Friday, October 18, 2013

After the Can Kicking

I didn’t really plan on a third day related to the government shutdown. This one, however, is just commentary on the situation, rather than specifically related to contract keeping. So, while this isn’t exactly part III, you might want to first read Contract Keeping Part I and PartII.
One of my favorite responses to the WWII Memorial closure
photo from here
I don’t yet fully comprehend all the details of the bill that ended the shutdown. In short, it looks to me like, in the game of chicken, the GOP veered to the side—just as everyone expected. It was on day 16 of the shutdown. Seventeen years ago, the dreaded shutdown went to day 21, when the GOP caved (a day before President Clinton had planned to end things).
The continuing resolution issue comes up again mid-January. A week into February the debt ceiling issue resurfaces. At both of those moments, the government could shut down again, if there’s no agreement. In other words, the can has been kicked down the road.
But if anyone thinks the Republicans are going to grow a new spine in a quarter year, they’re likely to be disappointed. Our hope may have to be that we elect a few more Ted Cruzes and Mike Lees in every coming election. Meanwhile, it is hoped by the weaker-spined legislators that Obamacare might implode on its own, based on early signs of incompetence. Personally, I don’t trust dumb luck—even when that much “dumb” is involved. I want to see active efforts to remove the albatross from the neck of the free people.
A few people made good observations follow the end of this episode, that I’d like to share, concerning the propagandizing of the shutdown, and some of the things we’ve learned.
My friend Kim quoted something on Facebook, with a few details I hadn’t known (again, this is quoted, so I’m uncertain of origin):
Something I hadn’t thought about. How truckloads of those shutdown signs instantly materialized and were posted.
One of the pre-printed signs
photo from here
How did +21,000 signs (large, detailed, specific) just magically appear overnight at some 620 locations?
I have worked in the government on and off for 42 years. During that time I became completely familiar with requisitions, bidding, awarding contracts etc. It is a time-consuming process dealing with bean-counters and pencil-necked bureaucrats every step of the way. The simplest request takes months.
In less than 8 hours (probably within six hours) of the shutdown announcement professionally printed and painted 3X4 foot signs miraculously and simultaneously appeared all over the country, coast to coast and border to border, in the tens of thousands saying—"This (park, facility, etc. [with the appropriate custom logos for each of the hundreds of parks and monuments]) is closed due to the government shutdown.”
There has not been a government shutdown in 17 years, and it was for a matter of hours and no parks or monuments were closed. [Well, 3 weeks, and some park areas were closed; remember the guy with the sleigh ride concession in Yellowstone Park that was waylaid? But mostly accurate.]
Fact that can not be disputed: These signs were carefully designed, detailed specifications were determined, signs were then requisitioned, bids were posted and vetted, and government contracts were awarded. The materials were then ordered, and the signs were manufactured, then distributed nationwide from their manufacturing point by the U.S. Mail or freight companies.
This shutdown was orchestrated and planned well in advance, at least 6-8 month ago. Millions of tax dollars were appropriated and spent in this process. As usual there is a filthy paper trail a mile long leading directly to the Oval Office.
Americans do not realize just what cesspool-level of pathological lying, Chicago gutter trash, we are dealing with! What juvenile, 100% inept, phony, petty crooks and street hustlers are now running our nation! 

Another Facebook friend, Shawn Rogers, who frequently offers great political commentary, had this to say:
So, boys and girls, what did we learn?
·         We learned that during a "government shutdown" 83% of the government does not shut down.
·         We learned that during the "shutdown" most people are unaware that anything is shut down.
·         We learned that the Obama regime will punish the American people when he is displeased with them.
·         We learned that Obama had to spend money to shut down things which normally aren't shut down during a "shutdown" in order to make sure people are aware of a "shutdown." [I love this one.]
·         We learned that eventually the current Republican establishment will always cave. Well, some of us learned that. Many of us have known that for a long, long, sad time.
·         We learned that the Republican establishment would rather turn on its own than fight the liberal democrat agenda.
·         We learned that John McCain is a liberal sympathizer. We learned that Peter King is a vindictive, petty, and spiteful man. We learned that both of these men are beneath contempt because they put political party power ahead of the Constitution.
·         We learned that people like John Cornyn and Orrin Hatch think the citizenry is stupid and incapable of understanding the machinations and manipulations of the legislative process. [Cornyn did vote right in the end, and the airwaves are full of ads reminding us Texans of what he claims has been his fight against Obamacare; he is doing major damage control after his failure on the cloture vote.]
·         I learned that my ardent support for Senator Ted Cruz was the best political activity I've ever engaged in. I learned that Senator Lee is not one whit behind him in his defense of the Constitution.  [I strongly concur.]
·         We DIDN'T learn that Barack Obama is a tyrannical, spiteful, and evil leader of the country. We've known that for over five years.
That was the same evening the agreement was reached. Shawn had more the next morning: “That awkward (and pathetic) moment when 17% of the government starts back up and nobody notices a bit of difference.”
And he posted a link you might enjoy: “16 Things We Learned from the Government Shutdown.”
Thursday evening he added some hopeful words about Obamacare and the political future:
Prediction: Within 3 months the Regime will delay or otherwise stall the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, partially due to the horrifically incompetent roll-out, but also to the absolutely abysmal numbers of individuals signing up. You heard it here first.
Second Prediction: You will soon start to hear of democrats in the House and those up for re-election in the Senate pushing for some kind of delay or reduction in penalties under the ACA. They have to be getting extremely nervous right now.
Third Prediction: The 2014 mid-terms will be a repeat of 2010. It will be awful for the Democrats due to the failure of their policies.
Keep hope alive, people. We aren't always going to be in this adverse political climate. 

Thank you, Shawn. I appreciate encouragement to keep hope alive.

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