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As I noted earlier today, Karl Rove can’t be bothered to honor a congressional subpoena, but he’s got time to fly off to Yalta to appear at a panel sponsored by a group that says it wants to spread democracy in Ukraine. Curiously, the group’s board includes one of the most notorious of all Ukrainian “oligarchs,” Victor Pinchuk.
Here’s how the local press described the conference Rove attended last week:
The two-page photo spread from Yalta in this week’s ‘Sobitiya’ magazine was nauseating enough. The saccharine images in this sister publication of Victor Pinchuk’s Fakty newspaper group show Pinchuk cutting an oversized cake with his wife, Olena Franchuk; of Franchuk sitting with her father, the foul-mouthed former president, Leonid Kuchma; of Franchuk being chatted up by U.S. Ambassador William Taylor…
The ostensible aim of Pinchuk’s 5th annual Yalta European Summit (YES) is to bring Ukraine closer to joining the European Union by inviting foreign dignitaries to mix with hundreds of flown-in journalists and other guests. Sadly, many of the journalists — still lacking professionalism and respectable expense accounts — allow themselves to be wined and dined at the host’s expense.
It’s not going to work, guys. Do you want to bring Ukraine closer to the European Union? Then stop pretending that Ukraine is a normal democracy. Start solving all Ukraine’s great unsolved crimes. Were the events exposed on the Melnychenko tapes true? Who poisoned Yushchenko? Who ordered Gongadze’s murder? Give us a full accounting of how the greasy oligarchs acquired their wealth in the slimy privatizations.
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.
Number of people stopped and frisked by the NYPD in 2011 for “furtive movements”:
The faces of Lego people were growing angrier.
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