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Intelligence Online reports that the Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska has hired an advisory firm with close ties to Hillary Clinton to help him get a visa to enter the United States. As I’ve previously reported here, Deripaska has been barred from this country over concerns that he has ties to organized crime.
Intelligence Online says (warning: story is firewall protected) that Deripaska — who previously employed beltway lobbyists close to John McCain, including his former campaign manager Rick Davis — has retained the Endeavor Group, which, the newsletter says, “specializes in providing services to billionaire and show business personalities.”
Endeavor’s partners include Lorrie McHugh-Wytkind, formerly “Communications Director for Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton and Deputy Press Secretary for Media Affairs and Operations for President Bill Clinton,” and its advisers include Bruce Babbitt, Secretary of the Interior under Bill Clinton and a Hillary supporter during the Democratic presidential primaries.
Update: Adam Waldman, founder and president of the Endeavor Group, writes to say that his firm doesn’t lobby, so I’ve changed this post to reflect that. The firm’s website says, “The Endeavor Group represents a select group of entrepreneurial, high net worth individuals. The firm was founded in 2001 to provide cross-disciplinary advisory and execution services in support of the complex business and philanthropic initiatives of our clients.”
Waldman also said that Lorrie McHugh-Wytkind has been a strategic communications partner (which means consultant) to my firm on two very specific philanthropic initiatives, dealing with (i) Malaria and (ii) Neglected Tropical Diseases. She has never had any involvement, nor would she, in our work with Oleg Deripaska or any other client matters outside of these two projects. Second, Bruce Babbitt who is the Chairman of the World Wildlife Fund and serves on our informal advisory board, never has had any involvement with our client work.”
I don’t think that changes the thrust of the post or of the Intelligence Online piece, though. Deripaska did hire a firm with ties to Hillary Clinton, which can’t be a bad thing nowadays.
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