T.G.I.M.! After the week that was

A three-star Army general I once knew had a small sign over the door to his inner Pentagon office reading, “T.G.I.M. Thank God It’s Monday!” I’m thinking that very thought this morning, after last week. Some weeks just seem weirder than usual. Last week was one of them. My nominations for the strange and shocking stories:

  • Anything connected with the presidential primaries. Bill Clinton called President Barack Obama’s 7 years an “awful” legacy, then disappears for days. Donald Trump compared the visage of his wife with that of Heidi Cruz, and surprise, an ugly exchange ensues.
  • The House Budget Committee voted along party lines to cut the federal workforce by 10 percent over the next few years through attrition. And they want to get rid of your defined pension benefit and move instead to a defined contribution plan. They’ve proposed these things before, but such plans never catch on in the full Congress.
  • Unintended consequences  from the Justice Department order for Apple to unlock the San Bernardino terrorist iPhone. Apple may now be facing a swarm of hackers with methodologies for unlocking an encrypted phone. Justice is saying it may not need Apple after all, proving the one true thing about cybersecurity: Nothing, nothing  is uncrackable. Is it?
  • Tim Cook might be a jelly doughnut compared to the Ayatollah. Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced indictments against Iranian cyber-hackers connected to their government. They were said to have hacked into controls on a dam not far from New York City, and to have disrupted the networks of Bank of America and the New York Stock Exchange. DOJ indicted five Chinese hackers in 2014. They haven’t been arrested either.
  • The “jayvee” causes a different sort of March Madness. The Islamic State militants are connected to the Belgian bombings. Well-dressed European Union ministers look flat-footed, confused, and slightly clueless. Turns out EU nations are bad at information sharing, really bad. They’re not all that adept at doing anything about the information they do get. They may have to dial back their dainty privacy concerns a notch if they want to get a handle on terrorism marinating right under their noses.
  • A postal carrier in New York is handcuffed and taken in for telling a reckless driver to slow down. As The New York Times relates, the careening car contained four plain-clothed police officers. After arresting the well-meaning Postal Service worker, the driver of the unmarked police car rams into the back of another car. The carrier’s fiancee  is an NYPD officer.

Thank heavens it’s Monday. You and I have work to do. Let’s help keep the world somewhat normal.

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