LaGuardia is closed and PHL and Newark are facing major delays because there aren't enough TSA workers willing to work without pay to keep them open. I'm supposed to be flying from Burbank to Oakland today for the Grand Reopening of the Public Domain at the Internet Archive and I'm getting really nervous. Read the rest
The latest Secret Service challenge coin (previously) commemorates Trump's shutdown (which has nearly 1,000,000 people going without pay, and has undermined everything from air travel to the ability of poor people to eat and pay rent), bearing the legends "Essential Personnel" and "Don't Worry, You'll Get Backpay." Perhaps SS agents can pay their rent by flogging the coins on Ebay, where the rarest of SS challenge coins fetch up to $500. 6,000 Secret Service employees are working without pay around the world and another 1,222 have been furloughed. (Thanks, Fipi Lele!) Read the rest
Senator Mark Warner [D-VA] has introduced the Stop STUPIDITY (Shutdowns Transferring Unnecessary Pain and Inflicting Damage In The Coming Years) Act, which would "keep the government running in the case of a lapse in funding by automatically renewing government funding at the same levels as the previous year," while continuing to leave the the legislative branch and the Executive Office of the President unfunded, which "will force Congress and the White House to come to the negotiating table without putting at risk the economy or hurting the American public." Read the rest
"The truth of this shutdown is that it is not actually about a wall, it is not about the border, and it is certainly not about the well-being of everyday Americans. The truth is, this shutdown is about the erosion of American democracy and the subversion of our most basic governmental norms. It is not normal to hold 800,000 workers’ paychecks hostage. It is not normal to shut down the government when we don’t get what we want. It is not normal for public servants to run away and hide from the public that they serve. And it is certainly not normal to starve the people we serve for a proposal that is wildly unpopular among the American people." (via DC Tribune) Read the rest
Motherboard's blockbuster story about mobile carriers selling your realtime location data into a marketplace where bounty hunters and other villains can buy it for just a few dollars has triggered an urgent, national conversation about the fact that, in the year since the first stories about this emerged, the carriers have not only failed to live up to their promises to put a stop to it, but seem to have made it even worse. Read the rest
Federal employees missed their first paycheck last week; from here on in, every milestone dramatically exacerbates the pain of the shutdown: a halt to aviation as TSA screeners quit en masse, civil cases stall in federal courts, 38 million hungry Americans denied food stamps and 10% of food sales in the US vanishing; deals expiring with the landlords of 40,000 low income households; then 2.2 million more households are imperiled; landlords renting to federal agencies will go without rent but won't be able to evict federal tenants, triggering mortgage and debt defaults; prison guards go from today's skeleton crew to near-total absenteeism; city buses stop running as Federal Transport Agency payments dry up; drugs fall out of the FDA pipeline, denying medication to ill and dying people; and of course, every IPO is stalled (and maybe DOA) for so long as the shutdown continues. Read the rest
Say you work at the government agency with the lowest morale of any Fed job and then Cheeto Hitler decides to treat you like a casino contractor and not pay you, for thirty days, and recommends that you do chores for your landlord to stop from getting evicted -- what do you do? Get musical: playing Sicko Mode or No Sleep Til Brookly or Misery Business or perhaps the theme from Halloween? (via Reddit) Read the rest
The IRS is shut down, along with much of the rest of the federal government, but unattended servers running on autopilot are sensing that no progress has been made on taxpayers' attempts to clarify disputed and overdue bills, and so they are initiating asset seizure proceedings. Read the rest
Trump isn't America's most anti-immigrant president; that honor goes to Obama, the great deporter, who also extensively tested border wall technologies while deporting 2MM undocumented people. Read the rest
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
Trump's government shutdown, now on day 17 and counting, has led to the closure of Joshua Tree National Park. Read the rest
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
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