Hollywood on the Potomac


December 21, 2017

Every single morning pretty much every one of us wake up to Anna, Jake and Dan because they have some of the best insights of what’s going on in this town, and we are following you religiously and breathlessly most days,” said Dawn Sweeney, President and Chief Executive Officer National Restaurant Association, at Politico Playbook’s 1st Annual Holiday party at the NRA headquarters in downtown Washington, DC.  “You and your readers often spot the town’s most notable people when they’re dining in restaurants in our local community, and that’s where everybody looking for a good time will go.”  She was, of course, referring to Anna Palmer, Jake Sherman and Daniel Lippman, the trio with whom you share your morning coffee.

“As you know, Dan, Jake and I took over a little over a year and a half ago and we have really grown the footprint of the Playbook community.,” said Anna Palmer.  “We have our Playbook authors from across the country here tonight. These people are doing what we do in DC in their states. They are the must-read go-to authors that are giving you kind of the insights that you’re curious about what’s happening at the state level in Illinois or New York or everywhere that we are. It’s been an incredible year for Playbook. We launched our Playbook power briefing, we have a deal in Ohio breaking now, we are hitting your inboxes every day of the week to try to cover what has been obviously an amazing new environment this past year. Nothing in 2017 would be possible without all of you. The Playbook community is what makes Playbook special. It is all of you who read us, who contribute to us, who spot people at restaurants. And we are just looking so forward to an amazing 2018. So thank for celebrating with us tonight. Now please eat, drink, and be merry. Cheers. Happy holidays!”  We did.

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'The Vanity Fair Diaries'

December 17, 2017

Tina Brown is a modern Becky Sharp – bouncy, ambitious, calculating and ruthless: That’s Roger Louis, The Times of London. I don’t know how you get The New Yorker and The New York Times  to rave, but you did,” said Tammy Haddad when introducing Tina at The Jefferson Hotel in honor of her new book The Vanity Fair Diaries. “The Diary is the perfect stocking filler for any social x-ray and for anyone who yearns to wallow in nostalgia. But even students of our time will find the presence of Brown’s observations a source of amusement. The decade’s greatest symbol she observes, turns out to be not a person but a building, Trump Tower. Okay, we have to start there.”

Book synopsis: “Tina Brown kept delicious daily diaries throughout her eight spectacular years as editor-in-chief of Vanity Fair. Today they provide an incendiary portrait of the flash and dash and power brokering of the Excessive Eighties in New York and Hollywood. The Vanity Fair Diaries: 1983 – 1992 is the story of an Englishwoman barely out of her twenties who arrives in New York City with a dream. Summoned from London in hopes that she can save Condé Nast’s troubled new flagship Vanity Fair, Brown is immediately plunged into the maelstrom of the competitive New York media world and the backstabbing rivalries at the court of the planet’s slickest, most glamour-focused magazine company. She survives the politics, the intrigue, and the attempts to derail her by a simple stratagem: succeeding. In the face of rampant skepticism, she triumphantly reinvents a failing magazine. Here are the inside stories of Vanity Fair scoops and covers that sold millions―the Reagan kiss, the meltdown of Princess Diana’s marriage to Prince Charles, the sensational Annie Leibovitz cover of a gloriously pregnant, naked Demi Moore. In the diary’s cinematic pages, the drama, the comedy, and the struggle of running an “it” magazine come to life. Brown’s Vanity Fair Diaries is also a woman’s journey, of making a home in a new country and of the deep bonds with her husband, their prematurely born son, and their daughter. Astute, open-hearted, often riotously funny, Tina Brown’s The Vanity Fair Diaries is a compulsively fascinating and intimate chronicle of a woman’s life in a glittering era.”  Publisher

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Captured Economy

December 6, 2017

“I think the tax bill is illustrative of how Washington has for decades focused on tax policy as the end all and be all of growth policy,” Brink Lindsey, co-author of The Captured Economy: How the Powerful Enrich Themselves, Slow Down Growth, and Increase Inequality told  Hollywood on the Potomac at a book party in his honor at the Kalorama home of Juleanna Glover and Christopher Reiter.  “So if republicans think we need to stimulate growth, their imagination is pretty much limited in thinking the tax cuts can get the economy moving again. In general, the evidence that those work is pretty paltry, so I’m afraid this bill we’re seeing now is mistimed and miscast. Instead, what Washington should be paying attention to is the vast and arcane regulatory code where all kinds of growth killing mischief is located.”

“In particular, what my co-author Steve Teles and I focus on in our book are areas of regulatory policy where special interests have captured or dominated the policy making process, twisting the rules for their own benefit and doing so in a way that slows down growth at the exact same time that it funnels income and wealth.  So right now, the US economy is suffering this double whammy of slow growth and high inequality and we’ve identified a bunch of policies that are actively contributing to both; which means the good news is we’ve identified ideas that could kill two birds with one stone. The tax bill does very well in my opinion for the people at the top. We’ll see how his base reacts to policy. Some of them seem to not be interested in policy one way or another: They’re interested in the show where a culture warrior is standing up against the people they don’t like and who they feel despise them,” he added referring to the President.

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