After unsuccessful legislative reform, German radicals defy the law to dumpster-dive at grocery stores

I've always been fascinated with dumpster diving: my first feature sale to Wired (21 years ago!) told the tale of Darren Atkinson, the most successful high-tech diver I know. Read the rest

Woman banned from Walmart for eating half a cake and then trying to pay half-price for it

Police banned a woman from a Walmart in Wichita Falls, Texas after she allegedly ate half a cake while shopping and then, at check-out, insisted that she should only pay half-price for what was left. This follows on another unusual Wichita Falls Walmart incident a few months back when a different woman spent several hours zipping around the store parking lot while gulping wine from a Pringles can. She, too, was banned.

(My9nj) Read the rest

Passenger confronts Republican Congressman sitting in first class on plane during government shutdown

While 57,000 TSA employees are expected to work without pay during the government shutdown, Rep. Rodney Davis (R-Ill.), a government worker himself, thinks it's just dandy to travel first class. While sitting in his plush seat on a flight from Chicago to Washinton, D.C., a fellow traveler confronted him.

“Congressman, do you think it’s appropriate to fly first class while 57 TSA agents aren’t being paid?”"

Davis is as silent as a church mouse.

“Taking that as a yes...Taxpayers paid for this flight? Fair enough,” the passenger says.

Apparently, Davis bought a coach ticket and upgraded to first class using frequent flier points. But the optics are ugly, to say the least.

Via Huffington Post, who first obtained the video from the unidentified passenger. Read the rest

White House tells furloughed workers to exchange manual labor for their rent

Nearly 800,000 people are hurting financially because of the government shutdown, according to NBC: 420,000 federal employees must continue to work without a paycheck until the shutdown ends, and another 380,000 are simply furloughed, or sent home without pay (and will, hopefully, be reimbursed after the Trumpian mess over the ridiculous wall is sorted out).

So how does the government advise these out-of-paycheck employees? The solution is simple: "Consult with your personal attorney." (Yeah, right.)

"Unfortunately, we cannot provide you with personal legal advice. If you need legal advice to assist you in any response to creditors, landlords or the like, consult with your personal attorney..." says the Office of Personnel Management, which acts as the federal government's human resources agency.

Or better yet, do some work for your landlord, such as painting or carpentry, in exchange for rent. (Even though not everyone has a landlord, and not everyone is able to perform manual labor.) Just ask your landlord like this:

"I will keep in touch with you to keep you informed about my income status and I would like to discuss with you the possibility of trading my services to perform maintenance (e.g. painting, carpentry work) in exchange for partial rent payments."

In a tweet posted yesterday, the OPM offered advice and template letters that out-of-paycheck employees could use when asking their landlords for some (temporarily) free rent and understanding.

Read the rest

Steven Mnuchin and Louise Linton may have used a government plane to watch the eclipse

The Citizens for Ethics and Responsibility in Washington (CREW) filed a Freedom of Information Act requesting "the justification for [Treasury] Secretary Mnuchin's use of a government plane, rather than a commercial flight, for a trip that seems to have been planned around the solar eclipse and to enable the secretary [and his white savior memoirist spouse Louise Linton] to secure a viewpoint in the path of the eclipse's totality." Read the rest

Steven Mnuchin's wife makes fun of Instagram followers for not being as rich as she is

Mind-bogglingly wealthy Louise Linton, a Scottish actress, "perilous journeyer to the heart of Africa," and wife of Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, posted a photo on Instagram of herself and her husband disembarking from a US Gov't jet. Her caption read:

"Great #daytrip to #Kentucky! #nicest #people #beautiful #countryside #rolandmouret pants #tomford sunnies, #hermesscarf #valentinorockstudheels #valentino #usa."

One Instagram commenter said "Glad we could pay for your little getaway. #deplorable." Another wrote: "Please don't tag your Hermes scarf. Distasteful."

Linton replied:

cute!😘 Aw!!! Did you think this was a personal trip?! Adorable! Do you think the US govt paid for our honeymoon or personal travel?! Lololol. Have you given more to the economy than me and my husband? Either as an individual earner in taxes OR in self sacrifice to your country? I'm pretty sure we paid more taxes toward our day "trip" than you did. Pretty sure the amount we sacrifice per year is a lot more than you'd be willing to sacrifice if the choice was yours.💪😘 You're adorably out of touch.😍 Thanks for the passive aggressive nasty comment. I know you're mad but deep down you'er really nice and so am I. Sending me passive aggressive Instagram comments isn't going to make life feel better. Maybe a nice message, one filled with wisdom and hunanity [sic] would get more traction. Have a pleasant evening. Go chill out and watch the new game of thrones. It's fab!

Read the rest

"Nothing in life is truly free" -Billionaire heiress Betsy Devos, explaining to Bernie Sanders why your kids won't get free college tuition

Convicted election fraudster and public education opponent Betsy Devos made her billions through hard work -- really, you can't overstate the effort required to emerge from the loins of someone who married a rich guy, nor the work of later marrying someone else who emerged from the loins someone who married a rich guy. Read the rest