James O’Keefe is Just a Clown Now

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Illustration by Mike McQuade; Source: Chip Somodevilla / Getty (man)

New Orleans    I’m tired of hearing anything about James O’Keefe, the discredited video scammer, whose one infamous claim to notoriety was his heavily edited attack on ACORN in 2009 in concert with conservative pundits and Congressional representatives. Luckily, I’m now in the vast majority as one escapade after another further exposes him as nothing more than an unethical, unscrupulous jerk. Even better than being little more than a boring footnote of these dark times, we can all find some joy in the fact that increasingly he is nothing more than an embarrassment to the conservative cause and a source of ridicule as the poster boy for sheer incompetence.

None of us can forget the Keystone Kops affair at former US Senator Mary Landrieu’s field office in New Orleans, where he and his co-conspirators were caught monkeying with the phones in a ridiculous effort to try and prove her office was not answer the phone about the Affordable Care Act. Huh?!? Well, they got off without having to do time on a felony beef for breaking-and-entering, and eventually pled out and outlasted his probation, but wow….what a bunch of boneheads.

He and his flub-a-dub crew have had one blunder after another to their credit from ACORN on. They stumbled around Texas looking for some evidence of mischief in Obamacare signups and were chased out of the Local 100 office in Dallas when busted. They bought a Hillary t-shirt with cash and claimed it was dirty money. Small potatoes. Thin soup. No one’s eating any more.

The latest from the O’Keefe gang that can’t shoot straight was some kind of attempted sting they were planning on George Soros’ Open Society Foundation. Supposedly they were trying to make a point about how groups are networked or something, but god only knows.

Anyway, according to reports in The New Yorker and on the Media Matters website, they were trying to set up their operation claiming some Hungarian émigré wanted to work with them, as if that’s the way OSI operates. They had someone with a British accent who was going to pretend to be Hungarian. The whole scene already sounds unbelievably bizarre.

As they reported:

Conservative media darling James O’Keefe accidentally detailed his plans to infiltrate and smear progressive organizations on the voicemail of Dana Geraghty, an employee of liberal philanthropist George Soros’ Open Society Foundations, continuing a string of embarrassing missteps in his attempts at undercover stings. After leaving Geraghty a voicemail claiming to be “Victor Kesh,” a “Hungarian-American who represents a, uh, foundation,” O’Keefe held “a meeting about how to perpetrate an elaborate sting on Soros,” unaware that his phone was still connected to Geraghty’s voicemail. During the call, O’Keefe outlined plans to send an “undercover” operative posing as a potential donor to the foundation in a project he named “Discover the Networks.” O’Keefe’s plot involved using an English orthopedic surgeon with “a real heavy British accent” to secretly film Soros-linked progressive organizations. He later admitted that “some of us just forget to hang up the phone. The New Yorker continued:

 

The accidental recording reached farcical proportions when Kesh announced that he was opening Geraghty’s LinkedIn page on his computer. He planned to check her résumé and leverage the information to penetrate the Soros “octopus.” Kesh said, “She’s probably going to call me back, and if she doesn’t I can create other points of entry.” Suddenly, Kesh realized that by opening Geraghty’s LinkedIn page he had accidentally revealed his own LinkedIn identity to her. (LinkedIn can let users see who has looked at their pages.) “Whoa!” an accomplice warned. “Log out!” The men anxiously reassured one another that no one checks their LinkedIn account anyway. “It was a little chilling to hear this group of men talking about me as a ‘point of entry,’ ” Geraghty says. “But—not to sound ageist—it was clear that these people were not used to the technology.”

I mean, really, need I say more?

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Oppressing the Christians in Chin and Media Dreams in the Air

chin_stateYangon  Chin is a somewhat inaccessible state occupied largely by ethnic Chin’s along the western and northern mountainous areas of Myanmar strategically located along the Indian and Chinese borders of the country.  The state is geographically large, but its population is hardly 500,000, and perhaps significantly less given the number of Chin who have fled, largely because of religious oppression that has enjoyed government support and military implementation for years, as we learned in a lengthy meeting with the Chin Human Rights Organization.   With all the current news coverage about the ethnic violence involving Muslims in some of the rural areas, the religious oppression here involves Christians, and more precisely, Baptists.

            It seems that in the 1880’s, Baptists missionaries from the United States, began proselytizing among the Chin and somehow caught lightning in a bottle because of the alignment of animism and Christianity in a weird synergy.  Unfortunately, the military government has tended to build unity in this overwhelmingly Buddhist country by equating religion and nationalism.  We heard of a program of residential schools that seemed similar to the colonization of first Canadians and Native Americans in North America with the added incentives of promises of scholarships and jobs.   They shared a recent report entitled, “Threats to Our Existence” that detailed instances of forced labor used to build pagodas by Christians so that higher officials could win “merit” as well as sites where there were cross destructions.   Normally, the CHRO is left “documenting” these cases for the various United Nations bodies responsible for either refugees or human rights abuses, but now they were helping to prepare for a coming meeting in Chin State won as part of the ceasefire settlement that would organize a human rights commission, so they were more hopeful of real action.

            Later in our day we met with a representative of the Burma News International named Khin Maung Shwe.  As deeply rooted and methodical as CHRO was in its approach, BNI was all up in the air with plans and dreams.  They were an on-line news source, but also publishing two books on the political peace process and the economy, as well as trying to figure out how to build a national FM radio network with a host of foreign donors from George Soros’ Open Society to French media foundations.   Where days ago one of our group had asked about social networking and almost gotten a blank stare, BNI was deeply ambitious and uploading news to Facebook at one time, Twitter later in the day, and then finally on their website.  30 people were employed by the project and they were moving like a house on fire.  Did they have problems with censorship?   Sure, but this was their time!   How about the government?  Well, they met with them monthly along with others and were hoping to convince them to license their efforts. 

            Jay Hessey formerly of SEIU and now working in Mae Sot, Thailand with refugees, commented later that one thing that was most moving was the amount of hope everyone seemed to have.  His observation was inarguable, not withstanding any facts to the contrary.

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