‘Hey Siri, Who Invented Chess?’ ★
Siri: “Chess was invented in 1959 by Mr Chess.”
Lost Passwords Lock Would-Be Millionaires Out of Their Bitcoin Fortunes ★
Nathaniel Popper, reporting for The New York Times:
Stefan Thomas, a German-born programmer living in San Francisco,
has two guesses left to figure out a password that is worth, as of
this week, about $220 million.
The password will let him unlock a small hard drive, known as an
IronKey, which contains the private keys to a digital wallet that
holds 7,002 Bitcoin. While the price of Bitcoin dropped sharply on
Monday, it is still up more than 50 percent from just a month ago,
when it passed its previous all-time high of around $20,000.
The problem is that Mr. Thomas years ago lost the paper where he
wrote down the password for his IronKey, which gives users 10
guesses before it seizes up and encrypts its contents forever. He
has since tried eight of his most commonly used password
formulations — to no avail.
“I would just lay in bed and think about it,” Mr. Thomas said.
“Then I would go to the computer with some new strategy, and it
wouldn’t work, and I would be desperate again.”
Matt Levine, in his column at Bloomberg, makes the point that no one loses stock this way. But another lesson: use a good password manager, and print your most important passwords and recovery codes on paper, stored where you store other important documents.
Given the violent events in Washington, DC, and increased risk of
harm, we began permanently suspending thousands of accounts that
were primarily dedicated to sharing QAnon content on Friday
Many of the individuals impacted by this updated enforcement
action held multiple accounts, driving up the total number of
accounts impacted. Since Friday, more than 70,000 accounts have
been suspended as a result of our efforts, with many instances of
a single individual operating numerous accounts. These accounts
were engaged in sharing harmful QAnon-associated content at scale
and were primarily dedicated to the propagation of this conspiracy
theory across the service.
Better late than never, again, but they knew these kooks were spreading poison months ago. It’s shocking how many people I know with immediate family members who’ve been consumed by this QAnon conspiracy cult.
The Republicans Are Turning on Trump ★
Two links from The Times this afternoon illustrate how quickly Trump is falling into political ignominy and shame. First, Republicans in the House began inching away:
House Republican leaders have decided not to formally lobby
members of the party against voting to impeach President Trump,
making a tacit break with him as they scrambled to gauge support
within their ranks for a vote on Wednesday to charge him with
inciting violence against the country. While Representative Kevin
McCarthy of California, the minority leader, has said that he will
“personally” oppose impeachment and sought to steer Republicans in
a different direction, his decision not to officially lean on
lawmakers to vote against the move constituted a subtle shift away
from the president.
Representative Liz Cheney of Wyoming, the No. 3 House Republican
who was considering backing the impeachment charge against Mr.
Trump, privately told colleagues on a call Monday the matter was a
“vote of conscience.” Ms. Cheney, the scion of a storied
Republican family, was also privately counseling fellow
Republicans on how to navigate a vote that could shape their
Second, Mitch McConnell, who leads Republicans in the Senate, (and who is a measure twice, cut once sort of fellow):
Senator Mitch McConnell, the Republican leader, has told
associates he believes President Trump committed impeachable
offenses and that he is pleased that Democrats are moving to
impeach him, believing that it will make it easier to purge him
from the party, according to people familiar with his thinking.
The House is voting Wednesday to formally charge Mr. Trump with
inciting violence against the country.
And, just a few hours after trying out the “I’m not for impeachment but it’s OK if other Republicans are” line, McCarthy moves even further:
At the same time, Representative Kevin McCarthy, the minority
leader and one of Mr. Trump’s most steadfast allies in Congress,
has asked other Republicans whether he ought to call on Mr. Trump
to resign in the aftermath of last week’s riot at the Capitol,
according to three Republican officials briefed on the
Political bankruptcy, just like the financial sort, happens two ways. Gradually, then suddenly.
‘The American Abyss’ ★
Staggering essay by historian Timothy Snyder, published last weekend in The New York Times, accompanied by startling photographs of the Capitol insurrection by Ashley Gilbertson.
There’s a drumbeat to this essay I find remarkable. It is a sprawling, serious, and complex argument, but the essay wastes not a word. Each sentence builds upon the last; each paragraph furthers the argument toward its inexorable conclusion:
America will not survive the big lie just because a liar is
separated from power. It will need a thoughtful repluralization of
media and a commitment to facts as a public good. The racism
structured into every aspect of the coup attempt is a call to heed
our own history. Serious attention to the past helps us to see
risks but also suggests future possibility. We cannot be a
democratic republic if we tell lies about race, big or small.
Democracy is not about minimizing the vote nor ignoring it,
neither a matter of gaming nor of breaking a system, but of
accepting the equality of others, heeding their voices and
counting their votes.
I implore you not merely to read it, but to study it.
The Legend of Sean Hannity’s Olive Garden Lifetime Pasta Pass ★
This, without question, is the funniest thing I’ve seen all week. My friend Louie Mantia tweeted a parody statement from Olive Garden, and it was so convincing to humorless wingnuts that Sean Hannity made it a segment on his show.
Bill Belichick Declines Presidential Medal of Freedom From Trump ★
New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick, formerly “great friends”, in a statement:
Recently, I was offered the opportunity to receive the
Presidential Medal of Freedom, which I was flattered by out of
respect for what the honor represents and admiration for prior
recipients. Subsequently, the tragic events of last week occurred
and the decision has been made not to move forward with the award.
Above all, I am an American citizen with great reverence for our
nation’s values, freedom and democracy. I know I also represent my
family and the New England Patriots team. One of the most
rewarding things in my professional career took place in 2020
when, through the great leadership within our team, conversations
about social justice, equality and human rights moved to the
forefront and became actions. Continuing those efforts while
remaining true to the people, team and country I love outweigh the
benefits of any individual award.
The passive voice is doing a lot of work in that statement: Belichick was offered the award, a decision was made not to “move forward” with it. I don’t blame Belichick for the PR dance, but here’s what he means: President Trump offered me the Medal of Freedom but because of what he did and the shame and disgrace he brought upon himself and our nation, I will not accept it.
Beyond the pure schadenfreude, consider how deep this stain is on Trump’s reputation. The Presidential Medal of Freedom is our nation’s highest honor, and Trump is so disgraced that Bill Belichick declined to accept it from him. There’s a lot of unprecedented stuff going on right now, but declining a Presidential Medal of Freedom? Has anyone ever declined this award previously? A cursory search suggests no.
I’m sure the MyPillow guy will accept his medal though.
New York State Bar Association Launches Inquiry to Expel Rudy Giuliani ★
The New York State Bar Association:
But the president did not act alone. Hours before the angry mob
stormed the Capitol walls, Trump’s personal attorney, Rudolph
Giuliani, addressed a crowd of thousands at the White House,
reiterating baseless claims of widespread election fraud in the
presidential election and the Georgia U.S. Senate runoffs. “If
we’re wrong, we will be made fools of, but if we’re right a lot of
them will go to jail,” Mr. Giuliani said. “Let’s have trial by
NYSBA’s bylaws state that “no person who advocates the overthrow
of the government of the United States, or of any state, territory
or possession thereof, or of any political subdivision therein, by
force or other illegal means, shall be a member of the
Association.” Mr. Giuliani’s words quite clearly were intended to
encourage Trump supporters unhappy with the election’s outcome to
take matters into their own hands. Their subsequent attack on the
Capitol was nothing short of an attempted coup, intended to
prevent the peaceful transition of power.
Mr. Giuliani will be provided due process and have an opportunity — should he so choose — to explain and defend his words and
So among his other troubles, the president’s personal attorney is going to be
disbarred disgraced by the New York State Bar Association. “America’s Mayor”.
Update: The NY Bar Association is a voluntary organization — more like a private club — and neither bars nor disbars anyone. But it’s a bad look for Giuliani. And, unsurprisingly, he has been referred to the NY State Senate’s judiciary committee for proper disbarment.
Professional Golf Cuts Ties to Trump Courses ★
Russ Choma, reporting for Mother Jones:
Sunday night, the PGA of America announced that it was nixing
its plans to hold the 2022 PGA Championship at Trump’s New Jersey
golf course. It’s not a small move. Championships are named far in
advance — the PGA website currently lists the site of future
Championships through 2034 — and the PGA has been planning on
using Trump Bedminster for its 2022 Championship since 2014. Since
he started purchasing and developing golf courses, Trump has
avidly pursued PGA events at his properties. These events not only
bring media attention and crowds of visitors, but they confer the
kind of acceptance Trump has always struggled to win from the
moneyed and powerful classes. […]
In a nearly simultaneous blow, the R&A, golf’s Scotland-based
governing body outside of the United States, issued its own
statement early Monday morning. It announced that it will avoid
using Trump’s premiere Scottish golf course, Turnberry, for the
“forseeable future” for any of its championships. Turnberry is a
legendary course and is one of a handful of courses in the United
Kingdom that has been allowed to host a British Open Championship — one of the most prestigious events in all of golf.
When you’re a Republican and you lose the PGA — of all professional sports — you’re done.
Why Parler Is Likely to Fold ★
Good thread on Twitter by Dave Troy, on the troubles facing Parler if they try to rebound after being cut off by AWS. Technical hurdles, for sure — AWS is hard to replace, and most of the top alternatives, the ones that are closest to drop-in replacements, are unlikely to want Parler’s business — but perhaps the bigger problem is financial:
Should Matze/Wernick/Bongino/Peikoff decide to soldier on and go
full zombie mode, they can try to do that. They probably can’t do
so without Mercer support. Or material help from foreign
nationals. Any US person risks sedition charges. And indeed, so
Given the near zero possibility of survival, I assess that all
involved will likely terminate this kamikaze mission, take the
data they harvested, use it for future ops, share it with the
Russian government in trade for something, and move on to a new
Sounds like they’ve inadvertently shared their entire data store with the world, actually. This trove includes geolocation data for uploaded images and video (Parler apparently didn’t strip EXIF data), private DMs, and “deleted” posts that weren’t actually deleted from the database but just marked as “deleted”.
Always seemed pretty obvious that the minds behind Parler weren’t exactly sharp knives, but it’s looking more and more like they’re on the plastic cutlery end of the spectrum.
My thanks to Motion for sponsoring last week at DF. Motion is a Chrome extension that reduces sources of friction people experience using their browser to do work. Think of it sort of as a productivity tool for Chrome power users. It’s not some sort of tool that makes you do more work by adding a “system” to manage, but rather a set of extensions to Chrome’s interface to make streamline and provide quicker access to the things you already do, all day every day.
Among other features, Motion gives you instant access to your Google Calendar and Google Docs from any tab (instead of waiting for the entire web apps to load in new tabs, each time you want to use them); tab search and tab de-cluttering tools (like workspaces and vertical sub-tabs); and ways to block distracting sites in a non-intrusive way.
If you’re a Chrome power user, check it out. If “like Superhuman, but for calendars” sounds interesting to you, you should definitely check it out. Motion is just a Chrome extension — easy to try. They offer a 7-day free trial, and it’s just $15/month after that.
‘They Absolutely Do Not Believe Their Own Bullshit, but It’s Useful for Them to Pretend They Do.’ ★
Wonderful thread on Twitter by Lili Saintcrow, on her dealings with an old racist neighbor:
One afternoon, Gene mentioned whatever the current outrage du jour
on Fox was. (This was well before Der Trumpenfuhrer’s reign, by
He fixed me with his baleful, watery stare, and said, “Obama was
born in Kenya, you know.” […]
So I dead-eyed Gene and said, “You don’t really believe that. I
know you don’t.”
I will never forget the look that crossed his face. Because it was
familiar. It was the same shit-eating grin my racist stepfather
used to wear when spouting Rush Limbaugh dittohead shit at the
dinner table. It was the same wink-wink-nudge-nudge all the
fucking white supremacists and Satanic Panic assholes give.
Gene absolutely, positively did not believe that Obama was born in
Kenya. But he would continue to say he believed it, no matter who
asked, to the end of his life. Because he thought saying he
believed it absolved him of responsibility.
“You know that isn’t true” — I’m going to remember that reply. She also includes this Zen koan, which I don’t recall seeing before, but which I just love, and is perfectly apt for our moment: “You cannot wake someone up who is pretending to be asleep.”
Stripe Stops Processing Payments for Trump Campaign Website ★
The Wall Street Journal:
Stripe Inc. will no longer process payments for President Trump’s
campaign website following last week’s riot at the Capitol,
according to people familiar with the matter.
The financial-technology company handles card payments for
millions of online businesses and e-commerce platforms,
including Mr. Trump’s campaign website and online fundraising
apparatus. Stripe is cutting off the president’s campaign
account for violating its policies against encouraging violence,
the people said.
The Trump campaign directly incited an insurrection against Congress in an attempt to overturn an election that Trump lost. How can any legitimate company do business with them henceforth?
Bare Metal Parler Tricks ★
Parler CEO John Matze, late last night in a post on Parler whose URL will likely soon stop resolving:
Sunday (tomorrow) at midnight Amazon will be shutting off all of
our servers in an attempt to completely remove free speech off the
internet. There is the possibility Parler will be unavailable on
the internet for up to a week as we rebuild from scratch. We
prepared for events like this by never relying on amazons [sic]
proprietary infrastructure and building bare metal products.
We will try our best to move to a new provider right now as we
have many competing for our business, however […]
12 hours later, here’s how that was going, from a report on Deadline:
Parler CEO John Matze said today that his company has been dropped
by virtually all of its business alliances after Amazon, Apple and
Google ended their agreements with the social media service.
“Every vendor from text message services to email providers to our
lawyers all ditched us too on the same day,” Matze said today on
Fox News. […]
He added: “We’re going to try our best to get back online as
quickly as possible. But we’re having a lot of trouble because
every vendor we talk to says they won’t work with us. Because if
Apple doesn’t approve and Google doesn’t approve, they won’t.”
Here’s what Parler is (was?): pretty much 8kun/4chan for people who want something modeled on social media conceptually (a service with atomic “posts”) as opposed to a web forum, with the added veneer of Fox News-ish celebrity affirmation, having “stars” like Sean Hannity, Dan Bongino, Michael Cernovich, and whoever else they recognize from the Fox News cinematic universe, shitposting links to rightwing “news” sites on it.
4chan with rightwing celebrity endorsements. That’s Parler.
Arnold Schwarzenegger on Trump and the Attack on the Capitol ★
Powerful and deeply personal message, directly equating the Proud Boys and the storming of the U.S. Capitol to the Nazis’ Kristallnacht of 1938.
Google Suspends Parler From the Google Play Store ★
Not a good day for Nazis, fascists, or kooks.
Pretty good day for the rest of us.
The MAGApocalypse: Twitter Also Bans Michael Flynn, Sidney Powell, and 8Kun Co-Owner Ron Watkins ★
Caroline Haskins, reporting for BuzzFeed News:
Twitter is permanently suspending major accounts that are “solely
dedicated to sharing QAnon content,” following the far-right
insurrection at the nation’s Capitol.
Banned accounts include former national security adviser Michael
Flynn, Trump attorney Sidney Powell, and 8kun co-owner Ron
Watkins, who some journalists and researchers have speculated
has the log-in information for the account “Q”, whose posts fuel
the mass delusion, but doesn’t necessarily write Q’s posts.
I’d make a “Today I settle all family business” joke, but if Michael Corleone ran Twitter these crackpot wingnuts would’ve all been banned years ago.
Apple Gives Parler 24 Hours to Implement a Moderation Plan or It Will Be Removed From the App Store ★
From Apple’s letter to Parler, as published by BuzzFeed News:
We require your immediate attention regarding serious App Store
guideline violations that we have found with your app, Parler.
We have received numerous complaints regarding objectionable
content in your Parler service, accusations that the Parler app
was used to plan, coordinate, and facilitate the illegal
activities in Washington D.C. on January 6, 2021 that led (among
other things) to loss of life, numerous injuries, and the
destruction of property. The app also appears to continue to be
used to plan and facilitate yet further illegal and dangerous
Our investigation has found that Parler is not effectively
moderating and removing content that encourages illegal activity
and poses a serious risk to the health and safety of users in
direct violation of your own terms of service, found here:
It’s just a chef’s kiss to encapsulate so much with “(among other things)”. Consider what it includes: the breakdown of society, an attempted coup, the disgrace of our nation in the front of the world, all the way down to evidence of poor personal hygiene. Truly a parenthetical for the ages.
After close review of recent Tweets from the @realDonaldTrump
account and the context around them we have permanently suspended
the account due to the risk of further incitement of violence.
Behold his account. It’s a beautiful thing to see. We never have to read another Trump tweet again.
Can I just take a moment, while we’re dancing on his Twitter account’s grave, to talk about how stupid the “real” prefix in his account handle was? Even the way it was camel-cased was stupid and cut-rate.
Anyway, good fucking riddance.
GM Unveils New Logo ★
Thumbs down. Lowercasing the letters looks unserious, a bit childish, and the letter combination makes it look a bit like the icon for a chat app.
GM’s new logo looks like an app that came free with CorelDraw in 2014.
China Banned ‘Christopher Robin’ Because Xi Jinping Looks Quite a Bit Like Winnie the Pooh and He Feels Bad About That ★
Benjamin Haas, reporting for The Guardian in 2018:
The Winnie the Pooh character has become a lighthearted way for
people across China to mock their president, Xi Jinping, but it
seems the government doesn’t find the joke very funny. […]
As comparisons grew and the meme spread online, censors began
erasing the images which mocked Xi. The website of US television
station HBO was blocked last month after comedian John Oliver
repeatedly made fun of the Chinese president’s apparent
sensitivity over comparisons of his figure with that of Winnie.
The segment also focused on China’s dismal human rights
Another comparison between Xi and Winnie during a military parade
in 2015 became that year’s most censored image, according to
Global Risk Insights. The firm said the Chinese government
viewed the meme as “a serious effort to undermine the dignity of
the presidential office and Xi himself”.
No need to read too much into it. All sorts of men look like puffy little cartoon bears.
Chinese Solar Companies Tied to Use of Forced Labor ★
Ana Swanson and Christopher Buckley, reporting for The New York Times:
According to a report by the consultancy Horizon Advisory,
Xinjiang’s rising solar energy technology sector is connected to a
broad program of assigned labor in China, including methods that
fit well-documented patterns of forced labor.
Major solar companies including GCL-Poly, East Hope Group, Daqo
New Energy, Xinte Energy and Jinko Solar are named in the report
as bearing signs of using some forced labor, according to Horizon
Advisory, which specializes in Chinese-language research. Though
many details remain unclear, those signs include accepting workers
transferred with the help of the Chinese government from certain
parts of Xinjiang, and having laborers undergo “military-style”
training that may be aimed at instilling loyalty to China and the
Communist Party. […]
In a statement, a representative for the Chinese Embassy in
Washington called forced labor in Xinjiang “a rumor created by a
few anti-China media and organizations,” adding that all workers
in Xinjiang enter into contracts in accordance with Chinese labor
law. “There is no such thing as ‘forced labor,’” the
No need to read too much into it.
Hong Kong Police Arrest Dozens of Pro-Democracy Leaders ★
Vivian Wang, Austin Ramzy, and Tiffany May, reporting for The New York Times:
The Hong Kong police arrested 53 elected pro-democracy officials
and activists early Wednesday for their involvement in an informal
primary election, the largest roundup yet under the new national
security law imposed by Beijing to quash dissent.
The mass arrests — which included figures who had called for
aggressive confrontation with the authorities as well as those who
had supported more moderate tactics — underscored Hong Kong
officials’ efforts to weaken any meaningful opposition in the
city’s political institutions. The police also visited the offices
of at least one law firm and three news media organizations to
demand documents, broadening the burst of arrests that started
before sunrise and sent a chill through Hong Kong’s
already-demoralized opposition camp.
The moves suggested that the authorities were casting a wide net
for anyone who had played a prominent role in opposing the
government. The national security law, which the Chinese
government imposed in June, has been wielded as a powerful tool to
crack down on the fierce anti-Beijing protests that upended the
city for months. Since then, the Hong Kong authorities have
detained pro-democracy leaders, raided news media offices and
ousted opposition lawmakers.
No need to read too much into it.
‘Where Is Jack Ma?’ ★
Jeanne Whalen, writing for The Washington Post:
China’s most famous billionaire has suffered months of mounting
trouble, with regulators turning the screws on his tech empire.
And now social media is abuzz with the darkest speculation yet: Is
Jack Ma missing?
The charismatic founder of the e-commerce giant Alibaba, known for
his frequent Davos appearances and Michael Jackson dance moves,
hasn’t been seen in public since late October, when he criticized
Chinese regulators in a speech.
His absence, combined with regulatory troubles including a recent
antitrust probe, have fueled wild speculation on social media
about his whereabouts, with some fearing he is under house arrest.
In China, it’s not unusual for powerful figures to disappear with
little public explanation when they fall afoul of authorities — such as in 2018, when the country’s most prominent movie star, Fan
Bingbing, fell off the map for months before reemerging to
confess to tax evasion.
No need to read too much into it. I’m sure he’s fine.
WHO Team Investigating Virus Origins Denied Entry to China ★
A World Health Organization (WHO) team due to investigate the
origins of Covid-19 in the city of Wuhan has been denied entry to
WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said he was “very
disappointed” that China had not yet finalised the permissions for
the team’s arrivals “given that two members had already begun
their journeys and others were not able to travel at the last
“I have been assured that China is speeding up the internal
procedure for the earliest possible deployment,” he told reporters
in Geneva on Tuesday, explaining that he had been in contact with
senior Chinese officials to stress “that the mission is a priority
for WHO and the international team”.
Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying told the BBC
“there might be some misunderstanding” and “there’s no need to
read too much into it”.
“No need to read too much into it.” I like that. We can use that for everything related to the Chinese government, whose behavior throughout this whole pandemic has been perfectly normal, and not at all suggestive of a serious cover-up.
Kara Swisher: ‘Ban Trump Forever’ ★
Kara Swisher, writing for New York Magazine:
That is why Twitter and Facebook and YouTube, which are the three
main conduits of online communications for most Americans, must
now de-platform Trump permanently.
I do not call for this lightly and have always thought that he
should get a wider berth owing to being the most newsworthy
person on the planet. But it’s long past time to make an example
of him as a persistent violator of platform rules who cynically
games their laudable impulse toward allowing as much speech as
Twitter — Trump’s favored online communications vehicle — says
as much in its civic integrity policy, noting that “you may not
use Twitter’s services for the purpose of manipulating or
interfering in elections or other civic processes.” Well, he has
done that over and over on social media, raging like the monster
that he has always been.
Trump is the biggest problem (and the immediate threat), no question, but this needs to be less about Trump personally and more about branding Trumpist viewpoints as beyond the pale. Intolerable. Twitter says “you may not use Twitter’s services for the purpose of manipulating or interfering in elections or other civic processes”, but by their actions, clearly the opposite is true. Donald Trump has used Twitter for just such purposes. And now Twitter has let him back on their platform to keep doing it.
Capitol Police said that white nationalist MAGA louts were not allowed to storm through the Capitol, humiliate both houses of Congress, steal with impunity and fart in Nancy Pelosi’s chair. But they did allow it. Federal law enforcement is facing a reckoning in the aftermath of Wednesday’s debacle not because of their words or intentions, but because of their actions and the results.
Twitter can say anything they want about what’s allowed on their platform. But we can see, plainly, that they have allowed, and continue to allow, Trump and his cohorts to debase American democracy.
George Will on the Trump-Hawley-Cruz Seditionist Triumvirate ★
George Will, writing at The Washington Post:
“I want to take a moment to speak to my Democratic colleagues,”
said Cruz. “I understand your guy is winning right now.” Read
those weaselly words again. He was not speaking to his
“colleagues.” He was speaking to the kind people who were at that
instant assaulting the Capitol. He was nurturing the very
delusions that soon would cause louts to be roaming the Senate
chamber — the fantasy that Joe Biden has not won the election but
is only winning “right now.”
The Trump-Hawley-Cruz insurrection against constitutional
government will be an indelible stain on the nation. They,
however, will not be so permanent. In 14 days, one of them will be
removed from office by the constitutional processes he neither
fathoms nor favors. It will take longer to scrub the other two
from public life. Until that hygienic outcome is accomplished,
from this day forward, everything they say or do or advocate
should be disregarded as patent attempts to distract attention
from the lurid fact of what they have become. Each will wear a
scarlet “S” as a seditionist.
Bonus points for the use of louts.
Those Radical Left-Wingers on The Wall Street Journal Editorial Board Call on Trump to Resign ★
The Wall Street Journal editorial board:
We know an act of grace by Mr. Trump isn’t likely. In any case
this week has probably finished him as a serious political figure.
He has cost Republicans the House, the White House, and now the
Senate. Worse, he has betrayed his loyal supporters by lying to
them about the election and the ability of Congress and Mr. Pence
to overturn it. He has refused to accept the basic bargain of
democracy, which is to accept the result, win or lose.
It is best for everyone, himself included, if he goes away
‘The Biggest Mistake I’ve Ever Made in My Life’ ★
Bryan Lowry, writing for The Kansas City Star:
Former Missouri Sen. John Danforth spent years promoting Josh
Hawley as the future of the Republican Party, a
“once-in-a-generation” candidate destined to contend for the
presidency, perhaps in 2024.
But a day after the riot at the U.S. Capitol left four people
dead, Danforth blamed his former protégé for sparking the
“I thought he was special. And I did my best to encourage people
to support him both for attorney general and later the U.S. Senate
and it was the biggest mistake I’ve ever made in my life,” he said
Thursday. “I don’t know if he was always like this and good at
covering it up or if it happened. I just don’t know.”
Trump is out of office in 13 days. Hawley and Ted Cruz are not.
Simon & Schuster ‘Has Decided to Cancel Publication of Senator Josh Hawley’s Forthcoming Book, “The Tyranny of Big Tech”’ ★
Simon & Schuster:
As a publisher it will always be our mission to amplify a variety
of voices and viewpoints; at the same time we take seriously our
larger public responsibility as citizens, and cannot support
Senator Hawley after his role in what became a dangerous threat to
our democracy and freedom.
Every tech platform could and should follow Simon & Schuster’s lead and justification here. (Via CNN’s Brian Stelter.)
Update: Hawley’s crybaby response, expressing an utter disregard for basic civics.
Twitch Suspends Donald Trump’s Channel ★
Nathan Grayson, reporting for Kotaku:
In an email to Kotaku, a Twitch spokesperson explained the
“In light of yesterday’s shocking attack on the Capitol, we have
disabled President Trump’s Twitch channel,” the spokesperson
wrote. “Given the current extraordinary circumstances and the
President’s incendiary rhetoric, we believe this is a necessary
step to protect our community and prevent Twitch from being used
to incite further violence.”
For now, the suspension is indefinite. “We are focused on
minimizing harm leading up to the transition of government and
will reassess his account after he leaves office,” the
I don’t know what Twitter is thinking reinstating his account after yesterday. This was the time to sever it.
Shopify Takes Trump Organization and Campaign Stores Offline ★
Vipal Monga, reporting for The Wall Street Journal:
Visitors to TrumpStore.com and shop.donaldjtrump.com, which sold official Trump branded apparel, “Make America Great Again” hats and other merchandise, were greeted with error messages on Thursday morning.
A Shopify spokeswoman said President Trump violated the company’s policy, which prohibits retailers on the platform from promoting or supporting organizations or people that promote violence. “As a result, we have terminated stores affiliated with President Trump,” the company said.
Zuckerberg Bans Trump From Facebook ★
Mark Zuckerberg, on Facebook:
The shocking events of the last 24 hours clearly demonstrate that President Donald Trump intends to use his remaining time in office to undermine the peaceful and lawful transition of power to his elected successor, Joe Biden. […]
We believe the risks of allowing the President to continue to use our service during this period are simply too great. Therefore, we are extending the block we have placed on his Facebook and Instagram accounts indefinitely and for at least the next two weeks until the peaceful transition of power is complete.
Straightforward and to the point. We can — and I would — argue that this should have happened long ago, but it really is better late than never. We collectively need to talk about this clearly: Trump and his supporters are anti-democratic. We cannot tolerate a threat to democracy itself.