George Santos, Prince of Thieves - The Friday AM Quickie 11/17/23

Peace out, it's dumpling time! Jacob's got you covered on Monday. - Corey

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Santos Pity Appeal: 'I am Human and I Have Flaws'

The fabulist, formerly fabulous, and federally indicted New York Republican Rep. George Santos will be leaving Congress -- the only remaining questions are when and how that will happen. Yesterday's long-awaited House Ethics Committee report on his shenanigans cements his status as a legendary folk hero in the grifter pantheon. The report notes Santos "was frequently in debt, had an abysmal credit score, and relied on an ever-growing wallet of high-interest credit cards to fund his luxury spending habits." Oh, so it's a crime now to participate in the American Dream?

As prosecutors are detailing in their ongoing case against Santos, he effectively stole from campaign donors. That's old news. What we haven't known is what he did with the money. But now we can all live vicariously through his pile of receipts. Per the New York Times:

Over just a few days last November, Mr. Santos dropped $6,000 at Ferragamo, perhaps some of it on the red designer sneakers he later wore to walk the marble halls of Congress. He withdrew $800 in cash at a casino, where an aide said he liked to play roulette. He paid off his rent, and he pulled out another $1,000 in spending money at an A.T.M. near his apartment in Queens. ...
Among the bills footed by campaign donors: trips to the casinos in Atlantic City and the Hamptons; purchases at the French fashion house Hermès; regular cosmetic treatments labeled 'Botox' on internal campaign records; and even small purchases on OnlyFans, a platform best known for allowing creators to sell explicit photos and videos to subscribers.

One thing Santos did not buy, as Politico notes: "a Maserati, despite telling campaign staff otherwise."

The public has been spared an itemized accounting of his OnlyFans expenditures. As for the Botox: HuffPost reminds us that Santos once mocked a staffer for traveling to Colombia to get the "diluted" cosmetic treatment at a discount, while freelance journalist Marisa Kabas reports that one doctor who administered Santos' Botox treatments was himself accused of diluting the product; he also had his medical license suspended over a botched penile enhancement procedure, and pleaded guilty this year to billing fraud. Amazing.

The Washington Post reports that even given a report showing "substantial evidence" of his criminal wrongdoing, House Republicans are unlikely to risk their three-vote majority by expelling Santos, who has already survived two removal attempts. A vacancy in his seat would trigger a special election favoring Democrats, so it's no big surprise that Santos, announcing yesterday that he would not seek reelection, nevertheless vowed to complete his term. "I will remain steadfast in fighting for my rights and for defending my name in the face of adversity," he wrote. "I am humbled yet again and reminded that I am human and I have flaws, but I will not stand by as I am stoned by those who have flaws themselves." So true. It's a shame that Congress will lose such a creative entrepreneur, but the wardens at whatever white-collar prison Santos winds up in had best watch their wallets.

Social Media Sh*tshow Roundup

  • IBM Yanks $1 Million in Ads from X After Elon Musk's Latest Antisemitic Post, But He's Still Booked at New York Times Conference "Musk has been spreading antisemitism now for years," 164 Jewish leaders and rabbis wrote yesterday, appealing for more companies to leave the platform. "What is surprising is how many tech companies and leaders are still willing to do business with him." via the Washington Post.
  • The Guardian's Censorship of Osama Bin Laden Letter Backfires as Portions of 2002 Manifesto Go Viral on TikTok The White House has now officially condemned some extremely online people born after 9/11 who apparently think the Al Qaeda leader made some good points. via HuffPost.
  • Trump Attacks Fraud Trial Clerk on Failing Truth Social Hours After Appeals Court Pauses Gag Order Appellate judge David Friedman seemed unconcerned for the safety of court employees in the New York Trump Organization civil fraud trial, even though presiding judge Arthur Engoron and his staff "have received hundreds of threatening and antisemitic phone calls and letters since the trial began." via the New York Times and the Associated Press.
  • Backtracking from Proposed Ban on Anonymous Online Comments, Nikki Haley Says 'Russians and Chinese and Iranians' Shouldn't Have Free Speech "Banning TikTok or requiring social media accounts to use their real names are the tech version of a flag burning amendment: very popular with Republican primary voters and also very unconstitutional," observes Silicon Valley PR guy Nu Wexler. via Politico.

'Red Cup Rebellion' as 5,000 Fed-Up Starbucks Workers Walk Out

Members of Starbucks Workers United staged a one-day strike at more than 200 stores across the U.S. yesterday – which was, by no coincidence, one of the coffee chain's busiest days of the year: the annual Red Cup Day, when customers receive a free cup if they order a holiday-themed beverage. The union says such promotions, which encourage unmanageable online orders, force workers to do the jobs of two or three people, as their bosses refuse to staff up. "I mean, you can imagine the Starbucks orders. Decaf grande non-fat, three-and-a-half Splenda mocha with no whip. Multiply that by 100 and you have just drink, drink, drink, drink, drink, drink, drink," Juniper Schweitzer, a 16-year Starbucks veteran, tells the Associated Press. "We just have basically an infinite amount of drinks and we're understaffed and we're underpaid and we're sick of it." Meanwhile, nearly 55 percent of United Auto Workers members voted to ratify the union's new contract with General Motors; ratification votes on the Stellantis and Ford deals are expected to follow soon.


  • FBI Raided Two More People With Close Ties to NYC Mayor-Cop Eric Adams The coordinated raids targeting Rana Abbasova, the "director of protocol" in Adams' international affairs office, and Cenk Öcal, a former Turkish Airlines executive who served on Adams' transition team, suggest "a broad corruption investigation into the mayor's 2021 campaign." via the New York Times.
  • Capitol Cops Injured 90 Activists at Civil Disobedience Protest Demanding Cease-Fire in Israel-Gaza War House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries, Minority Whip Katherine Clark, Democratic Caucus Chairman Pete Aguilar and Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairwoman Suzan DelBene, without offering evidence or specifics, accused the protesters of violent escalation, and commended the "service and professionalism" of police, who were shown on video attacking protesters with their arms linked, and shoving one person down some stairs. via the Washington Post and the Guardian.
  • Paul Pelsoi's Attacker David Depape Convicted on All Counts of Assault, Attempted Kidnapping of a Federal Official The 43-year-old DePape, who was radicalized by Gamergate, said he planned to interrogate then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi about her "lies" about Donald Trump on video while wearing an inflatable unicorn costume, to "break her kneecaps" if he wasn't satisfied with her answers, and then roll her into Congress in a wheelchair as an example to other "evil" Democrats. via the Los Angeles Times and the New York Times.
  • Supreme Court Rules Florida Cannot Enforce Drag Show Ban Lawyers answering to floundering fascist Gov. Ron DeSantis had asked the court to permit Florida to enforce the ban everywhere except at the Hamburger Mary's restaurant in Orlando, which hosts family friendly drag shows on Sundays, and challenged the new law on First Amendment grounds. via the Associated Press.



That's how many patients remain trapped inside Gaza's al-Shifa Hospital, which has been subjected to repeated raids by Israeli troops, along with 700 medical staff, and thousands of displaced Palestinians. Israel claims the hospital houses a secret terrorist command center, but, per NBC News, "video shared after the Israeli raid on the complex yesterday did not appear to show definitive evidence to back up the claims."


11/17: It's Casual Friday! Sam and Emma are joined by Heather Digby Parton, contributing writer at and proprietor of the blog Hullabaloo, to round up the week in news.


GOP's Fakest Tough Guy Brags to Hannity About His Failed Attempt to Fight Union Leader

More like Markwayne Mulligan.

Ben Shapiro DARES Candace Owens to Quit Daily Wire

We hear a lot about schisms among leftists and liberals, but never forget how much right-wing bigots utterly despise each other.


"It seems to me we are showing that Kentucky is still embedded in racism. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to say it's wrong to shoot through a window they can't see through."

-- Louisville community activist Antonio Brown, speaking to the Washington Post about the trial of Brett Hankison, the only former cop directly involved in the 2020 killing of Breonna Taylor to face state or federal charges. (Three others were indicted for falsifying information on a search warrant leading up to the "no knock" raid on Taylor's apartment, and for filing false reports after Hankison blindly fired 10 shots into the building.) U.S. District Judge Rebecca Grady yesterday declared a mistrial after jurors failed to agree on whether Hankison committed civil rights violations.

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