Martin Shkreli's poor impulse control continues to land him in terrible trouble: his price-gouging on lifesaving drugs didn't land him in prison, but his profligate boasting about it did (to say nothing of the revocation of his bail after he put a bounty on Hillary Clinton's hair follicles). Read the rest
Burning Man has long struggled with the tension between its commitment to "radical decommodification" and grifters and their ultra-high-net-worth marks who organize "turnkey camps" where you can pay giant sums to pretend to be a Burning Man "participant" while being looked after by paid "sherpas" (including, rumor has it, sex workers), in luxury settings designed to repel non-paying attendees (sometimes guarded by private security guards). Read the rest
When Trump FCC Chairman (and former telcoms executive) Ajit Pai murdered Net Neutrality, he told us the slaughter was necessary, otherwise the ISPs wouldn't invest in their networks. Read the rest
The downfall of Milo is delicious. The flaming Trumpster fire lasted just one day on the crowdfunding platform Patreon before getting banned. Read the rest
Michael Lewis is a national treasure, whose gift for explaining how finance grifters think and operate has spawned a whole genre, which he dominates with books like Liar's Poker (an insider view of the S&L crisis); The Big Short (a character-driven, crystal-clear explainer on the financial engineering that led to the 2008 crisis), and Flash Boys (the shitty math and bafflegab behind high-speed trading); and now, The Fifth Risk: an astounding and terrifying book about the experts who fill the ranks in the US government and the Trump-administration grifters who are destroying the work they do to keep us from dying of tornadoes, nuclear accident, food poisoning and a million other dangers, large and small. Read the rest
Donald Trump, meet the U.S. Constitution's 'emoluments clause.'
A federal judge ruled today that 200 congressional Democrats do have standing to sue Donald Trump for violating the Constitution by doing business with foreign governments while he holds the office of President, according to the Washington Post. Read the rest
Wondering why the Milwaukee county sheriff with one hat and countless badges vanished from electoral politics? Wonder no more. Fox News:
Butina's group, The Right to Bear Arms, covered $6,000 of Clarke's meal, hotel, and transportation expenses, according to the ex-sheriff's Milwaukee County financial disclosure form.
Clarke did not respond to messages by phone or email. He now lives near Washington, D.C., where he has a political consulting business.
Maria Butina was charged this week with conspiracy as a foreign agent in connection with her activities with the National Rifle Association, which itself has a lot of questions to answer about Russian money. Read the rest
Aiden Sinclair claims he was a con man who spent five years in prison after turning himself in to U.S. Marshals. Today, he is a magician and performer who shares stories of his life as a grifter. He's assumed many identities in the past, impersonating a Navy Seal, a veteran of the French Foreign Legion, a DEA agent, and a cruise ship bartender. Jess Zimmerman of Atlas Obscura has a long profile about Aiden Sinclair, and explores the idea that Sinclair's latest persona as a “grifter magician” could merely be his latest false identity.
Whatever the case may be, he is a good magician!