Late Night ‘2018 Remains Impossible to Parody’ Open Thread: Even Robot Sex Researchers Have Standards

*I* didn’t wanna google ‘Steve Bannon sex robots’, either. Here’s what came up when I searched just his name, from the Hill Reporter:

Since being fired by Donald Trump in August of 2017, Steve Bannon has been busy speaking at different conferences. Some of these conferences are staples for Republican figures while others are just plain weird.

The weirdest conference of all was the 4th International Congress on Love and Sex with Robots. Bannon was tabbed to become the Keynote speaker at the ACE conference which was merged with the robot sex conference.

The announcement of Bannon as keynote speaker led to immediate backlash. Speakers meant to appear alongside Bannon began to drop out of the conference.

Peter Gray, a former Boston College professor who was to appear as a keynote speaker at ACE, said, “Bannon’s alt-right brand is personally odious to me and, more importantly, by association would work against my credibility and that of the causes to which I am passionately devoted.”…

To take advantage of Bannon’s appearance in Montana, ACE event organizer Adrian Cheok attempted to schedule a debate between Bannon and a University of Montana professor.

Due to heavy push back on multiple fronts, the merged conference and the debate have all been cancelled…

It was somewhat reassuring to find out, per Wired, that ACE stands for “Advances in Computer Technology”:

ACE is run by Adrian David Cheok, the director of an independent research lab called the Imagineering Institute in Malaysia and a professor at City, University of London. Cheok says he chose to invite Bannon to speak after seeing his talk on YouTube at the Black Enterprise Entrepreneurs Summit last year, which had similar economic nationalism and anti-immigration themes. As a number of researchers pointed out, ACE is not a political or even an industry conference—it’s a scholarly venue meant to provide a place for academics to share their work…

One academic pointed out the only tangentially related experience Bannon possesses is his involvement with Internet Gaming Entertainment, which made a profit by having low-wage videogame players in China earn virtual credits that were then sold to wealthier players in other parts of the world. “The business practices of that company alone ought to disqualify Bannon from being presented as anything other than a cynical operator,” says Jeff Watson, a professor of interactive media and games at the University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts…

Starting this the summer, the conference had issues far more serious than an offensive website. All three members of the steering committee quit in early August, after they discovered Cheok had merged ACE with another conference he chairs, the Congress on Love and Sex With Robots, without telling anyone. The committee also worried the academic standards of the event were deteriorating. “There was technically no proper review committee, we couldn’t guarantee the quality,” says one of the three departed committee members, Yoram Chisik, a researcher on human-computer interaction who helped organize ACE since 2012…

AND YET. Because Grifters Gonna Grift, Google also shared a fresh NYTimes article, “Steve Bannon and a Fugitive Billionaire Target a Common Enemy: China”

The billionaire, Guo Wengui, who is also known as Miles Kwok, was living in New York City and had landed on China’s most-wanted list, accused of bribery, fraud and money laundering. He was also a dissident and fierce critic of Beijing, seeking political asylum in the United States. And Mr. Bannon — increasingly obsessed with the emerging China threat — was eager to talk about the Communist Party, corruption and American naval operations in the South China Sea.

Since their first discussion in October 2017, they have met dozens of times — in Dallas, on Mr. Guo’s yacht and, more often, at the billionaire’s $67.5 million apartment in the Sherry-Netherland Hotel, overlooking New York’s Central Park. The two shared a stage two weeks ago in Manhattan, at a news conference they organized to announce plans to set up a $100 million fund to investigate corruption and aid people they deem victims of Chinese government persecution…

As tensions between the United States and China grow, the two men are hoping to stoke them even further, by effectively calling for the overthrow of Beijing’s leadership. Mr. Guo is dipping into his fortune, while Mr. Bannon has agreed to provide a strategy…

Mr. Guo, 50, insists that the fund offers a way to strike back at Beijing. China has pressed the Trump administration to extradite him so that he can face a raft of charges in China — allegations he strongly denies. Billions of dollars in assets he controlled have been frozen by Beijing. And Interpol, the global police organization, has issued a warrant seeking his arrest. He now travels with a phalanx of security guards, saying he fears for his life…

What could possibly go wrong? I am in no sense an expert on geopolitics, but the little I have read about Mr. Guo’s travails… Ooh, look, former RNC finance chair Steve Wynn got name-checked, too!

53 replies
  1. 1
    sukabi says:

    Grifters, Cranks and Thieves

  2. 2
    sukabi says:

    In better news.

    2 attorneys general to subpoena Trump Organization, Treasury

    The subpoenas target 37 entities, including 13 Trump-linked entities and the federal agency that oversees the lease for Trump’s Washington hotel. Subpoenas were also being sent to the Department of Defense, General Services Administration, Department of Commerce and Department of Agriculture, all of which have spent taxpayer dollars at the hotel or have information on Trump’s finances relevant to the case.

    Other Trump entities that officials plan to subpoena include those related to his Washington hotel and its management. Eighteen private entities including restaurants, venues and hotels that compete with the Trump hotel are also being subpoenaed to “illuminate the unfair nature of that competition,” said Maryland Attorney General Brian E. Frosh.

    “We’re seeking to confirm the information that everybody already knows: Trump’s violation of the emoluments clause of the Constitution,” Frosh said. “He’s received numerous payments from foreign governments and state governments and they’ve been funneled, at least in part, through the Trump (hotel) in D.C.”

  3. 3
    Amir Khalid says:

    I’m saddened to learn that a Malaysian was organising the U of Montana event.

  4. 4
    NotMax says:


  5. 5
    ThresherK says:

    @sukabi: Is that to the tune of the old Cher song?

  6. 6
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    Mr. Guo is dipping into his fortune, while Mr. Bannon has agreed to provide a strategy

    For separating a fool from his money.

  7. 7
    Raven says:

    I got into Fr Meyers just fine but our buddy from Berkeley got delayed out of SF, had to spend the night in Dallas and won’t get in here until afternoon. This place is a fucking madhouse with traffic and shit. I don’t know what I expected but it’s worse. Every time I get near the water I am stunned at the wealth in this country. Cape Coral is a sort of Levittown with all these canals and there are huge boats everywhere.

  8. 8
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Raven: Thanx for the warning.

  9. 9
    Raven says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: I’m looking forward to getting into the Everglades tomorrow!

  10. 10
    NotMax says:


    Bring along ear protection if will be riding in an airboat. Them suckers are loud!

  11. 11
    Raven says:

    From our local rag written before Barrow lost

    I had a conversation at the mailbox last week with my esteemed longtime neighbor, Vince Howard. He noticed the mailer from Stacey Abrams supporting John Barrow’s candidacy for secretary of state. That started us reminiscing about how many losing candidates we have supported through the years. That’s because we’re liberals

  12. 12
  13. 13
    NotMax says:


    Stand your ground state. Fish may be packing heat.


  14. 14
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Raven: Inshore or offshore?

  15. 15
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    Reading the comments from the RWNJs on some of the linked tweets in Adam’s post on Mickey Flynn’s sing along.

    :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-) :-)

    My Freude is thoroughly schadened.

  16. 16
    OzarkHillbilly says:


    Of course, a lot of this countryside has been covered with lakes and their gated communities and clear-cut and bought up by timber companies and the government, but there’s enough left to remind us of what it means to love the country and its freedom even when you’re living in town. It’s not Atlanta; it’s not Athens; it’s not even Macon, but it’s not bad. It is a way of life for half our people. So, of course they’re going to vote for that city-slicker Brian Kemp, because his scriptwriters handed him a shotgun (and he snapped it shut, pointing it at somebody, which no hunter would ever do), and they put him in the big pickup and blew up stuff and it had some country humor, and the alternative was the other side, was a breaking down of the old order, people trying to get out of their place. And of course, that ultimate city slicker, Donald Trump, instinctively understands how that country man feels, even though he himself wouldn’t last an hour in a real swamp. Trump’s genius is to translate his New York City street smarts into an attitude that resonates with people who otherwise would disdain everything he is. And that of course explains John Barrow, too, carefully posed against a farm fence, even though he has no idea how to deal with whatever is on the other side of it.

    Political handlers know how to package the country flavor and sell it like sausage, but underneath all that hype are real people with their own values and their own history, and they are, after all, us.

  17. 17
    Gin & Tonic says:

    Up since about 0330 with a really bad reaction to the Shingrix vaccine. This is the second dose, it seems worse than what I had after the first. Flu-like symptoms – high fever, chills, body ache. Went to pee and was shivering so hard I couldn’t stand.

    Only bright side is this passes pretty quickly.

  18. 18
    biff murphy says:

    Bannon_ Cucked !!!

  19. 19
    Immanentize says:

    @Raven: Your friend just reaffirmed my motto: Never fly through Dallas.

    Is there gonna be fishing today?

  20. 20
    Platonailedit says:

    The recommendation of no jail time for Flynn, apart from its obvious irony for the man who led chants of “lock her up,” reflects both the timeliness and significance of his help. That most of the details are redacted signals he has given far more than we or the President may know— Adam Schiff (@RepAdamSchiff) December 5, 2018

    I sure hope he is right. That flynn indictment did not fly is a bummer.

  21. 21
    Immanentize says:


    That flynn indictment did not fly is a bummer

    I don’t understand what you mean by this sentence. Please explain.

  22. 22
    debbie says:

    @Gin & Tonic:

    Fuck. That does it. I’m skipping it.

  23. 23
    MattF says:

    One has to admit, though, that Bannon isn’t lazy. He looks like a bum, but in fact travels all over the world and gets thrown out and humiliated in a wide variety of unusual places and situations.

  24. 24
    NotMax says:


    Flynn’s plea deal kept his son out of the criminal equation. Strong incentive for him to cooperate fully.

    Also too, there was not a recommendation of no prison sentence, there was a statement that no prison time (as well as any sentencing at “the lower end” of the already on the table sentencing options, subject to the judge’s discretion) would be acceptable to the prosecution.

  25. 25
    satby says:

    @Gin & Tonic: @debbie: yeah, not a rec that makes me want to get it either.

  26. 26
    NotMax says:

    Has Mueller called the morning open thread in for questioning?

  27. 27
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @debbie: @satby: You two should read a first person experience of shingles before you decide to forego the vaccine. At least then you have a comparison. For me, the choice becomes obvious.

  28. 28
    debbie says:


    I’m seeing my doctor next week and will ask her about those side effects.

  29. 29
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @NotMax: I think it’s under indictment and by the advice of counsel is taking the 5th.

  30. 30

    I don’t mean to be ungrateful for the Flynn memo, but I feel like Annie singing “Tomorrow.” The stuff I want to see is always promised for later.

    Trump hasn’t tweeted yet this morning. Maybe he sees the danger in the Flynn memo and I need to be satisfied with that.

  31. 31
    debbie says:


    I’ve had that same kind of reaction after getting an IV (Reclast). Lying there in misery (much more misery than from flu or food poisoning), I really would have shot myself if I had had a gun. I am not good at dealing with nausea.

  32. 32
    rikyrah says:

    When you lose your Sugar Daddy….you fall HARD

  33. 33
    rikyrah says:

    That’s how I see it too. He sang to keep his son from going to jail

  34. 34
    mad citizen says:

    Sorry to hear about your bad reaction to the shingles vaccine. I had my second shot a month ago and had no side effects. My wife has had shingles a couple times, so when I read about this new vaccine I decided to go for it.

  35. 35
    NotMax says:


    Additionally, from reading what was released yesterday, Flynn provided evidence not only verifiable but also copious and crucial enough to be used when building indictments against others. Prosecutors and judges tend to reward such behavior.

  36. 36
    JPL says:

    @Dorothy A. Winsor: Trump will wait until after the service to express his outrage. His advisers can’t keep him from twitter forever.
    I hope the redacted area includes information about Pence. Mueller needs to start draining that swamp.

  37. 37

    @satby: Better than getting shingles.

  38. 38
    Raven says:

    @Gin & Tonic: I got hit pretty hard with dose 1 and decided to wait till I get back from this trip for 2. I had shingles in my eye 20 years ago. Get the shot.

  39. 39
    Raven says:

    @debbie: really bad idea

  40. 40
    Immanentize says:

    THIS! I had shingles, but only on my torso — not on my face or in my eyes. The pain was very bad. For a week at least.

  41. 41
    NotMax says:

    @Gin & Tonic

    Not a doctor, so pure guessing.

    Could it be you never had chicken pox (so don’t have the virus which can lead to a shingles outbreak in your system) and so have a more severe reaction to the shingles vaccine?

  42. 42
    Ohio Mom says:

    @debbie: There are some very good anti nausea drugs. Wonder why they weren’t offered after the reclast made you feel so bad. (Mumbles about stupid doctors, of which I have a few).

  43. 43
    debbie says:

    @Ohio Mom:

    I’ll ask about that too. Thanks!

  44. 44
    Ceci n est pas mon nym says:

    Good morning, jackals!

    I’m trying to understand this bit.

    . Cheok says he chose to invite Bannon to speak after seeing his talk on YouTube at the Black Enterprise Entrepreneurs Summit last year, which had similar economic nationalism and anti-immigration themes.

    The ACE conference had nationalist and anti-immigration themes? A black entrepreneur conference had anti-immigrant themes? Bannon was invited to speak at a black entrepreneur conference? Bannon gave a speech on white nationalism to a black entrepreneur conference?

    Ok, Bannon gave a racist speech that this guy liked and so gave him an invite. To a conference which is supposedly not political. But then what were the themes “similar” to? And what the hell was Bannon doing at that previous conference?

  45. 45
    bemused says:


    Degenerates pretty much covers them all for me. The worst people in the world ever comes in second.

  46. 46
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @debbie: Nausea sucks, I hate it too. But the idea of having the sensation of thousands of needles being inserted all over my body, 24 hrs a day for a week or more… I’ll take 24 hrs of nausea.

  47. 47
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @NotMax: I don’t actually know, and my childhood medical records are non-existent. Plus I have nobody to ask.

  48. 48
    Anne Laurie says:

    @debbie: That choice may be made *for* you. Spousal Unit & I have heard enough horror stories about shingles that we wanted the Shingrex vaccine, but while he managed to get a first dose, we’ve been told since that it’s so much in demand the various health centers / minute clinics aren’t even keeping waiting lists any more!

    According to my doctor — in a highly-rated major health center cluster — it ‘works so well’ that it’s being recommended for everyone over the age of fifty. Which increased demand by 500% overnight… and the manufacturers hadn’t thought to scale up production in advance.

    World’s best health care, if you can afford it, or if the just-in-time MBA model doesn’t kill ya!

  49. 49
    OzarkHillbilly says:


    I had shingles, but only on my torso

    Same with my little bro. Watching him go thru it convinced me.

  50. 50
    NotMax says:

    @Gin & Tonic

    Shutting the barn door after the horse has gotten out in your case, but there are tests which can show whether one has ever had chicken pox or not.

  51. 51
    J R in WV says:


    @Gin & Tonic: @debbie: yeah, not a rec that makes me want to get it either.

    But as usual, the vaccine and it’s side effects are so minor compared to the disease the vaccine prevents, that I’m anxious to receive the newer vaccine, in spite of have had the older shingles vaccine a couple of years ago.

    I watched my dad with shingles all over his torso, weeping open sores connected directly to his nervous system. There is no treatment for the pain, all you cna do is wait for your immune system to throw off the virus. Horrible, and dad had a much stronger tolerance for pain than the average person, yet was still miserable.

    Can’t wait to get the newer stronger vaccines! All of them!!

  52. 52
    Steeplejack says:

    [. . .] ACE stands for “Advances in Computer Technology Entertainment.”


  53. 53
    opiejeanne says:

    @J R in WV: I had possibly the mildest case of shingles in history when I was 32. Two spots on my left shin. It was like acid had been dripped on those two spots and it lasted for more than a week, but those were the only manifestations so I think I was lucky. Aren’t there more horrors than just the spots?

Comments are closed.