Skip to main content

The night dragged on.  House political leaders from both sides of the aisle weighed in as midnight approached, both trying to put their best spin on a bad situation.

Wall Street will weigh in at 09:30 EDT today.  It won't be pretty.

I've heard the newsie spin: Oh, national parks will be shut down, museums in Washington will close, but life will pretty much go on.

Let me give you an insiders perspective.

The GSA, the wing of the government that basically controls all government contracts and buildings, will be (for all intents and purposes) shuttered.  No big deal, right?  Wrong.  The GSA holds the maintenance and operations contract for literally every federal facility in the US - including courts, office space for most government agencies, and general purchasing authority for most government agencies outside of DOD.

The Social Security Administration distributes benefits to millions of retirees and disabled Americans.  The party line is that checks will still go out to those entitled.  But who is going to be pushing the buttons that issue the checks?  Who is going to be tending to the vast network of computers and programs that make this complicated process happen?

No one.  They're all furloughed as of tomorrow morning.

Now, many of you may have never been through a strike, where "management" tries to keep the wheels on the bus while the rank and file walk the picket line.  It never works out well, and that's why the rank and file eventually come back to work.  Your congressman (and probably you) have no idea how much coordination it takes to do something as simple as issue a payment to a government contractor / vendor to run a cafeteria in a federal building.  Or scrub the toilets at night.

Think for a moment about the complexity of the interlocking wheels that have to turn in order to keep a multi-thousand person regional SSA office open to process benefits.  Starting today, it doesn't happen, regardless of the promises being made by the various politicians and jihadi's involved in this shutdown.

Building projects will come to a halt.  Urinals won't be scrubbed.  Air conditioning systems won't be maintained.  Vast computer networks that churn out government payments to all vendors and beneficiary recipients may or may not be tended to, and may or may not work, despite the assurances of officials.

Make no mistake about it: this country is grinding to a halt today.  You might not see the direct impact for a few days or weeks, unless you're an old person or a veteran in need of assistance.  Or maybe a mother needing to buy food for the week.  Or a gas station operator who no longer sees government vehicles lining up to gas up for the day's motor pool dispatching.

I keep seeing comparisons to the 1996 shutdown.  The world, and interconnected nature of the U.S. government, as well as the overall political climate has changed so much since 1996 that the comparisons border on laughable.

The jihadi wing of a major political party has taken the country hostage tonight.

How are you impacted?  What's your plan?  Where do your concerns land over the next couple of weeks?  Because I promise you, this is the start of something much, much bigger.  The debt ceiling is weeks away, and the GOP has already printed the ransom notes for that.  If the budget and debt ceiling collide in an unresolved political supernova, the impact to the American economy will be incalculable to you, your family, friends and neighbors.

Maybe that's what the GOP jihadis want.  Ok, so, we'll see where the situation leads from there.

Political posturing has never scared me.  But right now, thinking about all of the interlocking gears and moving parts of government, the American people have reason to be very, very concerned.

I'm usually an optimist, but this time, not so much.  I fear that even most progressives on Dkos don't understand how bad this really, really is.  The GOP jihadis pulled the pin on the grenade, and there ain't no diffusing that sucker at this point.

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

  •  Kudos For Swiping Limbaugh's Signature Phrase, (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    eOz, CenPhx, annominous, chrismorgan, a2nite

    the subtitle of his broadcast for 8 years, beginning with Clinton's election, against the G-O-Tea.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Mon Sep 30, 2013 at 09:19:12 PM PDT

  •  I'm a little in shock (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Tommye, jan4insight, Creosote

    My heart goes out to all the furloughed workers.

    I'm not sure if Boehner is doing this to teach the tea thugs a lesson or if he's lost his mind completely. His legacy is sealed. He's toast. i hope they're all toast. Bastards.

    •  I'm shocked, and angry (6+ / 0-)

      Been getting angrier by the hour.  I really didn't think any of these fukwits could push my buttons like this anymore.  I was wrong.

      UID: 14791 Join Date: 7/7/2004 Status: Lifetime member Mojo: nearly infinite Any questions?

      by Richard Cranium on Mon Sep 30, 2013 at 09:52:45 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I hit peak anger (for now) (4+ / 0-)

        about an hour ago.  Then my dog and I went out on the front porch and I sat and cried for awhile.

        I don't know what is going to happen with us this time.  Not having a COLA for three years has been hard.  Having my raise vanish before it ever got to the first paycheck was disheartening.  We barely made it thru the furlough.  We've had no time and no way to save anything since then.

        My first "furlough Friday" my husband was admitted to the hospital after having several "small" heart attacks.  Three days and a few stents later, I brought him home -- with instructions for him to come back in Oct for placement of a stent in his leg.

        He's almost 60.  He hasn't worked since being laid off in 2008... and not for lack of trying.

        I had major back surgery last week, and am scheduled for a complete hip replacement in another month.  I can't walk; I can only hobble with a cane at this point.  Luckily, my job is web-based, so telework was no problem, which meant I could keep a paycheck coming in, and my students' courses would open on time - at least until this latest coup attempt.

        We've barely been making it from paycheck to paycheck in "normal" weeks with only my paycheck to depend on.  When my position went from contractor to GS a couple of years ago, the pay cut was over 1/3 of my salary.  But I believed enough in the service I was providing - both to AD and, especially, to my Reserves and National Guard troops - and besides, I love what I do and the people I work with.  We're more like a family than an office.  

        And there are more in my office who aren't retired officer corps.  We've got a new mother of a child with medical problems; some, like me, are taking care of one or both elderly parents.  We've got nothing to fall back on anymore, and we barely had any at furlough after living thru the Bush years.

        I have no idea how I'm going to keep our house this time.  I don't know what the status of our medical insurance will be.  Do I go for my X-rays and follow up?  Or do I step aside and have them put the stent in hubby's leg?  Will we have to pay for it now and hope to get reimbursed with the tantrums in DC have stopped?  What happens if (when) we can't pay for it all out of pocket?

        I've got my many fur-babies, plus the ferals I tend to -- and an over-80 yr old mother I'm taking care of.  How am I suppose to cope with these responsibilities with no paycheck for who knows how long - and do it while I'm still fighting the pain from surgery and the hip that's not even fixed yet?  

        I know my pain levels are influencing my emotional state, but for the first time in my life I honestly have lost hope.  I've done everything more or less "by the book" all my life.  I may not have done it always in the approved way or time schedule, but I've never lied, cheated, or hurt anyone.  I've gone out of my way to help other people - including the elderly woman at the doc's office who couldn't afford to pay her doctor's co-pay.  All my adult life I've rescued animals and either did the catch, spay, release or welcomed them into my home if I couldn't find a good home for them.

        Now that I'm 6 years or so from what I'd hoped would be retirement, I'm seeing everything ripped away for no good reason than other people's greed and lust for power.   I'm not only fearful of not having a home in my future old age - I'm now scared of losing the home I have right now.  My "peak" earning years are behind me and, physically, I can't go back to being the system guru that helped me build up what I used to have anyway.

        I could slip back into anger mode real easily, but to what effect?  I am finding this feeling of loss, desolation, and depression to be a lot less easy to slip out of, tho.  I didn't think I'd ever say I "hated" anybody and ever really mean it - down deep in my soul; but I have to admit, I'm there now.  And CT or not, I'd swear they're purposely trying to kill  us all off - like we're not worthy enough to walk the earth and use up its resources.

        Yippers... as I typed that statement I felt the anger begin to raise its head again.  But overlaying it all for me is this truth:  I am terrified of what this is going to do to my close friends and family.  And once again I say, "How dare they!"

  •  If Boner doesn't 'man up' (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Vetwife, Kingsmeg, chrismorgan, a2nite

    and ignore his teahadists, the country will default. The ironic thing is, that a precipitous drop in the exchange value of the US dollar, and it's disappearance as a world 'reserve currency', will cost the Koch brothers, (et al) tons of money,. to them I say: Guess what assh***s, you have created a monster, that has come back to bite you!

    May you live in interesting times--Chinese curse

    by oldcrow on Mon Sep 30, 2013 at 09:48:51 PM PDT

  •  Ted Koppel should come out of retirement to host (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Richard Cranium, kurt

    ... "Nightline."

    Calling other DKos members "weenies" is a personal insult and therefore against site rules.

    by Bob Johnson on Mon Sep 30, 2013 at 09:50:00 PM PDT

  •  And we have shutdown (0+ / 0-)

    The clock on the wall indicates  9:55 PDT which is 12:55 in DC.  SHUT'er Down.  The clock is still running so I guess time has neither ended nor have we arrived at the "Day Time Stood Still"is Armageddon is nowhere in sight.  I presume that the doors are all bolted and the lights are turned off.  Dems win; we have shutdown.  

    First round to the Dems, to Harry Reid and President Obama; they did not blink.  Obamacare opens for business today, so there now, you loose Cruiz.  Did I say Dems win.  Oh yes I did.  

    Now the real fun begins.  We should start a pool on how long it takes for the GOPasours to cave.  


    A bad idea isn't responsible for those who believe it. ---Stephen Cannell

    by YellerDog on Mon Sep 30, 2013 at 10:01:56 PM PDT

  •  This is more than concern... (8+ / 0-)

    We are in unchartered waters right now.   When the shutdown happened in the nineties....there was no economic collapse recovery.  There were actual some sane republicans who Ted Kennedy could hammer negotiations with.  There were no decalared wars.  There was not as many out of work.  Tere were no tea parties.  There were no hundreds of thousands in foreclosure.   There was not yet fully implemented global trade and contractors.  Not like now.  

    This is a  whole lot more than no panda cams.   These people are crazy.  I have never heard of a shutdown in war time.   This means that the intelligence community is not on full staff.   We are vulnerable right now.   The economic downturn has just hit a dive downward.    The money it cost per day is astronomical.  

    The whole thing was a design by what they are being called now anarchists.  The Tea Party love anarchy.  

    The press is saying two or three days.  Maybe but anything can happen in a few days.  Then we have never had crazy to deal with on this kind of scale.  I KNEW when people were dismissing that bunch of tea partiers who let us be clear ..paid for by the Koch and Freedom Works..had a front person..they saw the opportunity to put a face on the tea party and the first face was Sara Palin with her cross hairs and talk of rogue about everything.  We then had racists and many gun and milita enthusiasts on board with the Tea Party.   Yes people.. this is a pretty scary time becaue they know they wil and can shut the government down anytime they dont get their way because Rich Mitt lost.  If it were not the ACA, it would be a multitude of other things.  Pick one of theocracy or tax cutters.   When another McCarthy stands on the Senate floor and reads Green eggs and Ham and then votes for what he was fiibustering, and a drunk as speaker, along with the hatred of the Black man in the white house who beat out a white man who was fillthy rich.. they got mad.

    They are hostage takers and You my fellow kossacks are being held hostage by  an extreme group with an agenda to prove we do not need a government.  We only need states and we want private everything.

    My take.  

    We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America

    by Vetwife on Mon Sep 30, 2013 at 10:22:02 PM PDT

    •  I realy wonder just how long this will go on? (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      supenau, Vetwife, kurt

      That the republicans would do this in the first place is hard to believe. But, what if they continue this for a few weeks? What if they continue it for a month? What if they flat out say they will never approve a CR until the Democrats agree to their demands?

      As of this moment, I'm not sure that the republicans will back off no matter the damage. I think this is what they are actually working for. The complete destruction of the US government. At this point, I'm sure if they saw cities on fire that it would change their path.

      We have entered very dangerous territory here. Terrorism is the word that best describes the actions of the republicans today. Let's hope cooler heads in the republican leadership come forward before they destroy this country.

  •  If you wake up furloughed this morning... (3+ / 0-)

    or anyone you know wakes up furloughed this morning, the first thing to do -- before you even have a cup of coffee -- is to file for unemployment.  Department of Labor servers in every state are going to be slammed later today.

    UID: 14791 Join Date: 7/7/2004 Status: Lifetime member Mojo: nearly infinite Any questions?

    by Richard Cranium on Tue Oct 01, 2013 at 05:00:52 AM PDT

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site