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U.S. Government: Sorry, We're Closed 1532

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the that-time-of-year dept.
theodp writes "CNN reports that the U.S. government shut down at 12:01 a.m. EDT Tuesday after lawmakers in the House and the Senate could not agree on a spending bill to fund the government. Federal employees who are considered essential will continue working. But employees deemed non-essential — close to 800,000 — will be furloughed, and most of those are supposed to be out of their offices within four hours of the start of business Tuesday."
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U.S. Government: Sorry, We're Closed

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  • Fucking idiots (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 01, 2013 @02:39AM (#44999235)

    Do they do ANYTHING for the actual good of the country?

    • Re:Fucking idiots (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 01, 2013 @02:54AM (#44999323)

      War on Afganistan
      War on Iraq
      War on terror
      War on drugs
      War on swear words
      War on nudity

    • Re:Fucking idiots (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Bartles (1198017) on Tuesday October 01, 2013 @02:55AM (#44999335)
      Passing a yearly budget would prevent this from happening. But then of course they would have to admit that they aren't actually passing budgets anymore.
      • Re:Fucking idiots (Score:5, Insightful)

        by LordLucless (582312) on Tuesday October 01, 2013 @03:15AM (#44999447)

        Well, it would limit it to happening once a year, when they're hammering out the budget.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 01, 2013 @03:01AM (#44999369)

      Do they do ANYTHING for the actual good of the country?

      Short answer: no.

      Long answer: noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo.

  • The Blame Game (Score:5, Insightful)

    by aardvarkjoe (156801) on Tuesday October 01, 2013 @02:43AM (#44999259)

    All the news stories have been about "which political party should we blame."

    You want to know who to blame? All of the twits who have been cheering on "their team" while this has been going on, instead of pressuring their representatives to do their job. The members of Congress -- in both major parties -- feel no pressure to actually resolve the situation, because they've managed to trick their supporters in the media into giving them a pass while they wasted time instead of actually trying to come up with a solution that has a chance of working.

    • Re:The Blame Game (Score:5, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 01, 2013 @03:01AM (#44999367)

      Are you kidding me? Let me summarize the situation:

      * The Senate passes a bill to continue federal funding as required
      * The House passes a bill that also kills Obamacare completely
      * The Senate rejects it
      * The House passes a bill that delays Obamacare for a year, kills the medical device tax, and kills women's contraception coverage
      * The Senate rejects it
      * The House passes a bill that kills the individual mandate (the only thing that would make Obamacare work)
      * The Senate rejects it
      * The government shuts down

      Here's the strategy of the Republicans: shut down the government and then threaten to default (this happens on Oct 17th if the debt ceiling isn't raised). The government shutdown is simply a way for the Republicans to show that they are serious. It is an annoyance, but it is not an economic calamity. But the debt ceiling is. If the government defaults, everything is going to hell. So far the Republicans have just shot one hostage. Now they are threatening to kill them all.

      • Re:The Blame Game (Score:5, Informative)

        by nbauman (624611) on Tuesday October 01, 2013 @03:23AM (#44999493) Homepage Journal

        The government shutdown is simply a way for the Republicans to show that they are serious. It is an annoyance, but it is not an economic calamity. But the debt ceiling is. If the government defaults, everything is going to hell. So far the Republicans have just shot one hostage. Now they are threatening to kill them all.

        Here's a few articles by Paul Krugman which go into those ideas in more detail.

        http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/30/opinion/krugman-rebels-without-a-clue.html [nytimes.com]

        http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/20/opinion/krugman-the-crazy-party.html [nytimes.com]

        http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/09/25/default-notes/ [nytimes.com]

    • Re:The Blame Game (Score:5, Insightful)

      by quantaman (517394) on Tuesday October 01, 2013 @03:42AM (#44999605)

      All the news stories have been about "which political party should we blame."

      You want to know who to blame? All of the twits who have been cheering on "their team" while this has been going on, instead of pressuring their representatives to do their job. The members of Congress -- in both major parties -- feel no pressure to actually resolve the situation, because they've managed to trick their supporters in the media into giving them a pass while they wasted time instead of actually trying to come up with a solution that has a chance of working.

      "Sure he shouldn't have strapped a bomb to his chest. But the hostage negotiator should have worked harder to get him the money in the vault, so really they're both to blame for the explosion."

    • Re:The Blame Game (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Savage-Rabbit (308260) on Tuesday October 01, 2013 @04:38AM (#44999895)

      All the news stories have been about "which political party should we blame."

      You want to know who to blame? All of the twits who have been cheering on "their team" while this has been going on, instead of pressuring their representatives to do their job. The members of Congress -- in both major parties -- feel no pressure to actually resolve the situation, because they've managed to trick their supporters in the media into giving them a pass while they wasted time instead of actually trying to come up with a solution that has a chance of working.

      There was a survey on CNN yesterday. They asked which party is acting like a spoiled child:

      * Obama 47%
      * Democrats 58%
      * Republicans 69%

      In other news, a Danish TV station I was watching yesterday had one of those round table discussions where everybody was scratching their heads over this strange situation. One of the panelists cited a survey that found that Congress has a 10% approval rating which it amused him to contrast with the fact that apparently socialism/communism has an 11% approval rating with the US public. If those percentages are correct, that last one is surprising. I figured the approval rating for socialism in the USA would be hardly measurable.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 01, 2013 @02:48AM (#44999297)

    'Murica! Where the government closes when they can't talk it out due to childish behavior from different parties.

  • by Freshly Exhumed (105597) on Tuesday October 01, 2013 @02:49AM (#44999301) Homepage

    I love Slate's [slate.com] take on this. When you read it, substitute "Venezuela", "Uganda", or "Myanmar" for "America".

  • by Barnoid (263111) on Tuesday October 01, 2013 @02:54AM (#44999325)

    If lawmakers of both houses were considered non-essential we wouldn't have a shut down right now.
    It's all fun and games as long as you can play with someone else's income.

  • Oh no! (Score:5, Funny)

    by Kohath (38547) on Tuesday October 01, 2013 @02:55AM (#44999333)

    The people who steal one third of my paycheck! Who will spy on me? Who will treat me with contempt? Who will give my money to people who don't work? Who will blow up those nasty foreigners with drones? Who will second-guess my personal choices?

    And what about the cronies!!? How will they get their schemes funded? Won't someone please think of the cronies!!!?

  • by gallondr00nk (868673) on Tuesday October 01, 2013 @02:58AM (#44999355)

    Sorry, but the way the US political class appear to act is absolutely fucking pathetic.

  • by LordLucless (582312) on Tuesday October 01, 2013 @03:14AM (#44999439)

    If this happens in Australia (upper house repeatedly blocks bills from the lower house) we sack them all, and hold another election. It's called a double dissolution [wikipedia.org] (because both houses are dissolved simultaneously).

  • by BenEnglishAtHome (449670) on Tuesday October 01, 2013 @03:20AM (#44999475)

    I was there for the last shutdown.

    By statute, email was not sufficient for notification. Every employee had to show up to the office and be given a formal-on-paper memo telling them they were furloughed. Remember, by statute, the in-person delivery of a notice on paper was required. That meant that *every* field employee had to make there way back to the office the same morning to receive their paper. Special Agents were called off of stake-outs. Employees permamently assigned to work from home or from desks at non-government entities had to leave their normal workspace and come into the federal building that was, theoretically, their place of employment...even if they *never* set foot in that building under normal circumstances.

    At the last shutdown, every federal building was packed. There wasn't room for all the people who were forced to show up all at the same time. Halls were lined with people standing around because they had no place to sit. Friends gathered in groups of 4 or 5 around the desk of the one guy in their group who actually had a desk.

    All of this may have been changed in the meantime.

    However, post-9/11 we used to discuss the prospect of another shutdown and always concluded the same. Congress would be stupid to do it. The mechanics of the process made every federal building in the nation an incredibly enticing, super-target-rich environment for any nut job with a bomb or a gun who wanted to go out in a blaze of glory.

    We tended to think that putting all government employees in central locations, metaphorically under a giant banner that said "All terrorists attack here. Multiple high-value targets present. High level of success guaranteed." was so stupid that even Congress wouldn't do it.

    Of course, we might have been wrong about that.

  • Victory! (Score:5, Funny)

    by solidraven (1633185) on Tuesday October 01, 2013 @03:21AM (#44999477)
    A victory for the British Empire!
  • Don't Worry (Score:5, Funny)

    by Organic Brain Damage (863655) on Tuesday October 01, 2013 @08:46AM (#45001277)
    1. None of the essential services, such as air traffic control, will be shut down. You'll still be able to hop into your G5 and fly to Paris for dinner tonight.

    2. OSHA, on the other hand, will stop inspecting your refineries, so some of your human resources employees may need to work a little harder to replace losses due to on-the-job mortality and morbidity.

    If the #1 and #2 above do not apply to you, please ignore this post, it's not your government that shut down.

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