zcomm Moves Headquarters to Washington D.C.

National Marcomm Agency Expands and Changes Address

WASHINGTON, DC – Coinciding with zcomm’s 24th year in business, the national PR and marketing agency has moved its headquarters from Bethesda, Maryland to Washington, DC. zcomm’s new address is: 910 17th Street, NW, Suite 1190, Washington, DC, 20006. Continue reading


picture by blogefl

Inside the Sistine Chapel

March 23, 2013 5:30 PM ET
A new pope has been elected, Jorge Mario Bergoglio, will be called Francis, the 266th pontiff of the Roman Catholic Church. Source: the New York Times.


March 13, 2013
By Rise Birnbaum

It’s gotta be tough whenever a Pope dies.  But can you imagine what it’s like for this College of Cardinals given the recent Pope’s resignation and the bad ink about the Catholic Church?   And the news just got a touch worse today, when the papal conclave opened the papers with their morning cappuccinos only to see the headline, “Vatican Owns the Building that Houses Europe’s Biggest Gay Bathhouse.”  That’s a no-no.  And to add fuel to the fire, Cardinal Dias lives one floor above the rockin’ club in a swanky 12-room apartment. Continue reading


kate-middleton-maxMara-jpg_123948Why have we all become bump-aholics? Do we really want and need to see any woman’s tummy bulge? Do we really get off as belly buttons widen and stretch marks really S-T-R-E-T-C-H?  It’s like Alien meets Nine Months.  Where’s Sigourney when you need her? Oh, wait, pretty sure she’s post-Alien baby makin time.

Years ago women wore maternity clothes that disguised the growing baby.  Ya know, like peplum tops and lots of kitchen apron wear.  Boy, have times changed.  Now it’s a race to see how big a splash you can make lounging in your string-tini poolside at the Fountainbleu in South Beach.

Or, in Duchess Kate’s case, in Mustique.  An invasion of privacy?  Yeah.  Should we care about the Royal  bump?  Only that we wish Kate and Wills the best and hope the baby is healthy and wise.  Wealthy is a given. (I keep thinking of Downtown Abbey every time I see the Royal duo hoping to see Matthew again.)

I guess there are two big questions here.  First, why do women feel the need to expose their 25 pounds of extra flesh in their low rise skinny jeans and cropped top?  And, second, why have we all become belly addicts?  Is there a 12-step bump program?  Ya know, where I’d go and say, “Hi, I’m Risë and I’m a bump-aholic.”  And then I get cookies and coffee after all the belly laffs.

Back across the pond now.  The Duchess decided to make it official.  In a tailored Max Mara wrap dress, Kate Middleton officially debuted her celebrated bump on a visit to London’s Hope House, a place for recovering drug addicts.  (Nope, not bump addicts.)

So, Kate came out of the fashion closet to show the world she’s now a size larger (or maybe a half size) and a million cameras whirred and clicked and showed off her slight shape shift.

Over the years, fashion and mores have changed bigtime.  Women breastfeed in public, naked bumps become routine…if not worshipped and the mags, reality TV and online sites put it on a big silver platter for all of us to lap it up.

Don’t know about you, but bare bumps don’t do it for me.  But, as far as I can see, I’m way in the minority.  And I think the fact that my bump is now 26 might have somethin’ to do with it.


Image: File photo of the AIG logo  outside of their corporate headquarters in New York


Talk about chutzpah.  I thought the kid from Two and a Half Man was bad.

Let me get this straight.  In 2008 the US government decides to bring AIG back from near death to the tune of a $182 billion bailout.  That’s billion with a B.  I mean, AIG was circling the drain and Uncle Sam reached out and grabbed them, did the Heimlich and saved their bottom-feeding butt.

And now that AIG is alive and kicking, they were actually thinkin’ about kickin’ Uncle Sam’s ass and suing the red, white and blue hand that fed them.

What’s wrong with this picture?   Just about everything.

Does anyone have a conscience anymore?  Has corporate America gotten so used to caviar and Kiton suits that it’s willing to do literally anything to anyone who gets between them and their money?  Have the inmates taken over the asylum?

OK ‘nuf with the rhetorical questions.  You get my drift.

So, AIG actually considered joining a suit seeking $25 billion in damages, saying the government violated the Constitution when it took about 80% stake in the insurer as part of the bailout.  This was based on the Treasury Department selling its AIG shares and ending up with more than 22 billion more than it put in.  But, the media heat was too high, so they opted not to sue.

Here’s my comparison to what happened.  I’m dying and need a kidney.  My nice uncle gives me a kidney, saves my life and I’m back in action.  And then I decide I could use a new pair of lungs, too, so I put a gun to my uncle’s head (see why guns are bad?) and tell him I’m taking his lungs, too.  Why don’t I just rip out my uncle’s heart while I’m at it, ‘cause by this point I’m pretty heartless.

And so is AIG.  Which, in my book, needs to change its name from American International Group to Parasitic International Group or PIG.   And this pig deserves nothing but slop.



Icoffef someone had shown me the business plan for Starbucks and asked me to be an early investor I would have said, “Are you nuts? Ya think anyone will plunk down $5 for a coffee you can’t even pronounce?”

And that’s why I still have a piggy bank vs. a robust portfolio of ever growing stocks and bonds.

I go to Starbucks every day and they’re so used to my “grande skinny decaf no whip two-pump mocha” order that they start making it the minute I walk through the door. This is the Starbucks on MacArthur Blvd. in DC as opposed to the Starbucks on G Street, M Street, Wisconsin Ave. and about 78 other DC locations.

You would think they’d start to cannibalize each other, but there seems to be a very steady stream of coffee-loving consumers who drag themselves out of bed each morning just to get their venti latte, caffe misto or pumpkin-spiced frattacino (just made that one up but it might go over well with college guys). There is also, in fact, a big cardboard box o’ coffee you can take home for parties. That kinda reminds me of the jug o’ wine thing from my college days (a whole other blog).

And as for the folks I see every day? It’s everyone from realtors with laptops grabbing tables and moms with strollers to docs in scrubs (hopefully not in the middle of a colon resection) and retirees with a stack of newspapers and magazines dating back 12 years. Heck – it’s everyone! Some of us want to fuel up and go (like me) and the rest want to hibernate for the winter or lock themselves in the 200 sq. ft. bathroom for a quick wash.

But there’s more than coffee and donuts and some odd looking sandwiches coming our way. Now that they’ve got us hooked on some opiate in the coffee, they’re going to start getting our hearts to beat just a bit faster with tea. Starbucks just picked up the Teavana chain for a cool $620 million. That’s in addition to buying Evolution Fresh juices and Bay Bread for munchies (to replace all the sawdust and twine “bread” they now serve).

And if that’s not enough for Starbucks to take on, guess is their new at-home Verismo coffee and espresso will grab a slice of the single-serve pie that Green Mountain has savored to date.

As for me, I’ll stick with my unpronounceable order, test out the new bread and juice, and wish I was with Starbucks Chief Howard Schultz that fateful morning when he woke up, went to the diner, ordered coffee and had his AHA moment. That’s what I call grande thinking.

Two Men and a Half-Wit

Only in Hollywood would a goofy looking, bible-toting actor making $8 million a year talk trash about his very own show.

Here’s the deal.  The kid who’s grown up (and grown rich) over the last 9 years playing Jon Cryer’s son on Two and a Half Men found Jesus and lost some street cred.

The kid had a religious awakening and made a video distributed online by a Christian church in which he pleaded with viewers to stop watching his show and “filling your head with filth.”

Look, I’m not counting anyone else’s money, but this is one rich kid who seems like an ingrate to me (and maybe lots of others).  Where does this geeky kid with a wallet the size of Oklahoma come off telling TV viewers to please change the channel?

So, today, probably after a closed door session with producers that rivals something out of The Shining, teen turd Angus T. Jones apologized, saying, “I’m sorry if my remarks showed indifference to and disrespect of my colleagues and lack of appreciation of my opportunities.”

Ya know what I say?  Too late twerp.  We all heard what you said and don’t believe one word of your “apology.”

Half the world would give their right arm for the chance to read scripts, show up on set for 9 years and make boatloads of money by the time they’re 19 (or 75 for that matter).

I’m not sayin’ it’s wrong to find religion.  It’s just wrong to bite the hand that feeds you.  And Angus took a very big bite.  A T-Rex size bite.

The “half man” has a year left on his contract and chances are real good he’s done with show biz.

From a PR standpoint, the apology was necessary, but dumb, and there’s nothing I would suggest the kid do except not talk to the press for the next year and maybe give away all his money to charity.

And ya know what the T. in Angus T. Jones stands for?  Turncoat.  It’s curtains for the kid.