Shutdown creates uncertainty over Uber and Lyft IPO timing

Uber and Lyft are still waiting for feedback from the U.S. securities regulator on their confidential submissions for IPOs, Bloomberg reports tonight, citing people familiar with the matter who aren't disclosing their identities. Read the rest

Federal workers must show up and can't strike even when not paid in Trump's Shutdown

Did you know all those hundreds of thousands of U.S. government workers who aren't getting paid during Trump's 18-days-and-counting shutdown still have to show up for work, even if they are not getting paid? Hard to believe, right? Read the rest

Joshua Tree National Park to close because Trump's shutdown led to damage

Trump's government shutdown, now on day 17 and counting, has led to the closure of Joshua Tree National Park. Read the rest

Travel warning: four days until Trump's shut-down costs TSA screeners their first paycheck

In four days, federal employees will suffer their first missed paycheck since Trump's border wall shutdown; it's hard to say who will be worst hit: the employees who are furloughed will never see that money (but who may have been able to pick up some other work while they were off the job to cover their bills); or the "essential" federal employees who've had to show up for work every day without pay, but who will, someday, get a paycheck to cover their forced labor. Read the rest

'Sanctuary city' picks up trash for Federal government shutdown over border wall

Blessed with an abundance of National Park attractions right in the midst of their metropolis, San Francisco leaders have decided not to let garbage pile up.

SF Examiner shares:

Trash has been piling up at San Francisco landmarks run by the National Park Service during the federal government shutdown, but city officials are now stepping in to pick up some of the slack.

Public Works started trash collection Wednesday at Lands End, which is part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, picking up piles of refuse that had built up near garbage cans since the shutdown started Dec. 22.

Now, Public Works officials told the San Francisco Examiner, they’ll also pick up trash at Aquatic Park.

The focus will be on servicing public garbage cans and the areas immediately around them “that we can immediately access,” said Rachel Gordon, a spokesperson for Public Works.

That means city staff won’t be making any long hikes through Lands End for pickups any time soon, but the department is asking people to remember to “pack it in, and pack it out,” to help play a part in keeping the parks safe and clean.

“We’re stepping in because it’s still part of San Francisco,” Gordon said. “We want a good experience for our visitors and residents there.”

Pictured is Muir Beach, part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. Volunteers have been picking up garbage in the GGNRA, but traffic in and out becomes a nightmare due to the lack of signage, narrow roads, locked parking lots, and lack of space for the many, many disappointed visitors to turn around. Read the rest

FCC closed due to government shutdown, Ajit Pai won't be at CES

Is 911 service down in your area? Got a complaint about your mobile provider? Just invented a new iphone-killer, and need safety approval before your product goes to market? Well, too bad, you'll have to wait. The Federal Communications Commission just went dark. All but the agency's most essential operations abruptly halted late Thursday because of Trump's government shutdown. Read the rest

Government shutdown puts national parks in nightmare mode

I live in a small, grandfathered, community inside of the Golden Gate National Recreation area. The government shutdown is making parks scary for tourists and residents alike.

It is vacation time! People want to get out and enjoy nature! The weather is beautiful, the skies are super clear in the San Francisco Bay area, and the roads are completely jammed up with people unclear as to what is open and what is not. Encountering a mile long SNAFU of confused drivers will eat hours of your time.

Parking lots located at the end of narrow 2-way but 1-car wide 'roads' are locked with no warning. Giant SUVs illegally park in sensitive habitats, just off the roadway, or just choke narrow streets into unpassable nightmares. Confusion abounds. Cooperation disappears. Absolute proof American libertarianism is a farce.

I will spare you to stories of where people are leaving trash or the number of folks we've seen eliminating on the roadside. Those redwoods are majestic, must be interesting to crap on one.

NBC has more:

Unlike shutdowns in some previous administrations, the Trump administration was leaving parks open to visitors despite the staff furloughs, said John Garder, senior budget director of the nonprofit National Parks Conservation Association.

"We're afraid that we're going to start seeing significant damage to the natural resources in parks and potentially to historic and other cultural artifacts," Garder said. "We're concerned there'll be impacts to visitors' safety."

"It's really a nightmare scenario," Garder said.

Spokespeople with the Interior Department did not immediately return emails seeking comment on Monday.

Read the rest

Trump's shutdown will close Smithsonian Museums, National Zoo, and more

If the government shutdown extends beyond New Year's Day, Donald Trump's political tantrum will close the Smithsonian museums and the National Zoo in Washington, DC, among many other sites important to Americans. Read the rest

Trump admin to unpaid federal workers who can't make rent: beg, barter, and get a lawyer.

The Trump administration is advising people who work for the federal government, who are not getting paid due to Trump's stupid government shutdown tantrum, to literally *barter with their landlords* and offer to paint or do labor in exchange for partial rent. Read the rest

#Shutdown to end, Senate votes to reopen government, #Dreamers in limbo

The Senate voted to reopen the government after 81 senators broke a Democrat-led filibuster that shut it down for 2 days and 17 hours. The fate of the 'Dreamers' is still undetermined. A crucial House vote to end the shutdown is next. Read the rest

Tea Party insult generator

The collapse of the GOP-engineered shutdown has the Tea Party in a fury, and they're showing their wrath with a series of vicious posts to John Boehner's Facebook. The Tea Party Insult Generator teases these insults apart and recombines them to make them stronger, faster, better than before. Read the rest

Free vibrators for non-essential federal employees

Spocko sez, "It's nice to know that some companies understand that non-essential federal employees are people too, with needs and wants and not robots that can be shut off with a switch.

Thankfully Vibrators.com understands and is giving away free vibrators to Federal Employees during the government shutdown.

They are giving away 200 a day. Simply enter the coupon code. 'IAmAFederalEmployee'" Read the rest

National Cancer Institute director warns staff of increasingly dire effects of shutdown on science

Harold Varmus, director of the National Cancer Institute, sent this email today to "NCI staff, grantees, advisors, reviewers and others," warning of increasingly damaging effects the ongoing federal government shutdown will have on cancer research and treatment at NCI. Even worse than the litany of known, present harm, is this grim prediction: the damage won't end when the government reopens.

A copy of this email was provided by a Boing Boing reader who was one of the recipients:

I am writing to keep you abreast of the ways in which the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and its extramural and intramural research programs have been --- and are likely to be --- affected by the current shutdown of the federal government. And I am also writing to ask for your help in responding to the difficult situation that we are likely to face when the government is reopened.

Read the rest

US gov shutdown means imminent death for thousands of lab mice

NPR's "All Things Considered" did a piece this week about what the shutdown means for thousands of lab mice used in medical research at government facilities. In a word, death. Read the rest

Vegas TB probe widens after mom, baby die, dozens infected; but CDC mostly shut down

"Health officials urged tuberculosis testing for hundreds of babies, family members and staff who were at a Las Vegas neonatal intensive care unit this past summer, saying they want to take extra precautions after the death of a mother and her twin babies and the infection of more than 26 people," reports the Associated Press. "Officials from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention assisted with the probe up until last week... it wasn't immediately clear whether their investigation has been affected by the government shutdown." Read the rest

Shutdown plays chicken with public health as antibiotic-resistant Salmonella outbreak spreads

As the US government stretches out into its second week, with federal food-safety and disease outbreak personnel sent home and prohibited from returning to work--even if they wanted to without pay!--a major foodborne-illness outbreak has begun. And it involves raw chicken meat.

The Food Safety and Inspection Service of the US Department of Agriculture has announced that hundreds of illnesses in 18 or more states were caused by chicken contaminated with Salmonella Heidelberg, traced to Big Poultry producer Foster Farms. Read the rest

Congress's private health club spared from shutdown by Boehner: "essential"

Congress's private gym -- whose budget is a closely held secret for "security" reasons -- has remained open during the shutdown. It was deemed an essential service. By John Boehner himself. (Possibly because so many Tea Party Congressmen live in their lavish tax-funded/tax-free offices and use the fancy club as their personal showers, rather than renting DC lodgings)

The staffers' gym was closed, however. Read the rest

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