From the empty, shutdown IRS, automated processes are sending out property seizure notices, and no human can stop them

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

The Fifth Risk: Michael Lewis explains how the "deep state" is just nerds versus grifters

Michael Lewis is a national treasure, whose gift for explaining how finance grifters think and operate has spawned a whole genre, which he dominates with books like Liar's Poker (an insider view of the S&L crisis); The Big Short (a character-driven, crystal-clear explainer on the financial engineering that led to the 2008 crisis), and Flash Boys (the shitty math and bafflegab behind high-speed trading); and now, The Fifth Risk: an astounding and terrifying book about the experts who fill the ranks in the US government and the Trump-administration grifters who are destroying the work they do to keep us from dying of tornadoes, nuclear accident, food poisoning and a million other dangers, large and small. Read the rest

Academic audit of HUD budget finds $351 million in unaccounted-for spending since 1998

After an audit found that the Department of Defense couldn't account for $6.5 trillion in non-black-budget spending, Michigan State University State and Local Government Finance and Policy Chair Mark Skidmore assembled a team to audit the Housing and Urban Development agency, uncovering $351 million more in "undocumented adjustments" to HUDs spending since 1998. Read the rest

UFO IPO-182 – Take me to your dealer: the Pentagon UFO story, crowdfunding, and Blink-182

The New York Times has an article about "Glowing Auras and ‘Black Money’: The Pentagon’s Mysterious U.F.O. Program." $22 million spent on the Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program, there are 2 declassified released videos that the reader is left to assume is proof of alien visitors (one of the authors of the articles is promoting a UFO book at this time). It has a lot of facts the NYTimes left out like the CEO of the newly formed crowdfunded company via the CROWDFUND ACT, Tom DeLonge. If you’re wondering if it’s that Tom DeLonge, yes! DeLonge was the guitarist and co-lead vocalist of the band Blink-182. It was reported that DeLonge allegedly left Blink-182 in 2015 because of aliens and national security. Read the rest

Senate staffers issued ID cards whose "security chips" turn out to be just pictures of a chip

Senator Ron Wyden [D-Equestria] sent a letter to the chairs of the Senate Committee on Rules & Administration asking why Senate staffers have been issued ID cards whose "security chips" are just photographs of a chip. Read the rest

Leaked Inspector General's report reveals millions lost to incompetence and waste at the US Copyright Office

A leaked report from the Inspector General reveals that the US Copyright Office blew $11.6m trying to buy a computer system that should have cost $1.1m (they ended up canceling the project after spending the money and no computers were purchased in the end), then lied to Congress and the Library of Congress to cover up its errors. Read the rest

Watch: nomination hearings for the next Librarian of Congress, 11:15AM PT

Carla Hayden is President Obama's pick for the next Librarian of Congress, and she's an extraordinarily good choice: an open-access advocate who opposes mass surveillance and comes out of the library world, Hayden is ideally poised to lead the Library, which, in turn, supervises the Copyright Office and sets the nation's de facto IT policy, for example through things like the Triennial DMCA 1201 hearings). Read the rest

US CIO defies the FBI, orders HTTPS for all government websites

Tony Scott, CIO of the US government, has spit in the eye of assistant FBI director Michael Steinbach, who called on companies "to build technological solutions to prevent encryption above all else." Read the rest

Guard tells top senator that she can't take notes on TPP

We thought it was crazy when Obama's trade threatened Congress with prison if they disclosed anything about the secretive Trans-Pacific Partnership. Read the rest

Senators demand CIA boss admit he lied about hacking torture committee

It's one thing for the CIA to hack the Senate committee investigating Bush-era torture, but then director John Brennan told a bald-faced lie, under oath, to the Senate Intelligence Committee (his bosses!) about it. Read the rest