So are you ready? And who are you betting will win? Who is going to have the best ad? It is Superbowl Sunday (AKA for this matchup as the 420 Bowl), so use this thread to work out your trash talking and brag about your snacks.
More Chris Christie corruption — his supporter Haley Barbour is a lobbyist for AshBritt, a firm that does debris removal. AshBritt did debris removal after Hurricane Sandy under a No-Bid, long term arrangement that turned out to be more expensive than other local debris removal efforts. Coincidence? I think not!
Two long reads about political grifting:
And it was largely the brainchild of a 25-year-old wunderkind named Rory McCarron. Over the course of a few months, McCarron had turned a cocktail-napkin idea into a serious multimillion-dollar operation. It was impressive, and he was impressive: whip-smart and knowledgeable enough to make people want to join his cause, and likable and earnest enough to make people want to offer him a place to crash.[...]
But now, just a few months after the launch of Invest Again, several involved parties are coming forward claiming to be victims of deceit by the young man they once believed to be a star in the organizing world. They say they’re not sure what to believe now, other than that the organization’s resources and connections seem to be largely fabricated. McCarron, for his part, is fighting back vigorously, saying he is the victim of a smear campaign. He pins most of the blame on Kieloch, the fundraiser, and the first in the group to openly raise questions about McCarron’s background.
However this ultimately shakes out, it appears that Invest Again, a campaign and organization that flashed onto the Washington landscape with a bang, will be headed toward a similarly hair-trigger extinction. Lawyers are now involved, lawsuits are being threatened. Simply put, it’s a mess.
From the right, a charlatan who duped some top conservatives (including the National Review):
It was researching Allen Baler that finally led me to the real story behind the 4Patriots empire.
“Our philosophy is one man, one laptop, one million bucks,” Baler said during a 2011 chat with one of his marketing bros. “I just love the freedom of being able to make a nice income, to make a nice business and just be, basically, myself.” Or Frank Bates, whichever works. [...]
The industry works like this: someone has a product, someone else finds websites or ad networks willing to host ads for that product for a price, and then the host makes a little extra money for every sale the ads they put up generate. Affiliate ads are generally “tailored to particular viewers to drive traffic to the seller’s website,” David Vladeck, former Director of the Federal Trade Commission’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, explained. “The point of it is to make sure the consumer ends up on the landing page of the seller.” It’s a roughly $4 billion industry in the United States alone.
The conservative Newsmax site turns out to have a key role in this kind of thing. But hey, if politics can support this level of grifting, there is officially too much money in the game.
The groundhog has officially seen his shadow and there’s going to be snow and ice apocalypse here tomorrow. Your Superbowl bets need to have a side bet on whether the kids get a snowday or not.