Journal of the Great Shutdown: Day Three

Good news and bad.

Craigslist and the internet are still up (for now), and I even managed to get ahold of a blacksmith. He said he could make me a crossbow, but it would take two weeks and cost $3,000. He's busy working on a commission for a decorative railing and would charge extra if I wanted a rush job.

The fools. Decorative railing? Before this apocalypse is over, the only use that railing will be get is by savage 14 year old cannibals using it to roast the bodies of the yuppies who commissioned it over a cooking fire made of splintered remains of their tasteful Shaker furniture.

So, a bust on the leaf spring crossbow…but the blacksmith – and I hope he comes through this cataclysm all right – told me that Cabelas might have some in stock.

I drove to the nearest one, not wanting to trust that UPS will still be running by the weekend, and found a
"Barnett Recruit"
for $299. Oddly, there was no frantic mob of panic buyers.

I leaned across the counter and told the clerk that if he didn't want to accept US dollars – what with the apocalypse and all – I was willing to trade him salted beef, but he looked uncomfortable and said that his manager would prefer it if I used plastic.

I bought five crossbows – trade goods – and their entire stock of bolts. I also picked up another water filter (20% off sale!).

After that I stopped by the hardware store where I bought 10 jerry cans, and then filled them at the gas station. That should keep the generator running until I can figure out how to set up a still and find a supply of pig shit. My credit card is getting maxed out, but if this government budget impasse lasts another few days the entire financial system will be in ruins anyway, so what do I care?

Thinking of the generator made me realize that I'd need light bulbs, so I stopped at a Target on the way home.

I looked for 100 watt incandescent light bulbs, but the shelf where they used to be was bare. I found a clerk. He was just 17 or so, and too dumb to realize that he should be escaping the chaos with a boy scout troop up in the hills instead of working in the doomed wreckage of civilization.

"Can I get some 100 watt bulbs from the back? Maybe a pallet? Or two?"

He shook his head sadly. "No, there are no 100 watt incandescent bulbs."

"They're gone already?"

"Yeah, you know. Because of the government."

I clapped my hand on his pimply shoulder in silent solidarity.

It's starting, people. It's starting.

May God protect us all.

Last 5 posts by Clark

Comments

  1. Simon says

    You want to try some of those compact fluorescents- they last longer. Plus, you won't have to crank the power generator as long to get light.

  2. Steven H. says

    Clark, I don't know why you're fixating on this crossbow – get a muzzle-loading rifle (which you can probably also get at Cabela's) and make your own powder and shot.

    Yeah, it'll still be dependent on percussion caps, but you can buy 1000 of them for ~$70.

    There, no politics, and no snark…;)

  3. Steven H. says

    @Darryl:

    Why in the world are they still using US dollars? Don't they know they're worthless?!?

    Speaking of which, read an editorial the other day by one of those idiots who keep proposing that the USA could solve all its debt problems by minting $1T platinum coins.

    I've always wanted to ask one of those idiots "Why stop at $1T coins? Make it a $1,000,000T coin, and you can reduce taxes to zero, and still fund the government for the next 100,000 years or so, right?"

  4. says

    @Steven H–Actually I believe the trillion dollar coin idea would be legal and constitutional, given that Congress has the power to coin money and regulate its value, plus the authority to borrow money (like, say, from the Federal Reserve Bank). It is simply the far end of the spectrum when you are talking about fiat currency. Now, as to whether it would actually work. . .

  5. Artifex says

    A word of advise from a fellow survivor: Be very careful with that still you are planning to set up. I hear rumor that the drug and alcohol goons from the old order are still out there kicking in doors, assaulting folks and looking for loot. Without a functioning government, it is my fear that like a 14th century army they are now making their living by banditry and stealing from the peasants. In other words, no real change from last week. Stills have been known to attract these types as do barking dogs. Be careful out there.

  6. says

    And yet they found time to bust SilkRoad – where will we get drugs now? An apocalypse is bad enough I'd prefer to stay intoxicated through as much of it as possible

  7. Steven H. says

    @Darryl:

    I have no doubt that it's legal. So is minting a $1,000,000T coin.
    My problem isn't the legality (face it, even if it were NOT legal, passing a law to make it legal is easy enough), it's the logic that "doing this wouldn't adversely affect the economy in any way". If making a $1T coin every year to pay for the deficit wouldn't adversely affect the economy, then there's no reason a $1,000,000T coin would, either.

    And the $1,000,000T coin would have the added boost to the economy of giving the (former) taxpayers more money to spend every year. Right?

    Seriously, watching people trying to come up with Magic Beans that will allow everyone to spend more than they earn forever is fascinating, in a train-wreck sort of way.

    But it gets scary when people start taking that sort of idea seriously, as opposed to laughing and pointing….

  8. Ryan says

    I must confess these are entertaining, though I just found myself idly wondering if Clark realizes that he's writing an excellent summary of why 'survivalists' or whatever they call themselves at the present moment are complete and utter morons.

  9. ZK says

    Personally, I'd like these to continue after the shutdown actually ends (or the Alien-Lizard King begins to rule the remnants or whatever).

  10. Tsagoth says

    Don't forget to stock up a few spare leathers for the hand pump for your well. When the grid fails, as it inevitably must, you'll appreciate still being able to pump your water rather than to have to haul it up in buckets. The local hardware store here only had a couple left, I think the run has started.

  11. TomB says

    Why isn't anyone worried about the condom shortage that is sure to follow? Won't anyone be having safe sex?

    Condoms won't be necessary, all the womenfolk will need to get pregnant to repopulate the country.

  12. mcinsand says

    Simon can have my compact fluorescents; they won't be allowed in my area. When the grid fails, so will cell towers and the communications that we have come to take for granted. Shortwave HF will be the trick for messages between the isolated people pockets, and I've done enough weak signal work to know that I don't want any light dimmers or compact fluorescents anywhere near me.

    By the way, if you do go for the muzzleloader approach including making your own powder, don't forget the lessons of our forefathers; you've got to have bronze balls. When milling down the powder, sparks tend to lead to problems, so you want the grinding media made of nonsparking bronze.

  13. Sertorius says

    You made my morning. Keep it up!

    P.S. Have you located the last of the V-8 interceptors yet? It would make these supply runs faster if you had one, I think.

  14. JR says

    The Furloughed Fed

    Federal officer Rick Grimes leads a group of survivors in a world furloughed by irresponsible politicians.

    Rick Grimes is a former federal agent who has been furloughed for several days after a budgetary dispute. When he gets to work, he discovers that the office has been shut down by Derps, and that he's not the only person no longer working. Having returned home to discover his wife and son hungry, he heads for DC to search for another job. Narrowly escaping unemployment at the hands of the Derps on arrival in DC, he is aided by another furloughed worker Glenn who takes Rick to a Job Corps outside the town. There Rick finds work for his wife Lori and son Carl. Along with his partner and best friend Shane, he founds a small group of laborers who struggle to make ends meet, as well as competing with other labor groups who are prepared to do whatever it takes to get paid.

    I'd watch it.

  15. Sammy Finkelman says

    Get a 3-way 100-150-250 bulb (or whatever the one that starts with 100 is.

    In a regular socket it will be a 100 watt bulb.

  16. cb says

    one of those idiots who keep proposing that the USA could solve all its debt problems by minting $1T platinum coins.

    'solving all debt problems' isn't the point of the proposal

    If making a $1T coin every year to pay for the deficit wouldn't adversely affect the economy, then there's no reason a $1,000,000T coin would, either.

    The altter doesn't follow from the former

    Seriously, watching people trying to come up with Magic Beans that will allow everyone to spend more than they earn forever is fascinating, in a train-wreck sort of way.

    But it gets scary when people start taking that sort of idea seriously, as opposed to laughing and pointing….

    Except that it isn't about magic beans or allowing ewveryone to spend more forever or any such thing. If you stopped pointing and laughing perhaps you'd have time to try to understand what is being said

  17. says

    @rmd

    …and find a supply of pig shit.

    Do you happen to be near DC?

    I wonder if we could put Robert Reich in a backpack and have him shout "Embargo on!" ?

  18. magilson says

    Please tell me:

    "He was just 17 or so, and too dumb to realize that he should be escaping the chaos with a boy scout troop up in the hills instead of working in the doomed wreckage of civilization."

    is a reference to Lucifer's Hammer.

  19. Tarrou says

    My first attempts at cannibalism were semi-successful. The dishes turned out, but weren't very good. Today I'm welding armor plates to my Honda Civic for an armed excursion across town to the asian market. I'm thinking I need to lay in a supply of chili-and-garlic paste. Maybe some Pocky.

    I'll have to go after work though, for some reason the university is still making me come in. Don't they know that the country is ended? They're polishing deck chairs on the Hindenburg! Degrees are useless in the new world!

    GTG, need to finish welding.

  20. Steven H. says

    @CB:

    Except that it isn't about magic beans or allowing ewveryone to spend more forever or any such thing. If you stopped pointing and laughing perhaps you'd have time to try to understand what is being said

    I do understand what's being said, to wit "If we increase the money supply every year by the amount we want to spend that we don't take in in taxes and fees, then spend it, nothing bad will come of it."

    I think Weimar Germany tried that system once….

  21. Aaron says

    As bad as this shutdown is for the country…I think we need to continue this story for as long as possible.

  22. MrA says

    @Clark – If this series finishes up without an image from Hell Comes To Frogtown, I'll be very disappointed.

  23. a_random_guy says

    "As bad as this shutdown is for the country…"

    Seriously? Aside from the needless spite, like shutting down private businesses for no reason, there's very little not to like. 800,000 federal employees off the payroll. The only thing the press can find to fuss about is that they won't spend money if they don't get paychecks. So perhaps they should get private sector jobs, where they will actually contribute to the economy rather than just leeching off the rest of us.

    The only thing wrong with the shutdown is that it will probably end. I'd rather be permanently rid of 800,000 federal employees.

    p.s. It seems likely that shutting down private businesses operating on federal land is illegal. There's no basis for a landlord to tell tenants what to do with their businesses, and it is unlikely that shutdowns are explicitly mentioned in the contracts.

  24. TomB says

    The only thing wrong with the shutdown is that it will probably end. I'd rather be permanently rid of 800,000 federal employees.

    Clark put it very eloquently in a post yesterday:

    No, no, no. I don't want to cause government employees serious economic harship as collateral damage. I want to do it as punishment.

    Some, insistent on tossing around "shame on you!", were not amused.

    Clark, hope I didn't step on any toes by reposting this.

  25. ron says

    just be on the lookout for the obamacare death panels. they're coming to get you with sawed-off transvaginal probes.

  26. Jim Clay says

    Pure gold, Clark. I literally had to duck my head below my monitor so people couldn't see me laughing.

  27. TomB says

    Shutdown theater has become a parody:

    Obama: "If a worker shut down a plant until they got what they want they'd be fired."

    Either that or "Head kneecap buster" in the union.

  28. nk says

    Crossbows and incandescent light bulbs? Really? When for the price of just one crossbow you could have bought ten sacks of potassium nitrate, and for another, ten sacks of sulfur at the Home Depot gardening department? And a couple of sacks of charcoal briquets? Sigh.

  29. cb says

    I do understand what's being said, to wit "If we increase the money supply every year by the amount we want to spend that we don't take in in taxes and fees, then spend it, nothing bad will come of it."

    Well, no. Nobody that I've seen is proposing it as a way to escape the collection of taxes/fees. Nobody is saying that massive monetary expansion in that manner has no consequence. Perhaps you just happen to make really poor choices in what you read and so have found some other group arguing for that, while completely missing many mainstream sources that arent?

  30. timb says

    Gee, Clark, that was so funny. I bet some unpaid government workers and some babies who needed WIC could get a real laugh.

    In fact, it was so funny, that I'm pretty sure I will remind you about on that glorious January day in 2015 when the next Democratic Congress is inaugurated and John Boehner is a lobbyist and Mitch McConnell has been retired to wherever they send old turtles.

    Thank you and your far-right fringe for giving us back the country.

  31. I was Anonymous says

    Funny thing… I'd been dealing with the IRS regarding a tax issue, and I had faxed them some paperwork last Friday. Wednesday morning I called them to make sure they got it, only to find out that even the IRS was closed.

    HOWEVER… The recorded message pointed out that quarterly payments were still due on 14 Oct. (even if nobody would be around to process them!).

  32. says

    @timb

    I will remind you about it [ when ] John Boehner is a lobbyist and Mitch McConnell has been retired to wherever they send old turtles.

    I'd rather have him kicking at the end of a rope, but whatever.

    Thank you and your far-right fringe

    I'm pro-drug, anti-war, anti-drone, anti-prayer-in-schools, anti-Pledge-of-Allegiance.

    Yes, you've nailed me and my views exactly.

  33. Jim Tyre says

    http://www.esquire.com/blogs/politics/shutdown-morons?src=rss#slide-1

    Meet the Morons Who Caused the Shutdown

    There has never been a single House of the Congress with a more lethal combination of political ambition, political stupidity, and political vainglory than this one.

    By Charles P. Pierce

    Representative Vicky Hartzler of Missouri

    Among other things, Vicky Hartzler apparently believes that the heathen Chinese are spying on us through our toasters.

    "And I am concerned. They are shipping all the, I'm concerned about the microchips. That they are in many, many of the things that we own. And some of those are embedded, I believe, with, with detection and, uh, capabilities or tracking capabilities."

    She'd also rather the government not tolerate those "fringe religions" because the First Amendment says that Congress Shall Make No Law Unless Vicky Hartzler Thinks Your God Is Freaky.

    "No, it's not their role at all. Their role is to facilitate basic policy for our country and to not to try to lift up one religion over the other, they should be defending the basic rights that we have, that freedom of religion here, and certainly not facilitating or accommodating fringe religions, it's crazy."

    [….]

  34. TomB says

    I bet some unpaid government workers

    How can they not be paid when it's only been less than 3 days? What, do they get a daily paycheck?

    and some babies who needed WIC could get a real laugh.

    WIC is still funded and will remain that way for the next few weeks.

    Please, the scolds were around here yesterday and ended up with the "Well, it could happen if this goes on for a month!" excuse.

  35. says

    and some babies who needed WIC could get a real laugh.

    Babies don't need WIC.

    Babies need food.

    If a failure to receive food via WIC is an indictment of a bunch of effectively anonymous politicians 2,000 miles away, how much more of an indictment is failure to receive food from its parents 10 feet or 10 miles away an indictment of those two very specific human beings?

  36. Daniel Taylor says

    I'm pro-drug, anti-war, anti-drone, anti-prayer-in-schools, anti-Pledge-of-Allegiance.

    Yes, you've nailed me and my views exactly.

    Amazing how we can agree so perfectly on the goals and disagree so much on how to get there.

  37. Tarrou says

    Ahh, another beautiful example of phrases that should be a signpost to all readers that the author has no argument at all.

    "Think of the children!"

    "We must act now!"

    "You only think that because you are bigoted against X."

    Thank you to all who use these methods of "argumentation". It lets the rest of us know when to stop reading, because nothing productive can come from it.

  38. felix says

    How can they not be paid when it's only been less than 3 days? What, do they get a daily paycheck?

    From what I understand, furlough is the equivalent of unpaid leave so yes, technically government workers are not being paid. If no provision is made for backpay, I would assume the next paycheck would be minus at least four days worth of pay, or zero.

  39. mcinsand says

    Tarrou, My partisan friends (left and right) occasionally say, 'well we can't just do nothing!' I've learned to reply with 'doing nothing is usually better than doing something stupid.'

    However, your point is well made; there are those tearjerker phrases used to make feel as if we are, for example, discarding the children rather than caving in to the speaker's arguments.

  40. TomB says

    From what I understand, furlough is the equivalent of unpaid leave so yes, technically government workers are not being paid. If no provision is made for backpay, I would assume the next paycheck would be minus at least four days worth of pay, or zero.

    You understand incorrectly.

    In all previous shutdowns the federal workers received back pay. Congress must pass a resolution making it so, but seeing as how not doing it would be political suicide, it is pretty much a fait accompli.

    As I said on the last thread, there should be a mandated shutdown for a few days every 5 years or so. It would at least allow the young to have lived though one and understand they do NOT have to hide under a bed and sob uncontrollably.

  41. TomB says

    There has never been a single House of the Congress with a more lethal combination of political ambition, political stupidity, and political vainglory than this one.

    By Charles P. Pierce

    When I want news analysis, I always go to Esquire Magazine.

    And Charles P. Pierce needs to be acquainted with some history books. Compared to the times around the Alien and Sedition act or just prior to the Civil War, this is a (fairly tame) bridge party.

    What an embarassment.

    Representative Vicky Hartzler of Missouri

    I'll see you Hartzler and raise you a Rep. Hank Johnson (D. Georgia):

    Johnson: This is a[n] island that at its widest level is what … twelve miles from shore to shore? And at its smallest level … uh, smallest location … it's seven miles between one shore and the other? Is that correct?

    Willard: I don't have the exact dimensions, but to your point, sir, I think Guam is a small island.

    Johnson: Very small island, about twenty-four miles, if I recall, long, twenty-four miles long, about seven miles wide at the least widest place on the island and about twelve miles wide on the widest part of the island, and I don't know how many square miles that is. Do you happen to know?

    Willard: I don't have that figure with me, sir, I can certainly supply it to you if you like.

    Johnson: Yeah, my fear is that the whole island will become so overly populated that it will tip over and capsize.

    Willard: We don't anticipate that … the Guam population I think currently about 175,000 and again with 8,000 Marines and their families it's an addition of about 25,000 more into the population.

  42. says

    Early reports are unreliable but reportedly the feds shot and killed some random mother driving with yr meatanimal her child.

  43. Ahkbar says

    @TomB

    You understand incorrectly.

    In all previous shutdowns the federal workers received back pay. Congress must pass a resolution making it so, but seeing as how not doing it would be political suicide, it is pretty much a fait accompli.

    I don't believe he was incorrect. He did not assert that they would get back pay, only that if they didn't their next paycheck would be reduced accordingly.

    Seeing as this current situation is due to Congress specifically not passing a resolution, I don't think back pay is as forgone a conclusion as you think. Since Congress isn't afraid of the consequences to federal employees right now, I don't see how they would be afraid at a later date.

  44. felix says

    @TomB

    I was not talking about political reality or what happens when the Senate and House kiss and make up. Just looking at the accuracy of the statement that today, third day of the lapse in appropriations, government workers are not being paid. Whether it has any effect on said government workers, immediate or otherwise is a completely separate topic.

    Curious though how you picked 5 years for mandatory shutdowns. I would have thought 4 or 6 years would be more in keeping with other government cycles.

  45. Malc. says

    TomB, you appear to be unwilling or incapable of understanding the cost of uncertainty.

    Many government workers already know that, as of now, the pay period ending October 5 will be 30% down on what the last pay period was. So the direct deposit that will occur on Friday 11 will be at least 30% (more likely more than that) low, and unless Congress acts before Monday, that's what they will receive for that pay period.

    They also know that, as of now, the forecast for the pay period ending October 19 is that they will lose 100% of their pay.

    They know that there is a possibility that the government will decide to pay them anyway, even though they were not permitted to work, but this requires two things to occur, and the timetable for either is indefinite (1: Congress passes, and the president signs, a budget; 2: Congress passes, and the president signs, a measure paying government workers). These two things could happen simultaneously, but there's no guarantee that they will, or that the second will even happen.

    They look at analysis by the pundits, and realize that there are largely two camps: those who think the shutdown will last ~1 week, and those who think that it will last at least until the debt ceiling deadline on October 17. If they were prudent, fiscally responsible Conservatives (perhaps working for the DoD) they may conclude that they should plan for the latter, which means the pay period ending Oct 19 will be zeroed out. Prudently, they may also want to budget for even the pay period after that being empty too.

    Now, together with the sequester effects from the summer, that's a 7.5%-11.5% pay cut, which doesn't sound terrible until you consider the cashflow problem, because that represents a 100% cut to their income.

    It is true that the government may make that whole. But it is callous and despicable to pretends, as you do, that the current action isn't causing real harm, and real distress, in order to achieve something that the instigators cannot achieve by normal means (i.e. creating a mechanism to reduce the drain on the economy cause by the health insurance business).

  46. TomB says

    government workers are not being paid.

    How does that work? According to the calendar, most would have been paid a few days ago, how are they not getting money right now? The trouble should not come for 2 weeks.

    Except for getting a paid holiday, how are federal workers being affected?

  47. TomB says

    But it is callous and despicable to pretends, as you do, that the current action isn't causing real harm

    Despicable? Really?

    Uncertainty, maybe, possibility. Tell me how they are actually being harmed, not how they might, at some time in the future, be harmed.

  48. Malc. says

    Clark, re WIC-vs-food:

    We agree (at least partially) in many areas, especially including how the Bush-era government expansion needs to be rolled-back and kept going (we won't need the expansion of the military if we desist from Bush's foreign adventures, and we never needed the TSA because there's been people "doing" airport "security" for decades before they became government people).

    Where we differ is not in the goal, but in the path. Defunding a program overnight, or shutting a government department down with no notice, causes harm to the individuals impacted (who are not the ones making the decisions), and causes uncertainty in the marketplace, which is bad for the economy. Whereas scheduling e.g. the transition of the TSA's "responsibilities" to non-government workers to occur on (say) Jan 1, and phasing a program out so that next year it provides only 50% of the benefit, and then it ceases completely the year after achievers the same goal but with less damage (to non-government entities; I appreciate you believe that damage to government entities is a good thing).

    It is usually the case that immediate changes end up costing more than planned ones, so even the economic argument favors the measured approach…

  49. Malc. says

    TomB,

    A dollar that is not spent now, because it may have to stretch a week or a month, is harm. Cancelled activities, because you might not have the money you budgeted when you scheduled the activity, is harm. Delay in resolving a tax issue, is harm.

    Government workers who were scheduled to travel this week did not, and hotels, car rental companies and airlines lost business as a result. That's harm.

    Popehat readers, in general, understand the concept of a "chilling effect" as harm. You, evidently, do not.

    I understand you don't care. But it is harm. Uncertainty, which you acknowledge, creates harm all by itself.

  50. TomB says

    I understand you don't care. But it is harm. Uncertainty, which you acknowledge, creates harm all by itself.

    What I understand is that you don't understand the difference between "inconvenience" and "harm".

    I also understand that "shutdown theater" is not quite as effective without scolds all over the internet shouting about the "harm" that's being done.

    But since you brought it up, the House has already or will be passing resolutions to fund the NPS, NIH, Vets services, DC funding, and the rest. Harry Reid said they won't pass in the Senate and Obama has stated he will veto them.

    Now what about "harm"?

  51. Sparky says

    Defunding a program overnight, or shutting a government department down with no notice, causes harm to the individuals impacted

    WIC hasn't been shut down "overnight". There is funding to continue the program for at least 2 weeks.

  52. felix says

    @Clark
    May I recommend also getting a bunch of car or truck batteries, a suitably rated inverter and a bicycle? That would provide you the capability of going stealth (generators shut down) but still have power, in case you have to avoid the attention of roving gangs, or zombies. The bicycle is for charging up the batteries by human power, I saw that in a movie once.

  53. TomB says

    The bicycle is for charging up the batteries by human power,

    That shows the importance of trade goods, if you can trade for a couple of "followers", you can invite them to pedal the bike.

    And once you have enough of these "followers", you can move from bike to a large-ass gerbil wheel for them to "have a stroll" in.

  54. rmd says

    The bicycle is for charging up the batteries by human power, I saw that in a movie once.

    And if you don't have a bicycle, you can build one out of bamboo and palm fronds. I saw that on a TV show once.

  55. TomB says

    And if you don't have a bicycle, you can build one out of bamboo and palm fronds. I saw that on a TV show once.

    Femurs make great spokes…

    …just sayin'

  56. Observer says

    Ah, your Constititution is so clever, with Twenty Seven Amendments preventing congress critters from giving themselves a pay raise, which in the same breath exempts them from the shutdown. All the anti despot cunning kneecaps the Comander in Chief so that even he can't dissolve both Houses, like the King still can in Australia.

  57. TomB says

    More shutdown theater:

    All 24 overseas military cemeteries, including the U.S. Military cemetery in Normandy, have been closed due to the shutdown.

    http://www.abmc.gov/home.php

    And to all the sniveling whiners:

    during the 1995 government shutdown congressional Republicans and President Bill Clinton were able to agree to a “stopgap bill to assure funding for veterans, welfare recipients and the District of Columbia.”

    Why won’t Senate Democrats and President Obama agree now to any more stopgap funding bills?

    Senator Chuck Schumer of New York told THE WEEKLY STANDARD following a noon press conference Thursday that in 1995 “it was a different world.” Why is that? “Because we have a Tea Party,” Schumer said without elaborating as he walked away.

    http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/landrieu-schumer-reid-oppose-bills-fund-veterans-affairs-national-institutes-health_759134.html

    It's getting awfully hard to toss around the "callous and despicable" canard without hitting Reid or Obama.

  58. TomB says

    Twenty Seven Amendments preventing congress critters from giving themselves a pay raise, which in the same breath exempts them from the shutdown.

    Could you quote the specifc Amendment you are referring to? Or did you refer to all "Twenty Seven" because you don't have a clue?

    All the anti despot cunning kneecaps the Comander in Chief so that even he can't dissolve both Houses, like the King still can in Australia.

    All hail the imperial King of Australia!!!

    Huh?

  59. Christopher says

    "We’re not going to be disrespected. We have to get something out of this. And I don’t know what that even is."

    – Marlin Stutzman, R-Indiana

    How exactly do you negotiate with the Teabagger Terrorists holding the budget hostage, when they themselves don't even know what it is they want?

    Or maybe Stutzman is still just barely aware enough to not admit it's all about hurting the other guys, no matter the cost to anyone and anything else.

  60. BBnet3000 says

    @Clark

    If a failure to receive food via WIC is an indictment of a bunch of effectively anonymous politicians 2,000 miles away, how much more of an indictment is failure to receive food from its parents 10 feet or 10 miles away an indictment of those two very specific human beings?

    The basis of many of these programs is the idea that children dont deserve to suffer for the sins of their parents.

    If your particular brand of political dogma actually had any pull we would be a very cruel society indeed. Fortunately, all thats happening is some parks and stuff are closed for a week or two and then go back to normal.

  61. Observer says

    @TomB

    The Twenty Seventh is the specific one, but there's plenty of gravy in the other twentysix to nourish a constitutional lawyer thru an appeal or two.

    Elizabeth II Regina is still the King of Australia, tho' she has a man in Canberra to handle the paperwork. She was Imperial too according to a quirk in their constitution until as recently as 1986. But the double dissolution is a neat trick, combined with the compulsory joint sitting.

  62. Allen says

    Clark, but I have a place in the Greenhorn mountains just to the south of the Tule River Indian Reservation. You remember how important that will be don't you? I know all the back ways in through the Sierras if you can make it here.

    Plus, lots of spices, salt and herbs.

  63. Rob says

    @Christopher: One idiot congressman aside, the Republicans have been very clear on what they want: A delay of Obamacare and a repeal of the medical device tax.

    They have shown a willingness to compromise, considering at first they wanted to completely defund Obamacare. The Democrats, on the other hand, have completely refused to negotiate, not even showing up to negotiating meetings.

    I'll also note that hyperbolic name-calling like "teabagger terrorists" really only serves to discredit anything you say.

  64. TomB says

    I'll also note that hyperbolic name-calling like "teabagger terrorists" really only serves to discredit anything you say.

    Considering the House today passed or will pass resolutions to fund most of what they were screaming about, and Harry Reid said they wouldn't get a vote in the Senate, they don't have much else.

  65. Christopher says

    @Rob

    You mean only one dumb enough to make an example of himself most recently. I guess you missed that link to the "Morons" that created this mess.

    The Democrats already did compromise; they even brought the budget near the Ryan level. The hijacked Republicans still refused since it still funded the ACA law they can't oppose any other (legitimate) way.

    Look, just because the "hyperbolic name-calling" is accurate and hurts your feels, doesn't make it any less accurate. And it doesn't make the quote or facts I've presented any less true. But I guess if you're looking for an excuse to stick your fingers in your ears…

  66. says

    The trillion dollar coin might work if every resident of the U.S. was forced to purchase a fractional portion of the coin with existing dollars. If the law was written to have the IRS enforce it and called a tax with the proceeds earmarked for the purchase of each year's coin it would probably even be constitutional.

    All we need to do now is figure out what portion each person will be forced to buy.

  67. Shay says

    What I understand is that you don't understand the difference between "inconvenience" and "harm".

    If I got docked on my next paycheck 30% for no good reason, I think somebody would get harmed.

  68. Rob says

    @Christopher: Oh, don't worry about my "feels". I don't particularly like the Republicans or the Democrats.

    I'd just like to note, however, that none of the Republicans have, to my knowledge, stuck their scrotum in another person's mouth (though given the likes of Larry Craig, it's not entirely unlikely, though I seriously doubt the total number approaches a plurality), nor have they committed an act of violence intended to terrorize other people. So, yeah, it's not accurate and it does hurt your credibility, at least amongst people who are not hyper-partisan Democrats such as yourself.

  69. Christopher says

    @Rob

    Really? IT'S NOT LITERAL? You don't say. XD

    Also: Oh, I'm a Democrat, am I? Many people would be surprised to find that out.

  70. Rob says

    http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/accurate
    accurate

    ac·cu·rate
    [ak-yer-it]
    adjective
    1.
    free from error or defect; consistent with a standard, rule, or model; precise; exact.
    2.
    careful or meticulous: an accurate typist.

    http://thesaurus.com/browse/accurate

    Synonyms for accurate

    detailed, careful, scientific, solid, exact, meticulous, definite, specific, strict, systematic, rigorous, factual, correct, close, concrete, judicious, literal, matter-of-fact, methodical, on the nose….

    Look, just because the "hyperbolic name-calling" is accurate

    Really? IT'S NOT LITERAL? You don't say.

    One of these things is not like the other…

  71. Christopher says

    @Rob

    So it's not a terrorist tactic to hold something hostage to have demands met?

    But I can't call them Teabaggers unless they hew to the old, pre-tea part definition? (Because the insult has to be literal by that metric to be true to make sense or something, I don't know or care what you really want there.)

    As usual, the person that has to fall back on the dictionary loses. :D

  72. says

    So it's not a terrorist tactic to hold something hostage to have demands met?

    I don't support the Republican approach.

    But the "terrorist" and "hostage taking" rhetoric is bloviation unworthy of respect.

    Whether the Republicans are doing something immoral or unethical is a question of ethics and philosophy and politics. But, as far as I know, they aren't doing anything illegal. They are exercising their voting privileges in a way to refuse to fund the government. "Terrorist" and "hostage" rhetoric is an attempt to smuggle an argument about illegality that can't be supported directly.

    Want to use the rhetoric? Feel free. But don't expect for it to be taken at face value or respected.

  73. Christopher says

    @Ken

    If someone's going to get all upset about the word choice and how what they're doing "isn't technically illegal" and etc., I'm not sure that I really care if that particular person respects it or takes it at face value.

    Because it sounds a lot like being butthurt about forceful language.

  74. Not Sure says

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  75. Chris says

    So it's not a terrorist tactic to hold something hostage to have demands met?

    Ilya Somin posted an excellent article on this subject over at the Volokh Conspiracy a couple of days ago:

    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.

  76. says

    If someone's going to get all upset about the word choice and how what they're doing "isn't technically illegal" and etc., I'm not sure that I really care if that particular person respects it or takes it at face value.

    That's fine. It seems to me that the person using terms like "taking hostage" is the person getting all upset, not the person pointing out that the rhetoric is silly. And there's no "technically" about it. It's legal.

    Go ahead! Call it terrorism or hostage-taking. But the next time the Republicans indulge in rhetorical fatuity, I hope you'll have the self-respect and honesty not to criticize it.

  77. Christopher says

    @Ken

    You're free to form that impression, but I just feel I'm being accurate/apt. And since I have no great love for either D/R side, I'm not really going to care of the Republicans do the same thing, either.

    @Chris

    I notice in the comments of the post you link, it's well-pointed out how flawed the takedown is. If I may steal from Eric P.:

    "Hostage crises," on the other hand, are rarely about money. Hostage crises are about threatening to harm innocent bystanders to achieve political objectives. Hostage taking is an effective means for terrorists to quickly change the balance of political power.

    Republicans lost and the ACA law passed. They lost a SECOND time when the lawsuits failed. Now they're going to hold the entire rest of the budget hostage, and shutdown many government services (hurting innocent bystanders in the process) if ACA doesn't get defunded.

    Seems terribly accurate and apt to me.

  78. TomB says

    Considering the House is willing to fund all of the pet projects people are complaining about (NIH, Parks, Vets, DC), and Reid is not allowing the Senate to vote, if there is hostage taking, it is on the other side of Congress. Also, they changed their demand to delaying Obamacare for a year, given the issues its already having (hello Chad Henderson) that is probably a wise decision. Something I'd never thought I'd say about the House.

  79. Bobby says

    I understand that as a federal employee (ex-employee?) you are mandated by law to misrepresent, misunderstand, and actively obstruct any attempts at clarity, intelligence or reading comprehension but since you are now off duty, can you take a reprieve and actually bother to read this blog and actually UNDERSTAND that Clark is basically against government, regardless of handedness. Read Lysander Spooner. Or learn the basics of sets theory at least, before accusing someone like Clark of being "for" this or that retarded subset of the American populace.

  80. JR says

    @Christopher
    By that logic, my parents repeatedly held my dinner hostage until I had washed my hands and used the appropriate utensils. They threatened to cause me harm in the form of hunger pangs (and, by an absurd extension of duration, starvation) in order to achieve their goal of having a well-groomed -mannered child at the table.

    Fortunately for the workers, I hear Wal-Mart is hiring. Unfortunately, to my mind as a child, my threats of leaving and never coming back were hollow. I think it could be a great lesson for everybody if those that have been labeled unnecessary found other jobs. Either your job is necessary to maintain a functioning society or you're really just being given make-work to artificially reduce unemployment and add to the bureaucracy.

    Not that this is likely to happen. Most government employees quite enjoy the higher-than-public-sector pay, better-than-public-sector benefits, and more-stable-than-public-sector job security (even when you factor in these rare, unannounced, forced, and possibly unpaid vacations because they are so much worse than common, unannounced, forced, and permanent layoffs at the mill or what-have-you). Why on earth would they choose to subject themselves to the hardship and uncertainty found in the public sector?

  81. Daniel Taylor says

    @Ken: it isn't terrorism, but it is definitely hostage taking.

    The Republicans are holding all the "good" government programs hostage to get one program they see as bad (or at least politically inconvenient) shut down.

    No literal guns involved, but you don't hurt programs with guns, you hurt them by holding back money, because the people running those programs need to eat.

  82. says

    @Daniel:

    No literal guns involved, but you don't hurt programs with guns, you hurt them by holding back money, because the people running those programs need to eat.

    In that case, isn't it hostage-taking every time a politician says "I won't vote for X unless you vote for Y?"

  83. timb says

    @Clark
    I forgot how you like to do the dance of the non-partisan. I mean, I guess that's cause I believe your support of nutballs means more than empty words about how you're so different.

    See you on January 2, 2015

  84. timb says

    @Tomb @clark

    The Marie Antoinette thing was beautiful! Maybe for an encore Clark can kick some disabled in the a$$ and tell them to get jobs?

    I'd say "libertarianism" is juvenile, but that would be giving it too much credit. Just an excuse for a right-winger to hang out with Patterico without having to claim to be hard on dope smokers

  85. Daniel Taylor says

    @Ken: hardly. This is a case of "I won't vote for anything unless you vote for Y".

    Scorched earth policies make for good warfare and bad politics.

  86. says

    @Darryl: I gave you the NSFL warning, but it was related to the subject matter, albeit tangentially. I guess I should have made the warnings a little more serious – I owe you one.

  87. JR says

    Just caught the multiple errors in my last post. "Public sector" was supposed to be "Private sector". Sorry for any confusion.

  88. says

    @Ken:

    In that case, isn’t it hostage-taking every time a politician says “I won’t vote for X unless you vote for Y?”

    Interesting point. Here, and AFAIK in most of the rest of the world, that sort of deal is in fact usually considered improper. I've never been quite sure what to make of that.

  89. Anony Mouse says

    @TomB

    And Charles P. Pierce needs to be acquainted with some history books. Compared to the times around the Alien and Sedition act or just prior to the Civil War, this is a (fairly tame) bridge party.

    Indeed. He can start with the caning of Charles Sumner.

  90. Anony Mouse says

    @Christopher

    Republicans lost and the ACA law passed. They lost a SECOND time when the lawsuits failed. Now they're going to hold the entire rest of the budget hostage, and shutdown many government services (hurting innocent bystanders in the process) if ACA doesn't get defunded.

    You mean they're doing that thing the Constitution (and subsequent laws codifying the budgetary procedure (first in the 20s and then later in the 70s)) specifically gives them the authority — and the respinsibility — to do?

    Madness! Who would have guessed that the branch of government charged with allocating tax dollars would dare to allocate tax dollars?!

  91. V says

    Who would have guessed that the branch of government charged with allocating tax dollars would dare to allocate tax dollars?!

    would fail to allocate tax dollars?

  92. Anony Mouse says

    They allocated tax dollars. They don't have to fund everything; what do you think "power of the purse" means? The House passed a budget, the Senate refused to vote, and the President vowed to veto.

    Yes, clearly the House isn't doing its job. They forget the super-secret section of the Constitution where it says that when the president is A God Who Walks The Earth, that whole "checks and balances" thing is to be ignored.

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