The Big Think

October 1, 2013

Unfortunately, the government has not “shut down”

Filed under: Politics — jasony @ 4:39 pm

Unfortunately, the government has not “shut down” | The Matt Walsh Blog: “It boggles my mind that we weep over the plight of the bureaucrat who would lose his job if we downsized the government, yet we shed no tears for the millions of private citizens languishing under the crippling weight of this gargantuan governmental monstrosity. What about the money it takes to run the whole thing? The funds don’t just fall out of the sky like manna from heaven. As your mother reminded you time and again, there is no tree from which it all grows.”

Read the whole thing.

Two Birds Again

Filed under: Humor and Fun,Politics — jasony @ 1:42 pm

From a comment online:

Here’s an idea: Let’s shut the whole thing down, and only reopen stuff that people actually miss, and clamor for. All the federal employees who don’t get called back after 30 days get a severance package: a free house in Detroit.


Outta My Way, Sonny…

Filed under: Politics — jasony @ 12:55 pm

WWII Vets Knock Over Shutdown Barrier to Visit Memorial:“A group of World War II veterans in an Honor Flight group Tuesday knocked over barriers imposed during the government shutdown at the WWII Memorial in Washington, D.C., to get inside.

As part of the federal government shutdown, national parks are closed. But the group of veterans continued to the monument Tuesday, as reported by Stars and Stripes reporter Leo Shane:

Honor flight vets just knocked over the barriers at the WWII memorial to get inside, #shutdown or no.

— Leo Shane III (@LeoShane) October 1, 2013

No sign of folks leaving. The vets have control of the memorial. #shutdown”

Hey, they fought a war to get one. Ain’t no measly shutdown gonna stop them.

Good for them! 🙂

Terrorists Everywhere

Filed under: Politics — jasony @ 9:18 am


“ILYA SOMIN: ‘Terrorism,’ ‘Hostage-Taking,’ and the Government Shutdown.

Terrorists and hostage-takers are evil because they threaten lives and property that do not belong to them. ‘Your money or your life’ is a terroristic threat, because the person making the threat has no right to dispose of either your money or your life. But there isn’t any terrorism or hostage-taking if you say you won’t give me any of your money unless I do something you want me to do.

In the case of the government shutdown, the GOP-controlled House of Representatives has no constitutional or other obligation to pass a funding bill that includes funding for Obamacare or any other particular government program. Part of the reason why the Constitution gives Congress the power of the purse is so they can decide which government programs are worthy of funding, and which are not [and Article 1, Section 7 of the Constitution specifically says that all spending bills should originate in the House— something that manifestly did happen in this case, whether you like the bill or not]. It is also worth noting that the Republicans are not the only side in this dispute who are willing to shut down the government if they don’t get what they want on health care policy. President Obama and the Democratic-controlled Senate could just as easily avoid a shutdown by accepting the House bill. In its latest version, it doesn’t even defund Obamacare completely, but merely delays implementation by a year and repeals the medical device tax, which is currently part of the law. This is not to say that Obama and the Senate Democrats are acting as ‘terrorists’ or ‘hostage-takers’ either. The Senate is not obliged to pass the House bill. If they do, Obama has every right to veto that bill if it gets to his desk. But there is considerable symmetry between the two sides’ positions.

But not, however, in the press coverage they receive. Because the press is deeply suspicious of anyone who stands in the way of the orderly and efficient expansion of the state.

A very fair point indeed. Incidentally, did you know that since 1977 there have been seventeen government shutdowns? Promulgated by both sides (five under Carter. EIGHT (!) under Reagan. That’s an average of one every 25 months. As a negotiating tactic they may be more or less effective historically, but it is neither nation-ruining nor particularly unusual.

Still, everybody would agree that our leaders should work together and compromise (on all sides). Sadly, that’s becoming less and less possible lately. I wonder where the endgame of that particular disfunction is.

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