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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
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.
Average portion of its yearly household expenditures that a South African family will spend on a funeral:
Neuroscientists were hoping to use rat brain waves to find people buried by earthquakes.
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