Shutdown Update: Day 34

The unimaginable has happened.  Your government (a small part of it) has been shut down for 34 days now (including weekends and 3 federal holidays that it would have shut down on anyway).  And somehow, things are still pretty good in America.  It is as I said earlier.  The democrats have the most to lose by an extended shutdown because Americans might learn that they are just fine without a federal government.

  1.  The EPA is almost completely shuttered.  Only a few guards at the door are coming to work.  And yet, factories and refineries haven’t opened the pollution control valves to take advantage of the lack of enforcement.  Maybe the people who work at factories and refineries actually WANT clean water and air just as much as professional environmental activists at the EPA do.
  2. The USDA has prioritized their food inspection program to only inspect a few hot spots.  And yet, food-borne diseases are not running rampant across the land.  It is as if people who work at food processing and packaging plants already know how to do their jobs and aren’t waiting for every opportunity to poison their customer just to save 1/2 a cent per ton.
  3. Despite the TSA being “degraded” and having to work for free, Terrorists are not boarding every plane.  Air travel is just as safe and unpleasant as it ever was.  If anything, fewer TSA inspectors is leading to fewer reports of missing valuables from luggage.  It’s almost as if the airlines want to take off and land on time and not crash their planes just because there are insufficient airlines inspectors checking on them.
  4. It’s a shame that the Department of Education got funded before this happened.  It would be awesome to watch the teachers unions squirm as they try to explain that not having a working DoEd had zero effect on education in the USA.
  5. Make no mistake, this is a crappy way to run a railroad.  No private employer could force employees to work without pay.
  6. I hope the agencies that have unpaid employees are carefully tracking who is abusing sick leave and will punish them when they return to work.  Its bad enough to have to work without pay, but having to work extra hard to make up for some non-team-player is double bad.
  7. I especially feel sorry for the contractors.  They are for all intents and purposes, government employees.  They are out of work, expected to return to work, and will not get any back pay for the time they were out of work.
  8. Democrats are still wrapped up in the blame game.  It is the least important thing to talk about, but it’s all they have.  They can’t defend their open borders policy.  They can’t defend their pro-criminal policies.  All they have is how much they hate Trump.  They can’t give him a minuscule part of the federal budget because then he “wins”.
  9. I haven’t filed for my tax refund yet, but that should be good since refunds are not part of the IRS budget and the processing is all automated, unless there is a flag.  Though I fully trust the IRS to have a man in the loop to rubber stamp the decision of the computer, so that may be held up waiting for that one person to return to work and hit the “any key”.

People are not dying in the streets (more than usual).  Posh restaurants are not going out of business in DC (more than usual).   Bridges are not collapsing into the icy waters of the Potomac river (more than usual).  City and state governments are still fully functional (as much as before).

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Stupid internet commenting

I’ve noticed it’s getting harder and harder to prove I’m not a robot.

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Once again, the theme is “a day on, not a day off”. So we will be celebrating it by taking the day off. The people who come up with this have no idea how silly they look when they do this every year.

There was a story last week about changing the name of a virginia school to erase the name “Lee” since he no longer represents Virginia’s values. His name would be replaced by some guy who challenged Virginia’s inter-racial marriage law.

I have a better idea. For every school with more than 10% black students, name the school MLK JR #___. All dominantly Hispanic schools would be named similarly for Hugo Chavez.

That should please everyone.

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Ginsberg prediction.

Unless she falls into a shredder, the Left will hook her corpse up to life support and claim it’s still alive so Trump can’t replace her. The Left wouldn’t let her retire, they certainly aren’t going to let her die. Just remember what they did with Senator Byrd long after his mental functions ended.

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Shut Down Update: The Government Employee no one will interview

10%+ government employees are not at work.  But they fully expect to get paid.  Some of them are getting interviewed about how hard it is to get by because they didn’t save any money and don’t have a line of credit.  But guess who isn’t getting interviewed.  All those guys who are at work and feel totally ripped off that their office is fully funded so they don’t get what amounts to a free fully paid month off.

I could really get a lot don on my project house with a month or two off work.   But my office (DoD) is fully funded for this year so I have to go to work every day just like I agreed to when I got hired.  No free paid days off for me.

The funniest shutdown moment:  Shutting down the government on Monday because of heavy snowfall on Saturday.  It was all cleaned up by Monday, but what the heck.   So, we had a much bigger shutdown during a much longer shutdown and no one on the Democratic party or national media seemed to notice.

Obscure shutdown moments.  Here we are in the nation’s capital with the Democratic party and national media running story after story about how it is a huge atrocity for 10% of the government civilian workforce to be staying home and another 10% to be temporarily having their paychecks withheld.  On the other side of the country, government workers (teachers) are intentionally walking off the job because they want more money and easier jobs (more helpers).  So.  Government employees in Washington out of work = Atrocity.  Government workers in California out of work = must be encouraged because they are fighting “for the children.  Weird.

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Opioid crisis/epidemic

I don’t care.

This is pretty much a self- inflicted problem. If you have that problem, you already know you are playing with fire and you don’t care. So why should I?

It’s also a self-correcting problem. You use drugs, you die. Problem solved. If it were up to me, I’d stop all enforcement of strong drugs like fentanyl. I’d dump it on the streets, at college parties and in every undesirable neighborhood in the country.

I’d make it the drug of choice for assisted suicide and make it a civil right to have access to it. I’d make it legal to sell over the counter, as long as it carries a “this is poison, if you take it, you will probably die” label.

And I’d have the President go on national TV every month and announce that using it is lethal and if you use, you are on your own. No excuses.

I’d even make opioid addiction treatment fully covered by insurance if and only if you get addicted to prescription drugs that your MD gave you. But if you got them on the street? You are on your own. Buh-bye.

Problem solved.

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Shutdown Update: 8 Jan 2018

It’s still going on.

  1.  With only approximately 20% of the government shut down, traffic is a LOT better in the DC area.  I’m recommending the government take a permanent 20% trim, to include parts of the government that are at work.
  2. “Non-essential” is a Human Resources designation, not an evaluation of importance to the taxpayers.  The guy who buys artillery shells for the Army is pretty darned important, but his task can wait until Monday, so he isn’t “essential”.  But the guy who has to fix the overflowing toilets at the pentagon has to be available to work weekends, holidays, snow days, and any other time when the toilets might overflow.  That is what is means to be “essential”.  So please just STFU about “firing all the non-essential employees.
  3. The news media tried to make a big deal about TSA employees calling in sick to work other jobs.  It was a difference of 5.5% absentee vice normal 3.5% for this time of year.  Not a trend.  Certainly not a crisis.  Pretty much not even noticeable.  There were still plenty of  barely literate TSA employees coming to work to ensure stuff would get stolen from your luggage, your pretty girlfriends would get felt up, you would get intimidated if you tried to take a picture of them breaking the law, and you could miss your flights… just like normal.
  4. The news media is telling us tall tales about government employees getting outside jobs to pay their bills.  Seriously.  What kind of job do you think you can get when you already have a full time job working for the federal government that you intend to return to?  Are there other employers hiring right now who need a few thousand more people whose skill sets don’t even exist in the private sector?
  5. I have no guess how much longer this can go on.  There is no incentive for either side to give in.  Each side can totally veto the other side.  Each side has promised to use that veto.  The fight isn’t about using concrete or steel.  That is a 5-year old’s argument.  The goal is a wall.  Choice of building materials is something that can be left up to the construction contractors.  If anything, the Democrats have the greatest incentive to find a solution to placate Trump because most Americans get along just fine without the US government operating at 100%.  Most Americans just wish they got a little tax break for all the things the Federal government is not doing this week.  And Democrats don’t really want the word to get around for most Americans that so much of the federal bureaucracy is expendable.
  6. Too bad the Department of Education wasn’t on the unfunded list.  Trump could just Veto that for the next 2 years all by itself and do what Reagan never could.
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