Journal of the Great Shutdown: Day One

Let's hope it doesn't get as bad as they're predicting.

My status: heading to mall to stock up on Dinky Dee dog food. Taking my shotgun and twelve shells.

I hope to post again tomorrow…if I survive.

God keep you all safe.

Last 5 posts by Clark

Comments

  1. mcalex says

    Is 'Government shut-down' a real crisis, or just another name for a temporary right-wing tantrum?

  2. jaggerbush says

    Ken can only be referring to the state of the Country now that the health care exchanges have opened. After all, they are destroying America. As they have now opened, I am afraid to go outside lest I be taken hostage by marauding bands of insured people.

  3. Kelly says

    It's a temporary right-wing tantrum that has a very good chance of becoming a major crisis.

  4. Tarrou says

    I, for one, am old enough to remember the 1995-1996 shutdowns. The looting, riots and warlords. The complete implosion of our economy. We never recovered. My sister caught the bubonic plague in those dark days. We had to eat her. How could those filthy Republicrats have done this to us, when they KNEW it would end western civilization? Ahh well, I'm just gonna pack my guns and head to Mexico, maybe I can sign on with the Sinaloans.

  5. says

    @Tarrou

    I'm just gonna pack my guns and head to Mexico

    I hear rumors that there's a place where they still have electricity, generated from methane.

    Somewhere in the western deserts.

    Good luck, and God speed.

  6. Dictatortot says

    The day before yesterday, my blue-meth connection finally dried up. Surely the good years are behind us.

  7. C. S. P. Schofield says

    Let's face it; the nitwits who are panicking about a "Government Shutdown" are scared that the citizenry will realize just how unimportant the Government is. That could REALLY upset the status quo. Why, the policy wonks, jobholders, and other self-satisfied buttinskis might actually have to WORK for a living.

  8. says

    @Paul

    Personally, I'm off to look for the monastery of the Blessed Leibowitz.

    Nice one! Don't forget to write a shopping list before you go.

  9. says

    @C. S. P. Schofield

    Let's face it; the nitwits who are panicking about a "Government Shutdown" are scared that the citizenry will realize just how unimportant the Government is. That could REALLY upset the status quo. Why, the policy wonks, jobholders, and other self-satisfied buttinskis might actually have to WORK for a living.

    How can you say that?

    Once the citizenry realize that
    the department of education may be slow in responding to questions or that the CDC will not be able to provide flu surveillance, the people will riot in the streets for more government.

  10. Damon says

    Clark,
    12 rounds? Pfft. You should take a bandolieer full, and a backup weapon like a pistol with several mags….just in case…you know…zombies!

  11. Todd S. says

    "Ahh well, I'm just gonna pack my guns and head to Mexico"

    Joke's on you buddy: NO ROADS.

    (I stole this joke from Jesse Walker at Reason.)

  12. Tarrou says

    Joke's on you buddy: NO ROADS.

    Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!

    How could I have been so foolish? Come back and save me, government man!

  13. says

    I hope Clark will keep us updated on the dramatic effects of the continued lack of The Authoritarian State (TAS). So far, I'm suffering from Continuous News Hyperbole (CNH). Does the CDC track CNH?

  14. ThomasD says

    Help Wanted: Corporate Chief Executive in extra-national commodities exchange markets is seeking a well qualified candidate for Executive Assistant position. Must have strong background in exchange enforcement proceedings and corporate security practices. Secondary education not required, nor even preferred. Come and work for us, it will be a BLAST.

    Qualified candidates should send their resume to:

    Master@Bartertown.net

  15. says

    I'm hoping for a career as the one guy who's still literate, and is allowed to live despite his lack of combat skills because he knows how to listen to the talking paper. Unlike most of them, though, I'm not going to sign on with the heroes when they come bumbling through, because I'll just be killed tragically and painfully a few scenes later. Failing that, I'm sort of built like the rancor handler from ROTJ, so maybe I can get a job in the warlord's Arena Of Doom. However, I'd need to shave my head, which would suck.

  16. Craig Fitzgerald says

    The level of empathy here for the 800,000 people losing their jobs today is impressive.

  17. says

    @Lizard

    I'm hoping for a career as the one guy who's still literate, and is allowed to live despite his lack of combat skills

    The brothels are full.

  18. azazel1024 says

    Nah, it won't be barbarism. Afterall, most of the major functions of gov't stay up because they are considered too essential to shutdown even if there is no budget.

    If it truely shut down completely, yes, it would be pretty darned dramatic and bad.

    No VA benefits, not social security retirement or disability checks, no medicare or medicaid, military would shutter their bases, no FBI kicking down your doors (or, enforcing real laws), no courts operating, etc.

    In this case all you'll find is some basics like the education department shut down, lack of service if you have social security problems as an employer, poor/lack of IRS services, no national parks, no student loans and a number of other things.

    Sure it doesn't cause mass chaos, but it does cost a pretty penny. In '95-'96 it was to the tune of about $2 billion per day to the economy ($51 billion total). Also those 800,000 or so Federal Employees who get no pay at all and the nearly 2 million who are forced to work with no pay with the tentative deal that they will maybe, probably get the back pay restored once there is a budget (but until then, they work for free).

    I'll agree plenty of programs and agencies that the world and the country wouldn't miss. Its hyperbole to say that ALL programs and agencies aren't necessary or at least very important to the wealth and prosperity of the country and its citizens. Nor is it necessarily fair to say "tough luck to the kings men, I guess they shouldn't have been collecting his shilling". Some of us actually do relatively important work and are trying to serve the American public.

    Most of us aren't FBI attack teams or NSA spooks tapping your phones. Many of us actually HELP the general public, and are treated as lap dogs to be kicked at every turn, but most of us still do what we can to help the public and do our jobs in a professional manner.

  19. Dan Weber says

    Workers showing up will probably get their back pay, that being the law and all.

    Workers told not to show up get paid by discretion. Rumor is that people are being told not to expect back-pay for hours they didn't work.

  20. Sami says

    I'm due to arrive in America in three days. We were going to be starting out visiting Yosemite National Park.

    OH WAIT IT'S CLOSED

  21. Chris F says

    Sami, I know it's not the same but it may be worth checking out some state parks. Living on the other side of the country from where Yosemite is I can't make any recommendations unless you want to travel to NY or Vermont.

  22. marco73 says

    The shutdown in 1995-1996 was a picnic compared to the Y2K shutdown in 1999-2000.
    Who can forget how the planes fell from the sky, the power and water stopped, starving hoards from the cities descended on the countryside like locusts, eating everything in sight and spreading deadly diseases.
    Wait, that crap didn't happen in 2000, although one could easily find plenty of "experts" who actually wrote articles in 1999 supporting such a scenario.
    The 2013 shutdown isn't going to amount to squat. Some workers will take a couple days off, and then a deal will be signed, and everyone will blame the Republicans.
    In better news, the Rays won last night, and play in Cleveland on Wednesday.

  23. En Passant says

    Ogden Nash covered this one already, in "I Will Arise And Go Now":

    In far Tibet
    There live a lama,
    He got no poppa,
    Got no momma,

    He got no wife,
    He got no chillun,
    Got no use
    For penicillun,

    He got no soap,
    He got no opera,
    He don't know Irium
    From copra,

    He got no songs,
    He got no banter,
    He don't know Jolson,
    He don't know Cantor,

    He got no teeth,
    He got no gums,
    Don't eat no Spam,
    Don't need no Tums.

    He love to nick him
    When he shave;
    He also got
    No hair to save.

    Got no distinction,
    No clear head,
    Don't call for Calvert;
    Drink milk instead.

    He use no lotions
    For allurance,
    He got no car
    And no insurance,

    No Winchell facts,
    No Pearson rumor
    For this self-centered
    Nonconsumer.

    Indeed, the
    Ignorant Have-Not
    Don't even know
    What he don't got.

    If you will mind
    The Philco, comma,
    I think I'll go
    And join that lama.

  24. says

    @Craig: I'd be a lot more sympathetic if I had any belief this was anything more than political theater and grandstanding.

    At this point, I'm not believing there's a wolf until I see it gnawing at my ankles.

    Further, the difference between my joking about the shutdown, and my crying about the shutdown, in terms of my ability to ACTUALLY AFFECT ANYTHING, is nil, null, zero, zip. So my choice is to laugh and change nothing, or to cry and change nothing. I'd rather laugh. I do, actually, have friends who are now furloughed. People I know and like. In the ridiculously implausible event this lasts long enough to impact them in anything like a significant way, I'll be happy to offer whatever support I can.

    Now, I need to find a spiked collar or something for our aging cockapoodle, so he can become a Vicious War Dog Of Doom. Yeah. If you could lick someone to death, he'd be a terror.

  25. says

    @Marco: Many of those "experts" are the reason I once wrote "Just because you hate the government and own a gun doesn't mean you're a libertarian." Sadly, the more official/organized branches of libertarian politics disagree with me on that point, and tend to welcome creatures such as Gary North and his ideological fellow travelers, as hating what we've got is seemingly more important than asking what we're going to replace it with. But I digress.

  26. Mad Rocket Scientist says

    @Craig

    If those 800,000 people were actually losing their jobs, I'd have more sympathy. If the shutdown lasts more than a month or so, I'll have more sympathy.

    As it is, they get some unpaid time off that they didn't ask for.

    Funny thing, lots of Union workers in the US suffer the same thing (you know, those that vote not to strike, because rarely is a strike vote 100% in favor).

  27. Tracy- Shane's Wife says

    The markets are crashing around us, the largest employer in the U.S. has shutdown … oh wait, seems as though the markets are up, and going up. But the largest employer is shut down!!!

  28. Draven says

    Azazel,

    VA Disability checks did indeed go out today.

    Medicaid is administered by the states and paid for with federal money (on a quarterly basis, iirc)

  29. Shane says

    The level of empathy here for the 800,000 people losing their jobs today is impressive.

    What about the millions that left the workforce altogether, because they couldn't find jobs, to pay for those 800,000?

  30. Hoare says

    Gov Logic ….
    When there is no money to run a park or campground; Spend money on a gate and lock to block the road. Then pay law enforcement to make sure no one uses the park or campground. It is criminal to use a park or campground unless the gov is capable of passing a budget. Public land is not yours to use without gov supervision.

  31. sponge boy says

    What does this even mean? What do the 800,000 furloughed federal workers have to do with others that couldn't find jobs?

  32. sponge boy says

    "What about the millions that left the workforce altogether, because they couldn't find jobs, to pay for those 800,000?"

    What does this even mean? What do the 800,000 furloughed federal workers have to do with others that couldn't find jobs?

  33. melK says

    > As it is, they get some unpaid time off that they didn't ask for.

    You say that like it might possibly be a good thing.

    It's sort of like being unemployed, except you can't file for unemployment benefits. (Doh!) Can't apply for food stamps (but hey, ya might be on food stamps already). Can't realistically go find a new job if you want to keep the one you're not being paid for (but might still be doing) currently.

    The last shutdown was 3 weeks, with most shutdowns only a couple of days. (Yay, Wikipedia!)

    Have to wonder… are congressional staffers "critical personnel"?

  34. Marconi Darwin says

    The stock market is up this morning, and when the shutdown ends, the Republicans would have succeeded in making the sequester permanent. Except for the defense spending. Remember, it was defense and discretionary spending that was half and half and the impetus to seek a compromise it forced.

    Well, the Republicans managed to ease the part that they did not like (defense cuts) and imposed more cuts on the SNAP programs etc.

    Remember, the Senate has agreed to all those cuts, and the non-existent threat to Obamacare will fade, and the shutdown will end.

    When it does, the Republicans would have gotten exactly what they wanted, and they'd have done it making Obamacare a bargaininh chip when it was not.

    The only way this gets fucked up is if they refuse to raise the debt ceiling. Goldman Sachs will not allow it.

    Republicans may look like obstructionists, but they won. In a year, no one will care that they were responsible in shutting that whole thing down.

    If you think that the Democrats won, just look at the CR, and see which of their interests lessened by the sequester was saved.

  35. Steve says

    Was in the 1995 shutdown. We had the honor of serving our country without a paycheck. We knew were were going to get our pay eventually but it was a bit of problem when trying to figure out how to pay the bills and buy food. The bank that had the house mortgage only ask us send in one dollar on house payment. I heard of a few banks that deposited a partial paycheck amount into some accounts even without the government deposit to carry some through until they were paid again. I guess those banks figured that the government will start paying again and if not – its all over anyway.

    There was also a time were the accounts figured out way of saving money buy moving moving our payday for the end of the month to the next day. What it did was move the Dec 31 pay day to Jan 1 of the NEXT year, they were able to account for skipping on payday that fiscal year.

  36. Steve says

    correction. I was in one of the earlier budget standoff, the one I was in was the 1981 one. Its not like those were good memories to keep track of.

  37. Orv says

    Remember, NSA agents spying on their love interests: Essential function.
    Food aid to hungry people in our own country: Non-essential.

  38. Orv says

    @Steve: We had a similar thing, except they saved money by delaying everyone's pay date by a week. To this day new hires have to go an extra week without pay because of it.

  39. Docrailgun says

    Pet food these days looks better than a lot of food supposedly for humans. So, I'm sort-of looking forward to the Apocalypse.

  40. Mad Rocket Scientist says

    @melK

    You say that like it might possibly be a good thing.

    More like it is something I have a hard time mustering a lot of sympathy for.

  41. Adam says

    The idea, I believe, is that every federal worker is sucking up resources from the Private Sector, and is therefore a Job Murderer who deserves whatever they get.

  42. Shay says

    "Workers showing up will probably get their back pay, that being the law and all."

    Which of course the electric company, landlord, mortgage company will accept as a reasonable excuse for payments being late.

    (yes. that's sarcasm).

  43. Rob says

    mcalex • Oct 1, 2013 @4:11 am

    Is 'Government shut-down' a real crisis, or just another name for a temporary right-wing tantrum?

    You don't get to claim that it's the other side throwing a tantrum when you're the ones who refuse to negotiate:

    When the president considered sitting down with the four congressional leaders in the White House ahead of the deadline to avert a government shutdown, Reid privately urged Obama to call off the meeting, according to several people familiar with the situation. Reid believed that it would amount to nothing more than a photo-op that would give the false impression that a serious negotiation was occurring, even warning he wouldn’t attend such a session. Obama scrapped it.

  44. Sami says

    @Rob: I'm not sure you're required to negotiate when the other side is in fact throwing a tantrum over a law that's already passed and made it through the Supreme Court. The time for dickering over the Affordable Care Act was when it became law, not when it is coming into effect.

  45. Rob says

    Sami: First of all, the law has always been extremely unpopular and those congressman were elected specifically to try and repeal or stop the law from being implemented. Second, you're basically saying that once a bill becomes law, Congress should not ever try to repeal it, regardless of how unpopular is. That is absolutely absurd.

    The Republicans were completely locked out, by design, of being able to dicker with the bill the first time it was passed, and it passed without a single one of their votes, thanks to a super-majority that the Democrats lost thanks almost entirely to their passing of that bill.

    So now that they finally have a majority in one of the houses and are actually able to have input into the bill, you want to scream "No fair!"?

    Who's throwing the tantrum again?

    Also, I'll note that the Republicans have backed off of completely defunding it, and have offered a simple delay, something it needs desperately anyway (you can't build a system as complex as the exchanges in just three years; the rollout yesterday made that abundantly clear).

  46. Steven H. says

    @Sami:

    "I'm not sure you're required to negotiate when the other side is in fact throwing a tantrum over a law that's already passed and made it through the Supreme Court. The time for dickering over the Affordable Care Act was when it became law, not when it is coming into effect."

    So, this is just like Prohibition, which was passed legally, and was never revisited, since it had not only the majority votes in Congress, but 3/4 of the States voting for it.

    Oh, wait…nevermind….

  47. Devil's Advocate says

    @Steven H.

    So, this is just like Prohibition, which was passed legally, and was never revisited, since it had not only the majority votes in Congress, but 3/4 of the States voting for it.

    The big difference here being that the Republicans don't have enough votes to get the ACA repealed.

  48. princessartemis says

    It's hard to dicker over a law that no one, including the supporters, knew what it contained. I remember that; by the time they got the whole thing, no human would have time to read it. They voted on it anyway.

  49. perlhaqr says

    TJIC, princessartemis: I now know what I want to ask David for for the comments section. Because y'all deserved upvotes.

  50. babaganusz says

    by the time they got the whole thing, no human would have time to read it. They voted on it anyway.

    not at all unlike that other act, and that other one before that, and…business as usual in Duopolyville. and petitions for requiring legislation to actually be read by the putative legislators before they vote on it aren't taken seriously because…?

    and yes, +1 internets to TJIC.

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