Understanding the Impending Ongoing Government Shutdown

This may come as a surprise to my regular readers, but it turns out that I am finally conscious.  For the past three (plus) days I have been asleep under the spell of some nasty virus that would have MacAfee, Norton, and Avira all virtually running for their lives.  But alas, as my sickened stupor wears away I am again “with it” (as the hip youngsters like to say) and am able to momentarily return to wasting everyone’s time by blathering idiotically for no particular reason as if I were a human 24-hour news channel.

Wanting to catch everyone up on the latest events of the day, ever since my NyQuil has worn off I have been tirelessly investigating exactly what is going on with this big government shut-down thingy that everyone is talking about.  And based on the ten minutes or so I have just spent on Google, here is what we know so far in no particular order and in very impressive bullet form:

  • Over 93% of the EPA is non-essential.  Or, to flip that around depending on your bias, almost 7% of the EPA is essential, which according to the last census is equal to the population at large who are aware that the EPA still exists and twice the population at large who think EPA stands for Erecting Paper Airplanes.
  • All National Parks and Monuments are closed, although for some reason there seems to be enough funds to mobilize barricades around the National Parks and Monuments and post guards to keep people out.
  • The National Zoo’s Panda-Cam is down.  I realize this comes as a distressing shock to all six viewers, but at just over a gazillion dollars per viewer, getting it back up and running is of the highest priority.
  • Federal workers are high-strung.  (Please note that I did not say they are whinier than Napa Valley, as that might be considered insulting.)  A cursory search of the internet will find innumerable stories about all the poor federal employees who are not going to survive as they are suddenly faced with the real world.  I empathize, I really do.  Right up to the point where they have the assurance of back pay when they do go back to work.   Here’s an idea:  Enjoy your vacation.  Why don’t you pack up the family and go to a National Park or something?
  • President Obama is willing to negotiate and has said so publicly many times.  The caveat is that they cannot be a member of the Republican Party.
  • From NBCnews: A woman “led authorities on a chase from the White House to the Capitol,” where she was shot to death by police.  She “stirred panic in the capital and briefly stopped the mechanisms of government.”  Despite this treacherous stoppage, her re-election is all but assured.
  • John Boehner is still a creepy orange color.  Sorry.  Is that racist?
  • Americans are livid.  Polls show that 76% think Katie Holmes looked particularly perky in the Azzedine Alaia pink pleated skater dress she wore to the premiere of Gravity.  Is ‘livid’ the right word?

The bottom line is that we haven’t seen gridlock like this in Washington since last March when the House’s hearing on global warming was scrubbed because of a huge snowstorm.  And I realize I’m lately out of the loop because I’ve been a little loopy of late, but here is the way I understand how things progressively got to where they are now:

  1. Congress passed some sort of healthcare bill.
  2. Ted Cruz from Texas stirred things up with a heart-wrenching rendition of Green Eggs and Ham.
  3. This fired up the Republicans such that they passed a continuing resolution that wouldn’t fund the healthcare bill.  Democrats said no.
  4. Republicans said okay, let’s delay the healthcare bill for a year.  Democrats said no.
  5. Republicans said okay, let’s get rid of the special exemptions to the healthcare bill.  Democrats said no.
  6. Republicans said okay, let’s at least fund military reservists, medical research, the District of Columbia and federal museums and parks.  Democrats said no.
  7. Democrats are furious that the Republicans are “holding the economy hostage over ideological demands.”   They threw up their hands exposing their class rings.
  8. Republicans took notice and said, “Ooooo, shiney,” and will not rest until they occupy every last corner of the Oval Office.

Now you know as much as I know and probably more.  Amidst all this there seems to be one thing upon which Republicans and Democrats can agree:  It’s the other’s fault.   It’s good to know they can be right about something.

And now, I go back to bed.

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