Monday’s Forum

FILED UNDER: Open Forum
Steven L. Taylor
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is a Professor of Political Science and a College of Arts and Sciences Dean. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter

Comments

  1. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Nick Chubb… Damn.

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  2. Jen says:

    I don’t fully understand what went on here, but it seems as though Parler’s site security was so threadbare that all user data has been scraped and archived by hackers…and that the FBI/NSA are likely in possession of a treasure trove.

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  3. Teve says:

    @Jen: I briefly considered joining Parler for the derp, but declined and followed @Parlertakes on Twitter instead. Kinda glad I did.

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  4. Teve says:

    @Jen: A great comment:

    “Why be careful when they think that being white is like a magical cloak of invincibility?”

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  5. Teve says:

    @Jen:

    and that the FBI/NSA are likely in possession of a treasure trove.

    I was drinking some Guiness at a party in Raleigh in the year 2000 and someone said “have you heard about PRISM? The NSA is recording everyone’s emails, text messages, and phone calls.” “No”, I said, “that’s impossible. Nobody has that computing power.”

    Guess who has two thumbs and was wrong?

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  6. Mikey says:

    @Jen: There were a few issues, but the most significant was a serious fuck-up by Parler’s developers.

    You know when you forget your password to a website and you click that “forgot password” link and you get an e-mail with a temporary password and/or a link to create a new password? A lot of the time that’s actually handled by a third party through a connection to the company you’re dealing with. No worries, it’s all secure.

    But what happens if the connection goes down? Well, in proper security practice, it will fail closed–you will get an error saying you can’t reset the password right now. You have to wait impatiently until someone figures out the problem and restores that connection.

    But Parler didn’t do this. They failed OPEN. If they couldn’t connect to their reset link provider, they just let you create a new account and password, even admin accounts, with no other verification. And then they just let you log in because the 2-factor authentication was down too.

    So people set up Docker containers holding virtual machines that were purpose-built to create admin accounts on Parler and pull everything, including posts users thought were deleted, because nothing was ever deleted, it just had the deleted bit set, and admins could still view all of it. And they put the Docker containers up where anyone could pull them down and run them.

    Seriously…if schadenfreude were harmful, I’d have exploded into supernova and taken out half the Eastern Seaboard.

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  7. Jen says:

    @Mikey: Thank you for the explanation–and, wow. Just…wow.

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  8. MarkedMan says:

    Since Reagan at least, the default mode of people on the right is, “Problems are actually simple and the reason the Left says things are difficult is because they are a bunch of panicky ninnies and stupid to boot.” When they get power and inevitably screw up, they then default to “See, we shouldn’t rely on government.” But this Parler thing, a private endeavor, is a good example of the Right’s increasing incompetence. They have convinced themselves that, as masters of the universe, everything they touch just takes care of itself.

    I’m not saying this is limited to Righties, but it definitely has become part of the culture in that crew.

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  9. Kathy says:

    Moving away from politics a bit, I think it was downright decent of the Steelers to lose the game in the first quarter. They allowed Kansas City a couple more hours to work on their game plan.

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  10. mattbernius says:

    @Mikey:
    O M G!

    Also, TIL that Parler’s backend was based on… WordPress?!

    Oh, and even better, the platform didn’t apparently delete anything, it just set the content to not show. On and they retained the OG exif data on images uploaded to the site. These people really didn’t understand or care about privacy.

    Also, I love the fact that Parler, for some reason, made a joining condition sharing photos of the front and back of drivers licenses and social security numbers.

    God, if I didn’t know better, I would think the entire thing was a sting from the start.

    For more, see this thread: https://twitter.com/BirdRespecter/status/1348557067351519234

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  11. Teve says:

    Mikel Jollett
    @Mikel_Jollett

    REPUBLICANS: “We just lost the House, the Senate, the Presidency, the respect of the world and 350,000 lives, meet us in the middle.

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  12. Jim Brown 32 says:

    Secretly hoping the Qs find this thread today. I missed out on the fun yesterday and would enjoy cracking myself up today.

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  13. CSK says:

    @Jim Brown 32:
    The last time there was a wholesale invasion here was when Sarah Palin was teasing about running in 2010-11, and we were being, uh, disdainful of her. Her knights in rusty armor came shambling in on their spavined steeds to defend her honor.

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  14. Jay L Gischer says:

    @Jen: Ummm, pretty sure the FBI can’t use data obtained that way as evidence. Which is a shame.

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  15. grumpy realist says:

    @mattbernius: There’s a certain level of incompetence that just leaves one in awe and muttering “they CAN’T have intended to do that!”

    They didn’t. But assuming that things will work as one hopes and expects they do in computer systems is, um, prevalent.

    “Common sense” ain’t, in computers. (I’ve been guilty of this trap myself.)

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  16. Teve says:

    @Mikey:

    But Parler didn’t do this. They failed OPEN. If they couldn’t connect to their reset link provider, they just let you create a new account and password, even admin accounts, with no other verification.

    I think my eyes just popped out of my head.

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  17. Jen says:

    @Jay L Gischer: Excellent point, and probably not.

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  18. Michael Reynolds says:

    @Jay L Gischer:
    If there’s a legal issue with lifting the data directly the FBI can get it from ‘concerned citizens’ offering it up.

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  19. CSK says:

    According to http://www.thedailybeast.com, Melania’s farewell address to the nation is a heartfelt complaint about…how people were mean to her.

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  20. MarkedMan says:

    @mattbernius:

    God, if I didn’t know better, I would think the entire thing was a sting from the start.

    Just out of curiosity, why are you so sure that it wasn’t a scam from the start? Can’t it be both a scam AND a right wing fever dream? As an example, from what I understand the Jericho rally broadcast literally had speakers getting up, seemingly sincerely rallying people to “Stop the Steal” and defend the nation, and then giving giving a special discount code to the My Pillow site, with a split screen of the My Pillow website information.

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  21. Paine says:

    @CSK: Someone pointed out her statement contains language that is copy and pasted from her own RNC speech. With 6 dead and the nation in turmoil I guess it’s too much work for hers staff to be original.

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  22. Roger says:

    @Jay L Gischer:

    Ummm, pretty sure the FBI can’t use data obtained that way as evidence.

    Why do you think that? For a century now, since the decision in Bureau v. McDowell, federal courts have followed the rule that the exclusionary rule doesn’t bar the use of evidence that was illegally obtained by private parties. If the feds were involved in stealing this evidence, it’s probably not usable, but if someone else stole it and left it on a public doorstep for the feds to find it probably is (with the caveat that I have a generalist’s knowledge of search and seizure law–maybe there’s a specific statute related to the internet that I don’t know about).

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  23. Kathy says:

    @Paine:

    It’s hard to work on a speech when you’re stealing everything that’s not bolted down.

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  24. Jay L Gischer says:

    @Roger: Well. It seems we agree that the FBI cannot use evidence it obtained itself illegally. That’s what I was thinking. As to a third party gaining it illegally and turning it over? Wow, that seems a bit of a loophole.

    It also creates a problem of custody – it makes the evidence a lot less trustworthy. I mean, it’s open to having been fabricated, or have “extra” bits injected into it, right? A good defense lawyer would make much of this, I think.

    I want the bad actors found and taken down. And I also want it done cleanly and unequivocally. You know, “Well, this is the video you posted of yourself in Nancy Pelosi’s office, engaging in criminal trespass, etc.”

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  25. CSK says:

    @Paine:
    I don’t think she has much of a staff left.
    @Kathy:
    I wouldn’t mind if she walked off with the gold-plated toilets.

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  26. owen says:

    @CSK:I don’t remember Michelle Obama giving such a speech. Where is Melania’s (shrinking) staff getting her speech from?

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  27. JohnSF says:

    @Michael Reynolds:
    Or a certain foreign agency can slurp it and pass along any interesting bits.
    “Hello Mr FBI-Liason-Officer-at-Cheltenham, would you mind waiting in this office for a bit before our meeting starts. And by the way, whatever you do, don’t look at the PC on this desk that has the Parler archive open. Cup of tea?”

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  28. JohnSF says:

    And some of the loons still flittering about on Twitter, yelling about “Parler is down, OK, I’m going to Gab.”
    If Gab isn’t monitored six-ways to Sunday I’ll be rather surprised.

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  29. Jim Brown 32 says:

    @mattbernius: consider that you might not know better

    The name of the game in counter terrorism is to find the most motivated and capable people in the noise. Parler makes it easier to find the reckless subset of those actors.

    The more capable understand hiding in the noise and wont bother with Parler because they understand the exposure risk. Those guys are on encrypted apps like Telegram, etc.

    Parler, like other social media apps sells data scrapes to market research firms so the data is out in the wild. Its always been an issue in the civil liberties about how easily LE can get this data…but they do (and in this case will).

    Not probable..but still a good possibility that the hands behind the curtain in establishing Parler had ulterior motives than Free Speech. Technology allows people to mask the true origin and trustee of anything today (like how Trump hides his true sources of income).

    So its probably what it seems to be…but Ive seen first hand that there are a few things here and there that aren’t. I always leave a little room for possibilities…including that Donald Trump’s end game is to destroy the Republican party.

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  30. JohnSF says:

    @Jay L Gischer:
    You obtain the origin by *ahem* questionable routes.
    You then order Parler to hand over the data. Nice and legit and tied up with a bow.

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  31. mattbernius says:

    @MarkedMan:

    Just out of curiosity, why are you so sure that it wasn’t a scam from the start?

    Oh it was definitely a scam.

    I meant “sting” as an attempt to capture this information for Law Enforcement purposes.

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  32. Jay L Gischer says:

    @JohnSF: I would have thought LE had already obtained warrants for this stuff. I guess they don’t have enough names, and they can’t just ask a judge for “everything on the platform”.

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  33. CSK says:

    @owen:
    They were apparently so out of material to steal that they had to plagiarize something of Melania’s.

    That’s not really theft, though–it’s hard to steal from yourself–but an indication of total poverty of imagination, creativity, and language.

    To be fair, it must be horribly difficult to write a speech for someone as devoid of intellect, character, and personality as Melania. She does appear to be animate, which puts her up one step from a window dummy. She once told People magazine that she spent her days doing Pilates and reading (or maybe just looking at the pictures in) fashion magazines. What a vapid, empty existence.

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  34. An Interested Party says:

    The most sickening aspect of the current “conservative” movement is its victimhood…real snowflakes are a lot stronger than these pathetic crybabies…

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  35. Jim Brown 32 says:

    @JohnSF: Not sure if this is still the practice but LE purchases data scrapes from commercial companies that bought the scrapes from the social media company. Those market research and business intelligence companies required specific queries and ongoing investigations to sell the data because LE does have to tools or expertise to go through this amount of data. The data sold to these companies used to have some masking so LE used the data to build warrants to provide to the Social Media and get the unmasked specific data.

    Not sure if its still done this way…but LE probably doesn’t care about the hacked data…

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  36. Kathy says:

    @CSK:

    She does appear to be animate

    I think the most important task of her staff, is to wind her up every morning after taking her out of the trophy case.

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  37. CSK says:

    @Kathy:
    Indeed. I hadn’t considered the possibility that she’s a humanoid robot. That would explain her still-unexplained hospitalization in May 2018: She had to be returned to the shop for parts replacement.

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  38. Jen says:

    Random question…I started getting these notices last evening:

    Bad Request

    Your browser sent a request that this server could not understand.
    Size of a request header field exceeds server limit.

    Happens (sporadically) when I try to access OTB using Firefox. Is this a user error of some type on my part, or is something else going on? Chrome is fine, as is Edge.

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  39. Kylopod says:

    @Jen:

    Happens (sporadically) when I try to access OTB using Firefox…. Chrome is fine, as is Edge.

    I have it the opposite way. It happens when I use Chrome, then I’m forced to use Firefox to access OTB for a period of time.

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  40. JohnSF says:

    @Jay L Gischer:
    Dunno. IANAL; and I Am Definitely Not An American Lawyer. 🙂

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  41. CSK says:

    @Jen:
    Chrome works fine for me. I haven’t used Firefox in several months, but I never had a problem with it, either.

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  42. JohnSF says:

    @Jim Brown 32:
    Yes; most likely knew it already.
    And if the FBI really wants certain information, ways and means will likely be found.

    But still, it will have a lot of big-mouthed clowns messing their dockers. 🙂

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  43. Michael Cain says:

    @Jim Brown 32:

    The more capable understand hiding in the noise and wont bother with Parler because they understand the exposure risk. Those guys are on encrypted apps like Telegram, etc.

    If I were one of dozen or so people planning some serious operation hidden inside the crowd, none of my traffic would go over public cell phone networks or any commercial app. The FBI and (illegally the) NSA are going to have to work harder than that to find my bits.

    I sort of expect a public statement from Amazon about how all the evidence that was involved in their decision to terminate Parler’s service was obtained from Parler’s public-facing interface. There’s a ton of proprietary data and code in Amazon’s cloud, and it’s very much in their interest to assure everyone that when they say, “we won’t look at the code and data you store in our cloud” they can be trusted.

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  44. Tyrell says:

    Cleveland wins! Cleveland wins! The Cleveland team known as the Cleveland Browns scored a stunning win against the Steelers. In a throwback to the Brown’s winning days of old, they ran smash up straight ahead football like they used to: none of that sissy, pass every down west coast offense garbage. We well remember the “dog pound” Browns of the past: the amazing Jim Brown, Paul Warfield, Lou Groza, Bernie Kosar, Frank Ryan, and the legend Coach Paul Brown. Cleveland: the only team named after a person!
    #32 Jim Brown: a man of many talents: “The Dirty Dozen” “Ice Station Zebra” “100 Rifles”

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  45. Mike in Arlington says:

    @Mikey: There’s a new link on reddit claiming that the previous descriptions of the breach were inaccurate.

    I have no way to judge this because I know very little about computer security.

    https://www.reddit.com/r/ParlerWatch/comments/kv0jo6/psa_the_heavily_upvoted_description_of_the_parler/

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  46. Mikey says:

    @Mike in Arlington: Well, that makes my own description partially inaccurate…lol…I’m glad I also read some other articles rather than relying entirely on the Reddit post.

    In the end the effect is the same, they were able to haul out a massive dump of Parler posts including location information on photos and videos, and also the “deleted” posts.

    Here’s an updated description of how this was able to be done, from the correction Reddit post:

    – they let you load all posts, images, videos and user profiles by starting at 1, 2, 3… rather than making you guess a big random ID (e.g. this Reddit post is kuqvs3)
    – they didn’t make sure you were logged in before letting you do this, even though Parler isn’t meant to be publicly accessible (I think?)
    – they didn’t make sure the thing you asked for wasn’t deleted before showing it to you like this, even though they wouldn’t show it to you on the main site
    – for videos and pictures, they didn’t strip the non-core information that is tagged on (time, location, camera model etc.)
    – when you asked for an account, they told you if it was an admin
    – when their SMS and email providers blocked them, they let you create an account without SMS or email verification

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  47. Tyrell says:

    @CSK:”First Invasion”PBS documentary on the War of 1812 (September 11, 1812!): the first and last time the US was invaded. Pearl Harbor and 9/11 were attacks, no invasions.
    The War of 1812: the most unusual and misunderstood wars in history, yet one of the most important. Most adults could not give one fact about it.

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  48. CSK says:

    @Tyrell:
    I knew all that, but thank you for the refresher.

    In the context in which I used it, my choice of the word “invasion” was intended to be hyperbolic.

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  49. Jay L Gischer says:

    @Mike in Arlington: If what is described in that post is accurate, then the FBI could have downloaded it and used it, I think. Contrary to what I’ve posted before, as it was all done from a publicly accessible (but not publicized) bulk-data API.

    Nothing illegal about that at all. Good lord, this operation was slapdash. But it’s not the first such software project like that I’ve seen.

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  50. CSK says:

    Melania is bitching about “salacious” gossip about her.

    Either her current speechwriter doesn’t know the meaning of the word “salacious” or there’s some juicy story I’ve overlooked. Perhaps the details of her long-running liaison with the head of security at Trump Tower?

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  51. inhumans99 says:

    @mattbernius:

    I know right, maybe it was a sting that was kind-of like the McDonalds Monopoly sting where folks like myself did not know that for a certain period of time they were playing a game that you had less than a 0% chance of winning any of the big prizes until it was announced by the Feds that their over a year plus long operation had ended and they were know sifting through all the info they scooped up during their operation to go after the bad guys.

    It would be funny if the in the fairly near future the Feds announced that Parler was back in business because they got what they needed from the company and sorry that we did not tell the general public what was going on but we did not want to alert the bad actors on Parler.

    Of course, I am sure the Feds will advise that Parler come back to the marketplace with better security measures in place and a moderation policy. Still, it makes me real glad that I never bothered to check our Parler as I always felt it was like certain right wing sites that I should stay away from.

    Some sites I stay away from because I am not a fan of reading pages of comments that are just vile, and I also worry that certain sites are more vulnerable than others for planting malware that can easily migrate onto the system of someone who signs up as a user at said site.

    Honestly, going to Mother Jones or OTB has never stressed me out that by posting at this site and MJ I have made myself a ripe target for hackers. That fear of malware is mostly what kept me away from checking out Parler to satisfy my curiosity.

    Thank goodness for that, as I would be stressed now if I had signed up for Parler. It also helps that I am not a social media user so my curiosity of what Parler was all about was tempered by my disinterest in social media in general (if I did not have my computer save my twitter password I always have to recover my password as I rarely use twitter, if at all, and always forget what PW I used to sign up).

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  52. Kathy says:

    On somewhat lighter news today, Dutch customs has been seizing dangerous British sandwiches.

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  53. Michael Cain says:

    @Jay L Gischer:

    as it was all done from a publicly accessible (but not publicized) bulk-data API.

    So, when your insurance company makes a configuration mistake and someone downloads a million people’s name, address, and social security number through a “publicly accessible (but not publicized) bulk-data API” that’s okay? There are complicated issues here. They’ve been around for years, in fact. Technology moves so much faster than the law is prepared to deal with.

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  54. MarkedMan says:

    The FBI is warning about possible armed takeovers of all 50 state capitols as well the Federal Capitol on multiple days between now and Jan 21st.

    This is a direct outgrowth of the depraved gun nuts who have been supported and enabled by the Republicans for 25+ years. Using the logic of a bratty teenage wannabe lawyer, they have made it an article of faith that just because a crowd of screaming spitting people armed with assault weapons and body armor surround your house, for some hair splitting reason we can’t assume they mean it in a threatening way”. We now have a situation where people are gonna get killed. And yes, it’s a damn shame that ridiculous uncle Nestor is going to get a bullet through his head when all he wanted to do was Cosplay as a freedUM fiter! But I have a lot more sympathy for all the innocent people who just wanted to serve the community suddenly find all these Republican GI Schmoes shooting them in the face.

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  55. gVOR08 says:

    I’d paid little attention to Josh Hawley. I took him to be another ambitious, opportunistic Tea Party politician. This morning LGM leads me to a column by Katherine Stewart at NYT. Hawley’s motivated by religion. His beliefs aren’t even medieval. A 4th century theologian named Pelagius proposed a doctrine of free will. Hawley blames him for society’s ills.

    The most eloquent summary of the Pelagian vision, Mr. Hawley went on to say, can be found in the Supreme Court’s 1992 opinion in Planned Parenthood v. Casey. Mr. Hawley specifically cited Justice Anthony Kennedy’s words reprovingly: “At the heart of liberty,” Kennedy wrote, “is the right to define one’s own concept of existence, of meaning, of the universe, and of the mystery of human life.” The fifth century church fathers were right to condemn this terrifying variety of heresy, Mr. Hawley argued: “Replacing it and repairing the harm it has caused is one of the challenges of our day.”

    If this column is a true reflection of Hawley’s beliefs, he’s far more dangerous, and frankly nuts, than I had previously believed.

    The supposedly liberal MSM choose to ignore many things. One is Dominionism. Going back, I suppose, to the prejudice against JFK’s Catholicism, they feel a politicians religion is off limits. The irony is that JFK had to convince voters his religion would not influence his decisions. But now we must not speak of the beliefs of people who seek to impose their beliefs on the rest of us.

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  56. Kathy says:

    @gVOR08:

    I distinctly recall Republicans lambasting, not without reason, devotees of a certain 7th Century religious figure.

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  57. Owen says:

    No reports that she entered the Capitol Building, but I anticipate there will be prosecutions of attendees who didn’t because they were still part of the mob. I’m sure Captain Emily Rainey is well versed in the use of the “DAMN” acronym.

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  58. JohnMcC says:

    @gVOR08: And never forget, to the True Believer there are no rights for heretics and schismatics.

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  59. Mu Yixiao says:

    Umm… What?!

    Donald J. Trump’s term ended on 2021-01-11 19:39:22.

    (and NOW the edit comes back) 😛

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  60. gVOR08 says:

    @JohnMcC: George Lakoff observes that for conservatives “freedom” means doing their duty as they see it. And part of their duty is to force us to do our duty, as they see it.

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  61. Mu Yixiao says:

    borked the link, and no edit

    https://www.state.gov/biographies/donald-j-trump/

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  62. Michael Reynolds says:

    What we have here are multiple conspiracies. Conspiracies are inherently weak. The synonym for ‘co-conspirator’ is, ‘witness for the prosecution.’ As long as any two people are in communication with each other there’s a potential FBI informant in the room. An FBI informant with hard evidence.

    These various nuts can take to encrypted services and lose access to millions of potential recruits/supporters. And even encrypting has its limits since once a message is decrypted, read and and stored on a recipient’s hard drive or in the cloud, well, there it is in plain English. Or they can do it out in the open. Neither is good for them. The only way to do this is to go old-school Commie by creating cells, a handful of people who have no knowledge of other cells. And then if they want to avoid the Feebs they should stick to in-person communication and hope no one in the room has his iPhone.

    This Parler hack is a huge head start for the FBI. Hi, we’re the FBI. We see here that you threatened to kill Nancy Pelosi. Now, we can get you for that. . . or you can give us five other names.

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  63. sam says:
  64. Tyrell says:

    @CSK: Thanks for your reply and pointer. I had never thought of the War of 1812 as the first and only invasion until the excellent PBS documentary. Indeed things could be a lot different now if the British had succeeded at New Orleans. I had a history professor who said that if the British had controlled the Mississippi, the native Americans would have kept control of the western territory. He also liked to talk about things such as “if Booth had missed”, “If Hitler had not been born”, “If Oswald had stayed in Russia”

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  65. Sleeping Dog says:

    @gVOR08:

    I saw that piece this AM as well and if accurate, shows that Hawley is far more philosophically dangerous than Cruz or Cotton, who are both run of the mill, authoritarian grifters.

    In other words, Mr. Hawley’s idea of freedom is the freedom to conform to what he and his preferred religious authorities know to be right.

    And you think life under an Ayatollah would be mercurial.

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  66. CSK says:

    @Mu Yixiao: @Mu Yixiao:

    His term ends at 7:49 tonight? Do they know something we don’t know?

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  67. Kathy says:

    @CSK:

    I think Doroteo Arango would like to have a word with you.

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  68. Mu Yixiao says:

    @CSK:

    I had assumed it was a glitch, but Buzzfeed is reporting that a “disgruntled staffer” changed the POTUS and VPOTUS pages–possibly an intern (they let interns edit State Dept pages without oversight?!)

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  69. CSK says:

    @Kathy:
    See Tyrell.
    @Mu Yixiao:
    Yes; I see the site is “experiencing technical difficulties.” DAMMIT!!! I thought Trump was getting the boot.

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  70. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Jay L Gischer: @Jen: @Michael Reynolds: IANAL, but it seems that it might be possible to argue that with the architecture structured as it was, there isn’t any expectation of privacy available. It certainly would be a reach, but an argument making that claim can certainly be structured. Might even make good theater for a short time.

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  71. Kingdaddy says:

    Excellent article at The Bulwark on our current Constitutional limbo, and how to get out of it:
    https://thebulwark.com/were-in-an-extraconstitutional-limbo/

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  72. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @owen: I didn’t go to the article, but “Melania’s Farewell Address…” was a headline on my Yahoo front page earlier today. The lead article, in fact.

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  73. Jay L Gischer says:

    @Michael Cain: It’s not ok, because, presumably, your insurance company has promised to not do that. Has Parler promised to not do that? I don’t actually think so.

    There is some validity to your point. If your front door isn’t locked, it’s still trespassing and illegal entry.

    To do this kind of thing these days on the internet is so ridiculous it’s beyond words, though. I mean, we aren’t in the situation where someone comes along every few minutes and rattles your doorknob to see if it’s locked. Whereas, the equivalent on the internet does happen. There are laws about things like easement and so on. If I walk through your property to get to the street for long enough, you will lose your right to stop me from doing so, if I understand things correctly.

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  74. CSK says:

    @Kingdaddy:
    The article makes clear what I’ve been contending since last Wednesday night–Trump is president in name only. Mike Pence is effectively acting president.

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  75. Kingdaddy says:

    @Tyrell: The War of 1812 was badly conceived on the American side, if it were conceived at all. Various political leaders in Congress and the White House were looking at each other saying, “So, I know we all have reasons to be posturing here, but which one of us is going to stop us from having this war?” No one did.

    A fascinating period in history, very poorly taught and understood.

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  76. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @CSK: I only got a “technical difficulties” message at either link, so I don’t know but would guess that the argument centers on the notion that with Congress in recess, there is no further agenda for Trump to “execute,” so for all practical purposes his term is over.

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  77. mattbernius says:

    CBS News is reporting that, in the wake of Wednesday’s siege, multiple Capitol Police have been self-reporting self-harm. A reminder that one member of the force involved in the siege has already died by suicide.

    NEWS: The US Capitol Police has had to respond to "a couple of incidents" of officers threatening to harm themselves in the wake of the attack on Capitol Hill. This includes a female officer who turned in her own weapon for fear of what might happen.— Michael Kaplan (@mkaplantv) January 11, 2021

    I expect we are sadly going to see a lot more of this as Congress people and staffers return to the building and potential retraumatization.

    Sadly, the death toll from the event is most likely going to rise. Again, trauma is very real and I really hope that everyone involved is able to get the treatment they need (in an already traumatic year).

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  78. flat earth luddite says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    The synonym for ‘co-conspirator’ is, ‘witness for the prosecution.’

    Another synonym for ‘co-conspirator,’ at least in my mind, is dead-body-where-it-won’t-be-found. But with these knuckleheads, your synonym is more likely than mine. Fortunately for society in general.

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  79. JohnSF says:

    @Michael Cain:
    Silence is itself a signal.
    And the more silent the more the *stare* intensifies.

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  80. Jen says:

    One of the guys arrested has his mom speaking out, saying he hasn’t eaten in days because the correctional facility he’s in won’t feed him all organic food (I’d like to know about the inorganic food he’s been offered…that’s a trick).

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  81. JohnSF says:

    @gVOR08:
    Pelagius:
    “Why do I get blamed for everything?”
    Augustine:
    “It was inevitable.”

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  82. CSK says:

    @Jen:
    What, no 100% grass-fed Angus beef organic hamberders?

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  83. Kingdaddy says:

    As interested as I am in the history of Christian heresies, I don’t think that discussions of the Pelagian heresy are going to help resolve our political crisis.

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  84. JohnSF says:

    @Michael Reynolds:
    @flat earth luddite:
    The tension between the three poles:
    – “co-conspirator” = “witness”
    – “witness = corpse”
    – the necessity of a “movement” to have multiple actors
    Is the key to how e.g. Brits wrecked the Belfast and Derry units of the Provos (never did quite manage to do it to the South Armagh bunch though)
    Or how Israel has repeatedly induced enemies to slaughter their own members by planting evidence of betrayal.

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  85. flat earth luddite says:

    @Jen:
    They must have served him Nutriloaf™. Or liver casserole.

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  86. Kathy says:

    A majority of Republicans say El Cheeto Loco is defending democracy.

    So, I guess it would then be ok to adopt his methods. We should get an antifa mob together to storm the White House and drag Trump out in a citizen’s 25th amendment removal.

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  87. inhumans99 says:

    @flat earth luddite:

    To be fair to him, I like liver and onions in a good sauce but if someone tried to serve me something called liver casserole I would probably also be screaming that I am being subjected to cruel and unusual punishment.

    And on that note, I will see myself out of the room.

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  88. Kathy says:

    How about a Constitutional amendment (yeah, I know: how about a unicorn?) that would refine the requirements for the presidency thus:

    Must have held an elected office at any level and completed one term of service, or must have served one term of service in the military with an honorable discharge.

    The idea is to screen out future amateurs and poseurs like Trump, but also the other rich people who think their wealth qualifies them to be the chief of the executive branch.

    At the same time, we could remove the requirement of being a natural born citizen. let’s make it merely a citizen.

    I know. I know. See the unicorn remark above. It would be easier if the political duopoly passed rules requiring an elected office or military service.

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  89. a country lawyer says:

    @Jen: He’s really going to be pissed when he gets to prison and discovers they only serve domestic wine. (pruno)

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  90. Tyrell says:

    @Kingdaddy: The major issue of impressment was settled before the war began. The major battle was fought after the peace treaty was signed. Some American leaders actually wanted to invade Canada.

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  91. Mikey says:

    OH MY GOD HAHAHAHAHAHAHA

    Scott W. Atlas
    @ScottWAtlas
    I have lost 12k followers in the past few days. Just FYI.

    MoreUnstableHat
    @Popehat
    Replying to
    @ScottWAtlas
    Are you sure they didn’t just die from following your advice

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  92. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Kathy: Unfortunately, we’re more likely to get a unicorn than a Constitutional amendment. 🙁 On the other hand, if unicorns were real, getting one would be soooooooooo cool. 😀

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  93. Jax says:

    Trump’s on what, Day 4 of Social Media Detox? Is he Tweeting via chalkboard and demanding the staff like and re-tweet? Someone at his level of narcissism is probably going insane.

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  94. gVOR08 says:

    @Tyrell: We did invade Canada. We just weren’t very good at it.

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  95. Kathy says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    I think we’re more likely to get a unicorn than a change in party nomination and primary rules, too. Partly it depends on how hungry Republicans are for another disastrous minority candidate to win the nomination. Had they awarded delegates under a more proportional system, which seems both fair and necessary in a crowded field, odds are Trump would have watched the2016 GOP convention at home.

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  96. Owen says:

    @Tyrell: Dark of the Sun (1968 w/Jim Brown) played this evening on TMC. CinC Fam made me stop watching because she wanted to watch the evening news, but is now instead cooking dinner for herself and the adult child who is preventing us from being empty nesters. Where is the justice!

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  97. Paine says:

    Seeing a bunch of adults griping about lost Twitter followers is peak pathetic. Have some self-respect…

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  98. CSK says:

    Bill Belichick declined the Medal of Freedom from Trump.

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  99. Mister Bluster says:

    Thumbs up citizen Belichick

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  100. Jen says:

    Update: He’s getting his all-organic diet, per judge’s orders.

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  101. Paine says:

    Let’s not forget the real victims of 1/6:

    https://twitter.com/TheDailyShow/status/1348808162380541957

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  102. Kathy says:

    @Paine:

    Poor people. Their suffering makes me so sad, it’s all I can do to keep laughing.

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  103. Flat Earth Luddite says:

    @a country lawyer:
    Hey, pruno’s not that bad… Except the grapefruit pruno, that’s awful.

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  104. Flat Earth Luddite says:

    @inhumans99:
    Liver & onions good. Liver casserole makes nutriloaf taste ok. Hell, in comparison c-rats taste ok.

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  105. wr says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker: “On the other hand, if unicorns were real, getting one would be soooooooooo cool.”

    If unicorns were real, Don Jr and Eric would have already tweeted pictures of themselves standing over the corpses of the ones they had “hunted.”

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