SIGN IN to access Harper’s Magazine
1. Sign in to Customer Care using your account number or postal address.
2. Select Email/Password Information.
3. Enter your new information and click on Save My Changes.
Subscribers can find additional help here. Not a subscriber? Subscribe today!
Aides to Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) scheduled pricey luncheons, roundtables, readings, VIP receptions and policy dinners with campaign officials and advisers, offering donors a taste of his potential administration. Supporters could eat dinner in Los Angeles with Warren Buffett, an Obama adviser and one of history’s shrewdest investors, for $28,500, the federal limit for donations by an individual to a national party committee. Or they could attend a “VIP reception” with the sage of Omaha for $10,000, or an “economic roundtable” for just $1,000.
The Obama campaign declined to comment on the schedule.
A “Round Table Discussion” in Boston with Robert E. Rubin, who was Treasury secretary under President Bill Clinton and talked on the phone with Obama as the financial crisis broke out, cost $28,500. And a reception in Boston with former Sen. Tom Daschle (D-S.D.), a possible chief of staff in an Obama White House, was offered for $500 or $2,500. Tickets to a reception in Boston with Sen. John F. Kerry (D-Mass.), a possible secretary of defense in an Obama Cabinet, were offered for a bargain-basement $250 or $500.
Hurry up and book your luncheon now. Prices go up after November 4.
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
Many comedians consider stand-up the purest form of comedy; Doug Stanhope considers it the freest. “Once you do stand-up, it spoils you for everything else,” he says. “You’re the director, performer, and producer.” Unlike most of his peers, however, Stanhope has designed his career around exploring that freedom, which means choosing a life on the road. Perhaps this is why, although he is extremely ambitious, prolific, and one of the best stand-ups performing, so many Americans haven’t heard of him. Many comedians approach the road as a means to an end: a way to develop their skills, start booking bigger venues, and, if they’re lucky, get themselves airlifted to Hollywood. But life isn’t happening on a sit-com set or a sketch show — at least not the life that has interested Stanhope. He isn’t waiting to be invited to the party; indeed, he’s been hosting his own party for years.
Because of the present comedy boom, civilians are starting to hear about Doug Stanhope from other comedians like Ricky Gervais, Sarah Silverman, and Louis CK. But Stanhope has been building a devoted fan base for the past two decades, largely by word of mouth. On tour, he prefers the unencumbered arrival and the quick exit: cheap motels where you can pull the van up to the door of the room and park. He’s especially pleased if there’s an on-site bar, which increases the odds of hearing a good story from the sort of person who tends to drink away the afternoon in the depressed cities where he performs. Stanhope’s America isn’t the one still yammering on about its potential or struggling with losing hope. For the most part, hope is gone. On Word of Mouth, his 2002 album, he says, “America may be the best country, but that’s like being the prettiest Denny’s waitress. Just because you’re the best doesn’t make you good.”
Ratio of husbands who say they fell in love with their spouse at first sight to wives who say this:
Mathematicians announced the discovery of the perfect method of cutting a cake.
Indian prime-ministerial contender Narendra Modi, who advertises his bachelorhood as a mark of his incorruptibility, confessed to having a wife.
Subscribe to the Weekly Review newsletter. Don’t worry, we won’t sell your email address!
Science’s crisis of faith