Tag Archives: president

A Big Mistake #WithMitt

Have you downloaded the iPhone app from the Mitt Romney campaign? I have, and full disclosure, I support neither Romney nor Obama. The app allows you to take photos that are framed with inspirational messages like “The America We Love” and state that you’re #withmitt. For supporters, this is a great way to spread the word. Take pictures of what you love about America, post them on Facebook and Pinterest, tweet them and so on. It really does sound great.

Until the wrong person starts to use it.

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Obama tells banks to lend, clearly doesn’t understand risk management

Bankers need to put their money to work, President Obama says. On Sunday, he said that the “fat cat bankers,” a safe expression to use when appealing to Middle America, “still don’t get it.” So, he’s pushing them to make more loans and accept the fact that regulation is coming.

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Newspaper Says: “Prez Loves Us!

burningnewspaperYou know it’s bad when the newspapers are saying that the president’s afraid. A WashPo column on Sunday claims that President Obama, a “big newspaper junkie” is afraid he might not have the printed word at his disposal any more. If the big nationals and locals go where they’re expected to go, he’ll have to seek his news from the blogs.

The story quotes the prez:

“I am concerned that if the direction of the news is all blogosphere, all opinions, with no serious fact-checking, no serious attempts to put stories in context, that what you will end up getting is people shouting at each other across the void but not a lot of mutual understanding.”

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Leading Hotels of the World Wins Friends, Influences Nobody

Luxury hotel chain Leading Hotels of the World had a brilliant idea: celebrate 80 years in the biz by offering up 6,000 hotel rooms around the world at a rate of $19.28 per night … get it? 1928 … $19.28? good. It was such a fantastic idea that travelers voted with their mouse-clicks, crashing the site almost immediately. One can only guess from yesterday’s mass e-mail from President & CEO Ted Teng that he is both embarassed and the recipient of plenty of hate mail.

Dear [Migrant Blogger],I would like to once again express my gratitude for your continued support, understanding, and patience with The Leading Hotels of the World. Since October 1, we have explored and evaluated many solutions to the technological failures encountered during the online USD 19.28 Sale.www.lhw.com/1928status, which will go live on Monday, October 13. This will allow all registrants, throughout the various parts of the globe, simultaneous and equal access to the USD 19.28 updates around the clock. All updates will indicate the date and time of posting. Please know that we have intentionally communicated this website address only to registrants in order not to dilute your chances of securing a reservation at the promotional rate. We will announce the details of the new USD 19.28 promotion, no later than Friday, October 17, which will occur the following week. The sale details will be posted at least 48 hours before the promotion begins.

Ted Teng
President & CEO
The Leading Hotels of the World, Ltd.


I am delighted to inform you that today we selected Akamai Technologies, Inc., the world premier web content delivery network, with clients such as Yahoo, Travelocity, and Amazon. Together we are working diligently to finalize a new procedure whereby you, as well as the other 150,000 registrants, will have a chance to secure one of the originally allotted 6,000 room nights that are available at the rate of USD 19.28.

In developing a fair and foolproof platform, we have been faced with various considerations. Timing – both on the developmental front as well as for your trip-planning purposes – has proven to be our major and foremost concern. We chose to preserve the hotel availability dates, which in most cases began on November 1, as to not delay the promotion by several months. We also opted to maintain the promotion on a first-come, first-served basis. To make the offer a random selection or lottery would significantly delay the re-launch due to complicated international regulations. Lastly, we wanted to ensure successful communication to registrants in a prompt manner. We are now confident that, with Akamai, we have found a solution that addresses all of these challenges.

Please note that you will not be receiving any further emails, rather, we have decided to post all future updates and details on a dedicated website at

With thanks,

I love the fact that he is not changing the dates– in order to benefit his clients, as the message implies. Of course, it couldn’t be to his advatnage to reduce the lead time and thus interet in the promotion. But, to his credit, it’s a lot better than the recent layoff simplification memo from eBay Chief Pain in the Ass Alan Marks.

Also, LHW seems awfully proud to have engaged Akamai to help rectify the problem. I remember the good ol’ days, in the late 1990s, when Akamai was the best thing since sock puppets. According to Teng, it seems, the company still is.

Akamai: supplying bandwidth since Web 1.0!

Is News Dead? Um, Yeah

Everyone’s talking about the death of print. How about the death of news?I just saw that Rev. Wright is not writing a book about Obama. Seriously, is this fucking news?

Well, I’m not writing a book about Obama either. In fact, I don’t think I can improve upon the Rev’s statement. He put it so well that it has to be newsworthy:

“Nope. I’m not publishing anything. I’m not going on any book tours.”

Thanks for the words, Rev. I suspect the world will remain at ease, knowing that I’m not planning anything nefarious. You may now return your attention to Michael Phelps.

Reflecting on Paris

I just had dinner with a friend of mine who I see a few times a year. The poor bastard spends all year in Paris (boo hoo), where he teaches and is working on an advanced degree. I’m concealing most of the details to protect what little innocence he has. Well, between seeing R and having just gotten back from the road, I’m thinking about trips past, particularly what I saw. I’m not, by any stretch of the imagination, a photographer, but at least you can see the world through my untrained eye.

The last time I was in Paris, I had the good fortune of witnessing the presidential election that thrust Sarkozy into office (a good decision on the part of the French people). I got to go to an election night party (which was awesome) and generally feel the vibe of a world capital on election day. It was beyond exhilirating.

Oh, the poster above translates (as well I as I can) to: “We won’t survive this … and you won’t any more.”

I always have adventures in Paris. Every time I step onto the streets, which is where I feel very much at home, something cool happens. I’ll see something interesting, have a wild experience or just get some great fucking writing done. i wrote my article for Boink magazine, which seems like it was published so long ago (before I hooked up with XBIZ, let alone AVN). I remember the cafe vividly; it was right around the corner from the Intercontinental Hotel in Place de l’Opera, where I was staying (on my first trip).

Here are some shots of the campaign signs from the hotly contested Sarkozy/Segoline (I hope I spelled that correctly) bout. It was insane! The first one? “Together, anything is possible.” (again, to the best of my limited abilities)

The way they scratch the eyes out just shows a level of brutality– and commitment– that we just don’t see here. Some see it as degrading. I call it true democracy in action.

Written over Sarko’s face in the campaign posters to the right is “ETAT NAZI.” That’s a pretty powerful statement. These signs, if I remember correctly, were up in Montmartre. I spent a good week in that part of town and absolutely love it. In a way, it felt like my neighborhood, the Upper West Side. So, the next time I go to Paris, I’ll probably stay in Montmartre again, though not at the same hotel.

Okay, enough of the politics. It’s not really my thing anyway. I want to move to the crazy Parisians I ran into. That’s where I had the most fun. For me, Paris is all about the people. I think I’m the only American who loves Parisians, but that’s fine with me. I think they are nice, open, polite folks, and I have always felt welcome in their hometown. I’ve spent about three weeks in Paris over the past few years, and I can’t wait to get back. I’m still exploring other places, but the pull of Paris remains quite strong. For now, it’ll have to wait, but I do plan to go back soon.

This chick’s deal was pretty straightforward. Her favorite storyteller believed in sharing his intimacy. So, she decided to move her bed into Place des Abesses in Montmartre (where I was staying) to share in the dead guy’s experience. It attracted weirdos. What a shock …

Of course, she wasn’t the only nutjob. I now introduce you to “the fiancee.” A nursing student who is struggling to pay for her honeymoon, she was led around the Quartier Latin by her friends. Those willing to help fund the experience dropped cash into the coffin around her neck.

I guess she wanted to go on a honeymoon pretty damned badly, because this is further than I’d go, and I really don’t have a whole lot of shame. I wore a dress to a movie theater once, though.

This is part of the reason why I dig Paris. The people are nuts, but in the happy way. You can walk the streets and always see something.

I thought this girl’s project was pure genius. It is equal parts clever, pathetic and entertaining. How can you not donate? I threw her a couple of Euros, adn I got to take a few pictures in trade. So, I think it worked out pretty well.

This wasn’t the only picture for which I paid. I liked keeping track of the various beggars around the city, as they seemed particularly organized. On one occasion, I saw about 30 of them gathered outside Gare du Nord (one of the big train stations). It was like they were gathering before their shift.

Hey, even the beggars are unionized!

There was a pretty big concentration of them at the Eiffel Tower, which is the only reason why I found the tower interesting.

The pitch is pretty typical. A girl comes up to you and asks, “Do you speak English?” Regardless of how you reply, she holds a card open. It contains a sob story about being a refugee from Bosnia, the burden of several children, the absence of a husband, etc. Well, I’m not above paying for what I want. For the rich price of EUR2, I was able to get a shot of the card that she uses to pitch. But, when the camera was turned on her face, she became quite upset and tried to hide.