“Ivanka Trump Has Told Her Father To ‘Cut Bait’ And Drop Kavanaugh.”

From Vanity Fair

According to sources, several factors are at play. White House advisers are worried that more damaging information about Kavanaugh could come out. Two sources told me the White House has heard rumors that Ford’s account will be verified by women who say she told it to them contemporaneously. People worry, without apparent evidence, of another Ronan Farrow bomb dropping. One source says Ivanka Trump has told her father to ‘cut bait’ and drop Kavanaugh.”

”Another reason Trump hasn’t gone to the mat for Kavanaugh is that he’s said to be suspicious of Kavanaugh’s establishment pedigree. ‘He’s a Bush guy, why would I put myself out there defending him?’ Trump told people, according to a former White House official briefed on the conversations. Trump also has expressed frustration with White House counsel Don McGahn, who aggressively lobbied for him to choose Kavanaugh.”

“But the threat of losing the House and Senate seems to have helped convince Trump not to go scorched-earth on Ford. If Trump antagonizes women voters, it could increase the odds Republicans would lose both houses in Congress.”

Said one outside adviser: “Trump knows the Senate is not looking good. It’s all about the impeachment, he knows it’s coming.

Vanity Fair Nails Rick Perry “The Question Of How And Where One Carries A Pistol In Sweatpants”

This is quite a read.

I offer a morsel.

On all matters of Texas machismo, in fact, Perry scores pretty close to a 10 out of 10. “Weather, football, hunting, fishing, all that—he’s expert at Texas bullshit,” Miller says. “He works hard at being liked, and that’s a big part of his appeal.” Another lobbyist, who has vacationed with Perry aides, says, “He can be the most crass guy you’ve ever met. I mean, in public, he’s smooth. But when he’s with the guys? Oh, God, it’s a different program. He tells dirty jokes in a whisper. He’s a whisperer, especially in groups. It’s the old mentality here in Austin, you know, with the old lobbyists. A guy they don’t like comes in the place and they lean over and whisper, ‘He’s gay.’ Perry’s got a real locker-room side.”

“Perry once said something in my presence that just appalled me,” says Paul Burka. It concerned a political rival at the time, the popular Democratic Speaker of the Texas House, Pete Laney. “A friend’s daughter was in a softball game,” Burka continues. “Perry asked me to come out with him. To see him with the guys. Perry was late getting there—he had a doctor’s appointment. So he finally shows up. You know, everyone goes, ‘Oh, how’d it go?’ He goes, ‘It was awful. He gave me a Laney,’ meaning an enema. How could he do that? Comparing Pete Laney to an enema? Laney was loved.”

That Perry can overplay the machismo card was evident in the skepticism that greeted his story of shooting a coyote. As he told it, the incident occurred last year, when he was jogging with his dog in a rural area of southwest Austin. He claimed—and has since repeated—that when the coyote menaced his dog he shot and killed it with a laser-sighted .380 Ruger pistol containing hollow-point bullets. Perry said he carried the gun because he feared rattlesnakes, but even in Texas, many couldn’t imagine doing such a thing—never mind the question of how and where one carries a pistol in sweatpants.

Sarah Palin Throws Canned Goods, Wears Push-Up Bra “So I Can Get What I Want Tonight”

Might I start by saying what she wants we don’t need!

Vanity Fair has the must read story of the day as they profile Sarah Palin. 

The line that made me burst our laughing was this one.

“As soon as she enters her property and the door closes, even the insects in that house cringe.”

I ripped a few segments that give a flavor of the content.  This is a perfect pitched story.  Well phrased, sassy, great research went into the piece, and it is sourced so to be able to portray Sarah Palin as she really is, versus how she wants the world to think she is.

Palin does not always treat those ordinary people well, however—it depends on who is watching. Of the many famous people who have stayed at the Hyatt in Wichita (Cher, Reba McEntire, Neil Young), Sarah Palin ranks as the all-time worst tipper: $5 for seven bags. But the bellhops had it good in Kansas, compared with the bellman at another midwestern hotel who waited up until past midnight for Palin and her entourage to check in—and then got no tip at all for 10 bags. He was stiffed again at checkout time. The same went for the maids who cleaned Palin’s rooms in both places—no tip whatsoever. The only time I heard of Palin giving a generous tip was in St. Joseph, Michigan, after the owner of Kilwin’s chocolate shop, on State Street, sent a CARE package to Palin’s suite, and Palin walked to the store to say thank you. She also wanted to buy more boxes of candy to take home. When the owner would not accept her money, Palin, encircled by the crowd that had jammed the store to get a glimpse of her, pressed a hundred-dollar bill into the woman’s hand, saying, “This is for the staff.” That Ben Franklin was the talk of State Street the whole rest of the day.


But on she flies, carpet-bombing the 24-hour news cycle: now announcing her desire to meet with her “political heroine” Margaret Thatcher (the better to look like Ronald Reagan, presumably, though Palin seemed unaware that Thatcher is suffering from dementia); now yelping in theatrical complaint (“I want my straws! I want ’em bent!”), to shrug off revelations that her speaking contract demands deluxe hotel rooms, first-class air travel, and bottles of water with bendable straws; now responding (in a statement read on the Today show) to reports of her daughter Bristol’s re-engagement to Levi Johnston; and all the while issuing scores of political endorsements and preparing a fall media blitz. A TV show, Sarah Palin’s Alaska, for which Palin is being paid $2 million, will have its premiere on the TLC network in November.


The intensity of Palin’s temper was first described to me in such extreme terms that I couldn’t help but wonder if it might be exaggerated, until I heard corroborating tales of outbursts dating back to her days as mayor of Wasilla and before. One friend of the Palins’ remembers an argument between Sarah and Todd: “They took all the canned goods out of the pantry, then proceeded to throw them at each other. By the time they got done, the stainless-steel fridge looked like it had got shot up with a shotgun. Todd said, ‘I don’t know why I even waste my time trying to get nice things for you if you’re just going to ruin them.’ ” This friend adds, “As soon as she enters her property and the door closes, even the insects in that house cringe. She has a horrible temper, but she has gotten away with it because she is a pretty woman.” (The friend elaborated on this last point: “Once, while Sarah was preparing for a city-council meeting, she said, ‘I’m gonna put on one of my push-up bras so I can get what I want tonight.’ That’s how she rolls.”) When Palin was mayor, she made life for one low-level municipal employee so miserable that the woman quit her job, sought psychiatric counseling, and then left the state altogether to escape Palin’s sphere of influence—this according to one person with firsthand knowledge of the situation. The woman did not want to be found. When I finally tracked her down, her husband, who answered the phone, at first pretended that I had dialed the wrong number and that the word “Wasilla” had no meaning to him. Palin’s former personal assistants all refused to comment on the record for this story, some citing a fear of reprisal. Others who have worked with Palin recall that, when she feels threatened, she does not hesitate to wield some version of a signature threat: “I have the power to ruin you.”

Vanity Fair: Sarah Palin “Diva”, And “Whack Job”

Bet the pit bull is snarling.

WEST WING MUST-READ: Todd S. Purdum, Vanity Fair’s national editor, in the August issue —

“LOOSE CANNON: It Came from Wasilla — Despite her disastrous performance in the 2008 election, Sarah Palin is still the sexiest brand in Republican politics, with a lucrative book contract for her story. But what Alaska’s charismatic governor wants the public to know about herself doesn’t always jibe with reality. As John McCain’s top campaign officials talk more candidly than ever before about the meltdown of his vice-presidential pick, the author tracks the signs — political and personal — that Palin was big trouble, and checks the forecast for her future:

“By the time Election Day rolled around, … [t]he top McCain aides who had tried hard to work with Palin — Steve Schmidt, the chief strategist; Nicolle Wallace, the communications ace; and Tucker Eskew, her traveling counselor — were barely on speaking terms with her, and news organizations were reporting that anonymous McCain aides saw Palin as a “diva” and a “whack job.” Many of the details that led to such assessments have remained obscure. But in a recent series of conversations, a range of people from the McCain-Palin campaign, including members of the high command, agreed to elaborate on how a match they thought so right ended up going so wrong. The consensus is that Palin’s rollout, and even her first television interview, with ABC’s Charles Gibson, conducted after an awkward two-week press blackout to allow for intensive cramming at her home in Wasilla, went more or less fine, though it had its embarrassing moments … and was much parodied.

“At least one savvy politician — Barack Obama — believed Palin would never have time to get up to speed. He told his aides that it had taken him four months to learn how to be a national candidate, and added, ‘I don’t care how talented she is, this is really a leap.’ The paramount strategic goal in picking Palin was that the choice of a running mate had to ensure a successful convention and a competitive race right after; in that limited sense, the choice worked. But no serious vetting had been done before the selection (by either the McCain or the Obama team), and there was trouble in nailing down basic facts about Palin’s life. After she was picked, the campaign belatedly sent a dozen lawyers and researchers, led by a veteran Bush aide, Taylor Griffin, to Alaska, in a desperate race against the national reporters descending on the state. At one point, trying out a debating point that she believed showed she could empathize with uninsured Americans, Palin told McCain aides that she and Todd in the early years of their marriage had been unable to afford health insurance of any kind, and had gone without it until he got his union card and went to work for British Petroleum on the North Slope of Alaska. Checking with Todd Palin himself revealed that, no, they had had catastrophic coverage all along. She insisted that catastrophic insurance didn’t really count and need not be revealed. This sort of slipperiness—about both what the truth was and whether the truth even mattered—persisted on questions great and small. By late September, when the time came to coach Palin for her second major interview, this time with Katie Couric, there were severe tensions between Palin and the campaign.

“By all accounts, Palin was either unwilling, or simply unable, to prepare. In the run-up to the Couric interview, Palin had become preoccupied with a far more parochial concern: answering a humdrum written questionnaire from her hometown newspaper, the Frontiersman. McCain aides saw it as easy stuff, the usual boilerplate, the work of 20 minutes or so, but Palin worried intently. At the same time, she grew concerned that her approval ratings back home in Alaska were sagging as she embraced the role of McCain’s bad cop. To keep her happy, the chief McCain strategist, Steve Schmidt, agreed to conduct a onetime poll of 300 Alaska voters. It would prove to Palin, Schmidt thought, that everything was all right. Then came the near-total meltdown of the financial system and McCain’s much-derided decision to briefly ‘suspend’ his campaign. Under the circumstances, and with severely limited resources, Schmidt and the McCain-campaign chairman, Rick Davis, scrapped the Alaska poll and urgently set out to survey voters’ views of the economy (and of McCain’s response to it) in competitive states. Palin was furious. She was convinced that Schmidt had lied to her, a belief she conveyed to anyone who would listen. …

John McCain’s Campaign Team Tells All About Sarah Palin, “Little Shop of Horrors”


Alaska’s lipstick-wearing pit-bull is a “Little Shop of Horrors.”

That’s how one longtime friend and campaign trail companion of John McCain, the vanquished 2008 GOP presidential nominee, described veep nominee Sarah Palin.

In an expansive story in the August edition of Vanity Fair, a slew of senior members of McCain’s campaign team told reporter Todd S. Purdum that they suffer a kind of survivor’s guilt following the 2008 presidential election.

“They can’t quite believe that for two frantic months last fall, caught in a Bermuda Triangle of a campaign, they worked their tails off to try to elect as vice president of the United States someone who, by mid-October, they believed for certain was nowhere near ready for the job, and might never be,” Vanity Fair reports.

During the campaign, there were reports of anonymous McCain aides describing Palin, the governor of Alaska, as a “diva” and a “whack job.”

The Vanity Fair article recounts how strained Palin’s relationship was with the McCain advisers. She maintained “only the barest level of civil discourse” with Tucker Eskew, the operative assigned to be her chief minder, the magazine reports.

She believed Steve Schmidt, McCain’s top strategist, had lied to her about conducting polling in Alaska – that was a “belief she conveyed to anyone who would listen,” the magazine reported.

As previously reported, Palin was so intent on delivering her own concession speech on Election Night that she wouldn’t accept advisers telling her that McCain had decided he would be the only one to speak. She took the issue up with McCain himself, discussing it on the walk from his hotel suite to the farewell rally.

Palin did not speak on Election Night. Only McCain addressed the crowd and the nation.

One McCain aide, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said he “always wanted to tell myself the best-case story about her.”

“I think, as I’ve evaluated it, I think some of my worst fears…the after-election events have confirmed that her more negative aspects my have been there….”

As his voice trailed off, he said, “I saw her as a raw talent. Raw, but a talent. I hoped she could become better.”

Palin refused to comment for Vanity Fair.

Nancy Reagan Shows Catty Side In Vanity Fair Interview

I have long thought Nancy Reagan to be bitchy, catty, and ruthless.  That is why I rather like her.  (Her comment about Barbara Bush is such an example.)

The way she answered some of the questions put to her by Vanity Fair are more interesting for what they imply, than for what they say.

That is the style she has long employed that now makes me read every word, and then speculate about the rest.

Nancy Reagan on the Obamas

• Michelle Obama called Nancy Reagan for “advice” and “suggestions,” and in the course of a 45-minute conversation, Mrs. Reagan encouraged Mrs. Obama to have lots of state dinners. Colacello senses that she’s about to contrast the Obamas favorably with the Bushes, who were famously averse to entertaining at the White House, but then stops herself.

• She feels President Obama missed an opportunity when he did not invite her to the ceremony announcing his reversal of Bush’s policy on embryonic-stem-cell research. “I would have gone, and you know I don’t like to travel,” she tells Colacello. “Politically it would have been a good thing for him to do. Oh, well, nobody’s perfect. He called and thanked me for working on it. But he could have gotten more mileage out of it.”

On the Bushes


• Reagan says she felt George H. W. Bush served her husband well as vice president, but she reserved judgment on Barbara Bush: “I never got to know her very well. Our lives just took different tracks.”

• When asked if she ever tried to discuss the stem-cell issue with George W. Bush, Reagan says, “I think once I did, and then I didn’t anymore.”

• She was embarrassed when her son Ron wrote a screed against George W. Bush in Esquire in 2004, and she called Barbara Bush to apologize.

On life after Ronnie

• “I miss Ronnie a lot, an awful lot,” Reagan admits. “People say it gets better. No, it does not.”

• “It sounds strange, but … I see Ronnie. At nighttime, if I wake up, I think Ronnie’s there, and I start to talk to him. It’s not important what I say. But the fact is, I do think he’s there. And I see him.”

On her White House years

• Reagan explains her dustup with her husband’s chief of staff Don Regan, calling him “really a terrible man.” She says Vice President Bush was the one who told her, “You’ve really got to do something about Donald Regan,” and she reluctantly agreed. She enlisted former Democratic National Committee chairman Bob Strauss to help persuade the president. She also says that on one occasion, Regan hung up on her in the middle of a phone conversation. “When Ronnie found out about that, that did it,” she says.

On her relationship with her husband

• “He never really got angry with me—ever,” she says. Annoyed? “Annoyed, maybe.”

Ronald Reagan’s legacy

• While Ron Reagan tells Colacello that he feels his father’s “star might dim a little bit” because of the role Reaganomics played in our current economic crisis, Nancy says, “I don’t think Ronnie led us into anything that wasn’t good,” while admitting that “I really don’t know anything about” finance and economics.

• Mrs. Reagan says that her husband’s foremost disappointment was likely the fact that he wasn’t able to achieve his goal of doing away with nuclear weapons.

Vanity Fair’s July issue, which contains the full text of “Nancy Reagan’s Solo Role,” with photographs of the former First Lady by Jonathan Becker, hits newsstands in New York and Los Angeles on June 3 and nationwide on June 9.

Book Excerpt–Ted Kennedy: The Dream That Never Died

Vanity Fair has an excerpt on the latest book about Senator Ted Kennedy.  Click on link  above to read the entire excerpt.  It is pretty good.

Excerpted from Ted Kennedy: The Dream That Never Died, by Edward Klein, to be published in May by Crown, a division of Random House; © 2009 by the author.

It started as a fairly typical day for Ted Kennedy. Early in the morning on Saturday, May 17, 2008, his Portuguese water dogs, Sunny and Splash, bounced into his bedroom and woke him up. Groggy but obliging, Kennedy swung his legs over the side of the bed and, struggling against age and gravity, lifted himself to an erect position—or as nearly erect as his old bones would allow. He threw on some warm clothing, then headed out the door into the chill, salty air for a stroll on the beach with the dogs.

In front of the Kennedy compound, he lobbed a tennis ball into the water, and Sunny dived in after it. Suddenly he felt his jaw tighten, then noticed his left arm become numb. Dear God, don’t let me go like Dad, he later recalled thinking. He had a horror of having to spend his last years in the same condition as his paralyzed father, Joseph P. Kennedy, fully conscious but imprisoned in a useless body. According to one family friend, he fell to the sand and realized he could not move. The dogs reacted with frenzied yelps and barks, and several workmen, hearing the commotion, came running to the senator’s aid. They carried him back to the house and summoned Victoria Reggie Kennedy. When Vicki saw her husband’s condition, she let out a scream. Then she phoned 911.

At 8:19 a.m., the dispatcher at the Hyannis Fire Department received an emergency call from 50 Marchant Avenue in Hyannis Port. The famous Kennedy address set off frantic alarms, and within minutes help arrived. Paramedics lifted the overweight senator onto a gurney, hooked him up to oxygen, and slid him into the back of an ambulance. The ambulance and a police cruiser raced down South Street to Cape Cod Hospital.

“Vicki Kennedy knew in a split second that whatever was happening was grave,” reported Lois Romano of The Washington Post. “As the wife of one of the most iconic and admired politicians in modern history, she also knew it would play out in public. Knowing the media would be tipped off in minutes because of [her] 911 call, Vicki Kennedy worked her cell phone at her husband’s side. Before the ambulance pulled up, she had arranged for the Senator to be transported from the Cape to Massachusetts General Hospital, called his Senate staff to put in place a crisis management team, summoned family members and notified his closest friends.”

In the emergency room at Cape Cod Hospital, the doctors examined Kennedy for almost two hours and concluded that he had suffered two seizures, little electrical storms in the brain, rather than a stroke, which kills brain tissue and can lead to permanent paralysis. He was put back into the ambulance for the three-minute trip to Barnstable Municipal Airport. There a twin-engine medevac helicopter was standing by, ready to airlift him to Boston.

In less than half an hour, the chopper touched down on the roof of Massachusetts General, where Dr. Larry Ronan, the senator’s longtime primary-care physician, was an internist. By late afternoon Kennedy’s condition had stabilized, and immediate family members began to arrive at the hospital. The senator’s daughter, Kara, who had been battling lung cancer since 2003, flew up from Maryland. His son Teddy junior, who had lost a leg to cancer as a child, came from Connecticut. His younger son, Patrick, who suffered from a plethora of health problems, ranging from asthma to a non-cancerous tumor that had been removed from his spine, flew in from Washington, D.C., where he served as a congressman from Rhode Island.

Soon a dozen or so members of the extended Kennedy family circle—the senator’s friends, aides, political associates, and hangers-on—were all crammed into the hospital room, and the atmosphere in his V.I.P. suite began to resemble that of an Irish wake or, perhaps more accurately, one of those medieval paintings that depict the death of a great prince. Should it come now, the senator’s death would not be sudden and violent, like those of his three brothers—Joe junior in a plane accident during World War II, Jack and Bobby at the hands of assassins. Rather, it would be like those “good deaths” during the Middle Ages, which were performed, in the words of the French historian Georges Duby, “as on a stage before many spectators, many auditors attentive to every gesture, to every word, eager for the dying man to show what he is worth.”

If You Like The New York Times…..

…you will appreciate a good read about the paper from Vanity Fair.  It is not a love piece, but rather a well-written article by Mark Bowden that is a fair, and at times blunt assessment of the business side to what is the  most important newspaper in the nation.   I took the liberty of using one of the pictures in the article here as it is really wonderful, and I want to show it off, and promote this read.

UPDATED….with a another view of the Vanity article.


The publishers of The New York Times, from left to right: Adolph S. Ochs (who ran the newspaper from 1896 to 1935); Arthur Hays Sulzberger (1935–61); Orvil E. Dryfoos (1961–63); Arthur Ochs Sulzberger (1963–92); and Arthur Ochs Sulzberger Jr. (1992–present).

With a doomsday clock ticking for newspapers as we know them, no one has more at stake than fourth-generation New York Timespublisher Arthur Ochs Sulzberger Jr., who is scrambling to keep his family’s prized asset alive. Some see him as a lightweight cheerleader, others as the last, best defender of quality journalism. Talking to company insiders, the author examines the nexus of dynasty and character that has brought the 57-year-old Sulzberger to the precipice.

A short section of a rather long and insightful read follows.

The Sword and the Stone

America is not kind to the heir. He is a stereotypical figure in our literature, and not an appealing one at that. He tends to be depicted as weak, pampered, flawed, a diluted strain of the hardy founding stock. America celebrates the self-made. Unless an heir veers sharply from his father’s path, he is not taken seriously. Even in middle age he seems costumed, a pretender draped in oversize clothes, a boy who has raided his father’s closet. The depiction may be unfair, but it is what it is.

Arthur Ochs Sulzberger Jr. is fair-skinned with small, deep-set light-brown eyes. He has a high forehead with a steepening widow’s peak, his crown topped with a buoyant crop of wavy hair, now turning to gray. He is a slight man who keeps himself fit, working out early in the morning most days of the week. He has a wide mouth that curls up at the edges, and when he grins he is slightly buck-toothed, which adds to an impression, unfortunate for a man in his position, of puerility. He is a lifelong New Yorker, but there is no trace whatsoever of region or ethnicity in his speech. When he chooses to be, Arthur is a fluent, eager, even urgent talker, someone who listens impatiently and who impulsively interrupts, often with a stab at humor. He has delicate hands with long fingers, which he uses freely and expressively in conversation. He is long-winded and, in keeping with a tendency toward affectation, is fussily articulate, like a bright freshman eager to impress, speaking in complex, carefully enunciated sentences sprinkled with expressions ordinarily found only on the page, such as “that is” and “i.e.” and “in large measure,” or archaisms like “to a fare-thee-well.” He exaggerates. He works hard, endearingly, to put others at ease, even with those who in his presence are not even slightly intimidated or uncomfortable.

His witticisms are hit-and-miss, and can be awkward and inadvertently revealing. “Some character traits are too deep in the mold to alter,” says one longtime associate. Arthur has the clever adolescent’s habit of hiding behind a barb, a stinging comment hastily disavowed as a joke. Some find him genuinely funny. Others, particularly those outside his immediate circle, read arrogance—the witty king, after all, knows that his audience feels compelled to laugh. His humor can also be clubby. He will adopt, for instance, a pet expression that becomes an in-joke, which he will then deploy repeatedly. One of these is “W.S.L.,” which stands for “We Suck Less,” a self-deprecatory boast, which Arthur will use in discussions of the industry’s woes as a reminder to those in the know that, for all its travails and failings, his newspaper remains, after all, The New York Times.

While clearly smart, Arthur is not especially intellectual. For what it’s worth, he is a Star Trek fan. His mind wanders, particularly when pressed to concentrate on complicated business matters. Diane Baker, a blunt former investment banker who served for a time as the chief financial officer of the New York Times Company, has described him as having the personality of “a twenty-four-year-old geek.” She did not long survive Arthur’s ascension to the chairman’s office. His 30-year marriage has reportedly foundered over a relationship Arthur had with a woman named Helen Ward, from Aspen, Colorado, whom he met on a group excursion to Peru. Since separating from Gail, he has been living alone and has not been involved with Ward or anyone else. Perturbations on the home front are also a family tradition. (Arthur’s grandfather Arthur Hays Sulzberger was always, as the saying goes, a tough hound to keep on the porch. His father, Arthur Ochs Sulzberger, paid child support for 16 years to a newspaper-staff member who bore a child she claimed was his—this according to Susan E. Tifft and Alex S. Jones in The Trust, a history of the Times.) Arthur is provincial. Asked once if he had seen a story on the front page of that day’s Post, he looked confused until it was explained that the item had appeared in The Washington Post. He said, “I only read the Times, The Wall Street Journal, and the New York Post.” He sometimes takes the bus or subway to work, and for many years jogged in Central Park. Recently his knees have started to bother him, so he now prefers exercising on an elliptical trainer. He also takes Pilates classes and can be evangelical about them, telling friends the practice wards off arthritis, which has begun to worry him. But he is not a complete health nut. He still enjoys unwinding with a cigar and a martini. He still goes on motorcycle treks with his cousin Dan Cohen and other friends. He is drawn to feats of personal daring, and is an avid rock climber, a vestige of his enthusiasm for Outward Bound. He has little interest in sports, particularly team sports, and dismissed as silly the effort to lure the Olympic Games to New York City, which included plans for a sports stadium in Manhattan. In a presentation at the Times building, Arthur greeted the scheme’s promoters with cutting sarcasm, even though the paper’s editorial board supported it.