“Selfish Idiocy:” Infected lawmaker blasts Republicans for bunkering maskless [Updated]

Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., on Capitol Hill, in Washington, DC, July 29, 2020.

Enlarge / Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., on Capitol Hill, in Washington, DC, July 29, 2020. (credit: Getty | Graeme Jennings)

UPDATE 1/12/2021, 11:15am EST: And now there is a third. Rep. Brad Schneider (D-Ill) announced Tuesday morning that he, too, has tested positive for COVID-19 after sheltering with maskless Republican colleagues.

In a statement, Schneider said that during the insurrection, he was “forced to spend several hours in a secure but confined location with dozens of other Members of Congress,” and “several Republican lawmakers in the room adamantly refused to wear a mask.”

Schneider reported that so far, he has not experienced symptoms but was nevertheless concerned. “Today, I am now in strict isolation, worried that I have risked my wife’s health and angry at the selfishness and arrogance of the anti-maskers who put their own contempt and disregard for decency ahead of the health and safety of their colleagues and our staff,” he said. “Wearing a mask is not a political statement, it is public health guidance, common courtesy, and simply what should be expected of all decent people.”

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Opinion | Bonnie Watson Coleman: I got covid-19 because my Republican colleagues dismiss masks and facts – The Washington Post

Refusing to wear a mask is not, in fact, an act of self-expression. It’s an act of public endangerment. The chaos you create in exercising your so-called freedom can cause permanent, deadly damage. I only hope that won’t be the case for me and my colleagues, Reps. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) and Brad Schneider (D-Ill.), who have also tested positive for the coronavirus.

When I say that many Republicans are responsible for what happened to me, to others and to the country last week, I mean their essential failure to accept facts led us here. Much like they should be able to accept the results of an election, elected leaders should be able to accept facts like the efficacy of masks. It’s clearly time for a congressional campuswide mask requirement, enforced by the House and Senate sergeants at arms.

Facts really do matter. I hope to get back to work soon to make sure we respect them.

Source: Opinion | Bonnie Watson Coleman: I got covid-19 because my Republican colleagues dismiss masks and facts – The Washington Post

Parler’s amateur coding could come back to haunt Capitol Hill rioters


Enlarge / Parler? (credit: Getty Images)

By now, you may have heard of the hacker who says she scraped 99 percent of posts from Parler, the Twitter-wannabe site used by Trump supporters to help organize last Wednesday’s violent insurrection on Capitol Hill. What you may not know yet is the abysmal coding and security that made the scraping so easy.

To recap, the scraping was pulled off by a hacker who goes by the handle donk_enby. She originally set out to archive content posted to Parler last Wednesday in hopes of preserving self-incriminating material before account holders came to their senses and deleted it. By Sunday, donk_enby said she had collected roughly 80 terabytes of posts, including more than 1 million videos, many of which contained the GPS metadata identifying the exact locations of where the videos were shot.

“For the journalists DMing me to ask, in non-technical terms, I’d describe the current Parler archival situation as ‘a bunch of people running into a burning building trying to grab as many things as we can,’” donk_enby wrote on Twitter on Sunday. “Things will be available in a more accessible form later.”

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DOC aghast at dogs and cats being taken to pest-free islands | RNZ News – New Zealand (the age of “Me, Me, Me” threatens environment)

Pet owners are increasingly bringing pet cats and dogs to pest-free islands, where they can wreak destruction on fragile native animals, the Department of Conservation says. Source: DOC aghast at dogs and cats being taken to pest-free islands | RNZ News

Coronavirus: L.A. County reported 11,994 new cases and 288 new deaths as of Jan. 12

Los Angeles County reported 11,994 new cases of the coronavirus on Tuesday, Jan. 12, bringing the total number of cases to 944,319 according to the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health.

The county reported 288 new fatalities linked to coronavirus, bringing the total number of deaths to 12,674 since tracking began.

Hospitalizations are on the decline. There were 16 more patients hospitalized by the virus as of Tuesday. The total number of patients in L.A. County hospitals is 7,926 with 22% in ICU.

The breakdown of people infected with the coronavirus by age is as follows:

  • 0-4: 17,360
  • 5-11: 42,104
  • 12-17: 52,397
  • 18-29: 216,241
  • 30-49: 301,830
  • 50-64: 170,569
  • 65-79: 66,555
  • Older than 80: 24,421


Data posted each day is preliminary and subject to change, officials emphasize. More information may become available as individual case investigations are completed.

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Pfizer could withdraw vaccine supply from Quebec if two-dose schedule not followed: Legault | CTV News (don’t let politicians muck this up!)

A Pfizer spokesperson said the company “cannot confirm that such consequences have been implied,” but that “Pfizer has continued to encourage public health authorities across Canada to follow the Health Canada authorized dosing intervals.”

A Health Canada spokesperson said an analysis of the benefits or drawbacks of a modified schedule is underway but that currently it is recommended “that Canadians receive both doses of the same vaccine, as close as possible to the authorized dosing regimen for each vaccine.”

Source: Pfizer could withdraw vaccine supply from Quebec if two-dose schedule not followed: Legault | CTV News

Telegram Adds 25 Million New Users In Just 72 Hours

Link up with Russians and US right wing – boom – lock them all up!


According to founder and CEO Pavel Durov, Telegram gained 25 million new users in the last 72 hours as it smashed past the 500 million active monthly user mark. Android Police reports: For comparison, the app averaged around 1.5 million new users per day in 2020, which was impressive enough already. Durvov says that this is down to his company’s simple privacy and security promise, above all else.

The bulk of the new users are coming from Asia (38%), Europe (27%), and Latin America (21%), with around 8% signing up from the MENA region (Middle East and North Africa). Although not explicitly noted in Durov’s post, there is likely a good number of Parler orphans joining Telegram — although there are differences between the functions of the two apps, there’s talk that former Parler users are heading to encrypted messaging apps in search of a more private platform. Signal has seen a similar rise in popularity for the same reason.


Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Parler Users Breached Deep Inside U.S. Capitol Building, GPS Data Shows


At least several users of the far-right social network Parler appear to be among the horde of rioters that managed to penetrate deep inside the U.S. Capitol building and into areas normally restricted to the public, according to GPS metadata linked to videos posted to the platform the day of the insurrection in…

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Pentagon chiefs warn troops to follow the law in wake of Capitol assault


All eight of the nation’s top military officers sent an extraordinary message to the entire force on Tuesday warning troops to follow the law, as Washington reels from last week’s assault on the U.S. Capitol and prepares for next week’s inauguration.

“As Service Members, we must embody the values and ideals of the Nation,” the four-star officers who make up the Joint Chiefs of Staff wrote in a memo to the force. “Any act to disrupt the Constitutional process is not only against our traditions, values and oath; it is against the law.”

The memo marked a rare combined statement from the nation’s top brass. Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Mark Milley in particular has been careful in recent months to keep the military out of politics, after facing pushback for walking with President Donald Trump across Lafayette Square this summer moments after law enforcement forcefully cleared the area of peaceful protesters.

Amid concerns that Trump would try to use the military to overturn President-elect Joe Biden’s win in recent weeks, Milley has reiterated that the troops would have no role in determining the outcome of the election.

In the memo, the Joint Chiefs affirmed Biden’s win, noting that on Jan. 20 he will be inaugurated and become the commander in chief “in accordance with the Constitution.”

The officers also condemned the violence in the Capitol last week, calling it a “direct assault” not just on the Congress, but on America’s Constitutional process.

“We witnessed actions inside the Capitol building that were inconsistent with the rule of law,” they wrote. “The rights of freedom of speech and assembly do not give anyone the right to resort to violence, sedition and insurrection.”

Lawmakers have called on the military to investigate and prosecute any active military members who took part in the assault.

The Pentagon has authorized the deployment of up to 15,000 National Guardsmen to aid law enforcement ahead of the inauguration as intelligence agencies report fresh threats of further attacks.

Rep. Jason Crow (D-Colo.) said on Sunday that he urged Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy to screen service members who are expected to be involved in inauguration security to ensure they are “not sympathetic to domestic terrorists.”