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!
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
On a Friday evening in January, a thousand people at the annual California Native Plant Society conference in San Jose settled down to a banquet and a keynote speech delivered by an environmental historian named Jared Farmer. His chosen topic was the eucalyptus tree and its role in California’s ecology and history. The address did not go well. Eucalyptus is not a native plant but a Victorian import from Australia. In the eyes of those gathered at the San Jose DoubleTree, it qualified as “invasive,” “exotic,” “alien” — all dirty words to this crowd, who were therefore convinced that the tree was dangerously combustible, unfriendly to birds, and excessively greedy in competing for water with honest native species.
In his speech, Farmer dutifully highlighted these ugly attributes, but also quoted a few more positive remarks made by others over the years. This was a reckless move. A reference to the tree as “indigenously Californian” elicited an abusive roar, as did an observation that without the aromatic import, the state would be like a “home without its mother.” Thereafter, the mild-mannered speaker was continually interrupted by boos, groans, and exasperated gasps. Only when he mentioned the longhorn beetle, a species imported (illegally) from Australia during the 1990s with the specific aim of killing the eucalyptus, did he earn a resounding cheer.
Percentage of Britons who cannot name the city that provides the setting for the musical Chicago:
An Australian entrepreneur was selling oysters raised in tanks laced with Viagra.
A tourism company in Australia announced a service that will allow users to take the “world’s biggest selfies,” and a Texas man accidentally killed himself while trying to pose for a selfie with a handgun.
Subscribe to the Weekly Review newsletter. Don’t worry, we won’t sell your email address!
“Shelby is waiting for something. He himself does not know what it is. When it comes he will either go back into the world from which he came, or sink out of sight in the morass of alcoholism or despair that has engulfed other vagrants.”