Shutdown? More like playing favorites E-mail
Written by APB staff   

“Look, shutting down the government, in my view, is not conservative policy. I don’t think a two-week paid vacation for federal employees is conservative policy. A number of us were saying back in July that this strategy could not and would not work, and of course it didn’t. So there will not be another government shutdown. You can count on that. Amount the Prince of Pork Mitch McConnell got for his district in the deal to reopen the government for about two months: $2.2 billion. That’s what you call gaming the system. Call it "Engineered disaster spiking."

But neither Mitch or John “cry me several rivers” Bohner has any influence with the Tea Party militants and their leaders at outfits like Heritage.
Jim DeMint; President of Heritage Foundation:

“Now that the government shutdown has ended and the president has preserved ObamaCare for the time being, it’s worth explaining why my organization, the Heritage Foundation, and other conservatives chose this moment to fight—and why we will continue to fight. The reason is simple: to protect the American people from the harmful effects of this law.”
Not withstanding the irony of DeMint continuing to lobby against a law that was designed by fiscal conservatives at Heritage, DeMint is at least on the record- saying that what many now call the “bath salts caucus” in the House are running the show and we can expect a shutdown about two or three times a year going forward.

Thanks Jim. I wrote this thing up about how favorites get played during these engineered “government shutdowns,” and I thought it was going to be dated by the time it was published. So thanks for sticking to the script. It makes my job a lot easier when you don’t have to worry if the culture warriors might take a look around and adjust course. Say what you want about true believers that want to go down with the ship but you can’t say they’re unpredictable.

Headline: Flesh-eating bacteria outbreak triggers warnings along Florida coast

How government shutdowns impact things like this:
As a result of the recent government shutdown, more than 9,000 of the 13,000 CDC employees have been furloughed and are not being paid. The U.S. House has voted to give such federal employees back pay once the shutdown ends, but there are no details as to how that would work. Even those CDC employees who have been working since the shutdown started are not getting paid, they are receiving IOUs.

Headline: Salmonella Outbreak 2013 Update: Disease Spreads To 317 People, 20 States; Costco Recalls 40000 Lbs. Chicken

How shutdown impacts this:
The Food and Drug Administration has 60 percent of its 1,602 investigators on furlough, according to an administration spokesman – and the effects on the country’s food supply may last well after the point the government reopens.

“There are 626 total FDA investigators excepted and reporting to work, and 976 who are furloughed,” Steven Immergut, the FDA's assistant commissioner for public affairs, said in an email on Tuesday. “These investigators work across the agency portfolio, not just on food products.”

So it might be a good time to splurge on organic meat and vegetables at one of those fancy “whole foods” joints if you want to avoid ecoli, salmonella and other food-borne illnesses.

The good news is that the really important federal agencies like Homeland Security and DEA have barely seen any cuts or furloughed any employees at all. DHS actually furloughed 14 percent of its employees. But considering the fact that they’ve got more than a quarter of a million of them hopefully they’ll still be able to secure airports and whatever else it is that DHS does.

They call it a “government shutdown.” But it’s obvious that what gets shutdown is a highly selective exercise. Here's ’ list of federal agencies and the percentage of workers furloughed (listed in order of most employees furloughed to least) as a result of the nonsense going on in D.C.

NASA; 97%
Housing and Urban Development; 96%
Education; 94%
EPA 94%
Commerce 87%
Smithsonian 84%
Labor 82%
Treasury 82%
Interior 81%
White House 74%
National Institutes of Health 73%
Small Business Administration 62%
Energy 61%
Health and Human Services 52%
Food and Drug Administration 45%
Transportation 33%
Defense* 18% * (Department of Defense total includes military personnel. Half of civilian personnel have been furloughed.)
Justice; 16%
Homeland Security; 14%

How about those DHS lobbyists? Those guys are clearly worth every penny. How else would one explain the fact that by the numbers, DHS is roughly six times more important than the US Treasury? Say what you will about the Chertoff Group but man can those guys protect the interests of their "fellow stakholders."

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