Things federal workers will NOT be experiencing today.
Things federal workers will NOT be experiencing today. AndreyPopov/Getty Images

Shutdown drags into a fifth week: Today marks the second paycheck furloughed federal workers will not receive. They have now gone a full month without being paid. Yeah, fuck that. Many of Washington’s Coast Guard families are relying on food banks and network of meal sharing between families just to put food on the table. TSA agents are growing increasingly exasperated and are simply not showing up for work. In case you missed it yesterday in Slog PM, Gov. Jay Inslee will be extending unemployment benefits to Washington "TSA agents, Coast Guard personnel, border patrol agents, food safety inspectors, FBI agents." It’s essentially an advance on your paycheck that you then pay back when (or if) you receive your actual paycheck.

Venezuela’s brutal crackdown: The country with two presidents is in crisis. The “elected” president, Nicolás Maduro who is really a dictator still has the loyalty of the military (for now) and is using his forces to crackdown on protesters supporting the self-proclaimed interim president Juan Guaidó. Pro-government armed forces killed at least 20 people yesterday in a clash that is expected to continue.

Roger Stone gets cuffed: Robert Mueller checked another box on his list of Russian-linked criminals associated with the Trump campaign by arresting Stone on seven different counts. Stone allegedly acted as an intermediary between the Trump campaign and WikiLeaks, the organization that leaked thousands of emails and damaged Hillary Clinton’s candidacy. For those keeping score at home that is now 16 indictments from the special counsel's office.

If you’re a tree, you’re really going to hate this weather: But if you’re an Arizona transplant you’re also going to hate this weather. Looking bone dry over the next few days so you have no excuse not to go on that run (I’m talking to myself, people).

Creative conservation: An Oregon rancher is using none other than a wacky-waving-inflatable-arm-flailing-tube-man to help keep wolves out of his pasture and away from his cattle. Those things are terrifying and even if I was a wolf, I’d keep my distance. He can’t speak to its effectiveness because he’s not sure if the wolves have been around, but if it does work we may see an army of wacky-waving-inflatable-arm-flailing-tube-men protecting ranches around the West.

Juul said they don’t target teens: But if you take one look at their ads, you’ll see that’s bullshit. More than one in four 12th-graders has vaped within the last 30 days, which has led some experts to call youth vaping a public health crisis. If you put their ads side-by-side with some of Marlboro’s modern ads, the resemblance is uncanny. Look at this ad below and tell me it’s not targeted at high-school white girls?

Pipeline fire kills 109 people in Mexico: An illegal pipeline tap in Mexico ignited on Wednesday and has now killed more than 100 people with 40 others being treated for injuries. Apparently this practice is not uncommon with almost 15,000 illegal taps found throughout Mexico in 2018.

Washington could ban ‘dwarf tossing’: Yes you read that right. It’s a relic from centuries past that still apparently makes the occasional appearance at Spokane strip clubs. A Republican state senator wants to ban the practice after hearing from his constituents. These events can be really dangerous for people with dwarfism and although they are widely unpopular, there is a small group of little people that enjoy these activities. So do we have the right to take that away?

Angola decriminalizes same-sex relationships: The south African country also implemented a set of laws that prohibits discrimination against LGBTQ people. Angola is now one of a small, but growing number of African countries where same-sex relationships have been decriminalized. Human Rights Watch said, "In casting aside this archaic and insidious relic of the colonial past, Angola has eschewed discrimination and embraced equality.”

This weekend's best Seattle entertainment options include: An opening reception for the Frye Art Museum's three new exhibitions (including Cherdonna Shinatra: DITCH), a duel improv show with Middleditch & Schwartz (of Silicon Valley and Parks and Recreation fame, respectively), and Leavenworth's Timbrrr! Winter Music Festival.