And Yet the State Keeps on Going

The computer operations of all 16 Democratic members of Pennsylvania’s state senate are being held hostage for ransom by cyber-criminals.

No emails, no memos, no papers.  No records of requests for assistance from constituents.  No documents of any kind.

No phone, no light, no motor car, not a single luxury.

It’s called “ransomware,” a virus the officials somehow got on their computers, and the crooks have told them that unless they come up with a certain amount of money by a certain date, their data will disappear forever into the ether.

The Democrats refuse to say how much the ransom is for their goodies – and as far as they’re concerned it doesn’t matter because they say they ain’t payin’.

“Our phones are operating, our offices are open, our members are conducting business as usual,” the party’s senate leader, channeling his best Kellyanne Conway, managed to tell reporters with a straight face the other day.

An investigation is reportedly under way, by the state’s attorney general’s office.

Because that’s exactly what you need when something like this happens:  lawyers.

The timing couldn’t be worse, either:  the only thing Pennsylvania’s state legislature really, really has to do in any given year is consider, vote on, and pass a state budget, and now’s Pennsylvania’s budget season.  The legislature is currently holding budget hearings and the Democrats who participate in those hearings don’t have access to any reports or analyses that can help them figure out if what the state’s governor has proposed is any good or whether they should seek changes or vote for or against it.

But they’re not giving in.  They refuse to pay the ransom.

And you know what?  The really interesting thing is that the state’s government will manage to go on without them:  it’ll still conduct business, make decisions, and deliver services even without the all-important  – or, it turns out, not very important at all – Pennsylvania Democratic senate caucus because, as John, Paul, George, and Ringo once sang…

Ob-la-di ob-la-da life goes on bra

La-la how the life goes on

Ob-la-di ob-la-da life goes on bra

La-la how the life goes on


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