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The First Free Byte of 2019: Gov't Shutdown and Pettiness in Washington, DC

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The Last Outlaw
The Last Outlaw
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PostThe Last Outlaw on Fri Jan 18, 2019 7:42 am


Welcome one and welcome all to the first Free Byte of 2019.  I just wish I was doing this one under easier circumstances.  Recently, aside from other news and Headlines, I've posted mostly covering the Partial Government Shutdown which as of this writing has entered it's 28th day (The longest in U.S. History). So you wonder what has me up in arms over this thing besides the fact that neither Democrats and The President can't come to a compromise (POTUS: "Gimme $5.7 Billion for The Wall on the Southern Border." Dems: "NO!"), how about the pettiness between the President and the Speaker of the House.

Let's begin with the Shutdown first. President Donald Trump is demanding $5.7 Billion for the wall that he promised during his campaign (the same wall he promised that Mexico would pay for). The Democrats have vowed that the President would not get his wall, or the funding for it. Which is why we are now at Day 28 of the Shutdown. In the meantime, there currently over 800,000 workers who are either sitting at home worrying about their next paycheck or working without receiving a paycheck. The following Departments are currently affected:
  • HOMELAND SECURITY
    The department that oversees Customs and Border Protection, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the Transportation Security Administration, the Coast Guard and the Secret Service is affected by the shutdown.

    But most of those agencies’ employees are considered essential, so they will need to work without pay until a government funding bill is passed.

    Of the 245,000 people who work under the department’s umbrella, nearly 213,000 have been deemed essential, according to the department’s contingency plan.

  • HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT
    Of the department’s 7,500 employees, only 343 are expected to work. Nearly 1,000 other people may be called in to work on specific tasks, for which they will not be paid until a funding bill is passed.

    Though public housing authorities and tribally designated housing entities are not part of the federal government and are not required to shut down, some of their funding is provided by the federal government, so they may need to reduce or change normal operating hours.

    The department, which is also responsible for some housing loans and low-income housing payments, said in its contingency plan a shutdown would likely not significantly affect the housing market.

    But, it added, “a protracted shutdown could see a decline in home sales, reversing the trend toward a strengthening market that we’ve been experiencing.”

  • INTERIOR
    The National Park Service, under the umbrella of the Interior Department, will have a skeleton staff. Under its contingency plan, no national parks will be open and no visitor services - including restrooms, facility maintenance and trash collection - will be provided.

    But some governors have pledged to step in, including in Arizona, the site of the Grand Canyon, and New York, where the state has provided funding for the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island to stay open.

  • TRANSPORTATION
    Of the department’s 55,000 employees, 20,400 will be put on leave. Those employees do not include most of the Federal Aviation Administration, where 24,200 will be working, or the Federal Highway Administration, where all 2,700 employees are funded through other sources.

    Air traffic control, hazardous material safety inspections and accident investigations will continue, but some rulemaking, inspections and audits will be paused.

  • EXECUTIVE OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT
    An estimated 1,100 of the office’s 1,800 employees would be placed on leave. This will include most of the Office of Management and Budget, which helps the president implement his budget and policy goals.
All this for a Wall in the name of Border Security.

Which now brings me to the pettiness of BOTH The President of the United States and the Speaker of the United States House of Representatives.

OK. With the Government partially shutdown, I totally understand the request to delay the State of the Union address (honestly, if given on the date it's scheduled, the truth is the State of the Union is shut down). It was a reasonable request to DELAY the State of the Union address, which even had other alternative options: Deliver the address when the government reopens, Deliver the address from the Oval Office, or submit it in writing. Reasonable, right? Just remember who we are dealing with.

On the flip side, we have House Speaker Pelosi leading a Congressional Delegation going to Brussels, Egypt and Afghanistan to meet with top NATO commanders, U.S. military leaders and key allies – to affirm the United States’ ironclad commitment to the NATO alliance. Trump's answer: fly commercial. Yet at the same time, the First Lady can fly Air Force One to go to West Palm Beach, Florida for a holiday weekend vacation. That's petty.

Both the President and the Speaker can't come together to some agreement in regard to the shutdown and the Wall, but a seemingly reasonable request is being overshadowed by pettiness, brattyness and altogether immaturity. Are we talking about our elected leaders or a bunch of 3 year olds?

I found myself agreeing with Senator Lindsey Graham (R - SC) when he said this:
Lindsey O. Graham, Republican Senator from South Carolina wrote:I wish our political leadership could find the same desire to work for common goals as those who serve our nation in uniform and other capacities

Senator Graham, I couldn't have said this any better than this.

Just Saying.

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