back to article Dozens of .gov HTTPS certs expire, webpages offline, FBI on ice, IT security slows... Yup, it's day 20 of Trump's govt shutdown

The IT impact of the ongoing partial US federal government shutdown has begun to show up in the form of degraded computer security. According to internet services biz Netcraft, more than 80 TLS certificates used on .gov websites have expired and have not been renewed. That's caused a bunch of HTTPS-protected .gov sites to …

  1. Bush_rat
    Facepalm

    Oh God

    If this public facing stuff is already falling apart, what the hell is happening behind the scenes? I doubt these US Government Agencies have systems able to handle being left alone for more than a few days...

    1. Rusty 1
      Facepalm

      Re: Oh God

      No worries, once there is a massive wall built, there will be no problems. Who can get past a wall?

      1. Bush_rat

        Re: Oh God

        Hopefully no debt collectors

      2. sanmigueelbeer Silver badge

        Re: Oh God

        Hello, FBI?

        My name is John and I am calling from Microsoft. I am calling because we received report that your computer is not working.

      3. Giovani Tapini

        Re: Oh God

        I am increasingly convinced that the wall is really to stop the Americans getting out... Its nothing to do with the Mexicans...

        1. Locky

          Re: Oh God

          Shhhh, don't tell them

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Oh God

          The Berlin Wall was never meant to keep East-Germans from getting out. It was built to protect the GDR from fascist and capitalist bad hombres from the West, of course.

          1. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge
            Stop

            Re: Oh God

            Quote

            The Berlin Wall was never meant to keep East-Germans from getting out. It was built to protect the GDR from fascist and capitalist bad hombres from the West, of course.

            Which is why the tank traps would stop a vehicle driving from east to west.....

            Cant someone build a replica whitehouse, move trump in there so he thinks he runs the country while the adults stay in the real one and actually run the country...

    2. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Devil

      Re: Oh God

      no need to worry. the sun came up this morning, the birds were chirping, and pretty much everything else worked as expected. Gummint shutdown not having much of an effect [although I couldn't report a robocaller on 'donotcall.gov' earlier this week, which is a mild irritation, but would it have done any good anyway?]

      the only REAL crisis is law enforcement along the U.S./Mexico border. We need a WALL.

      1. Hollerithevo Silver badge

        Re: Oh God

        Hmm, except for those Govt workers who are getting evication notice because they can't pay rent, those in trouble because they are running out of money and have families to feed, my Buddy in Homeland Security on the west coast whose beat is the port and did some unpaid work until finally sent home and he freaks about the drugs that come in via the port every single day, not to mention people smuggling themselves in. Stuff like that.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Oh God

        What wall has ever worked in the history of human kind? The Chinese spent the equivalent of trillions of dollars over 2000 years building their "great" wall, but did it ever stop an invasion? For security not so hot, great tourism idea tho.

        Most drugs, illegal aliens, and terrorists come in through gaps in the wall/aka legal ports of entry. It was funny watching tv today and seeing the border security presenter showing President Trump the tunnels dug under existing wall, and those only the tunnels that they know about.

        1. jamesdagger

          Re: Oh God

          Let's see.

          Belfast

          Jerusalem

          etc etc.

          I'm neither supporting nor against the Trump wall but you did ask.

      3. Tomato42 Silver badge

        Re: Oh God

        illegals enter through legal ports of entry, and even then, most of them (about 2/3) don't even drive or walk into the US, they fly in to the US.

        ah, why I even bother, for conservatives facts never matter, it's always about feelings

    3. Florida1920 Silver badge

      Re: Oh God

      The numbers given for DHS furloughs are misleading. The U.S. Coast Guard is part of DHS, not the Defense Dept., and civilian and uniformed employees are also not being paid. Earlier this week, the Coast Guard was recommending affected personnel have garage sales, take up dog walking, or become "mystery shoppers" (whatever the hell that is) to get by. I'm sure we can count on the service to continue working, but what happens when they run out of fuel for the boats or food for the crews? Wouldn't you love to see a Coast Guard vessel hijack a cruise liner? In the name of national security, of course.

      SIDEBAR: Trump should stop eating until his shutdown ends, in solidarity with all the people whose lives he's destroying with his childish tantrum. He could stand to lose several pounds anyway.

    4. sprograms

      Re: Oh God

      System administrators are essential staff, and payments for IT security are still permitted. This article tries to expand the Partial Shutdown into an excuse for careless agency IT administration. Failure to update certs is nothing new.

  2. This post has been deleted by its author

  3. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

    Operational Incompetence

    Given the dates of some these expirations one has to wonder if these idiotocracies had a system to renew them before they expired. It sounds like they were going to let them expire first anyway.

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: Operational Incompetence

      You can't renew them before they expire - that would be spending next years budget

      1. Nathar Leichoz

        Re: Operational Incompetence

        How about those "buy 2 years at a time and get a 5% discount" things. Do governments ever go for those deal?

        1. Carpet Deal 'em

          Re: Operational Incompetence

          Of course not! If they took advantage of savings they didn't need to, they'd just get their budget cut for next year - and there's nothing more a government bureaucrat hates more than a reduced budget.

      2. storner
        Stop

        Re: Operational Incompetence

        Indeed you can, that is common sense practice. The remaining days are usually added to the new certificates lifetime.

        1. Jamie Kitson

          Re: Operational Incompetence

          JOKE

          YOUR HEAD

      3. sprograms

        Re: Operational Incompetence

        It has nothing to do with "next year's budget." Appropriations aren't itemized down to the cert spending. Additionally, agencies frequently use current-year appropriations to make payments against multi-year commitments.

    2. Zippy´s Sausage Factory

      Re: Operational Incompetence

      It's quite probable that they had them on an automatic renewal scheme I suppose.

      Although, having worked for local government in the UK, it's equally possible that you need to get the paperwork going up through the chain in advance, get the money signed off by a committee, and THEN renew. By corporate credit card. Which is kept locked in the boss's office...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Operational Incompetence

        I've been there so many times, putting the purchase request in 3 months before expiry but still ending up with a sysadmin downloading and installing the certs at some godawful time just before they expire. And yes I did try and get the renewals ordered even earlier but the response was 'last time was a glitch' we can do this in a week'. On more than one occasion we did have to resort to using the credit card used to buy non-standard stationary, imagine that conversation with the audit team at the end of the month. But hey it's not like we were a public facing body delivering education social services emergency response was it. DOOOOOH

        1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: Operational Incompetence

          "imagine that conversation with the audit team at the end of the month."

          I'd have welcomed it.

    3. Drew Scriver

      Re: Operational Incompetence

      Wonder why they're not using Let's Encrypt. Given that they're already use Go Daddy certs it can't be argued that they can only use top-tier (and expensive) CAs like NetSol.

      With Let's Encrypt it the renewal process can be fully automated.

      Maybe not attractive to our public servants since it lessens our dependency on them?

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: Operational Incompetence

        >With Let's Encrypt it the renewal process can be fully automated.

        Not when the renewal process is, get qualified as an approved government bidder, respond to an RFP, certify that you pass all the ethical standards, make a contribution to the correct politician's campaign fund, promise a massive number of jobs in the right area.

        Get the contract

        Submit an invoice, be paid 180 days later unless there is a shutdown or some new politician gets elected

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Operational Incompetence

          Not to mention that you also have to certify there are no counterfeit electronic parts in any of your kit. And that no "Conflict Minerals" were used to build them either.

          Seriously. I have to certify that I've been trained annually on both these things. Even if I'm nowhere near the acquisition process.

          Oh, yeah, and take the 2011 DoD Cyber Challenge as annual security training.

          ( as aside, all my Security buddies play "DoD Cyber Challenge Golf". By getting the lowest possible score, and still completing the training. . . . )

          1. Drew Scriver

            Re: Operational Incompetence

            Oh man... and the scary thing is that it's probably worse than what you're describing.

        2. Drew Scriver

          Re: Operational Incompetence

          Hmmm... good points.

      2. FQ

        Re: Operational Incompetence

        Decentralized IT without set standards. Without going into details I know of 1 government agency already using Let's Encrypt and the process of renewal is fully automated. Some IT people in US government do have a clue... others, not so much. Same as everywhere else.

        1. disk iops

          Re: Operational Incompetence

          ahh, GSA 18F I reckon.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    MAGA

    Masked Aggressors Granted Access

    1. RedneckMother

      Re: MAGA

      My Attorney Got Arrested.

  5. Phil Kingston Silver badge

    Yet another day to be thankful I'm not an American.

    1. Rob

      Totally agree... right I'm off to catch up on current british politics and brexit.

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        >Totally agree... right I'm off to catch up on current british politics and brexit.

        I think the difference is that everybody on both sides thinks that Brexit is a fsckup

        While the government shut down is just politics as usual.

  6. The Original Steve
    Alert

    Comparison

    Not being super clued up with the way my American cousins implement their particular flavour of democracy, I wanted to float an interpretation to see if I "get it"...

    Is this essentially the same to us Brits voting some nutter into power (some party that is close to the far left / far right), and then when the nutter Government tries to pass the budget which has us spending £20bn on a wall the MP's don't let the budget pass? However spunking £20bn on a wall was in the party manifesto in which they campaigned on.

    Is that re-interpretation of it into a UK version anywhere near accurate?

    Trump is clearly deranged, and the wall "policy" (can you even call it that?) isn't going to work and is a huge white elephant. The fact Government employees getting paid is being used as bargaining chip is disgraceful.

    (Now for the downvotes...), Saying that, if my understanding is right then surely Congress should allow the money for his ridiculous wall to be released as it was a campaign promise. Clearly Trump doesn't care if it's needed, effective or required - but I don't think it's right for House to prevent the President from implementing a policy that was a big campaign promise.

    Think I'm right in saying that in UK that this doesn't really happen as our Executive should (in theory) have a majority (we don't do this silly mid-term thing) so it should pass the MP's, and the Lords always pass budgets and legislation for issues that were in the ruling parties manifesto.

    Of course the sensible thing would be for Trump to just drop the whole wall thing entirely, but I would argue he does have a mandate for it being that he was voted in promising this wall.

    (Getting out the bleach and brillo pads as I walk to the shower - I feel disgusting in defending Trump! No, actually I'm not defending him - he's a bellend - but I am defending that the POTUS should be able to implement his campaign promises without Congress blocking funds.

    Still feel disgusting though!)

    1. Bloodbeastterror

      Re: Comparison

      No, the evil and stupid thing about this is that Americans are being put out of work in order to force American taxpayers to fund this ludicrous manchild's infantile promise that Mexico would pay for the wall.

      1. The Original Steve

        Re: Comparison

        Oh dear God no, please don't get me wrong - I'm in NO way at all endorsing or supporting the moron who sits in the Oval Office nor the ridiculous wall policy!

        Forget the person, and forget the specific policy. All I'm trying to saying is that if the Executive in a democracy gets voted in after campaigning / about a certain policy, then is it not rather undemocratic for the House to block / prevent / refuse funding for the policy?

        Let's say there's a general election June 2019. The Vulture Party have some insane policies and promises in their manifesto. One of the foundation / core / headline policies during campaigning was to build a wall between England and Scotland.

        The election takes place, and The Vulture Party form a minority government propped up with the DUP.

        Now, with The Vulture Party in power, they put their budget together and attempt to get it through Parliament. Now at this point, Her Majesty's Most Loyal Opposition vote against it and say they'll only vote for it if the PM removes the funding request for the mighty wall. (I know that my comparison falls apart here as in theory The Vulture Party should have a majority).

        If party gets voted in based on a manifesto which has a policy about building a wall, then it doesn't seem very fair for the opposition party to block it. The executive has a strong mandate to implement the policy that came straight from the electorate.

        But please, do not think for a moment that I support either Trump or his ridiculous policy!

        1. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

          Re: Vultures

          In your example, the opposition got their votes in part because they opposed a wall and have a duty to their voters to oppose the wall. If the vultures can get enough votes from the DUP to fund their wall from UK tax payers then the wall gets funded from UK tax payers, not France. The fact that the vultures did not get a majority is also a decision from the electorate showing limited support for a wall - perhaps in part because they are unhappy about being asked to pay for it.

        2. lglethal Silver badge
          Go

          Re: Comparison

          @ Steve: Something to keep in mind - Trump was elected making the promise of building the wall. At the time he was elected, The Republicans (HIS party), were in control of the House of Representatives and the Senate. So they had all 3 branches of elected government, and they did not create funding for the wall. They didnt really push too hard for it either at that point.

          Then, there was the mid-term elections - and the Democrats won the house of representatives (quite convincingly). They did this by campaigning AGAINST the building of the wall (and a lot of other policies naturally, but there NOT building a wall was one of the key democrat promises). Since they were elected and won a strong majority on this point, why should they support/approve something that the Republicans had 2 years to get through and failed. Their election promises to the people have to be respected as well.

          1. The Original Steve

            Re: Comparison

            @Lglethal.

            Thanks you for the reply. I genuinely didn't consider how the mid-terms impacted that side of thing and now you've mentioned it then I'm inclined to agree.

            The house has a refreshed mandate due to the mid-terms and as you rightly say, they oppose The Donald's wall. So yep, I stand corrected, and the Democrats blocking it seems entirely democratic (and sensible too of course!).

            Thanks again - Steve

        3. DougS Silver badge

          So by your logic

          The republicans should have stood aside and not complained when the democrats passed Obamacare, since that was one of his signature campaign promises? Being elected as president doesn't mean the electorate automatically supports all your campaign pledges - especially when the margin of victory was less than 100K votes across three states. Even Obama's somewhat larger margins didn't grant him a "mandate" to do anything he promised as far as I'm concerned. The congress is an independent branch of government, not a rubber stamp for the president's wishes like Trump thinks they should be.

          And as suggested, if it was this important to Trump, why didn't he push it harder when he had both the house and senate? It is pretty obvious he's only doing this because a couple conservative media figures loudly objected, and he panicked about losing support from his base. If he believes he's able to declare a state of emergency to get his way, and ends up doing so, then what he's done by using the federal employees as pawns is abhorrent. He'll probably do so, only because it is the only way out for him at this point without losing face.

        4. PM from Hell
          Joke

          Another wall?

          We've already had the Antonine wall and Hadrian's what do we call the next one?

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Another wall?

            Difficult - by tradition named after Emperors - and there aren't many of those left - I can't see 'Akihito's wall' as going down well.. I presume the plan would be to get the Scot's to pay, and obviously for it to be commercially sponsored - so I suggest the 'Iron Bru Barrier' or the 'Buckfast Backstop' or the 'Famous Grouse famous fence'

            1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

              Re: Another wall?

              "by tradition named after Emperors - and there aren't many of those left"

              There are a few wannabes. Let them sort it out between them.

            2. d3vy Silver badge

              Re: Another wall?

              The "Buckie barrier".. protected by the highly trained "scotch guard".

            3. Stevie Silver badge

              Re: Another wall?

              The Asinine Wall.

              1. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge

                Re: Another wall?

                "They can name it peaches"

                https://twitter.com/Acosta/status/1083825405793107968?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw

                I wonder if it wasn't a Freudian slip by Trump - may be he's thinking of asking Apple if it would like to have naming rights to the wall in exchange for the cost of building it

        5. teknopaul Bronze badge

          Re: Comparison

          POTUS does not necessarily get what he wants no matter how much he rants. You're vote is not represented by one person alone.

          Thank god.

        6. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: Comparison

          "All I'm trying to saying is that if the Executive in a democracy gets voted in after campaigning / about a certain policy, then is it not rather undemocratic for the House to block / prevent / refuse funding for the policy?"

          The individuals we (including the US electorate) elect have their own responsibilities and that includes holding the executive to account. That includes preventing them from undertaking something wildly impractical or harmful and maintaining a control on the purse strings. In fact, it's the latter which is one of the main tools they have to do that.

          They have their own democratic mandate to do this.

        7. Electronics'R'Us
          Holmes

          Re: Comparison

          That isn't the way the American system works. I lived there for 22 years and studied the constitution as a side line (very interesting stuff).

          The budget is required to originate in the house of representatives (the only such bill specifically called out in the constitution), and it was originally envisaged that the executive (president) would be the weakest of the three branches of government.

          The President has no power to make laws (he can invoke an emergency but that is specifically permitted in certain circumstances); he (and the rest of the executive) are supposed to actually execute the laws. He can shout all he wants but the only people he is hurting are the federal workers who have no paycheck in sight (apart from his own reputation but as he is pretty well heeled he can afford to retire anyway).

          Only congress has any power to actually make any laws (including the appropriations bill). The president can refuse to sign a bill but if the house and senate vote with a 2/3 majority after that, it will become law without his signature.

        8. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: Comparison

          "Forget the person, and forget the specific policy. All I'm trying to saying is that if the Executive in a democracy gets voted in after campaigning / about a certain policy, then is it not rather undemocratic for the House to block / prevent / refuse funding for the policy?"

          The manifesto promise was that the Mexicans would pay for the wall, therefore no government funding required. The Democrats are merely attempting to help Trump fulfil his promise as stated :-)

      2. bombastic bob Silver badge
        Thumb Down

        Re: Comparison

        "Americans are being put out of work"

        NO. They'll all get their back pay. It happens every time there's a 'shutdown'. There have been many such things over the years. It's just THIS time, Republicans aren't caving in to Demo[n,c][R,r]at BULLYING. So it'll last until Demo[n,c][R,r]ats _SURRENDER_.

        Yeah 'the left' isn't used to NOT getting its way. Well, THIS is what 'push back' looks like.

        There was a similar shutdown in the 1980's while I was in the military. We were concerned about getting paid. Just before payday Con-Grab produced a budget that Reagan was willing to sign. All was good.

        To put it in terms 'the left' would understand, think of this as Trump "on strike" and won't sign until the legislation is worth signing. It's kinda like that. If the Trump Administration were a LABOR UNION, you guys would be CHEERING HIM ON!

        1. Comments are attributed to your handle
          Facepalm

          Re: Comparison

          Trump had two years of Republican controlled Senate and House to get the wall done. He failed. Why oh why would he now suddenly succeed, given a flipped House? Get your head out of your ass. He has only himself to blame for not getting it done. Perhaps he should have played less golf.

        2. Hollerithevo Silver badge

          Re: Comparison

          If Trump was a labor union, we would not be cheering a union on to build a wall.

          If you are a contractor, you will not get back-pay.

          1. Swarthy Silver badge

            Re: Comparison

            Add to that that they have to authorize back-pay, and the bill to do that got shot down by the Republicans in the Senate.

            Also, what good is back-pay if you've been evicted?

        3. sid1950

          Re: Comparison

          Oh yeh? How nice the GOP was when Obama was in power! How much help they gave him to pass the things he campaigned for! To use an old Scottish phrase, much loved by Billy Connolly, "Away and F*cking boil yer F***ing Heed! The noo!"

        4. User McUser

          Re: Comparison

          They'll all get their back pay.

          Except that in the meanwhile they can't pay their rent or buy things like food, gas, clothing, etc.

          THIS time, Republicans aren't caving in

          For TWO WHOLE YEARS (2017 & 2018) the Republicans had a majority in both the House and Senate and they didn't allocate a single cent to the wall. POTUS didn't seem to give a shit about it then so why all the drama now?

          And besides, I thought that Mexico was supposed to pay for it.

          1. jake Silver badge

            Re: Comparison

            "Except that in the meanwhile they can't pay their rent or buy things like food, gas, clothing, etc."

            Let's take this red-herring out of the equation, shall we? In reality, they ARE going to get their back-pay. And also in reality, many financial institutions are offering zero interest loans to help those affected past the Trumper Tantrum. No matter how long it takes. Once they get paid, the loan gets paid off. It's a pain in the ass, yes, but nobody is going to be financially ruined. And the Republicans are losing votes with every passing minute.

            1. RedneckMother

              Re: Comparison

              Back pay doesn't help much when one lives paycheck to paycheck... creditors don't give a Rat's Ass why you're late on a payment. It also doesn't keep the fridge stocked.

          2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

            Re: Comparison

            "Except that in the meanwhile they can't pay their rent or buy things like food, gas, clothing, etc."

            Yeah, but the OP has all that stuff stockpiled in his bunker and enough cash on hand to not have to worry. Those who didn't prepare in advance for every eventuality have only themselves to blame. OP's ok so the world is fine.

        5. georgezilla

          Re: Comparison

          Ok look. This effing idiot is back. And still spewing their normal bullshit.

          Welcome back. We missed you.

          Now go the eff away!

        6. OffBeatMammal

          Re: Comparison

          Back pay is not guaranteed for employees or contractors unless authorized by Congress after the shutdown ends. There was a bill introduced in the run-up to this manufactured crisis to attempt to formalize this - https://www.fedsmith.com/2018/01/18/legislation-introduced-provide-back-pay-federal-employees-furloughed-shutdown/ - thought, predictably, several Republicans voted against it (no Democrats).

          The wall is a pointless exercise that does not stand up to any sort of critical thinking, Trump just wants to leave a "legacy" (beyond the pee tapes) and despite campaign promises that Mexico would pay (they won't, American taxpayers will be left paying for this for a long time) and control of all three branches of Govt he was unable to get it funded so now in a tantrum he refused to sign an appropriations bill that both parties had agreed to (just didn't include money for his unnecessary and pointless erection)

        7. Richard 12 Silver badge

          Re: Comparison

          When you posted that Bob, none of the furloughed federal employees were going to get anything at all.

          "Essential" workers will, they're required to keep working without pay on the promise that they'll get paid eventually.

          The rest are furloughed. Legally, that's unpaid time off.

          The direct employees only get paid if Congress passes a law saying they will. That was finally passed yesterday (11th), but as of posting was not yet signed into law (waiting for Trump) so even now, their wages are in doubt.

          Even then, the furloughed contractors get nothing at all.

          And aside from that, if your rent or mortgage is due, not all landlords or banks will wait for long and even those that will charge interest on the late payments.

          So all of those 800,000 federal workers are going to be out of pocket to some extent.

    2. Ptol

      Re: Comparison

      In the UK, there are some key differences. Our budgets are not about parliament authorising spending by government, they are just about how the government plans to tax us to contribute to the government spending.

      The second key difference, in the UK we do not vote for our prime minister. We vote for a local MP, usually based on his party membership and the policies of that party. This means UK government MP’s are fairly closely aligned to our prime ministers policies. US politicians are elected seperately from the choice of president, often on a different time, and based on their own local platform.

      Finally, in the UK, opposition parties will strongly oppose government legislation, if they think its a poor approach. However, in the House of Lords ( a bit like the US senate) there is a gentleman’s agreement to only amend, but not block laws that were part of an election promise.

      In the UK, there have been occasions when budget announcements did not get the full support of parliament, but it would only prevent changes from occurring. Government carries on as before.

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Comparison

        "Our budgets are not about parliament authorising spending by government"

        Actually the authority of Parliament stems from its having wrung from one of the medieval kings (CBA to look it up) the right to block expenditure by blocking taxation. The two are directly connected. I'm fascinated by the fact that Parliament is finally facing up to its responsibilities and one way it's just demonstrated that is by an amendment to the Finance Bill.

      2. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

        Re: Comparison

        More accurate way of looking at all Congresscritters is that are local pols closely affiliated with the state party and more loosely with the national party. Depending on how closely the two parties align depends on how much they will support the President even if he is nominally the same party. Also, Congress was deliberately set up to force compromises within each house, between the two houses, and with the President to get legislation passed.

    3. Woza

      Re: Comparison

      You can put the Brillo pad away - although I don't pay much attention to US politics, I think a more accurate translation would be a lunatic party making a campaign promise to build a $20bn wall funded by France, winning minority government, and then trying to get Parliament to approve a budget that includes $20bn for a wall. It's not what was originally promised.

    4. jake Silver badge
      Pint

      Re: Comparison

      No, TOS, you really don't get it :-)

      Pretty much your entire premise is incorrect. Speaking as a Yank who has spent probably 20% of his life in Blighty, trying to compare our two systems on a one-for-one basis is impossible. I'd try to explain it, but I fear I'd run out of ASCII ... Suffice to say that politicians the world over are liars, and will say pretty much anything that'll get themselves (re)elected. Some lie more than others. And some lie so often that even when they think they are telling the truth, they are lying. And a few extremely talented individuals lie so early and often that their followers have become convinced that they are the only ones on the planet telling the truth, even when the lies contradict each other. Trump & Co. + sycophants are in the last group.

      It's all very ugly. Beer isn't the answer (voting is!), but it helps. This round's on me.

    5. ratfox Silver badge
      Alert

      Re: Comparison

      I don't think we can say that Congress should roll over for any campaign promise. The idea that Trump got elected because he promised the wall is already itself very flawed; you cannot assume that all the people who voted for him actually want the wall.

      I've seen the argument that Trump was mostly elected because he promised not to be Hillary Clinton, and because he promised to belong to the Republican party.

    6. Christoph Silver badge

      Re: Comparison

      Trump got elected with a promise to build the wall, the Democrats got elected with a promise to block the wall.

      Yes, the Democrats could end the crisis in an instant. All they would have to do is abjectly surrender to whatever Trump has a whim for. They would betray their principles, they would betray the people who elected them. But they would end the crisis.

      They would also have made Trump an absolute dictator. Whatever whim he has, they vote for to avoid a shutdown. Then in the afternoon they vote again because he's changed his mind again.

      If you have told a bully that you will abjectly surrender to his demands if he makes threats, he will NOT then go away and leave you in peace. He will make more and more and more demands, never-ending.

      If once you have paid him the Dane-geld, You never get rid of the Dane.

      1. Hollerithevo Silver badge

        Re: Comparison

        This, a thousand times.

      2. RedneckMother

        Re: Comparison

        Let's not forget that Senator Mitchie won't bring the funding resolution to the Senate floor, even though identical funding passed the Senate 100-0 last month. It doesn't matter whether or not Trumpolini signs (or vetoes) with those numbers.

        Mitchie won't bring it up because Donnie doesn't like it. WTF?

    7. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Comparison

      "Saying that, if my understanding is right then surely Congress should allow the money for his ridiculous wall to be released as it was a campaign promise."

      What if his promise was to saw through the continent at the order to cut Mexico adrift; should Congress allow him the money for that?

      And remember his campaign promise also included the claim that it would be Mexico, not the US that paid. It's up to him to make good on that part if he wants his wall.

      I can, however, see one argument for letting him have his way. In future it could be pointed out as part of mocking future candidates' wilder promises.

    8. phuzz Silver badge

      Re: Comparison

      The big difference is, in the UK if the government's budget wasn't voted through, the government would just keep on going, using the same budget from last year.

      US people, why don't you do this rather than shutting down (almost) every federal agency?

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Comparison

        "the government would just keep on going, using the same budget from last year."

        Not unless things have changed since the '80s. One of the principles then was that if you don't spend your budget this year you don't get it keep it till next year and when you put in next year's estimates they're likely to be chopped back because clearly you didn't spend this year's money. So as the end of the financial year approaches you spend up on stuff you'll need for next year (microscope slides and cover-slips were two of my stand-bys along with methylumbelliferyl phosphate).

        One variable factor was the over-winter spending on road clearance so if there was a mild winter there was a lot left over to spend. In the Northern Ireland Office this was known as the Spring Sales.

    9. Tom 38 Silver badge

      Re: Comparison

      Is this essentially the same to us Brits voting some nutter into power (some party that is close to the far left / far right), and then when the nutter Government tries to pass the budget which has us spending £20bn on a wall the MP's don't let the budget pass?

      In the UK, a government that cannot pass its budget is no longer a government - its termed as a "Loss of supply". The government is obliged to call for a snap general election.

      This is one of the key differences between the Westminster system and the presidential system. Under the presidential system, because of the fixed terms it results in deadlock, whilst in the Westminster system it results in elections.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Comparison

        That was the technique of the last conservative Canadian prime minister when he was having trouble with his MPs.

        Roll every single bill into the budget, on the excuse that they involve government spending, and present only a single bill each year with the threat that there will be an election if his party didn't approve it without any debate or changes.

    10. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Thumb Down

      Re: Comparison

      @The Original Steve

      NO. Just NO. Too many things to enumerate. Just assume 'full quote' everything you said. NO.

    11. Ken Knowles

      Re: Comparison

      The British equivalent is to allow the British public to vote on an agenda instead of letting it go through Parliament. This is not the British way of deciding policy. Then let the Government try to implement Brexit even though it is going to cost the British economy a lot of money. Even then Government can't decide on how to implement the agenda and starts wasting money on truck convoys.

      The Brits did the opposite, there was a perfectly working barrier called the Channel. The Brits decided to spend millions on tunneling under that barrier. A moat was always a good defense in the past.

    12. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Comparison

      No.

      The campaign promise was that he'd build a wall that Mexico would pay for. It's a lot easier to get the public to agree if you tell them it won't cost them anything.

      Although now he says that _obviously_ he didn't mean it when he actually did, on record, say that Mexico would pay them a lump sum, and claims that the agreement from the NAFTA negotiations will cover it in other ways. (Which it won't, because he didn't get anything out of Mexico.)

      And now he's stamping his feet to get the US public to pay for the wall so when the next presidential election comes around he hasn't come up empty on his big, dumb pledges.

    13. doublelayer

      Re: Comparison

      "Not being super clued up with the way my American cousins implement their particular flavour of democracy, I wanted to float an interpretation to see if I "get it"..."

      The U.K. and U.S. do things very differently, so it's hard to make a parallel. Yours doesn't really apply.

      "Is this essentially the same to us Brits voting some nutter into power (some party that is close to the far left / far right), and then when the nutter Government tries to pass the budget which has us spending £20bn on a wall the MP's don't let the budget pass? However spunking £20bn on a wall was in the party manifesto in which they campaigned on."

      Not now. That happens too, but at this point, it's two different groups disagreeing. The most analogous thing in British politics is when two parties that are in coalition disagree or one party has a major split. However, even this is less antagonistic because the coalition implies that the parties did agree at some point on their policy, but have separated. In this case in the U.S., one side campaigned on the policy while the other side campaigned on not allowing the policy to proceed, both receiving enough votes from somewhere to get them a position of power. In this case, this happened across multiple elections because terms overlap, but it would also be possible under the American system to have something like this happen in one election. Each side feels it has a mandate to the voters that voted for them to provide for or block the policy. The people who are in charge can't pass the policies that they want because they lack the votes. However, in the U.K. this would usually lead to a vote of no confidence and another election. The U.S. does not allow that. The executive and legislature are independent, and neither can remove the other. So they continue to have a disagreement until someone changes their mind or they just ignore the topic and do other things. Or in this case, they choose not to do anything at all.

    14. TrumpSlurp the Troll Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: Comparison

      The proposition seems to be that ANYTHING however marginal or trivial that is promised by a Presidential candidate during campaigning should automatically become law if that candidate is elected?

      The President was elected on those promises so they should all be enshrined in law regardless, right?

      O.K.

      What if the candidate promises to do good things too numerous to mention? Because if I say that they are good then they are GOOD! Trust me on this one.

      Logically this doesn't seem to work. Unless you are electing a dictator in which case you don't need the other elected representatives.

  7. ds6 Bronze badge
    Paris Hilton

    I wonder how long until the essential employees stop showing up to work.

    Unrelated icon because it isn't used enough.

    1. Remy Redert

      Like the masses of TSA employees that called in sick or quit because they can't afford to not get paid for even 1 month?

      1. Martin Gregorie Silver badge

        What redress does a US citizen have if a Presidential order harms him without a declared emergency, as has happened to all the governmental employees that got sent home without pay?

        I'm genuinely puzzled as to how Trump was able to shut down government, not least because I've seen nothing in the news that said what regulation was used (but I may have missed it). I did a web search as well but found nothing that looks directly relevant, which is odd, because past experience with the FAA makes me think that everything done by and to the US Government is governed by minutely detailed regulations. From what I found the options seem to be:

        - executive order. But doesn't that require an emergency to be declared?

        - vetoing or refusing to sign a Congressional bill. But doesn't this mandate resolving it with Congress?

        ...but none of these appear to allow the sudden, unconditional and uncontested shutdown that happened.

        What have I missed?

        1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

          Strictly speaking he didn't order government shut down.

          The government is only allowed to open if it has a budget, congress hasn't agreed to the budget and therefore they can't legally spend anything (except for things like defence that have a rolling pre-approved budget)

  8. Nifty

    About this new wall

    So drugs are flowing across the current Mexican border defenses. This new wall, will it be drone-proof?

    1. Will Godfrey Silver badge

      Re: About this new wall

      Indeed. Some questions:

      How low can you dig foundations V How low can you dig a tunnel?

      How high can you build a wall V How high can you fly a drone?

      How much of the wall can you continuously monitor - both sides?

    2. ratfox Silver badge
      Devil

      Re: About this new wall

      It's pretty much irrelevant, as drugs are not flowing through the places where the wall would be built. In fact, neither are illegal immigrants.

      The whole thing is largely symbolic. The money Trump asked wouldn't be enough to build the wall in the first place; but it would allow him to claim victory. It would allow him to claim the wall has been built (even if incomplete, useless and unmaintainable). That's why it's so important to Trump. And that's also why the Democrats are opposing it so much, even though when you come to it, it's a relatively small amount of money.

      The UK politics are in a crisis right now, but at least the stakes are huge. It's pretty much the most important decision the country will take for decades. In comparison, the US is fighting over who gets to sit by the window.

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: About this new wall

        "And that's also why the Democrats are opposing it so much, even though when you come to it, it's a relatively small amount of money."

        It's probably to their long term advantage to cave in. They can then call it the Trump Folly and point and laugh at it, rinse and repeat for every successive Republican candidates' wilder promises.

        1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

          Re: About this new wall

          If they were smarter politicians the democrats would support it.

          But only so long as it would do what Trump promised and be impenetrable to middle eastern Mexican terrorists.

          So they get a quote for a Berlin Wall++, with a 5mile deep minefield, dozens of electric fences, machine guns, anti-tank missiles etc etc until it is going to cost $squillion. Then demand that the senate produces a bill funding it from tax revenue.

    3. Eddy Ito Silver badge

      Re: About this new wall

      Think of the wall as, hopefully, the final curtain to the many years of security theater we've been having. Soon we won't be groped at the airports, our communications will be secure, none of our private information will be sucked into the malevolent void that is the NSA, bureaucrats will stop trying to backdoor encryption, and we'll all be happy and peaceful.

      What? Why is everyone laughing?

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: About this new wall

        Obviously one Mexican wall wouldn't be enough.

        Officialy, as far as ignoring the constitution goes, the border exists 100mi from the actual border, coasts or international airports. So we simply need to build more walls along these 'borders'

  9. lglethal Silver badge
    Go

    Just an idea

    If the Democrats wanted to win a ton of support right now, they should pass a law in the House of Representatives that says, whilst there is an unapproved budget that causes any government staff to be furloughed, all House of Representatives, Senate and White House members, staff, aides, etc. cannot be paid their government salaries.

    If it fails in the Senate, the uproar at the Republican Senators being unwilling to feel the pain of the 800,000 government workers currently feeling pain, would drive a lot of people away from them and the Democrats would now be the champions of the people.

    If it passes in the Senate, and Trump blocks it, then Trump would no longer be the man of the people, and the Republicans would need to distance themselves from him.

    And if Trump actually passed it, then I can guarantee that their would be a much greater desire to find a compromise solution. After all, it would be costing all those Senators and Congressmen/women money. And we cant have that now can we?

    1. Warm Braw Silver badge

      Re: Just an idea

      Even if that were true, it would simply be gesture politics. Which is the problem in the first place. If you keep stoking the fires of divisive self-righteousness, you're going to end up with the first civil war over competing Internet memes.

      1. lglethal Silver badge
        Go

        Re: Just an idea

        Even if it is "gesture politics" (although i challenge you to name any act in politics which wouldnt fit the defintion of "gesture politics"!), a policy that means Senators and Congressmen/women dont get paid whilst there's a government shutdown, would act as a strong incentive for them not to allow a government shutdown in the future. Because Senators and Congressmen/women are, by definition, greedy twats.

        Hit them where it hurts, their wallets, and they wont allow that to happen again!

        1. PerlyKing
          Meh

          Re: Just an idea

          A lot of British MPs are in the "comfortably well off" bracket or above - they could afford for forgo their government salaries for a lot longer than most of us. If US congresspeople and senators are in a similar situation this idea may not work as well as it should.

          1. Rob Gr

            Re: Just an idea

            Simple, freeze their assets too until it gets sorted.

            1. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

              Re: Just an idea

              Any senator: "My assets are frozen. Bribe me with cash."

        2. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

          Re: Just an idea

          Or you just have a permanent shut down.

          Agencies like TSA, DHS, the nuclear bit of DOE are rolled into the DoD and get funding.

          Those workers in agencies you want to keep (IRS, SEC) are "paid" their regular salary in the form of 99year interest free loans every two weeks from the Army/Navy credit unions .

          The fed credit unions are then "bailed out" - there is never any problem with paying banks.

          Then all the agencies that certain Republicans have wanted to remove (FCC, consumer protection, FDA, DOE etc) will close when it becomes obvious to their staff that they are never going to get paid

    2. tfb Silver badge

      Re: Just an idea

      The problem with that is that it means that politicians with private incomes can cope with shutdowns, while those without can't: it's a law which gives rich politicians an advantage (more of an advantage).

      1. lglethal Silver badge
        Go

        Re: Just an idea

        And those without private incomes will become the voices of reason to push for any shutdown to end.

        At the very least, even if all of the politicians are rich enough to survive without their pay, at least they're not being rewarded for severely hurting regular government workers.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Just an idea

        Honest question - are there any poor politicians at national level? Not 'poor I was born in a shack' but 'Poor I can't feed my kids if i don't get paid'?

        1. tfb Silver badge

          Re: Just an idea

          Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez famously said she could not afford to rent an aprtment in Washington DC until she got her salary after being elected. So I don't think that is quite 'poor' but it's not rich. It also means that in the event of a shutdown, with the rule proposed here, she could no longer pay her rent and thus would presumably not attend Congress, vote &c.

          And this, again, is why this idea (attractive as it is) doesn't fly: rich politicians have little to lose personally from a shutdown while poor ones have much more to lose. So rich politicians can starve out (not literally) poorer ones by imposing shutdowns. That's anti-democratic: poorer people should not be disadvantaged as politicians.

          1. lglethal Silver badge
            Go

            Re: Just an idea

            I think you're over stating the case. If the Democrats rely on Ms Ocasio-Cortez voting in parliament, then they will see to it that she has somewhere to stay in DC. She can crouch surf at one of the richer politicians places, without a doubt.

            But my question would be, why shouldnt she (or any other politician) be disadvantaged, when they are disadvantaging 800,000 regular government workers? I dont see the politicians gathering around to offer funding/housing for these people to survive the month without pay. Only the polticians can solve this problem, those 800,000 cant (at least not until the next election, but thats 2 years away).

            When someon you know is seen to be struggling because of something you're doing, you are more likely to try and fix it. That 800,000 are a faceless number to the Senators and Congressmen/women. but make them see a fellow Senator/Congressman/woman struggling and suddenly their's a much more human face on the suffering you're causing, and that would lead to a much faster compromise....

            (on a side note: 800,000 people being furloughed is an insane number. Think about this, the population of the US is ~325 million (source Wikipedia). So effectively 1 in every 400 people in the US is currently furloughed. not 1 in 400 workers. 1 in every 400 people! According to statista.com there are ~130 million full time employees in the US, and i think its safe to say the vast majority of government workers would count as full time employees, so that works out at 1 in every 160 full time employees in the US is furloughed. That is f%&king insane!)

            1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

              Re: Just an idea

              >so that works out at 1 in every 160 full time employees in the US is furloughed. That is f%&king insane!

              Presumably the perfect Republican argument for slimming government.

              If 1 in 160 of US workers are non-critical government employees - doesn't that mean the USA is a communist country?

    3. Sherrie Ludwig

      Re: Just an idea

      "If the Democrats wanted to win a ton of support right now, they should pass a law in the House of Representatives that says, whilst there is an unapproved budget that causes any government staff to be furloughed, all House of Representatives, Senate and White House members, staff, aides, etc. cannot be paid their government salaries.

      If it fails in the Senate, the uproar at the Republican Senators being unwilling to feel the pain of the 800,000 government workers currently feeling pain, would drive a lot of people away from them and the Democrats would now be the champions of the people."

      Most senators are multiple millionaires, or billionaires. The salary is peanuts to them. Not paying staff might cause some kerfluffle, but I bet the affected senators would "loan" them money to tide them over.

  10. Timmy B Silver badge

    A very odd way of working...

    Why not keep everything as it is and then change when agreements are reached. Nothing shuts down, etc. It's nothing new in the US, though. Clinton and Obama both had multiple week shutdowns too. Just seems a bit "It's my ball - you're not playing my game" to me.

    1. lglethal Silver badge
      Go

      Re: A very odd way of working...

      Just to add some facts to the discussion-

      Clinton had the longest shutdown in history 21 days. (Trump will beat that if this one lasts 2 more days). He also had a 5 day shutdown.

      Obama had a single 16 day shutdown.

      Bush Jnr suprisingly didnt have a shutdown

      Bush Snr had a single 3 day shutdown

      Reagen had 8 shutdowns! Ranging in size from 1 days to 3 days (total 14 days). He pretty much had one Every single year of his presidency!

      Trump has so far had 3 shutdowns (in only 2 years!), 1 day, 3 days and currently 20 days. He's 2 shutdown days short of equalling Clinton's total shutdowns over 8 years, in just 2 years.

      (Source: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-46827555 - scroll down a bit and you'll see the table)

      1. Timmy B Silver badge

        Re: A very odd way of working...

        "Just to add some facts to the discussion-"

        I had facts - just in shorthand. Obama and Clinton both had shutdowns that added to weeks.

        1. lglethal Silver badge
          Go

          Re: A very odd way of working...

          I wasnt having a go at you Timmy, but I was expecting a sh*t ton of comments along the lines of, "yeah they had way more. it's disgraceful, never happened before for a republican, its not trumps fault, yadda yadda".

          Just thought I'd get the numbers in place, so it was clear this is not a new thing, although the lengths have on average been getting longer...

          1. Hollerithevo Silver badge

            Re: A very odd way of working...

            We all know this isn't a new thing. We have, most of us, lived through the Clinton years and the Bush years and some of us even lived through the Reagan years, and our memories are still there.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: A very odd way of working...

              The Clinton and Obama shutdowns were caused by Republican controlled Congresses that refused to pass any type of budgets. In December, the Republicans and Democrats voted overwhelmingly for a deal they had made with the President for security funding. Then the far far far right kooks (Ann Coulter and Rush Limbaugh) had a tizzy fit and scared the President into backing out of the deal. He then started demanding the wall, and not even all Republicans in Congress think it is a good idea, base or no base.

              The great deal maker is also the great deal breaker, and a political wimp that can't stand up to Rush.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    We need a wall to keep us safe - Security staff... not so much

    So they need a wall so badly, they shut down the gov't... but during the shut down, staff working on security stuff are non essential?

    Then there's the DHS figure: How does it take 44% of your staff just to keep the lights on? If the day to day stuff is so critical you need 3,500 people. What are

    the other 56% doing?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: We need a wall to keep us safe - Security staff... not so much

      Oh that's like the why are we paying 'hospital managers'? Presumably the 56% are the guys who pay salaries, recruit staff, run training courses, clean offices, empty waste paper baskets, cook food, make sarky comments on El Reg articles, sanitise telephones, develop websites, etc. etc. etc.

      And maybe 'essential' is ''let's keep watching out for Al Qaeda - but forget about chasing the guy with less than a kilo of coke'

  12. Diogenes

    Trying to maximise the pain

    Seen on another site ...from an article in that well known right wing low rent mag the Wall Street Journal by Kimberly Strassel

    Lawyers have scoured other statutes for legal outs. It turns out that Congress’s latest spending bill, the continuing resolution that ended Dec. 21, contained a provision allowing the government to pay certain obligations that came due within 30 days.

    That’s allowed OMB to rush food-stamp payments for millions of Americans through February. It was the Interior Department’s own reading of prior statutes that allowed it to use entrance fees to keep national parks open.

    Then there’s the past OMB legal finding that unfunded agencies can continue providing services that are “necessary” to funded ones or to mandatory services. An easy example: The Social Security Administration and Treasury Department, both technically shut down, must nonetheless process Social Security checks that operate under continuous appropriations.

    This reminds me of a Thomas Sowell thought experiment

    Back in my teaching days, many years ago, one of the things I liked to ask the class to consider was this: Imagine a government agency with only two tasks: (1) building statues of Benedict Arnold and (2) providing life-saving medications to children. If this agency's budget were cut, what would it do?

    The answer, of course, is that it would cut back on the medications for children. Why? Because that would be what was most likely to get the budget cuts restored. If they cut back on building statues of Benedict Arnold, people might ask why they were building statues of Benedict Arnold in the first place.

    The example was deliberately extreme as an illustration. But, in the real world, the same general pattern can be seen in local, state and national government responses to budget cuts.

    There is no reason these certs could not be renewed.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Trying to maximise the pain

      There's also no reason for the government to be as big as it is. The park service could be spun off as a non-profit or several non-profits. The TSA could be private as its duties are already carried out at some airports by private contractors and, at least in my experience, those airports were better for it. Likewise many duties done by the likes of USDA and FDA could be performed by entities similar to UL, DNV, FM, ABS, etc. and none would be impacted by a government shutdown.

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: Trying to maximise the pain

        Because the only thing more efficient than public servants is PPI deals with Capita.

        Ideally you want to reduce the big bills first. There are going to be a lot of Angolan 'freedom fighters' unemployed now that their civil war has ended. Replacing the DoD with a bunch of Africans on $1/day will save $$$$Tn. And it mans that politicians no longer have to be worried about poor white kids are being killed in the next war.

        1. Hollerithevo Silver badge

          Re: Trying to maximise the pain

          That's very Jonathan Swiftian of you (second para).

          First para is more Dante's Inferno.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Trying to maximise the pain

        Well they would be impacted when the firms go belly up because they haven't been paid. And your 'no reason for the government to be as big as it is' is just counting angels on the head of a pin. If a country needs a park service it needs a park service. Whether you go - Taxes - Govt - park ranger or you go Taxes - govt - Crapita - park ranger makes not a whit of difference, except in the second case you are paying for less park rangers and more executive jets, plus you will probably find that the man in the middle says he lives in the Virgin Islands and doesn't have to pay tax.

        (and I know you said non-profit but non-profits have overheads and executives too)

        1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

          Re: Trying to maximise the pain

          Unless you go from "Taxes - Govt - park ranger" to "Disney - park ranger - profit"

  13. Stevie Silver badge

    Bah!

    OPOTUS has no love for the FBI. It will be a case of whatever they write, TL:DR.

  14. Stevie Silver badge

    Bah!

    And then there are those people with land next to the border who are fighting eminent domain claims initiated in the Cause of Wall.

  15. localzuk

    Bewildering

    I don't see how any country can operate where one man can basically shut the place down based on his own whim.

    But I suppose it isn't really just one man doing it is it? It's the GOP blocking it as well, by not passing a veto-proof budget overriding Trump.

  16. Dedobot

    Just build the stupid wall. It will be useless anyway-like all the walls w/o machine guns towers and mine field.

  17. Garymrrsn

    The Great Wall of Trump

    Since Trump is so insistent in building a monument to himself reminiscent of the Great Wall of China, I propose that it be built with adobe brick.

    That way, when global warming changes the border between the US and Mexico into a monsoon zone, we will be spared the expense of tearing it down when his economic and political policies cause an immigration stampede in the other direction.

  18. EveryTime Silver badge

    I blame Canad... uhhh Mexico.

    It will be just a few more minutes before this will be the longest shutdown. Making America Great Again, one record at a time...

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    In 2013 a prominent real estate businessman said, on Fox & Friends, Obama should have been fired over a government shutdown as the responsibility for such a failure “always has to be the top”.

    I wonder if that businessman still thinks the same today.

    1. sanmigueelbeer Silver badge
      Joke

      I don't see how any country can operate where one man can basically shut the place down based on his own whim.

      And that is the power of "democracy", American-style democracy.

      I wonder if that businessman still thinks the same today.

      That businessman still thinks Obama should've been fired.

      NOTE: I/We know who this "intelligent" businessman is.

      It will be just a few more minutes before this will be the longest shutdown. Making America Great Again, one record at a time

      And henceforth that day will be known as the "Great American Shutdown" (aka God Help US).

  20. Ken Mitchell

    Government PLANS To Be Stupid

    Y'know, If I had been a government IT guy, and there was even a CHANCE that there would be a budget stalemate, I would have looked around and asked "If the government were to "shut down" and go on autopilot, what will go SERIOUSLY wrong in the next month?" Security certs are something that could EASILY have been renewed for another year well in advance.

    Pure incompetence. Or malice; take your pick.

    1. A.P. Veening

      Re: Government PLANS To Be Stupid

      "Pure incompetence. Or malice; take your pick."

      The IT guy technically in charge of renewing those certs isn't the one nominally in charge of renewing those certs, so he doesn't have the authorization necessary to spend that money. The manager nominally in charge of renewing those certs either doesn't understand the problem (incompetence, to be expected from a manager) or is dependent upon a higher manager to approve the spending, though most likely both. Pure malice would be a very nice change in the normal state of things.

  21. Enric Martinez

    "Hackers may be rubbing their hands with glee"

    Sure, Iranian, Turkish and North Koreans.

    Not the Russians as they were already there.

    1. Hans 1 Silver badge
      Joke

      Not the Russians as they were already there.

      Not the Russians as they ARE* already there.

      TFTFY

      * Ask Mr Müller

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2019