It should surprise no one that a baby-faced real estate scion who made his millions leveraging his surname—despite a family history of corruption and criminality—would accrue influence in the Donald Trump campaign. And yet, apparently, Trump staffers are baffled at the rise of the presumptive Republican nominee’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner.
It could be the script for the latest installment of National Lampoon’s Vacation: a kooky Henry Kissinger sips a frosty Mai Tai, a floppy bucket hat drooping low over his brow, scrolling through the google hits for the search term “am i a war criminal.” In walk the Clintons, dragging a pair of beaten-up suitcases. “Oh Henry, old pal! We’ve made it!”
At last night’s Democratic debate between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton invoked an unexpected figure: Henry Kissinger. “I was very flattered when Henry Kissinger said I ran the State Department better than anybody had run it in a long time,” she said, in an off-hand aside. It wasn’t an endorsement of Kissinger, or really much of anything. It was just a little brag that would have played well in a different room.
The anti-government secrecy site Wikileaks is embracing a peculiar new role: Excitedly publishing already-available declassified government information. The site's embattled honcho, Julian Assange, announced the release this morning of its much-anticipated "Project K," which turned out to be the "Kissinger Cables"—1.7 million diplomatic communiques covering the period from 1973 to 1976.
It seems like every time the powers that be release a new nugget of history from Richard Nixon's noxious crypt, it contains a choice anti-Semitic moment. But this time, it's not Nixon's vivid and vulgar Jew-hatred on display. It's Henry Kissinger (a Jew!) calling his people the most "self-serving group of people" on the planet.
Henry Kissinger is an old sociopathic war criminal who'd be arrested in most countries for his horrible crimes against humanity — or, as they call such people in Washington, an elder statesman. More importantly, he's one of the few foreign policy guys Herman Cain's heard of! That's why he offered him the job of Secretary of State, hilariously.
New York's epic article about Annie Leibovitz in this week's issue is well worth a read, particularly since it sheds a little light on how it is one of the world's highest-paid photographers now finds herself on the brink of financial ruin. (If the only person you'll allow to repair your air-conditioner has to travel to NYC from Vermont to do the work, that's probably not a good sign.) Leibovitz's financial fate will likely be sealed in September when the $24 million loan she secured from Art Capital Group last year is due. Interestingly, though, Leibovitz appears to be hinting that the terms of the loan— which required her to put up the rights to her photos and real estate holdings as collateral—only became apparent to her after the Times reported on Art Capital Group back in February. Friends of the photographer suggest that Leibovitz had no idea she was giving up so much when she took out the loan; they also seem to be shifting some of the blame to Ken Starr, the financial adviser who took the photographer on as a client in 2007 and who was also responsible for introducing Leibovitz to Art Capital Group. Pinning the blame on Starr, who boasts an insanely long list of celebrity clients, may be a hard argument to make.
It's really a shame there haven't been cameras at the trial of Anthony Marshall, the son of Brooke Astor who now stands accused on plundering his mother's fortune. Hundred (thousands?) of Upper East Siders would have been glued to their TV sets the past few weeks. Sketch artist Jane Rosenberg has been in attendance the past few weeks to document the goings-on with paper and colored pencils. Can you identify the notable people above who've appeared on the witness stand? As always, answers below.
Viacom chairman Sumner Redstone turns 86 today. WNBC's Sue Simmons is turning 66. Former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger is 86. ABC News anchor Cynthia McFadden is turning 53. Actor Paul Bettany is 38. TV Chef Jamie Oliver is 34. Fashion designer Behnaz Sarafpour turns 40. The rapper Jadakiss is turning 34. André Benjamin (otherwise known as André 3000) is 35. Actor Richard Schiff (The West Wing) is 54. Lou Gossett Jr. turns 73. And Todd Bridges, your second-favorite adopted child from the '80s sitcom Diff'rent Strokes, turns 44 today.
Here is a lady following our worst Defense Secretary ever right into the White House Correspondents' Dinner reception, at the Hinkley Hilton. She calls him a war criminal, and shouts at him, and so on. As a blogger who happens to agree that Don Rumsfeld is a war criminal, we are all, "oh, lady, stop it, we are so embarrassed."
There's a big dinner in New York tomorrow in honor of Al Smith, the first Catholic presidential candidate. Mayor Michael Bloomberg, News Corp. Chairman Rupert Murdoch, CBS News' Katie Couric and various other smug media elitists will be there, along with Sen. Hillary Clinton. The Democratic and Republican presidential nominees have been asked to give 15-minute speeches, but only one has requested an a teleprompter to keep him from just repeating "Who is the REAL Barack Obama, my friends" over and over for the entire speech. Organizers are confused, the Post reports, because they've never met a politician who couldn't give a 15-minute address without elaborate technological aids, and in fact no one has asked for a teleprompter for this event, ever, but really McCain just knows he'll be tired out from personally insulting and snubbing Barack Obama in a variety of innovative new ways at tonight's debate.
Sarah Palin increased her foreign policy experience by 475% today and the media wasn't allowed to hear any of it! Because Sarah Palin doesn't really speak to the media much/ever, so they have to follow her around and ask the photographers dispatched to capture the photo ops what they heard her say, as if she is just like her new pal Henry Kissinger and she is engaging in top-secret high-level diplomatic negotiations. Except… at the end of the meetings the ensuing media accounts don't have anything to write about, because nothing actually transpired, so the poor journalists are left to write about how she lipsynched that she "had a good time" meeting the emperor of Tokyo or whatever. So what's a bigger waste of time than following Sarah Palin around while she says nothing about meaningless meetings with foreign dignitaries? Making up fictional event-free meetings with foreign dignitaries for the sake of a pointless quiz to see if you can tell which ones actually (pointlessly) happened!Three of these meetings actually happened, according to the Times website. Three just happened the way I imagined they would were I a reporter assigned to watch various other foreign dignitaries harmlessly shaking hands and exchanging niceties with Sarah Palin before being ushered off to exchange more niceties and possibly a game recipe or two. Guess which is which! 1. Talking Georgia With Kissinger
George W. Bush has been celebrating the twilight of his disastrous presidency by seemingly spending the entirety of 2008 overseas. Right now, as NBC constantly reminds us, he's in Beijing, enjoying the Olympics. Also with him is internationally beloved teddy bear war criminal Henry Kissinger! (Read on to learn why this is yet another example of how terrible NBC is.)
In case you weren't invited to their parties over the long weekend, feel free to extend your belated birthday wishes today to Merrill Lynch CEO John Thain (52), socialite Annie Churchill (37), architect Bruce Fowle (71), who all celebrated birthdays yesterday. Turning a year older today: fashion designer Behnaz Sarafpour, who is turning 39, and Henry Kissinger, who will be blowing out 85 candles this evening.