeland and made her talk all funny.'" (PageSix)

"Sen. Barack Obama sought Tuesday to quell the most threatening controversy of his historic presidential campaign, detailing his relationship with his church and his background as a multiethnic American and presenting his candidacy as an attempt to put aside generations of racial divisions and start solving problems. In a wide-ranging speech delivered in a city settled by Quakers who envisioned a race-neutral society, Obama explained the inflammatory comments by the Rev. Jeremiah Wright as reflective of the times in which the 66-year-old pastor grew up and 'a racial stalemate we’ve been stuck in for years.' Drawing a link between anger that has consumed both African Americans and whites, Obama said the country has a choice: It can continue to argue over race as a distraction, or 'at this moment, in this election, we can come together and say, ‘Not this time.’" (Politico)

"Two mostly naked female models, posed perfectly still, were portraying a classic dominatrix scene last Friday in a spacious and dimly lit Chelsea art gallery. One of them, a curvy 25-year-old known as January Darling, who donned bright red lipstick and shiny Betty Page-like locks, was kneeling upright, wielding a long faux pearl necklace that she used as a leash to constrain her partner, Dusty, a petite girl crouched on all fours who was wearing nothing but a black paper mask and a tiny corset around her waist. Ms. Darling was one of a handful of young women who posed for as long as 25 minutes at a time over the course of Adult Drawing, an ongoing XXX-rated affair with wine and DJ’s that attracts artists and voyeurs alike, and where all eyes tend to remain fixed on a variety of racy nude scenes that unfold in the center of the room." (Observer)

"I had my first Wall Street job at Bear Stearns. My grandpa was one of the original partners. It was a firm built on integrity, and where the customer came first. Ace Greenberg once made a man resign because he thought he charged a customer too much commission on an international trade. I am sure the old timers are rolling in their graves. I hope Jimmy Cayne sleeps peacefully in his million dollar Plaza apartment. Maybe he and Alan Schwartz should be worried about taking care of some of the employees, whose entire retirement nest egg is in Bear Stearns stock. Very Sad to see Bear go down like this ..." (NYSocialDiary)

"Day three began with hangovers overlapping with previous hangovers. Mikel and Anna went for a run. The rest of us drank water, fell asleep, then woke up again. We made our way back to the Fader Fort to borrow a couple acoustic guitars (courtesy of Maria from Guitar Center) and brought them to Buffalo Billiards, where we played a live radio set for Austin's 101X. Sixth Street is kind of amazing during SXSW, like Mardis Gras or New Year's: a hundred bands playing concurrently -- the air filled with everything from Appalachian bluegrass to free jazz to the worst nü metal you've ever heard. We were one of those bands for about 15 minutes while we did our radio performance. Hanson went on after us." (Papermag)

"In my entrancing column tomorrow you'll find a lively interview with One Day at a Time icon (and Jenny Craig star) Valerie Bertinelli, who confirmed to me that me she has a talk show in the works. The woman's a natural! She's tough talking like Dr. Phil yet speaks compassionately, sprinkling in all those new agey words like 'gift' and 'journey' to make her vaguely reminiscent of queen Oprah. At the Ladies Home Journal luncheon where I met Val, the actress turned best-selling author even broke down sobbing while admitting, 'There’s still the little voice inside me that feels I don’t deserve all the good things that come to me, but I’m going to enjoy all this. It’s a gift!' She seemed so vulnerable I couldn't even bear to tell her that her favorite talk show, Rachael Ray—which she's a regular on—isn't getting renewed!" (VillageVoice)

Monday, March 17, 2008

Hillary Clinton For Veep

Rumor has it former Senator John Edwards, the 2008 working-class candidate,will endorse Hillary Clinton before the North Carolina primary. We wonder what she promised him (Veep?)

It is time for Senator Barack Obama to hold his nose, raise his chin and make the appropriate noises in the media freakshow to signal, with dignity, that he is ready to broker a deal in which Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton is made his running mate for the 2008 presidential race.

Granted, Obama detests Clinton and the Clintonian style of throwing a river of shit at their opposition. And, granted, the Clintons dealt the race (and gender) card from the bottom of the deck, using surrogates -- and sly, oily innuendo -- to racialize the campaign, thus suggesting Obama was "the black candidate (Averted Gaze)." And that's why he won Mississippi, and, sadly, he will lose Pennsylvania's white working class districts. Obama, by contrast noble, ran a post-racial campaign that did well in traditionally Republican strongholds.

Still, Hillary Clinton's strong showing in Democratic strongholds -- California, Ohio, New Jersey -- and her intense support among older women and successful women (like Tina Fey), make it necessary that she get her duly deserved spot on the ticket. The alternative would be that women -- and the working class whites who voted for Clinton in the big states, might stay home on election day.

This blog found the campaign that the Clintons ran to be loathsome, low and appealing to the lowest appetites of the Democratic party. It was grotesque; it was Clintonian. But one doesn't have to like ones running mate (Exaggerated cough suggesting feigned detachment), as the Reagan-Bush and Dole-Kemp tickets teach us. One has only to want to win. And with Hillary Clinton as a running mate, Obama would signal with deep political maturity, that he is willing to heal a rift in the Democratic Party and enter into the 2008 freakshow with a single and harmonious voice.

And that's a good thing.
Media-Whore D'Oevres

"Heather Mills this afternoon announced that she has accepted a ($25 million) divorce deal before launching an attack on Sir Paul McCartney, his lawyers and the legal system. Ms Mills, 40, speaking on the steps of the High Court, said she was hitting out after the judge in the case ruled that details of the divorce should be made public. It emerged that she had sought nearly ($126 million) and that McCartney had offered her ($17 million) ... Ms Mills said she was 'very, very happy' with the settlement and a summary of the judgment was published today. But the former model will appeal against Mr Justice Bennett's plans to release it in full at a further hearing tomorrow. Launching a non-stop stream of criticism, Ms Mills raged against Sir Paul, the judge and McCartney's lawyer Fiona Shackleton. She said: 'Fiona Shackleton has very sadly handled this case in the worst manner you could ever imagine. She has called me many, many names before meeting me when I was in a wheelchair.'" (Thisislondon)

"Commercial urban art houses are often so filled up with studio specialty division releases that truly independent films have a tough time getting in. But a vibrant and varied alternative scene is growing to get these endangered small movies seen - and maybe even to make a little money. It involves cinematheques, non-profit film centers with niche-oriented programming, film clubs, museums, microcinemas and cafes, universities, and more." (Indiewire)

"Hoping to avoid a systemic meltdown in financial markets, the Federal Reserve on Sunday approved a $30 billion credit line to engineer the takeover of Bear Stearns and announced an open-ended lending program for the biggest investment firms on Wall Street.In a third move aimed at helping banks and thrifts, the Fed also lowered the rate for borrowing from its so-called discount window by a quarter of a percentage point, to 3.25 percent." (NYTimes)

"Barack Obama probably hasn't given much thought to Philadelphia's railroad system. It could be his map to holding back Hillary Clinton in Pennsylvania, the next big prize in the Democratic presidential race. Built in the 1880s, the 'Main Line' railroad to the west of Philadelphia relocated the city's political and business elite, creating some of the nation's most affluent suburbs. Today, towns like Ardmore and Haverford remain upscale enclaves. They are also trending Democratic. These politically progressive suburbs distinguish Pennsylvania from Ohio and could give Obama a chance to do better than the drubbing he took in the Buckeye state's contest March 4. Upper-income Democrats are among the Illinois senator's strongest supporters, so if he doesn't do well on the Main Line and adjoining Bucks County in the April 22 primary, New York Senator Clinton is likely to replicate her Ohio triumph." (Bloomberg)

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Corsair Classic

For kids who grew up in the 1970s:

Friday, March 14, 2008

Obama Blogs On Huffington Post Disagreeing With Rev. Jeremiah Wright

These are the times that try men's souls. No matter how on-message a man becomes, his associates often sink his chances at becoming President. Obama, so close yo the Presidency, must now deal with those who are close to him that are not on-message. Senator Barack Obama blogs today on HuffPo about his pastor, who has made controversial remarks. From HuffingtonPost:

"The pastor of my church, Rev. Jeremiah Wright, who recently preached his last sermon and is in the process of retiring, has touched off a firestorm over the last few days. He's drawn attention as the result of some inflammatory and appalling remarks he made about our country, our politics, and my political opponents.

"Let me say at the outset that I vehemently disagree and strongly condemn the statements that have been the subject of this controversy. I categorically denounce any statement that disparages our great country or serves to divide us from our allies. I also believe that words that degrade individuals have no place in our public dialogue, whether it's on the campaign stump or in the pulpit. In sum, I reject outright the statements by Rev. Wright that are at issue."

More on HuffPo.
Corsair Classic

Chinese Police Clash With Tibet Protesters

Although there has been a slow-boiling intensity building up between Chinese officials and Tibetan protesters, it came as a compete shock the mandarins in Beijing -- so brittle as to have international goodwill for the 2010 Olympics -- would attack. The crackdown comes amid Chinese claims that terrorists are targeting the Olympics in China (Putin's Russia, similarly, floated the terrorist argument to start war against those saucy Chechnyan separatists). From The Jim Yardley of The NYTimes:

"Violent protests erupted Friday in a busy market area of Lhasa, the Tibetan capital, as Buddhist monks and other ethnic Tibetans clashed with Chinese security forces. Witnesses say the protesters burned shops, cars, military vehicles and at least one tourist bus.

"The chaotic scene marked the most violent demonstrations since protests by Buddhist monks began in Lhasa on Monday, the anniversary of a failed Tibetan uprising against Chinese rule in 1959. The protests have been the largest in Tibet since the late 1980s, when Chinese security forces repeatedly used lethal force to restore order in the region.

"The developments prompted the Dalai Lama, the exiled spiritual leader of Tibetan Buddhism, to issue a statement, saying he was concerned about the situation and appealing to the Chinese leadership to 'stop using force and address the long-simmering resentment of the Tibetan people.'"
Media-Whore D'Oevres

"Matt Blank couldn't help himself. The CEO of Showtime Networks recently hosted a private screening of ‘Secret Diaries of a Call Girl.’ The series, which debuts on the cable channel on June 16, is about a high-priced prostitute - played by Billie Piper - who takes viewers behind the scenes of her profession. She even shares tips on how she pleases her well-heeled clients.Blank had to make a joke at the expense of his longtime rival, former HBO CEO Chris Albrecht, who resigned last April after he was arrested for allegedly roughing up his girlfriend in a Las Vegas parking lot. ‘I know it sounds like the secret diary of Chris Albrecht,’ said Showtime's CEO. ‘But it isn't!’Everybody at the screening at a private club in Manhattan laughed - including Albrecht. He was sitting right there with his coterie of publicists and the same girlfriend with whom he'd tussled in Vegas. (He was not prosecuted, and they are now engaged.) Albrecht enjoyed the moment as much as anybody. After all, he'd sold 'Secret Diaries' to Showtime.” (CNNMoney)

"Sadly, we here at PAPERMAG are stuck in New York and not frolicking around, eating really good Mexican food or seeing 875 concerts a day in Austin at South by Southwest. Luckily, the members of L.A. rock band du jour The Airborne Toxic Event are letting us live vicariously through them. The band, which is playing Austin for the first time, have agreed to blog for us, take photos and give us an inside look at the madness and insanity that is South by Southwest. Here's their first installment." (Papermag)

"It's my sixth consecutive SXSW, and each time it feels twice as big as the year before. As a publicist friend and I walked down the main drag in Austin last night, he took one look around and said, 'Oh my God, it's like Mardi Gras now.' And indeed, though I will not be showing my boobs for beads, there's enough beer, BBQ and music here to keep a city five times the size of New Orleans (and a whole lot bigger than Austin) busy and boozy for days.Wednesday used to be a sort of sleepy, ease-you-in deal to preview the long weekend, but last night nearly every venue on 6th Street was already spilling crowds onto the sidewalk. And there is music everywhere: Lone guys with guitars strumming for no one on the curb, acoustic duets in front of the Starbucks inside the Radisson hotel, piano Radiohead covers in the lobby of the Four Seasons (where, by the way, a grizzled Lou Reed was holding court, and Moby wandered helplessly by with shopping bags, looking, no doubt, for a lone vegan snack in the Land of Beef and Brisket)." (Popwatch)

" more than a few Capitol Hill reporters are pissed, because last night the House Sergeant-at-Arms office did a very rare thing indeed: close off the second floor to reporters surrounding the House chamber yesterday during the secret session.These secret sessions are incredibly rare (read: four since 1830). Before the late night session, there was a security sweep and only members were allowed in. They had to sign an oath of secrecy beforehand and check their cell phones and Blackberries at the door.Reporters weren't griping about being kicked out of the chamber, but rather that they were banned from the second floor altogether (likely they didn't want reporters to see who came and went and when)." (FishbowlDC)

"As if staring at each other across the front page of the newspaper, the 10-year-old boy bleeding from a Gaza rocket attack looked up into the controversial photo of the Illinois senator wrapped in a white turban. 'A Hillary Clinton Production,’ proclaimed the headline in the tabloid Yediot Ahronot, Israel’s top-selling daily paper. 'Obama, the Muslim.' The next day, however, Obama was back on the front page of Yediot, this time declaring, 'I’m a friend of Israel,' in an exclusive interview.The Democratic primary has captured the attention of the locally focused Israeli media, with Clinton-Obama coverage rivaling the daily violence of the Middle East conflict and a handful of political corruption scandals for airtime. For Israelis, the contest pits Clinton, almost a favorite-daughter candidate, against Obama, the political star whose Middle East positions are less well known and, therefore, more worrisome." (Observer)

"Bags--and the ladies who love them--were the name of the game at the fifth annual Bag Lunch benefiting P.S. Arts at Carla Sands' Brentwood home Tuesday, where a huge modern art collection (including a video from Jennifer Steinkampf) rivaled the bags on display and guests scrambled to cool off in the backyard next to the pool and underneath umbrella-covered tables. 'In 10 bags, there are golden compacts, and in one special bag, a gift certificate to our Paris boutique,' noted Lancôme's Kerry Diamond, whose beauty brand sponsored the event, raising over $200,000. The cosmetics company also provided an on-site makeup artist for celeb touch-ups, and loaded clear plastic columns on lunch tables filled with mascara, lip glosses, and eye cream, which were nearly empty a mere 40 minutes into the sold-out event ... Rose McGowan arrived near the end and started having a panic attack. 'I want a bag and all the good ones are gone!' she moaned." (Fashionweekdaily)

"The National Republican Congressional Committee said Thursday that its former treasurer, Christopher J. Ward, may have embezzled hundreds of thousands of dollars from the committee, but GOP sources said the total lost by the NRCC and other Republican committees could be as high as $1 million. The NRCC said that Ward made 'several hundred thousand dollars in unauthorized transfers of NRCC funds to outside committees whose bank accounts he had access to, including joint fundraising committees in which the NRCC participated. He also appears to have made subsequent transfers of several hundred thousand dollars in funds from those outside committees to what appear to be his personal and business bank accounts.'" (Politico)

"This past Tuesday at the American Museum of Natural History, they held the museum’s annual Winter Dance with more than 750 of the museum’s 'junior members' (many of the same you might have seen at The Frick last night, or the Museum of the City of New York, the night before). There was a seated dinner for 200 and then afterwards dancing in the Milstein Hall of Ocean Life. Honorary Chairs were Roberto and Eva Cavalli. Chairs were Fabiola Beracasa, Claire Bernard, Amanda Hearst, Tinsley Mortimer, Leelee Sobieski and Arden Wohl. Dancing Chairs were Danny Baker, Derek Blasberg, Jason Beckman and Simon Hammerstein ... In the crowd: David Lauren and Lauren Bush, Barbara Bush ... Vanessa and Donald Trump Jr ... Mary Guiliani ... Emmanuelle Chriqui." (NYSocialDiary)

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Jacko Lawyer: Michael Jackson And Neverland Are Fine

According to Michael Jackson's lawyer, MJ And Neverland Are Fine. Yeah, right (Averted Gaze). Once again, on the brink of ruin, Michael Jackson has structured some sort of agreement in which he gets to keep his boytrap, er, ranch. He was just a moonwalk away from teetering over the brink of summer-homelessness. According to Page Six:

"Michael Jackson has made a last-minute deal to save his famous former home, Neverland ranch, just days before it was scheduled for public auction.

"According to Jacko's lawyer, L. Londell McMillan, the King of Pop worked out a 'confidential' deal with Fortress Investment Group, which allows him to retain ownership of the combination house/amusement park in Los Olivos, Calif.

"'Neverland and MJ are fine,' McMillan said in a statement."
James Carville: ''Let Us Halt The Political Hara-Kiri''

James Carville, one of the most vocal supporters of Senator Clinton, is, ironically, asking Democrats to stop killing themselves. If Senator Clinton simply dropped out for the good of the party after it became statistically impossible for her to win the nomination without arm-twisting super delegates that would enrage Obama supporters and young, idealistic voters, then we wouldn't be having this conversation. From the FT:

"In this, the most fascinating and longest-running Democratic primary process of our time, we were presented with a silly moment that unfortunately is all too reflective of modern American culture. Consider the case of one Samantha Power.

"Ms Power, a Pulitzer prize-winning author, professor of public policy at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government and senior foreign policy adviser to Barack Obama, was forced to resign after she referred to Hillary Clinton (whom I admire and am supporting) as a mpnster. She tried to retract her statement but, being unable to declare something off the record ex post facto (do the Scots even have journalism rules?), her words were printed.

"What is becoming a shamefully predictable brouhaha ensued. To prevent her candidate from further embarrassment, Ms Power performed the ritual act of American political hara-kiri and resigned. The problem is that calls for resignation are becoming cries of wolf in US politics today. Every time one campaign's surrogate says something mildly offensive about the other candidate, resignation calls are swift.

As if this utter silliness was not enough, Tom Daschle, former Senate majority leader and an honourable man, went into an absurd resignation frenzy by demanding that Howard Wolfson, Mrs Clinton's communications director, resign for comparing the tactics of the Obama campaign to Ken Starr, the former independent counsel.

"This sort of hyper-sensitivity diminishes everyone who engages in it, both the candidates and the media. Politics is a rough and tumble business, and yet there seems to be an effort by the commentariat to sanitise American politics to some type of high-level Victorian debating society."

Well, another way to stop the bloodbath: Senator Clinton can broker a noble quit the race "for the good of the party" to go after the Majority leader position.
Media-Whore D'Oevres

"Sixteen rockets were fired at Israel from Gaza on Thursday, and the Israeli Air Force carried out its first strike in Gaza in nearly a week, hitting a rocket launcher, the Israeli military said. The upsurge in violence followed the killing by Israeli undercover troops of four Palestinian militants in the West Bank city of Bethlehem on Wednesday. That attack shattered a five-day lull in hostilities and threatened Egyptian efforts to mediate a cease-fire." (NYTimes)

"Eddie Murphy has revealed the real reason he doesn't want to have anything to do with his 11-month-old daughter Angel by Spice Girl Mel B - because he believes she trapped him into having a baby. The Nutty Professor star claimed 32-year-old Mel insisted she was on birth control, and revealed they only had sex three times, according to a US report. 'What was supposed to be a casual relationship ended with her having his baby and taking him to court for millions,' a source told The National Enquirer." (Thisislondon)

"Natalie Imbruglia has found love with Richard Branson's son Sam, just months after splitting from her husband of four years. We can reveal the Aussie singer has been cosying up to model Sam -- who at 23 is 10 years her junior." (3AMGirls)

"IFC threw a coveted party on Austin's way popular 6th Street Tuesday night touting their June release of 'Heavy Load' and celebrating SXSW. Bands Yo La Tengo and My Morning Jacket drew 700 people who snatched up the 400 wristbands for the event, which was as one can imagine -- packed." (Indiewire)

"U.S. wine auction houses are charging ahead this season with buzzworthy sales, despite the global economy's gloomy outlook. They're counting on recession-proof top Burgundies and first-growth Bordeaux to keep prices climbing, and they're targeting far-flung venues to expand the buyer base. To add excitement, they're bringing out more single-cellar sales from famous collectors and special preview tastings.Tomorrow at 5 p.m. in New York, right before Christie's holds its first evening sale of the year, the house is pouring 12 vintages of first growths, including 1982 Lafite, for a paltry $125." (Bloomberg)

"Consequently, a generation of younger Muslims in particular has become restless with the debilities of Indian secularism and attracted to more immediate methods of asserting political identity, including militancy (albeit for only a few). In the past few months, a noticeable feature of Muslim-related militancy has been the number of violent acts aimed at targets within the Muslim community. In particular, a number of Sufi shrines - distinguished for the non-denominational character of their devotees and for their popularity even with non-Muslims - have been bombed by Islamist militants. The regionalisation of Indian politics is also contributing to Muslims' sense of political alienation. For example, Muslims in India's largest state, Uttar Pradesh, now face some delicate political choices. Following the demise of the Congress Party in the 1980s, they had largely supported the Samajwadi Party (SP) of Mulayam Singh Yadav, making common cause with the middle-ranking Other Backward Castes (OBCs) who comprise the SP's main constituency. But, during the run-up to the Uttar Pradesh state assembly election in February 2007, rifts began to appear." (Janes)