As the partial USG shutdown continues, US President Donald Trump informed opposition party leader Nancy Pelosi that she and her partisans would be unable to take a group vacation to Belgium, Egypt, and Afghanistan using military aircraft while the partial shutdown continues (archived). Yesterday Pantsuitist Pelosi had threatened Trump with the prospect of being disinvited from delivering his State of the Union address in front of the lower legislative chamber she controls. She suggested President Trump instead submit his address in writing or reschedule it after the shutdown ends.
If the shutdown continues past 30 days, it is possible furloughed federal employees may be laid off and subject to reduction in force procedures. At present communications from the Office of Management and Budget say their present interpretation of the spirit of the statute is that it applies to planned rather "emergency" furloughs, but as always policy is subject to change.
The trial of Joaqín 'El Chapo' Guzman continues to deliver drama as a USG witness for the prosecution alleges former Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto requested a 250 million USD bribe from Guzman which was paid after Nieto took office (archive). The singing stoolie Alex Cifuentes clarified that he was unsure of the exact amount though US based media outlets appear to have settled on 100 million USD as a consensus figure to use in ther headlines for reasons that remain elusive.
James Watson, notable for the discovery of DNA's double helix structure, has been stripped of his Chancellor Emeritus title at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory after repeating the Afropessimist position that saw him pushed from the Chancellor position in 2007 (archived). The 1962 Nobel prize winner was involved in running the laboratory specializing in Genetics research until his forced departure. His replacements are ostacizing him specifically for being:
"gloomy about the prospect of Africa”
As the 2007 incident played out Watson attempted to clarify that his beliefs are informed by the available information on the problem. This latest attack on the 90 year old Watson follows the airing of a PBS documentary where Watson stated he regrets his views hadn't changed at all requiring:
"new knowledge, which says that your nurture is much more important than nature. But I haven’t seen any knowledge. And there’s a difference on the average between blacks and whites on IQ tests. I would say the difference is … it’s genetic.”
Pantsuit capitalist Jeff Bezos has mismanaged his household into dissolution as this week began with press releases announcing the amicable end of his 25 year long marriage. By the end of this week communications spurring from his affair with a 49 year old matron had entered the public domain (archived). The US state of Washington, where the Bezos family resided, is a "community property" state which raises the possibility of wife Mackenzie ending up higher on the Forbes list than Jeff after the courts are done liquidating the household.
Three weeks into a partial shutdown of the USG over legislative intransigence with respect to one budget item President Trump holds dear, there have been few visible differences thus far between an operating USG and a shutdown USG. Signs however are beginning to accumulate as TLS certificates expire and government websites go without updates (archived).
As Joaqín 'El Chapo' Guzman's trial continues USG agents are alleging they flipped an IT guy running a private VOIP network, then had him deliver 'the' encryption keys to him after which they recorded hundreds of hours of calls (archived). The IT guy in question, Cristian Rodriguez was even kept alive and working after Guzman suspected him of incompetence following an FBI induced incident where the network's servers "needed" moved from Canada to the Netherlands.
After this move Rodriguez delivered the new network's keys to the FBI, the possibility of which suggests poor key management procedures and a lack of functional information security knowlege on Guzman's part. The tools and culture necessary to thrive in the future are being developed in The Most Serene Republic. To ignore the Republic and its offerings is a choice, and that choice means adopting a posture of perpetual vulnerability.
Peter Boghossian is facing sanctions at Portland State University for his participation in an investigation into the intellectual bankruptcy of contemporary 'academic journals' purporting to publish in the 'social sciences' (archived). The University's institutional review board has determined Boghossian is guilty 'research misconduct' under the guise that academic journal editors being presented candidate papers are 'uninformed human research subjects' when their purported job involves functioning as a sort of meat powered spam filter. The board futher is alleging Boghossian engaged in academic fraud dismissing the core discovery of the investigation, that there are in fact very few checks against the publication of academic fraud in 'prestige journals' by parties less inclined to disclose their deceptions.
The benchwarmer for US President Donald Trump's probable next Supreme Court nominee Ruth Bader Ginsburg failed to attend oral arguments for the first time in her career (archived). The octagenarian will allegedly be participating via reading the court's transcripts. Ginsburg's pronounced reduction in activity following the recent wave of medical problems involving her chest suggests her remaining time is very limited.
Airstrip One will ban the sale of all dogs and cats under 6 months old through all third parties compelling Britons to go directly to the breeder or an "animal rehoming center" to acquire a puppy or kitten (archived). All private transactions involvine puppies or kittens outside of these two avenues will be forbidden under British law including private sales and rehoming as well as retail or veterinarian sales and "rehoming" in another British attack on private commerce.
The ongoing pretense projected by the criminal organization calling itself the United States Government that it can meaningfully sanction foreigners continues to embarass as NASA has had to withdraw an speaking invitation to Roscosmos Director General Dmitry Rogozin (archived). NASA extended the invitation to Rogozin in reciprocity after the director of NASA carried out an official visit to Russia, but it turns out Rogozin is on one of the many US sanctioned persons lists and the rescinded this invitation to a foreign dignitary.
Lately the USG's pretense it can act against foreigners for their transactions with other foreigners has led to three way tensions with China and Canada after the CFO of Huawei was arrested in Canada where she awaits potential extradition because the USG imagines it can sanction Iran.
Relatedly the USG's NATO ally Turkey has rejected an offered sale of Patriot Missiles by the US in favor of Russia's S-400 system (archived). The moves comes after years of the US refusing to sell Turkey the air defense missiles, but a committment by Turkey to buy Russian S-400 missiles finally got the US to offer the missiles on the condition the purchase of S-400 missiles be cancelled. Turkey has additionally assisted the Venezualan gold industry in defiance of impotent USG sanctions.