Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Blink and You May Miss the Government Shutdown

The U.S. government shut down at midnight, according to Piers Morgan at CNN, who keeps showing a closed but still well-lit Washington Monument. Same for the Statue of Liberty. Did the last guys out forget to turn out the lights?

It would suck to be a tourist in Washington, DC tomorrow with all the federal museums closed. You'd be forced to wander the Washington Mall, visit the Holocaust Museum, go shopping in Georgetown, hike around Great Falls (slip under the National Park Service entrance gate, if necessary). If you were really hard-pressed for something to do, you could stop by the Capitol building and yell at Congress.

The Washington Monument, by the way, is already closed for repairs due to an earthquake on August 23, 2011. The Statue of Liberty actually closed at 5pm, when the last ferry of the day departed from Liberty Island. That's when most of the federal offices around the country closed too. Maybe they will open tomorrow, or maybe they won't.

If I were a nonessential federal employee I would be quietly happy if this shutdown goes on for a week or more. The fall weather here on the East Coast is nice and the long Columbus Day weekend is coming up. You can drive back to DC from the beach or the mountains in a couple of hours if there is an early resolution. A lot of times the federal employees get paid retroactively for the hours they didn't have to work during the shutdown without having to make up the hours when these things are resolved.

As for me personally, I suspect it will be several weeks before I suffer even a minor inconvenience from the federal government being closed. I do have one increasingly serious problem. I have been looking for 12-packs of Diet Dr. Pepper for the last 3 or 4 days and haven't been able to find any at the usual grocery and CVS stores. I have a small supply, but when that runs out, look out!

Update: CNN is reporting that Giant Panda Cam at the National Zoo has gone dark. It's sponsored by the Ford Motor Company Fund, and was still live earlier this morning. That means some federal employee came in to work this morning and turned it off. I smell a criminal violation of the Antideficiency Act of 1870.

Update: I have acquired two 12-packs of the elixir of life so I am good for the duration:

Update: No barricades at our National Park Service site in Cambridge:

All it takes for a federal closing is a piece of paper and some masking tape. Anything beyond that is a gratuitous violation of the Anitdeficiency Act of 1870.


buddeshepherd said...

The biggest non-event since the turn of the century. (Y2K?)
Budget Crisis theatre so the repubs can say they tried to stop "The affordable care act" and balance the budget and the non-republicans can blame the republicans.
I wonder if they will still raid Amish farmers for selling raw milk today.
It is sort of like our little helper showing up for work at 8 a.m. today when it is POURING down rain and we can't work, but not showing up for work last Monday when it was 75 degrees and we had to get work done before the rain.
Yes, they are dumbasses...

Left Bank of the Charles said...

You could put a stop that by having lots of muddy outdoor jobs for rainy days. But I know how that works, all those little jobs would suddenly require your direct supervision.

For my grandfather, rainy days were for going to town and hanging out at the hardware store. Then he'd go check the water gaps.

Make hay while the sun shines. When it rains, you get wet.

Anonymous said...

Let's invite the Queen in to fire Congress. This ploy worked in Australia a few decades ago. http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/worldviews/wp/2013/10/01/australia-had-a-government-shutdown-once-it-ended-with-the-queen-firing-everyone-in-parliament/?wpisrc=nl_wonk

Left Bank of the Charles said...

Invite the Queen? This means war!