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…
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[SingleTearPepeGIF] Open Thread: Sad Little Nazis in Disarray

TL;DR — when it comes to literal Nazis, always root for injuries.

First, there was this tragicomical story in the Daily Beast

Prominent neo-Nazi website The Daily Stormer might have to reveal its funding, thanks to a new court filing in a lawsuit against the website’s founder, Andrew Anglin.

Anglin is currently on the run from two lawsuits. One of those lawsuits, by radio host and Daily Beast contributor Dean Obeidallah, accuses Anglin of defamation after The Daily Stormer accused Obeidallah of orchestrating a bombing at a 2017 Ariana Grande concert in England. In a new filing in the case, Obeidallah asked a judge to let him enter a discovery process for Moonbase Holdings, LLC, a shell company The Daily Stormer used to make its financial transactions look more legitimate.

If granted, the discovery process could reveal who funded Anglin’s hate site.

Anglin, who claims to be in Cambodia, has not responded to Obeidallah’s initial complaint, the Southern Poverty Law Center first reported. As a result, a clerk of court ruled declared Anglin to be in default, allowing Obeidallah to seek damages in Anglin’s absence. In his new filing, Obeidallah asks to investigate Moonbase Holdings before pursuing specific damages…

“At one point it appeared that Defendant Moonbase received approximately $3,405.70 per month in credit card donations through Hatreon,” the new filing in Obeidallah’s lawsuit reads. Hatreon is a crowdfunding platform beloved by hate groups, who are often banned from platforms like GoFundMe and Patreon.

Since February 9, 2017, the site has been down, its homepage displaying a notice that “pledging is currently disabled while we upgrade our systems.”

With Hatreon on hold, Anglin has claimed to be nearly broke…

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Aaaand… here come the Nazi Rosencrantz & Guildenstern!

The alleged dox appears to have grown out of a running spat between white supremacist Christopher Cantwell and infamous neo-Nazi troll Andrew “weev” Auernheimer. Weev has accused Cantwell of being a federal informant and Cantwell has responded by accusing weev of colluding with @Ricky_Vaughn99 to deliberately split the far-right movement between “vanguardists,” i.e. those who advocate for militant street action, and “mainstreamers,” embodied by Vaughn…

The dox comes at a pivotal moment for the alt-right, which has been embroiled in several publicity and legal scandals over the past few months. In February, Elliot Kline of Identity Evropa was revealed to have lied about his military service record. March saw the collapse of the Traditionalist Worker Party following Matthew Heimbach’s arrest for battery, domestic battery in the presence of a child, strangulation and intimidation during an affair with his benefactor and father-in-law’s wife…

The pseudonymous Ricky Vaughn Twitter account — named after a character from the 1989 film Major League — was highly influential in spreading the ideas of the racist alt-right in the run-up to the 2016 presidential election. Peaking at 62,000 followers and posting some 221,000 tweets, an MIT election study during the primaries ranked the Twitter account as more influential than the accounts of NBC News, Stephen Colbert, and the Democratic Party among many others.
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Media Idiots Open Thread: O’Keefe & the Power of a Truly TERRIBLE Example


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Maybe I’m just a wide-eyed optimist, but O’Keefe’s latest failed “prank” feels like it might be some kind of media tipping point… he’s just such a clown luzer, like a wafer-thin mint after Mr. Creosote’s dinner…


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Even the Establishment Wingnut Wurlitzer apparatchiks are embarrassed / annoyed!
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Open Thread: Apparently April Fools’ Day Has Been Rescheduled

… To July 3rd. Does an ambitious couple of kingmakers brand themselves the ‘WTF Party’ in all seriousness? Well, they’re venture capitalists quoting gamer lingo, so…

Mark Pincus and Reid Hoffman want to hack the Democratic Party.

Not literally. Not the likes of what befell the team behind Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign, resulting in scores of private emails being published online — and countless news stories that helped seal her defeat. No, Pincus, the co-founder of Zynga, and Hoffman, the brains behind LinkedIn, want to force Democrats to rewire their philosophical core, from their agenda to the way they choose candidates in elections — the stuff of politics, they said, that had been out of reach for most voters long before Donald Trump became president.

That’s the guiding principle behind Win the Future, a new project by the tech duo that’s launching in time for July 4. The effort — called, yes, WTF for short — aims to be “a new movement and force within the Democratic Party, which can act like its own virtual party,” said Pincus, its lead architect, during an interview.

Think of WTF as equal parts platform and movement. Its new website will put political topics up for a vote — and the most resonant ideas will form the basis of the organization’s orthodoxy. To start, the group will query supporters on two campaigns: Whether or not they believe engineering degrees should be free to all Americans, and if they oppose lawmakers who don’t call for Trump’s immediate impeachment.

Participants can submit their own proposals for platform planks — and if they win enough support, primarily through likes and retweets on Twitter, they’ll become part of WTF’s political DNA, too. Meanwhile, WTF plans to raise money in a bid to turn its most popular policy positions into billboard ads that will appear near airports serving Washington, D.C., ensuring that “members of Congress see it,” Pincus said…

Hard to top LGM‘s post: Gentlemen, Start Your Wanking!

Pincus, who has spent millions backing Democratic campaigns and organizations up and down the ticket for over a decade, said a major part of WTF came from his dissatisfaction with the way the Democratic Party was spending its energy and his money…

“I just don’t feel respected in the political process as a large donor or as a citizen voter,” Pincus said. “I just feel patronized. Everything I get is like, ‘Hey, you couldn’t possibly — it’s too complex and sophisticated what really goes on,’ and, ‘Hey, leave it to us, and we will go and represent you and fight the good fight, and just give us money.'” …

I lucked into a huge pile of money by latching on to an addictive fad that other people did all the work to implement. Why can’t I get some RESPECT from you professionals?



Late Night Poe-try Corner Open Thread

TBH, it was funnier before I visualized Captain Bankruptcy (h/t Jim Newell) taking credit for this ditty…