Monday Morning Open Thread

Good Morning, MTs! Hope your Monday’s going well. I must admit, I did devour the news of Chelsea Clinton and Marc Mezvinsky’s wedding. It’s got it all, right? Glamour, politics, and I’ve always felt sort of a cousinly affection towards Chelsea. She’s close in age to me, so I did identify with her, and I always admired the fact that she had to wear a public image involuntarily, but did it without committing peccadillos.

I loved the shot that was on top of this story in The New York Times, because it kind of symbolizes to me what a wedding can be about. Chelsea and Marc look so pleased with themselves, and I love the grin on Hillary’s face in the background. And that fuscia? Wow! Love it! Don’t bother reading the article – all I can say is “bowl of cream for Cathy Horyn’s table.” Catty. Meeow. So what if Chelsea didn’t push fashion boundaries? Maybe she just wanted to, you know, look beautiful on her wedding day.

In other, more sordid news, corporate Australia is in for an interesting time. A publicist for Australian department store David Jones has sued the company for A$37m (about US$35m) after allegedly suffering sexual harassment at the hands of the company’s former CEO, Mark McInnes. In April, McInnes abruptly resigned as CEO and said he did so because he behaved in a way that disgraced the company’s reputation. It quickly emerged that a woman had alleged he had sexually harassed her. Well, now that woman, Kristy Fraser-Kirk, 25, is suing the company and McInnes. The figure she has chosen represents 5% of David Jones’ profits and 5% of McInnes’ salary as the firm’s CEO. To quote this article:

David Jones sex harassment case: publicist sues for $37m BELLINDA KONTOMINAS
August 2, 2010 – 3:32PM
Accused … Mark McInnes Photo: Nicolas Walker

A woman who claims that the former head of David Jones sexually harassed her has spoken of the personal and professional impact the matter has had on her life.

Kristy Fraser-Kirk, 25, a junior publicist who is suing former David Jones chief executive Mark McInnes and the retail giant for about $37 million, said the alleged harassment had been devastating.

Speaking at her Cremorne home in Sydney this afternoon, Ms Fraser-Kirk thanked her family and friends who supported her decision to take legal action.

Kristy Fraser-Kirk … issued a statement of claim.
“I’m a young woman standing here today simply because I said it wasn’t OK, because I said that this should never happen to me or to anyone,” she said.

“I just wanted to be treated with respect.”

Ms Fraser-Kirk’s allegations forced the resignation of Mr McInnes.

In a landmark claim lodged today in the Federal Court, Ms Fraser-Kirk is seeking 5 per cent of the profits made by David Jones and 5 per cent of Mr McInnes’s salary while he worked for the company.

If successful she will donate the money to a charity that helps victims of sexual harassment and bullying, the statement of claim said.

Ms Fraser-Kirk alleges she informed David Jones management about Mr McInnes’s unwelcome advances on several occasions, and on one occasion was told: “Next time that happens, you just need to be very clear and say ‘no Mark’ and he’ll back off.”

The article goes into further detail, including, allegedly, graphic e-mails sent by McInnes asking Ms. Fraser-Kirk to  come to his house. Ruh-Roh, Shaggy. I wish Ms. Fraser-Kirk a lot of luck; although nothing’s been proven at this time, it would take a huge deal to bring about a resignation like McInnes’. I hope she gets what she wants out of this, and furthermore, corporate Australia is put on notice about sexual harassment in general.

So, what’s going on with you?


Thursday Open Thread

Happy Thursday! What’s up?

I was naturally pleased to learn that a federal judge blocked key parts of the proposed Arizona immigration law that would have required police officers to check people’s immigration status.

[The judge]delayed provisions that required immigrants to carry their papers and banned illegal immigrants from soliciting employment in public places — a move aimed at day laborers. In addition, she blocked officers from making warrantless arrests of suspected illegal immigrants for crimes that can lead to deportation.

“Requiring Arizona law enforcement officials and agencies to determine the immigration status of every person who is arrested burdens lawfully present aliens because their liberty will be restricted while their status is checked,” Bolton wrote.

What do you think? Will this end up before the Supreme Court?

In more frivolous news, President Obama will be on The View today. Among the tidbits you can expect: he reveals he was not invited to Chelsea Clinton’s wedding this weekend.

In even more frivolous news, a recent poll shows that Californians prefer Barbara Boxer’s “So yesterday” hair to Carly Fiorina’s ‘do. Lefty coifs FTW! 😉

Today is my Friday, and T.G.I.T.!! I’ve hit a huge wall, exhaustion-wise. Going back to work, followed by a lovely visit from our niece and nephew, and now an upcoming visit from Elisa and our other dear college friend, and I’m fried. Happy, but fried!

What are you up to today? Chat away!


Late-Night Liberty: Celebrity Gossip Edition

Due to “FCC Heat,” the ABC television network has dropped two more appearances by Adam Lambert on the Jimmy Kimmel Show and Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve, according to Rolling Stone magazine.

In a tweet, Lambert did assure fans that he would appear on Jay Leno and find somewhere else to perform on New Year’s Eve. As Rolling Stone pointed out, lots of performers have had “crotch-rock” TV moments like Michael Jackson and Madonna, yet the networks, or FCC, are up in arms over…Adam Lambert. I hate to uncover homophobia under every rock, but I really think that’s what’s bothering the Dick Clark “rockin'” crowd over at ABC.

Speaking of drama, can the Tiger Woods’s coverage get anymore pathetic? The latest, according to the tabloids, is the Swedish golfer that introduced Tiger to his wife, Elin Nordegren, now regrets its. Oy vey.

BUT, once again, Washington Post financial columnist Michelle Singletary had an excellent take on the Tiger drama. She pointed out that if privacy is what Woods wanted, he could have simply played golf and been a millionaire. Instead, he made himself this high-profile celebrity based on a wholesome image to hawk us products like Nike and Accenture. The tag line for consulting firm Accenture is hilarious: “Go on. Be a Tiger.”

Despite becoming a billionaire with his endorsements and achieving worldwide fame, he clearly has personal issues. “We may not know exactly what Tiger did or with whom or how many times, but his own admitted ‘transgressions’ show he wasn’t happy with what he had,” Singletary wrote. “Let that be a lesson to those of you who think more money is the answer to your happiness.”

Great food for thought.

And in case you missed it, Chelsea Clinton is engaged to banker and longtime beau Marc Mezvinsky, according to People magazine. Congrats to her.

What else is in the news? What’s up with you?


New Hampshire Primary Open Thread

The Manchester Union Leader is reporting record turnout for the nation’s first primary. It really is anyone’s race to win, although my husband, the numbers-crunching geek, is predicting a first-place finish for Sen. Barack Obama.

My mom, who lives in nearby Derry, just left me a cute voicemail. She was out of breath and told me that she met Hillary and Chelsea Clinton at the polls. “I told her that I voted for her and I hoped she was the next president of the United States!” my mom said. “She was happy to hear that.”

Then my mom told Chelsea that she liked her mom. Chelsea was like, “I like her, too.” My sister, who thinks it’s high time we have a woman president, also voted for Hillary. My dad voted for Obama because he thought the Illinois senator was most likely out of the Democrats to establish normal relations with Cuba. (Yes, my father is a single issue voter!)

Apparently, we should expect results once the polls close at 7 p.m. EDT, although some polling places are open until 8 p.m.. Have fun watching the returns!