Jan 6, 2019

The shutdown is about to bite

Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios

The government shutdown "is abstract for most Americans," writes Axios' Mike Allen, but it's about to get very real very quickly. In the markets, nothing's going to get SEC approval while the shutdown is in effect. That means no IPOs, just for starters.

What's happening: The government also attempted to halt bankruptcy proceedings at a nursing-home chain, blaming the shutdown. Both debtors and creditors agree that would put patient health at risk. As Mike says, crunch time is coming. The shutdown will impose real hardship on the nation and its economy.

  • Most government workers' first payday without pay is fast approaching.
  • Food stamps for 38 million Americans could be reduced or even run out entirely.
  • Taxpayers who expect a tax refund want to file their taxes early. But with no IRS workers issuing refunds, that's not going to help them. The absence of tax refunds, in turn, is going to remove a formerly reliable boost to America's winter economy.

Our thought bubble: Mike thinks media coverage of those hardships could end up forcing the president's hand.

Go deeper: The force that could end the shutdown

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Scoop: New White House personnel chief tells Cabinet liaisons to target Never Trumpers

McEntee, shown with White House counselor Kellyanne Conway and White House senior adviser Stephen Miller, walks on the South Lawn of the White House Jan. 9. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Johnny McEntee called in White House liaisons from cabinet agencies for an introductory meeting Thursday, in which he asked them to identify political appointees across the U.S. government who are believed to be anti-Trump, three sources familiar with the meeting tell Axios.

Behind the scenes: McEntee, a 29-year-old former body man to Trump who was fired in 2018 by then-Chief of Staff John Kelly but recently rehired — and promoted to head the presidential personnel office — foreshadowed sweeping personnel changes across government.

How art can help us understand AI

Photo: Ina Fried/Axios

Activists and journalists have been telling us for years that we are handing too much of our human autonomy over to machines and algorithms. Now artists have a showcase in the heart of Silicon Valley to highlight concerns around facial recognition, algorithmic bias and automation.

Why it matters: Art and technology have been partners for millennia, as Steve Jobs liked to remind us. But the opening of "Uncanny Valley: Being Human in the Age of AI" tomorrow at the de Young Museum in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park puts art in the role of technology's questioner, challenger — and sometimes prosecutor.

The Deontay Wilder-Tyson Fury fight is the rematch of the century

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

The weekend's biggest sporting event is Wilder-Fury II, which despite its name is not an action movie sequel starring Jean-Claude Van Damme but, rather, a boxing match starring arguably the two best heavyweights in the world.

The backdrop: In their first meeting in December 2018, Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury put on a memorable show at Staples Center, with Fury surviving a brutal right hand in the 12th round to earn a split-decision draw.

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