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John McCain is on a world tour, and after flunking Middle East Politics 101 on the Jordan leg of his trip, he’s now on his way to London, where his campaign will hold a fundraising event. (For American citizens only as foreigners can’t contribute.) Proper attire for the luncheon affair is “lounge wear,” according to the Washington Post, which also reported that the event will be held at Spencer House on St. James’s Place, “by kind permission” of Lord Rothschild and Nathaniel Rothschild.
The latter “may become the richest Rothschild of them all,” according to a profile last year in the New York Times. The story said Nathaniel Rothschild was “close to becoming a billionaire through a web of private equity investments” in Eastern Europe, and that he was “a principal adviser to Oleg Deripaska, one of the richest oligarchs in Russia.” Indeed, the Daily Mail has said that Rothschild’s wealth had “been accrued in his role as the adviser to” Deripaska.
Deripaska’s name might ring a bell. Back in early 2006, lobbyist Rick Davis, who now serves as McCain’s campaign advisor, helped introduce the senator and the oligarch during an international economic conference in Switzerland. McCain didn’t do anything for Deripaska after the meeting, but the Russian was grateful for the introduction. Deripaska wrote “a thank-you note to Davis and his partner and offer[ed] to assist them in a subsequent business deal,” according to the Washington Post.
About eight months after the meeting, the State Department revoked Deripaska’s visa to the United States, due to concerns that he may have amassed his wealth illegally. That’s embarrassing to the Russian, and he’s hoping to reverse his ban on entry to this country, which he blames on “stupid and ignorant bureaucrats.” During one interview last fall, Deripaska said, “Maybe I’ll get the visa when the next (U.S.) administration comes in.” Given his contacts to McCain, through Davis and Rothschild, one can guess whom Deripaska will be rooting for this fall.
More from Ken Silverstein:
Perspective — October 23, 2013, 8:00 am
How pro-oil Louisiana politicians have shaped American environmental policy
Postcard — October 16, 2013, 8:00 am
A trip to one of the properties at issue in Louisiana’s oil-pollution lawsuits
Fleming awoke in the dark and his room felt loose, sloshing so badly he gripped the bed. From his window there was nothing but a hallway, and if he craned his neck, a blown lightbulb swung into view. The room pitched up and down and for a moment he thought he might be sick. The word “hallway” must have a nautical name. Why didn’t they supply a glossary for this cruise? Probably they had, in the welcome packet he’d failed to read. A glossary. A history of the boat, which would be referred to as a ship. Sunny biographies of the captain and crew, who had always dreamed of this life. Lobotomized histories of the islands they’d visit. Who else had sailed this way. Famous suckwads from the past, slicing through this very water on wooden longships.
A welcome packet, the literary genre most likely to succeed in the new millennium. Why not read about a community you don’t belong to, that doesn’t actually exist, a captain and crew who are, in reality, if that isn’t too much of a downer on your vacation, as indifferent to one another as any set of co-employees at an office or bank? Read doctored personal statements from underpaid crew members — because ocean life pays better than money! — who hate their lives but have been forced to buy into the mythology of working on a boat, separated now from loved ones and friends, growing lonelier by the second, even while they wait on you and follow your every order.
Rank of Detroit among major U.S. cities whose residents give the largest portion of their income to charity:
A South Dakota researcher concluded that only scant blood spatter results when chain saws are used to dismember pigs.
Four people were arrested for using a remote-controlled hexacopter to fly two pounds of tobacco to prisoners inside the yard at Calhoun State Prison in Georgia.
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Our congratulations to Alice Munro, winner of the 2013 Nobel Prize for Literature