👋 Away Message: So we had a little scheduling snafu here at WTF HQ, where both myself and Joe (voice of the pod) double-booked ourselves with personal and professional obligations next week. Oopsie! Not a very great job using a calendar on my part, I guess. On the other hand, it appears the government isn't going to be open for business anyway... Unless something truly WTF-y happens, I'll see you all again on Tuesday, October 10th, because Monday is a holiday (Indigenous Peoples' Day).
In the mean time, try our little news aggregator tool – currentstatus.io – to keep you up-to-date on the daily shock and awe. Thanks for understanding and for being here. I'm going to miss you.
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- Programming note: This is the last update until Monday, June 26. I’ll be spending time with family next week, unless something truly wtf-y happens, in which case I’ll publish an emergency update. Sound good? Stay safe and I’m glad you’re here.
1/ Multiple federal agencies were hacked as part of a broader cyberattack that exploits a previously unknown vulnerability in widely used file sharing software. The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency said it’s still investigating the scope of the hacks, but it’s “working urgently to understand impacts and ensure timely remediation.” The breaches, however, were connected to a file transfer program called MOVEit, which a Russian-speaking hacking group known as CLOP has recently exploited to steal data from companies and demand ransom payments. Last week, CISA and the FBI issued a warning that CLOP was exploiting the vulnerability in MOVEIt. It’s the third known instance in as many years that foreign hackers have been able to breach federal agencies and steal information. (CNN / Politico / NBC News / Wall Street Journal)
2/ The White House will continue to use the term “MAGA” despite the Office of Special Counsel ruling that it’s a violation of the Hatch Act – a law that bars federal employees from promoting partisan politics while in their official capacity. While White House officials have repeatedly referred to Republican members in Congress as “MAGA Republicans,” the Office of Special Counsel cited press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre’s use of the phrase “mega MAGA Republicans” ahead of the 2022 midterms as being in violation of the 1939 law. The office, however, did not recommend any reprimand and the law is widely viewed as unenforceable. Jean-Pierre, meanwhile, noted that “If you look at the archived Trump White House website, it contains about 2,000 — nearly 2,000 uses of “MAGA” to describe policies and official agendas,” adding that “Congressional Republicans have also used “MAGA” to refer to policies and official agenda frequently, for years now — even, clearly, before we entered the administration.” At least 13 officials violated the Hatch Act during the Trump administration. (Axios / NPR / NBC News / Washington Post)
Trump rejected lawyers’ efforts to avoid classified documents indictment. “The former president was not interested in attempting to negotiate a settlement in the classified documents investigation.” (Washington Post)
The Radical Strategy Behind Trump’s Promise to ‘Go After’ Biden. “Conservatives with close ties to Donald J. Trump are laying out a ‘paradigm-shifting’ legal rationale to erase the Justice Department’s independence from the president.” (New York Times)
3/ The Supreme Court upheld a 1978 law that prioritizes Native tribes when American Indian children are adopted. The vote was 7 to 2, with Justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito dissenting. The Indian Child Welfare Act was enacted in response to a long history in which hundreds of thousands of Native children were separated from their families and raised by people with no connection to their culture. Before the Indian Child Welfare Act, between 25% and 35% of Native children were taken from their homes and placed with white families or in boarding schools in an attempt to assimilate them. (New York Times / NBC News / Associated Press / Washington Post / CNN / NPR)
4/ FDA advisers unanimously recommend that the COVID-19 vaccine be updated to target emerging subvariants of omicron, as well as drop the original coronavirus strain from the formulation. The panel recommended that drugmakers abandon the bivalent design and instead use a “monovalent” vaccine that only targets omicron subvariants. The FDA is expected to make a final decision on which COVID-19 strain to target soon. (NPR / NBC News)
poll/ 61% of Americans say overturning Roe v. Wade was a “bad thing,” while 38% said it was a “good thing.” 47% say abortion should be legal in all (34%) or most (13%) circumstances, while 49%, want it legal in only a few (36%) or illegal in all (13%) circumstances. (Gallup)
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