Quoting Democratic Underground…
@BloombergNews: BREAKING: Director of Office of Management and Budget orders federal agencies to implement shutdown plans
@ShawnaNBCNews: OMB: “Agencies should now execute plans for an orderly shutdown.”(Democratic Underground)
Quoting something I wrote a few days ago…Tea Party, go to hell.
…the more I think about it, I’m steadily becoming more & more convinced that the Tea Party is nothing more than the American equivalent of the Taliban…and no, I ain’t apologizing for that, either.
There’s an interesting and thought-provoking article over at Think Progress on the constitutional reasons why a government shutdown is all-but-certain to happen tonight; for what it’s worth, I agree with Ian Millhiser on this one. As I read the article, it got me thinking…if you could make changes to the Constitution OR could re-write the Constitution back in 1787, what would you do?
There’s a few ideas that come to mind….
- Separate the powers of the head of state from the head of government. With a few exceptions, most countries split these powers apart, in essence delegating the ceremonial powers to one person and the day-to-day powers to another.
- Eliminate single-member House districts and elect members of the lower house by proportional representation using multi-member congressional districts. FWIW, I did a little experiment on this, using the results of the 2012 House elections in the state of California; the state, with 53 representatives, was divided into 10 MMDs’ of variable size (3-7 representatives per district) and seats were allocated by the largest remainder method. The result: 30 Democrats, 22 Republicans and 1 Libertarian would’ve gone to Washington from the Golden State (as opposed to the current 35-18 Democratic split).
- Abolish the Senate and add its’ members to the House, allocated in the same manner as for House seats.
There’s a few more things that come to mind….this is also a open thread, by the way. 😉
This week, we’re going the punk route with a 1984 concert by West Coast punk legends, the Dead Kennedys..so stand up, raise your fists in the hair and listen to the music! 🙂
Assuming Congress doesn’t get its’ act together, by midnight, October 1st, the federal government will shut down. Now, some services will continue: air traffic controllers will continue working, the military will continue protecting the country before at home and abroad, Social Security and Medicare will continue to function and agencies such as the Postal Service will continue delivering mail. But what functions of the federal government will be on a standstill due to Congress’ incompetence? Here are a few examples…
- ARMED FORCES. U.S. troops serving at home and abroadcould stop receiving paychecks if the shutdown continues for an extended period and changes of station would also be delayed and facility and weapons maintenance would be suspended. Families back home would also be impacted.
- HEALTH CARE. The National Institutes of Health will stop accepting new patients and delay or stop clinical trials. Medicare and the Veterans administration will continue paying out benefits, but new filers could face delays and doctors and hospitals may also have to wait for reimbursements.
- DISASTER RELIEF. In preparation for a potential shutdown, the Utah National Guard is holding off on sending a team to help rebuild areas in Colorado devastated by massive floods last week. More National Guard engineers are desperately needed to repair major roads and bridges in Colorado. Roughly 240 Colorado National Guardsmen currently working on flood missions are also in danger of losing funding.
- NUTRITION FOR WOMEN AND CHILDREN. Though food stamps will still be available in the event of a shutdown, the Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) nutrition program, a service meant to help new and expecting mothers and their young children get nutritious foods, will not. If a shutdown lasts for more than a few days, the roughly 9 million Americans who rely on WIC could see their assistance dry up, leaving them food-insecure.
Now, don’t think there won’t be a price to this…there will be if the government shutdowns. Back in 1995-1996, when the government shut down during the 1st Clinton Administration, the country incurred over $2 billion in wasteful expenses and the country lost about 1% of its’ GDP as a result.
Should another shutdown occur, economists are warning that up to 1.5% of GDP could be lost and, if the shutdown goes on past a few days, the chances of sliding back into recession would increase substantially.