Late Night “What The F*ck Was That?!?” Open Thread

Of course, some thirsty young Repub has to rush in & beclown himself, again…

54 replies
  1. 1
    Aziz, light! says:

    Isn’t Wohl supposed to be in jail by now?

  2. 2
    opiejeanne says:

    Bringing this up from the thread below:

    The 911 phone service is down for the whole state of Washington now. It started in one county, Clark, at 8:30 this evening when Century Link had trouble but now all the carriers have lost the 911 phone service. We got an alert a few minutes ago to call the police or fire dept directly in an emergency, but this will affect people without smart phones, and mostly the elderly. We hope no one dies because they didn’t get the word or can’t figure out how to work around the problem.
    Texting 911 for dialing 311 works.

    Does this seem like a hack to anyone with some expertise?

  3. 3
    opiejeanne says:

    @opiejeanne: Missouri, Wyoming, Arizona, Utah. Oregon but not Portland, have all lost their 911 phone service. .

  4. 4

    @opiejeanne: Could be a company that provides a specific service for 911 in multiple jurisdictions. Odd.

  5. 5
    smike says:

    I admit that am one of those old folks w/out a smart phone (and I don’t live there, fwiw), but what does “Texting 911 for dialing 311 works.” mean?

  6. 6
    Anne Laurie says:


    Does this seem like a hack to anyone with some expertise?

    Anything’s possible, but my cynical un-expert guess is that it’s more likely to have been some kind of accident affecting an overstressed system (like the Astoria transformer fire in the post above!).

    Here in Massachusetts we had An Incident, a few months ago, where a big chunk of the mid-state’s 911 system was down for almost two days because a contract-employee trainee hit the wrong ‘shut down entire network’ button… and it turned out the ‘fix’ to reboot a patchwork of local phone trees interconnected over a decades-long period had never been enabled.

    And more recently we had the not-terrorism in the Merrimack Valley — one person killed, several hundred homes destroyed, many thousands of people left homeless because *one* gutted-by-vulture-capitalist utility company’s subcontractor didn’t turn all the valves off before blasting a natural gas line…

    The Repubs want this to be a third-world nation, and our various essential infrastructures are showing the strain.

  7. 7
    opiejeanne says:

    @smike: You can text 911 for an emergency if you have a smart phone, or you can dial 311 on your phone. That saves you having to look up the local police or fire department number in a phone book.

    I see the problem. That “for 311” was supposed to be “or dial 311”.

  8. 8
    opiejeanne says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: ATT, Verizon, and a couple of others have had an outage. Century Link went down and that just affected one county in WA, at first. Now it’s in several states.

  9. 9

    @opiejeanne: Tend to agree with AL on this one. All these companies hire the same sub-contractors to do the same thing across multiple jurisdictions and sometimes the errors cascade.

  10. 10
    J R in WV says:

    I’m up the hollow on the farm. What’s a smartphone; ? ;-)

    More seriously, hacked as hell, if you ask me.

    Not that anyone will admit that, ever, because then it would look like we might be losing the cyber war we can’t be having, because then all the Trump conspiracy really would be Treason. For some reason we can’t call it Treason. Why is that? Wasn’t there a book one named “None Dare Call It Treason”?

    That bmaz guy at Emptywheel, I think he’s a local criminal defense lawyer, he always blows up at anyone who calls what the Republicans are doing Treason, “No No No” he says. “There’s No Declared War!” Ignoring the part where right after the word “War there’s a big fat “OR” which to me always indicates a second choice for why it might be Treason.

    I know defense lawyers work hard to minimize their client criminality but in this case I’m pretty sure bmaz hasn’t been hired by Trump or any Republican to do that, so I’m not sure why he keeps doing that.

  11. 11
    rikyrah says:

    @J R in WV:
    It is TREASON.

    And, if this had been 44…they wouldn’t be talking in these kinds of technicalities.
    You best believe that 😡😡

  12. 12

    Astoria Borealis LOLOL

  13. 13
    NotMax says:

    Very tardy Y2k.

    @J R in WV

    Traitorous, da. Treasonous, nyet.

  14. 14
    Chyron HR says:

    “How is baddory formed?”

  15. 15

    @J R in WV: The specific crime of Treason is defined in the Constitution:

    Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying war against them, or in adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort. No person shall be convicted of treason unless on the testimony of two witnesses to the same overt act, or on confession in open court.

  16. 16
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    When I google “911 system crash” all I get is stuff that is months old. As one who lives in the hills and hollers, land lines and screaming at the top of my lungs are our only choices.

  17. 17
    evodevo says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: LOL Welcome to my world in Ky

  18. 18


    land lines and screaming at the top of my lungs

    Those land lines are still too untested.

  19. 19
    sm*t cl*de says:

    Gozer the Traveler has chosen a new form.

  20. 20
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: And the lungs ain’t what they used to be.

  21. 21
  22. 22
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: Also Kinda funny you say that. My neighbor B lost her phone line for most of last week. It took 4 or 5 days and 3 different technicians to get it back. Our own land line is fuzzy as fuck, really difficult for this semi deaf old fuck to understand anyone on it. AT&T just doesn’t feel real incentivized to invest in all but abandoned 20th century technology.

  23. 23
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @NotMax: Nope. Too many cavers would show up and nobody wants those fuckers around.

  24. 24
    OzarkHillbilly says:


    The self-proclaimed “fearless conservative” Williams said he planned to “fill this bus with illegals and send them back to where they came from”. This was a lie, as such an undertaking would have been illegal and blatantly unconstitutional. The bus tour eventually petered out after the vehicle broke down, and when events were met with more protesters than supporters.

    What got into the editors at the Guardian?

  25. 25
  26. 26
    Raven says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: They called it a stunt, what else should they do?

  27. 27
    NotMax says:


    Strictly entre nous, the DISH schedule you referenced was incorrect.

  28. 28
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Raven: First time I have read in a news story, the declarative words, “This was a lie”. The accepted way of confronting bald faced falsehoods is usually something along the lines of, “His opponent accused him of playing fast and loose with the facts.” so as to couch it in terms of a contest between competitors in which the death of truth is just so much collateral damage and beside the point.

  29. 29
    Raven says:

    @NotMax: Yea I saw that when I woke up, I guess I should have set the DVR for whatever was listed.

  30. 30
    Raven says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: I guess I knew all about it since the shithead is local and I’m glad to see him going to the joint.

  31. 31
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Raven: I only read about him in passing and paid little attention to the whole thing because it was an obvious stunt as you called it..

  32. 32
    Keith P. says:

    It looks like Gozer’s arrival is imminent.

  33. 33

    I keep telling people that #bluelight was a Superhero origin! Sheesh! WE JUST HAD ONE FOR MILES MORALES…

  34. 34
    Bobby Thomson says:

    @J R in WV: @🐾BillinGlendaleCA:

    Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying war against them, or in adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort. No person shall be convicted of treason unless on the testimony of two witnesses to the same overt act, or on confession in open court.

    Why does bmaz have a bee in her/his bonnet about this? Pedant, compromised, living in parent’s basement, who knows.

    It’s pretty grey. The word “only” implies that the definition is to be read narrowly; otherwise, the word only isn’t doing any work. Having the phrase “adhering to their enemies” follow the phrase “levying war against the United States” arguably implies that the enemies are supposed to be enemies in a war. Elsewhere in the document, there’s a statement that Congress has the power to declare war. So I can see the argument that treason has a narrow constitutional definition that hasn’t been met. However, the SCOTUS has nullified explicit language that was a lot more unequivocal than that, and there is a decent argument that the definition can/should be read to cover other conduct, so it’s far from set in stone.

  35. 35
    randy khan says:


    In the past, CenturyLink used a contractor for its 911 service, and a lot of it was centralized. So far as I know, that hasn’t change. CenturyLink and the contractor have had a big, multi-state failure before, too.

    Since other carriers typically are required to route 911 calls through the incumbent phone company’s facilities, if the incumbent’s system goes down at the wrong point in the network, everyone’s 911 can go down at the same time.

  36. 36
    Starfish says:

    @J R in WV: There are lawyers going to the mat when people say deplatform Nazis. There was Orin Kerr complaining yesterday when someone pointed out that Trump was vilifying all people south of the border over some bad person in California. This type of nonsense is disgusting, and people who are not being paid by Trump need to stop creating legal defenses for him.

  37. 37
    Wapiti says:

    Possibly a coincidence to the 9-11 thing, the number to the Pagliacci Pizza call center was broken last night. No message about disconnected service, just a busy signal where normally I’d hear a “We have lots of callers and we’ll be right with you” message. Maybe they use the same contractor as 9-11.

  38. 38
  39. 39
    opiejeanne says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: That candidate with the bus stunt has been arrested for insurance fraud.

  40. 40
    r€nato says:

    dontcha just love how AOC lives inside wingnut heads for free, hasn’t even taken the oath yet.

    Let this be an instructive lesson to wobbly Dems: ditching Hillary or Pelosi simply because the rightwing slander machine has been working overtime to demonize them, is allowing your enemy to make your decisions for you.

  41. 41


    Color me unsurprised.

    The racists who scream and shout the loudest also turn out to be the biggest scam artists (because they operate on the belief *they* can get away with everything, White entitlement at its worst).

  42. 42
    r€nato says:

    @Bobby Thomson: OTOH, the SCOTUS is controlled by a partisan hack majority that has amply proven they will bend the law to suit their ends.

  43. 43
    mapaghimagsik says:

    According to Con-Ed it was “an electrical fault” which is a generic term for a long list of issues that can occur. In layman’s terms, 138,000 volts shorted — hopping over insulation which is supposed to only give it one path.This cased a 7% dip in the amount of available power. For residents it might have been a blip, but for large customers, that’s enough to cause emergency power to cut on (with the associated delays) and feel like a real outage. On their web site, Con ed has generic boiler plate about a transmission outage and the cause is under investigation. Mostly likely there will be a root cause analysis, but whether we get to see that or not depends.

    I hope they get the 911 service back up soon. I was reading an article about the Camp Fire in California. I guess in the first hours of the fire, the emergency alert system completely collapsed, and so many cell towers were lost that first responders were having trouble getting calls out. I’ve occasionally wondered about that when I’m at a concert or even when my favorite coffee place gets jammed up. I actually joined up with a group that’s supposed to provide additional cellular and network support in disasters, but they didn’t seem to have much communication about their involvement.

    Seems like there are a ton of systemic issues to deal with and its going to require a whole California solution. Having said that, my little corner of this murderverse deserves a huge haircut. Unfortunatley, they’ll probably leave the people who were in charge (Senior Director and Directors — the board and C level will get nice parachutes) come up with the plan, which will require getting rid of people so they can keep their jobs.or settle old scores. Don’t see how busting up the organization makes anyone safer, but I’ve got an open mind on that.

  44. 44
    Ella in New Mexico says:


    Does this seem like a hack to anyone with some expertise?

    The entire Western US had/is having a major interruption in internet and phone service and not a peep yesterday on the networks about it. Cuz it didn’t turn blue in their faces, I guess.

    Century Link won’t tell us if it was a hack–it’s a “network problem” is all they’ll say. It could have been a hack but we won’t know until we force them to tell us. We had no internet service here for over 18 hours and even our Verizon coverage was terrible, although I’m guessing it’s at least partly because so many people switched to their phones for internet access. Hospital communication and electronic record systems across the state were in flux, although I think fewer of our cities depend solely on Century Link and Verizon for emergency services–Albuquerque is one exception– so we were spared some of the agony of the rest of y’all.

    Man, Putin will have absolutely no difficulty marching right in and taking over without firing a shot because between embarrassed corporations scrambling to keep what little value is left of their shares in the stock market and the laziest television media on the planet we won’t know what the fuck hit us until it’s over.

  45. 45
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Ella in New Mexico: The Century Link thing was not a hack, it was a cascading series of problems. Large networks are technically complex and sometimes fail in unpredictable or unplanned-for ways. It may take days for a root cause analysis.

  46. 46
    VOR says:

    @mapaghimagsik: I seem to recall an issue a few months ago where Verizon was cutting off cell service for a set of first responders because they had exceeded their monthly usage limits.

  47. 47
    Uncle Cosmo says:

    @John Revolta: “Astoria Borealis” – bucking frilliant IMHO!

    (As opposed to the Assholia Boreyouallis in the Whites-Only House, ah spoze…)

    My prime, utterly selfish concern is with a certain liquor store in Astoria – which at last glance (admittedly some time ago) was the only source on the Least Coast for a Montenegrin red I am inordinately fond of procuring in case lots to dole out as presents.

  48. 48
    J R in WV says:

    I am willing to consider that ” …or in adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort.” may be inextricable linked to “Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying war against them …”

    But that doesn’t say anything about a declared war already in progress anywhere in there. This was a surprise attack in the middle of an already frantic election season, resulting in a criminal con artist beholden to the attacking foreign power.

    It might as well have been a surprise attack in the dark on DC by British troops set upon burning the White House that was supported by Republicans hungry for power after 8 years of dealing with the dreaded African Mooslim DEMONCRAT president.

  49. 49
    Spinoza Is My Co-Pilot says:

    @Bobby Thomson: Look at the case of Anthony Cramer, a German-born naturalized citizen who was among the last few people ever convicted of treason against America (and all of those were in connection with WWII, our last “declared” war). His conviction was overturned by the SCOTUS (in ’45) specifically to preserve the very narrow Constitutional definition of treason we’re discussing here. Seems pretty unlikely that that precedent would itself be overturned by the SCOTUS.

    Still, there’s a broader understanding of treason beyond this quite restrictive legalistic one based on that (somewhat) quirky definition described in the Constitution. Trump didn’t commit treason by colluding with Russia according to that circumscribed Constitutional view, but he sure did in the colloquial sense most Americans understand the term, and we should have no problem calling him a traitor loudly and often.

  50. 50
    trnc says:

    @Bobby Thomson:

    Having the phrase “adhering to their enemies” follow the phrase “levying war against the United States” arguably implies that the enemies are supposed to be enemies in a war.

    Cyberwarfare is a thing, and it is a thing that the founding fathers could not have imagined (at least, not enough of them that they could have come to any consensus about spelling it out for the purpose of including it in their definition of treason. IE, if one country can hack into another countries’ security or infrastructure systems and wreak a significant amount of havoc, that amounts to warfare at least as much as killing a uniformed soldier or putting a hole in the runway of a military installation. If a person from the country whose systems were hacked helped the country who did the hacking, that person is a traitor.

    “Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing,” Mr. Trump said, referring to emails Mrs. Clinton had deleted from the private account she had used when she was secretary of state. “I think you will probably be rewarded mightily by our press.”

    As it turns out, that same day, the Russians — whether they had tuned in or not — made their first effort to break into the servers used by Mrs. Clinton’s personal office, according to a sweeping 29-page indictment unsealed Friday by the special counsel’s office that charged 12 Russians with election hacking.

  51. 51
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @trnc: Thanks for the reminder of how deeply flawed the NYT’s coverage of this issue was. First, the emails were not “deleted” – they were deemed private and not turned over to the State Dept. Error of commission. Second, while the Russians “made an effort to break in” they were unsuccessful – there has never been any evidence that anyone breached the security of her e-mail server. Error of omission. Two significant errors in as many paragraphs.

  52. 52
    randy khan says:

    @randy khan:

    The FCC has opened an investigation into the CenturyLink outage. While the FCC is going to run out of money and have to close on Tuesday (maybe Monday), I suspect there’s a good chance that it will have sent the demand for answers to questions about the outage to CenturyLink before it closes. (Also, the people who would work on the public safety aspects of this probably are essential personnel and will keep working.)

    FCC investigation

    Unlike many other agencies, the FCC’s leadership actually is people who know something about what they’re doing, and this sort of thing does not have any particular ideological tilt, so they will go after CenturyLink pretty hard on it.

  53. 53
    Ella in New Mexico says:

    @Gin & Tonic:

    The Century Link thing was not a hack, it was a cascading series of problems. Large networks are technically complex and sometimes fail in unpredictable or unplanned-for ways. It may take days for a root cause analysis.

    How dare you introduce Occam’s Razorizm into my rant? :-D

    I know it’s very unlikely to have been anything nefarious. But lets face it, tiny little malware codes have easily caused massive system breaches in recent history. Even so, like you said, we’ll need a RCA before we jump to any conclusions.

    But can you see my point about how Putee’s little Internet Army could waltz right in and take us down before we’d even know what hit us?

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