Late Night Creepshow Open Thread: Grifters Applaud Their Own

“United in Purpose” has an even lower profile than Ginni Thomas’ main grift, “Liberty Central”, whose main purpose seems to be keeping Ginni too busy to drunk-dial Anita Hill again. But if you assume UiP’s real purpose is to provide a conduit from “conservative” suckers with too much money to “activists” with more greed than sense…

NYMag:

The “heroes” honored by United for Purpose had to meet certain criteria laid out on the website for the Impact Awards. These are people who show “tenacity, courage and perseverance even under hostile attacks” and are “respected among their peers,” among other things. O’Keefe, who just made a fool of himself in an attempt to stick up for a sexual predator, apparently meets that criteria in the eyes of right-wing activists.

O’Keefe wasn’t the only one exemplar of conservative principles to be honored. Sean Hannity received the Outstanding Impact Award and delivered the keynote speech. “We the people are going to work harder than ever to get the government back into the hands of American citizens, where it belongs,” said Hannity, inside a hotel from which president continues to profit…

Ken Vogel, at the NYTimes, has a good article on O’Keefe’s #FailingUpward history:

[T]hese should be good times for Mr. O’Keefe. He has an ally in the Oval Office who shares his views. The nonprofit group he started in 2010, Project Veritas, and an affiliated political arm called Project Veritas Action Fund have raised nearly $16 million, according to tax filings, and last year the group paid him $317,000. After years of criticism from across the political spectrum — including from a conservative establishment that has viewed him with suspicion — Mr. O’Keefe would seem well positioned to be more broadly embraced by the right, and feared by the left.

Yet Mr. O’Keefe cannot seem to get out of his own way. And after an attempted sting aimed at The Washington Post backfired in spectacular fashion last month, he has found himself in a familiar position — defending his misleading tactics, uneven results and even his nonprofit’s tax-exempt status, against criticism from across the political spectrum…

In fact, the elite conservative donor class has always mostly kept its distance — at least publicly — from Project Veritas. The primary funding vehicles steered by the billionaire conservative brothers Charles G. and David H. Koch, for instance, have refused entreaties from Mr. O’Keefe’s allies to support his groups, said people familiar with the requests.

Megadonors interested in watchdogging the media have instead gravitated to more cautious groups like Mr. Bozell’s Media Research Center. It has raised $87 million over the last half dozen years — five times more than Project Veritas during that span, according to tax filings. The Media Research Center regularly collects six- and seven-figure checks from some the right’s leading donors, including the families of the New York hedge fund trader Robert Mercer and the Amway co-founder Richard DeVos…

Sure, non-stop humiliating failures would be a problem to donors interested in actually returning our country to the Fifties (either 18- or 19-, depending on the donor). But if what some really want is a conspicuous form of “virtue signalling” — well, O’Keefe’s a master practitioner!

As I was saying: Grifter respects grifter!






81 replies
  1. 1

    The Hill I die on: “Asshole” and the variants of “douche/douchebag” are not interchangeable. Nobody respects a douchebag (*cough*Trump*cough*).

    Also: How long until the Bitcoin bubble collapses? And when it does, how fucked are we?

    I say no later than 11:58, December 21, 2017.

  2. 2
    H.E.Wolf says:

    Seattle meetup was the opposite of a creepshow. It was a pleasure to see all y’all! Thanks to everyone who made it happen.

  3. 3
    Mnemosyne says:

    “We the people are going to work harder than ever to get the government back into the hands of American citizens, where it belongs,” said Hannity, inside a hotel from which president continues to profit…

    This actually makes perfect sense once you realize that, for Klannity, “American citizens” are straight white Christians, with maybe a few Jews and Asians allowed as long as they toe the line and watch their asses. No others need apply.

  4. 4
    opiejeanne says:

    @Butthurt Jordan Trombone (fka XTPD): Why are we fucked if we don’t hold any Bitcoin?

  5. 5
    Cacti says:

    In the latest installment of Republicans drink the Democrats’ milkshake:

    Michigan Governor Rick Snyder (R-water poisoner) will leave John Conyers’ Congressional seat vacant until the November 2018 general election.

    But what’s leaving 705,000 people without representation when compared to the chance to be pure? Let’s find more elected Democrats to throw under the bus.

  6. 6
    Mike J says:

    Are we going to talk about testicles? Because I think I’ve had enough of that.

    Hey Cacti, why for you never make the trek to Seattle for the meets up?

  7. 7
    opiejeanne says:

    @H.E.Wolf: it was fun. I’m glad we made it this time. 😊

  8. 8
    chopper says:

    @H.E.Wolf:

    Seattle meetup was the opposite of a creepshow.

    one of us was ted cruz in disguise. guess which one; i think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

  9. 9
    opiejeanne says:

    @Mnemosyne: And wimmins know their place and keep their heads down.

  10. 10
    Cacti says:

    @Mike J:

    Hey Cacti, why for you never make the trek to Seattle for the meets up?

    I didn’t get off work early enough to make it to this one.

    And social anxiety. ;-)

  11. 11
    opiejeanne says:

    @Mike J: just watch out for torsion and you’ll be fine.

  12. 12
    Cacti says:

    Official death toll in Puerto Rico from Hurricane Maria: 62

    Probable actual death toll: 1,052

    Per NYT

  13. 13
    Mike J says:

    @Cacti: I am incredibly shy, but for some reason people think I’m the loudmouthed outgoing one.

    Next time we have one at a more convenient time, come and hang out, sit back and soak it in until somebody says something incredibly stupid. We’ll go out of our way to talk about how great Wilmer is and then you can verbally unload on us to break the ice and we’ll have another drink.

  14. 14
    Cacti says:

    @Mike J:

    I am incredibly shy, but for some reason people think I’m the loudmouthed outgoing one.

    Next time we have one at a more convenient time, come and hang out, sit back and soak it in until somebody says something incredibly stupid. We’ll go out of our way to talk about how great Wilmer is and then you can verbally unload on us to break the ice and we’ll have another drink.

    I wouldn’t have been very good company this evening. I just started coming down with a cold last night and have been feeling very “blah” all day.

  15. 15
    Mike J says:

    @Cacti: Not holding it against you, just saying we want to meet you at some point.

  16. 16
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Cacti:

    So can Conyers change his mind, un-resign, and just declare that he won’t run for re-election?

  17. 17
    Cacti says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    So can Conyers change his mind, un-resign, and just declare that he won’t run for re-election?

    I don’t rightly know.

  18. 18
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Cacti:

    It’s certainly a stark choice — a harasser Democrat who had to pay out a settlement to a staffer, or no representation at all?

  19. 19
    Mike J says:

    @Mnemosyne: Has Blake Farenthold, the Republican who had congress pay out for him quit?

    Realistically, one vote down until November won’t really matter, but all their pervs should leave when ours do. Release the names of everybody Congress has had to cover up for by paying off, and kick every one of them out regardless of party.

  20. 20
    chopper says:

    @Cacti:

    I’ve had a cold all week, with a cough and all that shit, and I came out ya goddamn curmudgeon.

  21. 21
    TenguPhule says:

    @Butthurt Jordan Trombone (fka XTPD):

    How long until the Bitcoin bubble collapses?

    Once the marks have put all their money into it. So probably next month.

    And when it does, how fucked are we?

    Depends on if the next big ransomware demand still requires payment in it.

    Or if we find out Goldman Sach sold a bunch of derivitives based on it.

  22. 22
    TenguPhule says:

    @opiejeanne:

    Why are we fucked if we don’t hold any Bitcoin?

    Two words.

    Goldman Sach.

  23. 23
    TenguPhule says:

    @Cacti:

    Official death toll in Puerto Rico from Hurricane Maria: 62

    Probable actual death toll: 1,052

    fuck.

  24. 24
    Cacti says:

    @chopper:

    I’ve had a cold all week, with a cough and all that shit, and I came out ya goddamn curmudgeon.

    That wasn’t the reason. The actual reason was I got off work too late to schlep up to Pike Place for this evening’s soiree. ;-)

  25. 25
    opiejeanne says:

    @TenguPhule: Sachs, and that’s not an explanation. I do no business with them. My mortgage is with a great credit union, not a bank. My credit cards are not maxed out and I can pay them in full tomorrow. We are conservative when we buy stuff like houses or cars. We own both of our vehicles.
    How can Goldman Sachs hurt me.

  26. 26
    ruemara says:

    @chopper: Me! Bwhahahaha!!

    My Whoopi Goldberg disguise is my best ever.

    Really it was great to hang with the grand souls of Balloon Juice.

  27. 27
    opiejeanne says:

    @ruemara: it was great meeting you and Beautiful Plummage and H E Wolf and Chopper and that guy at the end of the table who mostly lurks.

  28. 28
    Splitting Image says:

    @Butthurt Jordan Trombone (fka XTPD):

    Also: How long until the Bitcoin bubble collapses? And when it does, how fucked are we?

    I say no later than 11:58, December 21, 2017.

    I’ll invoke the old chestnut that “the market can stay irrational longer than you can stay solvent” and say the bubble will last longer than that. You might even give it another year.

    The thing is though: the speculators have made Bitcoin useless as a currency, since it makes no sense to buy anything with Bitcoin when it will be worth more money an hour later. Bitcoin won’t be any use to anybody until it does crash, and cryptocurrencies will lose an awful lot of their lustre when it does.

  29. 29
    NotMax says:

    Holy moley. Monthly grocery shopping/bill paying expedition to town today. Had run out of white pepper and added it to the shopping list.

    Shall be reeling from sticker shock for days. Didn’t used to sell so dear; practically cheaper to buy diamond dust.

  30. 30
    TenguPhule says:

    @opiejeanne:

    How can Goldman Sachs hurt me.

    They specialize in dicey shit.

    The Greece meltdown, the derivative trenching shit meltdown in 2007-8, Iceland bankruptcy, you name a financial disaster and somehow someway they were involved and made money off it.

    That’s why it was used as a smear on Clinton in 2015 -16, they’re scumsuckers that give scumsuckers a bad name.

    So odds are, they’re gonna make money while leaving other parties holding the bag. And as the economic meltdown of 2007-8 taught us, you’d be surprised how something you’ve never heard about before can hurt you in unexpected ways.

  31. 31

    @opiejeanne:
    @Butthurt Jordan Trombone (fka XTPD): Nobody but bro’s on the internet give a crap about bitcoin. It’s doesn’t have widespread usage and it’s volatility in value make it a shitty store of value. It’s more of a Ponzi scheme.

  32. 32

    Just got back from the other mister’s company holiday party. It was at the Walt Disney museum in the presidio, which I hadn’t been to before. Very cool. And we won a Google Home Mini, which is funny because last year we won an Amazon Echo Dot. Maybe they can chat.

    I have a question for any fantasy-type readers. What’s the origin of “the inquisition”, which seems to be not of the Catholic variety, but an occult twist on it, something that tries to make sure magicians adhere to the rules of their own star chamber. It shows up in several urban fantasy works and is hard to google.

  33. 33

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: I think Bitcoin is very interesting, as a technology, phenomenon, aspect of several subcultures, and all-around metaphor.

  34. 34
    Anne Laurie says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    So can Conyers change his mind, un-resign, and just declare that he won’t run for re-election?

    Conyers is old and not well. Repubs are monsters who’ll Weekend-at-Bernies any of their members who’ll still push the right buttons (e.g., Thad Cochran), but we Democrats are supposed to be against elder abuse.

  35. 35
    West of the Rockies (been a while) says:

    A few years ago Hannity was just another conservative shill. Now he’s the number one big mouth.

    He causes so much harm with his lies. I genuinely wish he’d get hit by a speeding bus. The world would be a better place.

  36. 36

    @Anne Laurie: it’s extremely annoying, fighting monsters.

  37. 37
    Darkrose says:

    I’m working on my research proposal, which will hopefully be my thesis proposal, about Vivian G. Harsh and the Hall Branch Library in Chicago, the first CPL branch in a predominantly Black neighborhood. It was funded by Julius Rosenwald, one of the original owners of Sears, and a philanthropist who gave away over $70 million to museums, schools, and African American and Jewish educational charities. I ws telling my wife about this and her response was “Damn, even our rich people aren’t as cool as they used to be.”

  38. 38

    @Major Major Major Major: Maybe so, but as an economic factor it’s bunk.

  39. 39
    Anne Laurie says:

    @opiejeanne: Anybody got pics I can front page? You know how to reach me!

  40. 40
    opiejeanne says:

    @TenguPhule: Oh, bullshit. We were not hurt much* in the 2008 meltdown and I’m far more worried about Paul Ryan’s plan to “reform’ Medicare and Social Security.

    * We sold our house in 2010 at a very nice profit and lost less than 3% of its actual value due to the idiocy of the appraisers losing their minds and covering their asses, and Goldman Sachs was up to their eyeballs in the cause of that shit. We didn’t refinance when the banks were calling us daily insisting we should take out a mortgage for $700k on a no-interest loan because we knew it was a sucker’s bet.

  41. 41

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: yeah, it’s something between an amusement and a niche commodity, but the true believers are insane and now everybody and their mother has jumped on board (including my mother, who made 50% and sold). I assume it will quiet back down to weirdo and dark web background noise one of these days.

    As for blockchain technology, it’s the next ‘cloud’, I expect Kushner to try to transition government to it.

  42. 42
    NotMax says:

    @Major Major Major Major

    Frankly, no idea. Howsoever, to hazard pure speculation, the usage might have developed as a way of memorializing by proxy early 16th century Spain’s Dr. Torralva (ref.) .

  43. 43
    opiejeanne says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: That’s my take and I doubt that it will even make the market jump at all, but the market is psychotic and has been for a very long time. I remember them blaming the lows on the maxi-skirt and then the volatility when the midi-skirt was introduced. Horse races are more fun, and about as predictable sometimes.

  44. 44
    Mike J says:

    @Anne Laurie: We sang happy b-day for the next table over so they took pictures for us. Don’t know whose phone they used.

  45. 45
    opiejeanne says:

    @Major Major Major Major: LOL!!!

    I saw that business about Kushner and the Cloud and I’m still laughing.

  46. 46
    opiejeanne says:

    @Mike J: I think it was Ruemara’s but I could be mistaken. Maybe it was Chopper’s?

    I got a couple but only of the opposite side of the table. I swear, we are all, both sides, an adorable bunch of jackals.

  47. 47

    @NotMax: i’ll give that a read… what’s bugging me is that it’s used as if it’s some part of the occult I should just be aware of and never explained. Maybe it’s a Lovecraft thing?

  48. 48
    Ruckus says:

    @opiejeanne:

    Horse races are more fun, and about as predictable sometimes.

    Had an acquaintance who put himself through college and law school playing the ponies, back in prehistoric times. Wall St is a bigger gamble than the horses IMO but Barbara disagrees with me, having scolded me a couple of times about it.

  49. 49
    opiejeanne says:

    @Anne Laurie: Actually, the email I have for you is wrong now and I don’t see the link to anyone’s email in the sidebar.

  50. 50
    piratedan says:

    just got done re-watching All The President’s Men and while there’s a lot that is different, the parallels are pretty stunning…

    1) Mueller is following the money
    2) these guys really aren’t very bright
    3) the majority of the media didn’t give a fuck about this

    the parts that are not are even scarier

    1) we’re talking treason with a foreign power
    2) these guys may be more ruthless, they’re certainly more vindictive
    3) this time, the entire fucking political party is involved

    who would have thought we’d live to watch these venal sonofabitches do this again on such an epic scale?

  51. 51
    Duane says:

    @West of the Rockies (been a while): I sincerely want Hannity jailed for carrying Putin’s water during the election. A firing squad would suit that collaborator.

  52. 52
    opiejeanne says:

    @Ruckus: I knew someone like that, worked with my husband. Unfortunately he started thinking he was nearly infallible and disappeared down that rabbit hole.

  53. 53
    Gvg says:

    @opiejeanne: the way these things hurt us is if a bunch of companies big employers go under and people lose jobs. Those people don’t have money to spend so they cause their whole area to have less money to spend which in turn causes more businesses and people to have less. The banks they have mortgages with, the grocery stores and all the service businesses. With a big investment company like GS, it might be who they borrowed money from and who they own that they have leveraged. When companies are borrowing too much, a lot of times they lie and conceal multiple loans from multiple sources, so lenders may not know real risk and be caught short. There turn out to be surprises. Everything is somewhat connected so you can’t completely protect yourself. Which is why too big to fail should increase government regulations but we have elected idiots.

  54. 54

    @Major Major Major Major:
    @opiejeanne: As I told the kid on our hike last week, “It ain’t money, money’s boring.”*

    *I spent my time up in Seattle learning the Dismal Science.

  55. 55
  56. 56
    opiejeanne says:

    @Gvg: Yeah, I remember the most recent time this happened quite vividly. Nothing like having the vultures drive through your neighborhood looking for investments while people are losing their homes. It didn’t affect us much, other than feeling sorry for some of the victims and outrage at the lying lenders.

    I should be worrying more about my kids because it could hurt them.

  57. 57
    opiejeanne says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: Yes, I took two quarters of the Dismal Science. I remember thinking that Macro made perfect sense but couldn’t wrap my brain around Micro. Or was it the other way around.

    When it comes to investments I really like boring, and mine are pretty sleep-induing. I try not to pay too much attention day-to-day because I’d be hyperventilating these days if I did.

  58. 58
    Anne Laurie says:

    @Darkrose: Lotsa Midwesterners remember their local (Andrew) Carnegie Library fondly, too. He didn’t just want some anonymous building with a few books in it; he spent his own money putting up grand structures an aspiring town could be proud of, full of “the best” Western civilization.

    Of course, Carnegie was the millionaire who reiterated the old saw “Shirtsleeves to shirtsleeves in three generations” — he didn’t want to leave his money to his kids, because he believed that would make them lazy & stupid. Look at Donald Trump, for example!

  59. 59
    fuckwit says:

    @Splitting Image: There are a few fundamental economic flaws with blockchain cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin right now. The main one is that all the ones I’ve seen are intentionally deflationary. They’re worth more to hold than to spend. Therefore, useless as a currency: you’re better off sitting on them than using them for actual exchange.

    Despite that, I think they’re here to stay. Even when transactions are ridiculously slow during heavy volume, they’re still an order of magnitude faster than ACH’s. They’re way easier to hold and trade than gold or silver. They cross national boundaries easily and have some anonymity to them. They’re easier for developing countries to work with and get involved in. And newer ones like Ethereum offer features like smart contracts, and even newer ones still under development attempt to solve some of the technical flaws of the current generation of cryptocurrencies.

    BJ’ers seem to have always loved to bitcoin-punch. But that won’t make it go away.

  60. 60
    opiejeanne says:

    @Anne Laurie: There was a lovely Carnegie Library in Riverside California, Arts & Crafts style. They tore it down in the late 60s and built a modern blockhouse and people are Not Over It and Never Will Be.

    I don’t have your current email and don’t see contact links listed in the sidebar

  61. 61
    Anne Laurie says:

    @opiejeanne: Oops! Now it’s annelaurie.bj (at) gmail.com.

  62. 62
  63. 63
    Anne Laurie says:

    @piratedan:

    who would have thought we’d live to watch these venal sonofabitches do this again on such an epic scale?

    Anyone who watched the Iran-Contra scumsuckers get away with it. The leading actors there had scuttled away scott-free from their Watergate crimes, and instead of learning “If you do it, you’ll get caught” they learned “When you’re caught, lie & throw mud about your arbiters’ patriotism”.

    Russiagate is the ugly bastid baby of Watergate’s CREEPsters and Ronnie’s “foreign-policy realists” — with a dollop of Trump’s Cohn-inculcated Red Scare paranoia.

  64. 64
    NotMax says:

    @fuckwit

    King of interesting take on a toll exacted by bitcoin.

    The jump in value of bitcoins has been nothing short of precipitous: A bitcoin that started 2017 worth $1,023 was trading at $16,999 at 2 p.m. Thursday. The currency has climbed more than $7,000 just in the past week.

    But for those who have never really understood the workings of bitcoins, which don’t exist in physical form, here’s another confounding fact: Critics say the staggering amount of energy now consumed by the bitcoin network has surpassed that used by small nations like Estonia and Iceland.

    The power-hungry swarms of computers that sustain the digital currency and ensure all transactions are settled successfully siphon off an ever-growing amount of electricity, leaving behind a heavy carbon footprint. Source

  65. 65
    gene108 says:

    @piratedan:

    who would have thought we’d live to watch these venal sonofabitches do this again on such an epic scale?

    Raises hand 🙋

    Core of every Rwpublican administration since Nixon has been made up of a bunch of ex-Nixon-ites who feel Nixon’s mistake is he got caught.

    They have been working, since then on ways to abuse executive power.

    Bush, Jr., I thought would be the apex of this, because they really did master not leaving behind much of a paper trail, when investigators came looking.

    I figured the next Rwpublican administration would just carry on the long tradition of abusing executive power, because that has been the culture of the Republican Party for 45 years.

    The only thing surprising about Trump, relative to what a normal politician would do, is how open he is about self-enrichment from office and all his conflicts of interest that are just hanging out there. Plus the constant lying.

  66. 66
    NotMax says:

    @NotMax

    Post-nap not quite fully awakened state above.

    Kind of interesting, not King of interesting.

  67. 67
    opiejeanne says:

    @Anne Laurie: I just sent three photos to you.

  68. 68
    opiejeanne says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: Wow! Very Impressive building.

    http://www.carnegie-libraries......rside.html

    This was ours. The outside was Mission style. I worked for a local stained glass artist and helped restore the globes that used to stand outside the doors. He found them in a cardboard box and the lead cames were so distorted that we had to guess which pieces belonged to which globe. They are inside the library front doors now.

  69. 69
    opiejeanne says:

    @opiejeanne: You can see the globes in the first two pictures. They look like they’re hanging under the arch. They’re on standards now.

  70. 70

    @NotMax: Yep. This is the primary reason I hate Bitcoin. It’s catastrophic for the environment.

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  73. 73
    raven says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: Soooo, if you were going to the Rose Bowl you’d take the Metrolink Gold Line from where?

  74. 74
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @raven: are you going?!

  75. 75
    opiejeanne says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: Is that a globe on the ceiling? I couldn’t make out what that was and I didn’t see any large globes elsewhere in that photo.

  76. 76
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    Steve in the ATL says:

    @raven: sweet! My daughter looked at going but found it was cheaper to spend new years eve in London.

  78. 78
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    debbie says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA:

    Even Columbus, Ohio has one! Several years, it’s been rated the nation’s #1 library.

  80. 80
    H.E.Wolf says:

    I’m happy to report that Seattle still has five active Carnegie branch libraries: Columbia, Green Lake, Queen Anne, University, and West Seattle. A sixth, long since outgrown as a library space, is currently home to the “Kangaroo and Kiwi” pub in the Ballard neighborhood.

    Information about each building’s history can be found at http://www.spl.org/locations [edited because I am lousy at embedding URLs].

    Each branch has an “About the Branch” page with details and a photo.

    A number of other neighborhood branches are relatively new and have beautiful features, thanks to a successful capital-funding campaign on the City ballot in 1998. One of the reasons for its passage (this was the third try) was its strong focus on neighborhood branches as the lifeblood of the library system.

    (Late to the thread, but I love libraries! Ask me sometime how I surmounted the library-card minimum-age requirement at my childhood branch.)

  81. 81
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Anne Laurie:

    We have those in California, too. The library in Azusa where one of my writing groups meets was originally a Carnegie library.

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