Thursday, April 07, 2011

Put the colander away, there, Humungus.

So Minitru has launched the full-court press on the craven vote-whores in Congress, doing everything but running an "Only __ Hours Until Total Government Shutdown!" countdown timer in the corner of the screen.

"Who will the public blame?" ask the newscasters...

Who cares? They only shut down "non-essential services" anyway, which strikes me as a perfectly cromulent litmus test for the next round of budget cuts. If you can shut the lights off someplace on Friday, and the nation hasn't burned to the waterline because of it come Monday AM, it obviously wasn't crucial to the functioning of the country. Sell it at the next government auction.

"But, but... the national parks!" Look, if having a pretty forest to go look at is really important to you, get together with some friends and go buy one. But stop expecting me and everybody's great-grandkids to chip in; we're tapped out, and we're selling the mineral rights under Yellowstone to cover the grocery bill, okay?

But to the kids on the 'net thinking it means you're going to get to smoke ganja in the streets while the cities burn around you, well, I hate to be a kill-joy, but welfare checks and po-po salaries are not part of any "government shutdown". I know you're dyin' for an apocalypse, but this ain't it.


Anonymous said...

Apparently, though, the military won't get paid.

Yeah, they'll collect the pay and eventually get whatever is due them, but it really burns me up that GI's who are likely in a combat zone are effectively being held hostage by The Dear Golfer.

Tam said...

Not paying the guys with the guns quickly becomes a self-correcting problem, one way or another.

McVee said...

I love how they talk about the X amount of federal workers who would not get paid and that that money would be subtracted from the economy.
1. Like those workers live pay check to pay check. Right.
2. So they might have to put off putting a down payment on a volt. Whoopee dee fracking doo.

Anonymous said...

Regarding the park service. What did we do before there was a park service? Not like anyone's weeding the darn places or something.

Teke said...

That is part of the problem. If you take a look at JayG's post he lays it out. Entitlement money is still paid out. Accounts receivable still open. The shut down parts that are needed. EPA and other regulatory groups industry has to interact with. If they went away permanently then that requirement would not be there to prevent businesses from continuing. I think wen gov't shuts down entitlement accounts payable should be the first doors closed.
I agree with docjim why should soldiers not get paid but welfare queens do.
Another side affect that will hut the industry that we all care about is NICS checks. How can a dealer sell a gun without performing one. If they were done away with then they could but a temporary stop in service would hurt. Unless the fact that a response wasn't received in the allotted time allowed the sale to take place just with a delay. But they how many FFL's would be comfortable with this? What would be the reprisal for do so after .gov started churning and spewing smoke?

Again on the positive ATF wouldn't be walking more guns across the border.

Jimmy said...

A noble shutdown embiggens the smallest Congressman.

seriously though, how much are we talking? how much money is the GOP holding out for and about to screw over the military they say they support just to win a pissing contest and placate the Tea Party who is rapidly pissing me off.

Bram said...

New Jersey shut down their state parks a few years ago. I had to walk around the gate instead of through it. Not sure how we survived.hypul

Stuart the Viking said...

So, the gov shuts down. I haven't heard any numbers yet (I've been too busy to look for them) but does anybody know if the gov is still running at a deficit on the days that it is shut down?


Cybrludite said...

Jimmy, you're getting pissed at the wrong folks. The Republicans offered a compromise CR that would keep the troops paid. The God Who Walks Like A Man refused it.

Gewehr98 said...

It's a bigger deal than I first though.

My USAF retirement check and VA disability stipend would be held hostage. That's a big chunk-o-change in my book, even if I'm not putting a down payment on a Volt.

Jake (formerly Riposte3) said...

"how much are we talking?

Unless my numbers (based on amounts posted by TaxingTennessee) are wrong, the entire kerfluffle is about less than 1% of total spending - which amounts to around 2% of deficit spending.

atlharp said...

How much money is the GOP holding out for and about to screw over the military they say they support just to win a pissing contest and placate the Tea Party who is rapidly pissing me off.

Cry me a river. This is a serious problem that needs to be confronted, and remember who has been derelict in putting together a budget for the last 2 (yeah count'em there skipper) 2 years! The tea party, Ron Paul, GOP, Mickey Mouse haven't been the ones screwing the pooch on this one. It is the resident Kenyan and his band parasites. If you wanna be mad at someone be mad at the ones who can't keep their hands out of your wallet.

Jimmy said...

If you wanna be mad at someone be mad at the ones who can't keep their hands out of your wallet.

i'm mad at the ones that keep pissing away what they do take from my wallet. ALL OF THEM. i'd rather see a fight to get HOW the money gets spent because once THAT gets tamed the amounts will come down on their own.

Bubblehead Les. said...

"Not paying the Guys with the Guns..." Back in the Reagan Era (DemiCommie Majority in Both Houses then) we were having these kind of Shenanigans with the Paychecks one October. They missed the first payday, then the Spouses started to call their Congress Critters (since the U.S. Military tends to get in trouble if they go around the Chain of Command), and threatened to keep their husbands at home, and vote Republitard at the next election. Tip O'neil meant it when he said "ALL politics is local", and realized he didn't want to be the new Minority Leader, so a deal was soon struck.

Dingy Harry and the Anointed one, however, have as much Common Sense as a Earth Firster, so if these Shenanigans don't get straightened out soon, the People with the Guns may have to use Plan B.

Mike Gallo said...

Hey Tam, I've got a can pending so I'd really rather not have the NFA branch shutting down right now.

Anonymous said...

The military gets paid. Their funding was in the Defense Authorization Act which King Barry signed in January.

Too bad the 'journalists' at the Army Times are less competent than the NYTimes....they should know better.

Anonymous said...


Don't you love how whenever there's a budget crisis, somehow the things that directly impact citizens ( say garbage pick up) get stopped WAAAY before so much else, to con-vince people to pay more taxes.

Because out-contracted garbage pickup .05% of the budget, is easier to stop, than 30 years of stupid pension and pay promises to employees.

" A la lanterne, les aristocrates!"

dustydog said...

With all due respect, until a certain librarian quits her non-essential government job, the Queen Doth Protest Too Much.

Jimmy said...

why aren't we shutting off stuff nobody will miss? like 1 or 2 meals a day for convicts. you don't have to be well fed to sit in a damn cell.

Tam said...

Mike Gallo,

"Hey Tam, I've got a can pending so I'd really rather not have the NFA branch shutting down right now."

If your 2A rights get infringed by this, call Alan Gura; we need more good legal precedent.

Tam said...


"With all due respect, until a certain librarian quits her non-essential government job, the Queen Doth Protest Too Much."

I realize all us chick bloggers look just alike, but you've got the wrong blog, dude.

Teke said...

"With all due respect, until a certain librarian quits her non-essential government job, the Queen Doth Protest Too Much."

The certain librarian you are referencing is not a federal employee she would be a state, county, or city employee. Very few libraries are federally funded.

sobriant74 said...

I'm with you on the general gist of your post, so +1. As to the national parks, why are they closing? Arent they just big open areas we've said are to be preserved? How exactly do you close the grand canyon?

Tam said...

"How exactly do you close the grand canyon?"

Really huge sutures.

NotClauswitz said...

They're totally lying about the National Parks.
They have staffed the Parks with pristine eco-crunchies in green suits who hate you because you in your big old gas-sucking gas-belching noisy SUV or evil-ugly humongous land-yacht RV suck and are MEAN to the Clean Parks of Natural Nature where only Wilderness should prevail.

Anonymous said...

Some misinformation above:
1. The military is NOT YET guaranteed to be paid. They'll get paid for the first week of April, but there's no money appropriated yet for next week and beyond. It's likely saner heads will ensure retroactive pay, but it hasn't happened yet.
2. The "exempt" civilian employees (who mostly are working in direct support of our three wars) will work and get paid.
3. For the most part, contractors will continue to work, if their contract is already funded by obligated funds.
4. I work directing the testing of several major weapon system acquisition programs like V-22, CH-53K, Presidential Helo, Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle, and a few others. I ensure the test programs are adequate and the results reported directly to SecDef and the congressional defense committees. I've been deemed "non-exempt" from the furlough. By Tam's standard, I guess we shouldn't test new weapons, eh?


John Stephens said...

"why aren't we shutting off stuff nobody will miss? like 1 or 2 meals a day for convicts. you don't have to be well fed to sit in a damn cell."

Food's less expensive than ammo (for the moment), especially the cheap starchy stuff they serve in jails. It keeps things quiet.

On a Wing and a Whim said...

Dirtcrashr - not most of the park rangers I've met and worked with. How many have you talked to lately? Sure, they love the environment - you'd be kinda insane not to love the environment and get a job working for the park service. And they love getting people out to experience nature. But loving the land and wanting to be good stewards of it does not automagically mean that they must hate all capitalism and progress and ally with the Earth Firsters.

On the other hand, the incentives are set up badly - because the parks only get a fixed amount of money and a huge paperwork and overhead expense for every project or repair, every visitor they get is often looked at as yet one more body they have to accommodate and protect and provide an enjoyable experience for out of the same tiny amount of funds, that will provide an incremental amount more wear and tear on the trails, exhibits, more garbage in the dumpsters, and effluvia to process.

So when their money runs short - and often the cash your pay at the park doesn't even go to that park, but to a general fund where it will be politically redistributed - they start getting a little weary at the next busload of tourists, and the ones after that.

On the other hand, I hear the parks that are privatized, don't have to requisition and pay Davis-Bacon wages to their contract repairs, and actually get to keep the money for every camper or hiker they attract, tend to be enthusiastic about all the campers they get, even after a full season's worth.

I'd be just as glad if we had more of those!

Tam said...


"By Tam's standard, I guess we shouldn't test new weapons, eh?"

Depends. What targets are we testing them on? I'm thinking we might could kill two birds with one stone here, so to speak... ;)

atlharp said...

By Tam's standard, I guess we shouldn't test new weapons, eh?

Since when do we need the government to test new weapons? Hell I can't speak for Tam, but I would dare to say she might do that for free. Or at least if she can take home a couple of cans of ammo.

atlharp said...

i'm mad at the ones that keep pissing away what they do take from my wallet. ALL OF THEM. i'd rather see a fight to get HOW the money gets spent because once THAT gets tamed the amounts will come down on their own.

Yeah, but dude that ain't the Tea Party. I think your arger is misdirected here. Remember, we are the guys that wanna keep money away from them. Just sayin...

Anonymous said...

I'm thinking we might could kill two birds with one stone here, so to speak... ;)

Hush, evil woman!


Anonymous said...

The Really and Truly FUBAR part of this whole deal is that "Providing for the Common Defense" is named specifically in The Constitution as something the Feds are responsible for, and is part of "Discretionary Spending", which means, as I understand it, "We can spend on it or not." ...... while WIC and Social Security and Medicare are "Non-Discretionary Spending" WTF, Over?!?!?! I guess I missed the parts of The Constitution where it layed out the Feds obligation to buy cheeze-whiz and chips for professional baby-momma's, give great-aunt Emma a check to blow at the Indian Casino, or pay for Gramma's feeding tube at the old folk's home... any of y'all see any of that shite in there anywhere?

I'm tellin' ya .... this thing is so FUBAR that maybe we need to scrap it and start over .....

Shut it down,
Shut it down,
Shut the M-F'er down,
We don't need a budget,
Shut the M-F'er down!

robnrun said...

On a Wing and a Whim said it better than I; but you know one of the main reasons I keep my distance from any sort of defined political alignment is the assumption that any interest in the environment means one is a rabid tree-hugger. Other irritations keep me non-aligned in other areas as well!

I am a farmer, a forester, an historian and a member of my town's government(unpaid). But first and foremost I am a steward of my land. The cheap food, cheap water, cheap lumber, access to hunting lands, rivers you can fish in? Those aren't things enjoyed in most areas of the world. Thank the private land owners, the timber companies, thousands of town organizations, and also the BLM, the DEP, the NPS, and the Army Corp among others (heck the US Army is one of the best examples of balancing pointy end priorities and long term land stewardship!).

The alphabet soup is a pain to deal with, but I'd rather that than the pink soup that most rivers turned into before environmental regulation. Frankly, we proved our inability to be stewards of the land. Ideally, I'd love to not have the regulations, I believe many of them are utterly asinine. But yelling 'strip mine Yellowstone' demonstrates that neither side has a good handle on the concept of responsible behaviour. One side wants my guns and my rights, the other wants to destroy something that cannot be rebuilt. Both are interested in immediate gratification for themselves.

Tam said...


"Frankly, we proved our inability to be stewards of the land."

You don't think we've learned anything since then?

When you were two, you needed your mommy to tell you not to stick your finger in the fire. Then you got burned. Now you don't need your mommy following you around anymore to tell you that.

When we were little, we put all of our oily rags in Lake Erie. Then it caught fire. Now we don't put them there anymore.

Green sells all by itself now. It doesn't need Nanny State (who has polluted more areas beyond repair than private industry EVER did) to sell it anymore.

North said...

Gallo: After what you accused me of on SayUncle, you say: "I've got a can pending so I'd really rather not have the NFA branch shutting down right now."

So it IS ok as long as it affects someone else?

You called me names. I won't stoop to your level.

Teke said...

I have 2 family members that work for the feds.

My dad is pretty sure he'll be furlowed if it happens. He still thinks it may be what we need to hold the Dems feet to the fire and get get the cuts we desperately need. Does ne like the idea of not getting his next check. Absolutely but he gets the bigger picture. If we don't do something we will hit the wall and won't be able to do anything and no one will be getting paid.

Any of us in the private sector can walk in to work tomorrow and walk out without a paycheck. Why are gov't employees a protected species.

Tam said...


Every budget crisis affects somebody. If one of my employers runs itself too far into the red, I could be S.O.L. tomorrow.

Sorry, man; life stinks. :(

North said...

Same here, Tam. I am my own employer.

Perhaps I'm just not getting something.

So I think I'll just step away. I learn nothing from insults. And little from people proposing solutions.

Tam said...


I'm sorry. Where did I insult you? I'm confused. :(

North said...

Tam: I'm sorry. That particular point was not aimed at you.

There is probably a great deal that I can learn from you and come to understand - would love to -, but this nearly twitter-like exchange isn't going to be the way to do it. Blogging is a great thing, but not a deep thing.

Given the brink that I'm on today, it is best for me to go back to lurking. (Here and on other blogs with this subject)

robnrun said...

Tam, one of the forest sections I manage borders a town road, and every week I get to play trash man...the dump is free, but people have no intention of actually taking their sofas there. I am pretty sure that companies would dump into the river if they could; and I don't blame them, it makes economic sense to do so. In the short run (under two generations) proper care of the land never makes economic sense, it is more expensive and it is hard work. There is a good reason environmentalists and capitalists are uneasy partners, they can be very good ones indeed but it is hard work on both sides.

I use the example of a set of oak trees I planted the other year, I will never see them as mature trees; but someone's childrens children will. I could have planted a set of fast growing trees and I would have enjoyed them, but I enjoy the oaks my ancestors planted, can I do less? Without the land one has nothing.

Tam said...


I think a large part of the reason people treat "public lands" like that is the same reason people treat the hallways in "public housing" the way they do. When something is "public", it doesn't belong to everybody, it belongs to nobody. And therefore it's nobody's responsibility to be a good steward of it.

Cleanest forests I've ever seen were owned by paper companies.

Robin said...

robnrun, you do realize, don't you, that the majority of Superfund sites are government facilities?

Boomer said...

As a US Air Force Budget Analyst with 35 years working for the same company (25 years in uniform) I have had it with the Kabuki Theater the asshats in DC are playing right now. The last 2 fiscal years have been a freaking nightmare thanks to Dirty Harry and Queen Pelosi. The Stupid Party hasn’t been very good in making things happen working mess they were handed for FY11. We have people in harm’s way and when their families don’t receive their pay it won’t be pretty at the local Commissary and Base Exchange when the cupboards go bare at home station. The country can no longer afford the runaway spending for the lazy, illegal, and useless. Pass the Defense Appropriation and shut down the rest. Who the hell will miss them!

robnrun said...

I do realize the majority of Superfund sites have gov't ties, I also realize that the EPA regs on carcinogens make a test on brocoli come up with a hazmat result. I am not saying that the EPA, the BLM and other gov't agencies aren't way oversize; they are, no argument here.

But what I am saying is that the vast majority of the populace doesn't just dump on public lands, because they are as Tam says, public, they dump where-ever and and whenever it is convenient. Last I checked the properties I managed are most assuredly private, and the lack of respect that GP has for private property is just about the same as it is for public. I think we all agree that the right to self defense is a fundamental because there are a fair number of people out there who are predators because it is easy to mug an unarmed person. That same streak is the one which makes them such poor stewards of the land, it is easy and cheap to trash the environment for immediate gratification.

It is easier and cheaper to not have environmental regs, and it doesn't hurt us in an immediate way when they aren't obeyed.

Like animals we seem to have a pretty poor grasp of anything other than direct cause and effect. If a trout flipped belly up right in front of the person who cut the trees to make a pretty lawn right down to the Class A trout stream and in doing so raised the water temperature to levels trout can't survive; they might not have cut those trees. But it doesn't work that way. The trout die off slowly, and the people complain to the town that the town needs to do something. (a recent case before my commission) Nothing illegal happened there, but mighty bad stewardship. Now you say, 'I don't fish', well but that cold water also reduced algae blooms and those trees reduced erosion and the protection of the trout protected a stream that fed a public water supply, and the now degraded stream is one of 20, and well, that means more filtration...and that means more expensive water.

Now eventually, like the timber companies who can't move to virgin forest anymore and have to practice sustainable harvesting, we will run out of water, pollinators, soil capable of filtering/growing and we will have to practice sustainable behaviour then...but the human die off, well I guess I am selfish, as I don't think I'd be one of the survivors.

Ancient Woodsman said...

Perhaps someone at MSN reads this blog: the MSN homepage is now running a 'this many hours until the gooberment shuts down' clock.

Anonymous said...

Hi Tam, I am Nine Pound Sledgehammers wife. While I agree with what you've posted for the most part, I disagree with your view of shutting down the parks. We live and work at the Grand Canyon for the Concessionare not the government. Our jobs would be shut down as well. The grocery store would possibly be shut down as well as other "nonessential services". Now while I confess that I could use the time off due to my health, we need each paycheck. And we would not get retro paid. It would be unpaid time off. The town outside the gate would be affected as well. And alot of people who planned to vacation here would be dislocated and have to scramble to make other plans. We are 60 miles from the nearest grocery store - and 90 miles from the nearest major town.

In other words - The federal workers would not be the only ones affected. Even with just the possibility of a shutdown - we have been affected. We have employees who just arrived and don't know if they will get enough hours to pay their bills.

My apologies if I offend - But this is something very close to home.