Saturday, June 15, 2013

All Tied Up - Extreme Makeover Edition

What's the rest of it?  Rats!  Hold on, hold on, I'm reaching, reaching, almost, just about there...

Ah, I've got it. 

I was trying to remember an old joke. 

It is about a guy who sits tied up with a gag in his mouth.  He's been tethered to his chair by his spouse as she stands above him sporting leather 'Underoos', spiky shoes, and a riding crop. 

The phone rings, she reaches over to answer it and he hears her say, "No, I'm sorry, he can't come to the phone - he's all tied up at the moment."

Okay, this joke has nothing to do with today's post... 

Or, perhaps it does?

In actuality, today's post is one of the President's 'Bundlers' who's getting a new government job! 

(Bundler? =  "All Tied Up"? Yeah, it's how I'm wired.  Just go with it - okay?)

WashingtonExaminer, June 14, 2013:  Obama picks campaign bundler, White House decorator’s partner, as ambassador to Spain

President Obama intends to nominate HBO vice president James Costos, a top campaign bundler, as the new ambassador to Spain, the White House Press Office announced today.

Costos heads the Global Licensing and Retail division at HBO. “The choice of Costos for an ambassadorship would put a high-profile gay couple in a key post,” The Hollywood Reporter noted in May.  “His partner, White House decorator Michael Smith, previously was said to be interested in a diplomatic post. Smith’s spokesman adamantly denied that chatter. The couple co-hosted key Obama fundraisers in L.A. and New York.”


The announcement coincides with LGBT Pride Month and comes the day after an LGBT Pride reception at the White House. “The genius of America is that America can change,” Obama said at the reception. “And people who love this country can change it.  That’s what we’re called to do.  And I hope that when we gather here next year, and the year after that, we’ll be able to say, with pride and confidence, that together we’ve made our fellow citizens a little more free.  We’ve made this country a little more equal.  We’ve made our world a little more full of love.”

Aaaah, that's nice, the world is a "little more full of love"...  Because this is what a guy like President Obama does best - making the country a 'little more equal'!  Super!

The President also 'loved' receiving $500,000 for his campaign in 2012 from everyone attending the New York fundraiser hosted by James Costos, our newly-appointed Ambassador to Spain.

Don't get me wrong, I don't believe that making an HBO Executive Ambassador to Spain is necessarily a bad idea.  In actuality, I'm thinking that this is a win-win for America:

WIN #1:  My HBO cable bill may go down next month (fewer HBO employees = lower cost of goods, right?)

WIN #2:  We won't have to pay a designer to have the Embassy in Spain redecorated!  It'll just 'happen'!  

I was curious about the decorating done at the White House by Michael Smith, James Costos' 'partner'.  In fact, I'm thinking that most Americans are curious about the White House now that the Sequester has ended access to the "People's House" due to those 'Draconian Cuts' we heard so much about back in March - so I did a bit of digging and found this excerpt on Michael Smith from the Wall Street Journal online in 2009:

Mr. Smith is a national star. He makes classic rooms that look like their owners have inherited money and furnishings, and he mixes things up with tastefully hip pieces -- just as he wears Keds and John Lobb custom shoes. Were the economy in better shape, we might look for an uptick in sales of his signature scents ($55 for a 7-ounce candle, $110 for air fresheners), a relatively cheap way to get a whiff of society decorator. 

(MoosNote:  I have no desire to get a 'whiff of (a) society decorator', especially at $55 per nostril (assuming you spring for the $110 'air freshener'.))

The Obamas made it clear during their campaign that they would not tolerate divas, another reason Mr. Smith is a startling pick, but he's smart enough to know when to respect protocol. Mr. Smith declined to comment.

As goes the cabinet, so goes the cabinetry. Mr. Smith's qualifications are strong: this is no time for the inexperienced, particularly if the at-home style of the Obamas reflects anything of their public personae. We can expect that the private quarters will embrace what in decorating parlance is called an eclectic style -- America's favorite in every survey. That sounds like anything goes, but is far from it, quite difficult to pull off gracefully. Mr. Smith's look is sumptuous without being too fussy; he buys the finest quality, most expensive fabrics, carpets and antiques. Mr. Smith has a large, well-organized operation; he'll whip things into shape quickly.

Yes Michael, "Whip it, whip it good..."  -- Devo

"But wait, there's more!"

Obama Names Two Gay Men to Ambassadorships

President Obama has named Rufus Gifford, a prominent fundraiser who was most recently Finance Chair of the Presidential Inaugural Committee, as Ambassador to Denmark. He has also named James Costos, Vice President of Global Licensing and Retail for Home Box Office (HBO), as Ambassador to Spain.

According to, there are TWO appointees of the President who are gay.  The unmentioned appointee as Ambassador to Denmark is a gentleman by the name of Rufus Gifford, long-time FOO (Friend of Obama) and FODP (Friend of Democratic Party).  I'm not sure why Mr. Gifford slipped under the radar from the Washington Examiner story above, but the folks over at Towleroad 'went deep inside and scooped them' on this one. 

If you want to feel 'not so alone' in your distrust of the Obama Administration, click the link above for the Towleroad site and read a few of the comments.  

Yes, there are the obligatory, "Hello Mr. Gifford. Rawr..." comments, but you'll also find others, similar to these...

"I hope the new Ambassador to Denmark isn't assassinated by the extremists in Denmark and nearby countries. We know how well Obama cares for his ambassadors."

"Good old patronage. What exactly does a fashion, retail and marketing executive know about being an ambassador? Why does he deserve this position? Money. This is another example of what is wrong with our system, and another example of how President Obama really is just like all the other politicians that came before. I know the "change" is that these are gay men. The game however is being played the same way. We cannot have change, or hope, if you just keep doing things just like everyone before you. I am a staunch liberal btw."

It appears that in spite of the President's best efforts to pander to specific target audiences, they too, are tired of the man's lack of leadership and hypocrisy.  If you're gay, you're still American, and perhaps the love of country will ultimately trump political alignment based upon a singular issue (i.e.:  sexual preference, race, or abortion)?   

I can only hope. 

We need to stop focusing on the things which make us different and instead embrace those which make us all...  American.  

That's it.  Just 'American'.

It's not too much to ask, is it?

p.s.:  The next time I'm traveling to Denmark and / or Spain, I'll be sure to drop by to our Embassy just to say, "Hi!" to check out the decorating.

You should too! 

(Right after you find the money to pay for your NEW AND IMPROVED health insurance coverage, coming soon to an employer near YOU!  As for me, I'm selling MY internal organs for cash on the Black Market.  Sure, it makes traveling a bit more difficult, but with kidneys and lungs selling at a premium these days, I'm a revenue-generating machine!  AND, it's non-taxable income since I'm getting paid in CASH by the Russian Mafia!)


Dear IRS Tax-Payer Compliance Monitoring Agency,

I made the paragraph above up.  It's not true - it's a JOKE.  I can show you my spleen, kidneys, and lungs to prove it. 

Just access my medical records and look up my most recent chest X-Ray.  Come on, I know you can do it.

After all, you've got the tools you need already via the Affordable Health Care Law...

Thank you!

Mike (Moos) Kane

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