One National Zoo will be closed down, but the one known as Congress will go right on roaring its terrible roar and gnashing its terrible teeth and grazing at the corporate lobby trough. The Panda Cam is going dark, and the pandering will continue in the dark.
The troops on the battlefield will continue drawing their paychecks thanks to a laudable and "rare" show of bipartisan unity, but the troops wounded in mind or body are out of luck. Money for their benefits will be gone by the end of the month.
The NSA and the Surveillance State will lumber on, unimpeded due to their budget being secret and infinite. Keith Alexander's Star Wars chair will not be yanked out from under him, and the ribbons and medals will not be yanked off his chest. But real crime? Real terrorism? Not being fought so much any more. Poor victims and witnesses are not being protected. And this has nothing much to do with Shutdown, but everything to do with Sequestration.... which goes on, and on.
Eight hundred thousand federal workers are being sent home, and millions more are being ordered to work without pay. But Obamacare is open for business in what is cutely known as a soft "anti-climatic" launch. Or, the opposite of a mass orgasm. Or, the letdown in the shutdown. Starting today, assuming that you still have enough money to pay your Internet bill, you are invited to log on and shop around for partial insurance from for-profit middlemen.
Let's just put it this way. The Great Shutdown of Thirteen will not inconvenience the elites and their essential services (war and wealth extraction) in any great way. The only people being made to suffer are the poor and the dwindling middle class. It's business as usual, only more noticeable. But maybe that's a good thing. Maybe the people will finally revolt.
* The New York Times, in its infinite wisdom and political correctitude, axed a totally tasteless comment I wrote last night in response to Joe Nocera's Those Banana Republicans. It went something like this:
More like Banana Daiquiri Republicans, judging from the Tweets of enterprising Capitol Hill reporters gagging on the legislative fumes. (Although hemochromatotic Weeper John Boehner is said to favor Merlot.)
Although it is politically incorrect to say that "both sides do it", when it comes to boozing while legislating, both sides do it. Which is why Boehner and the lesser boozers will probably never be brought up on ethics charges or be treated to an intervention by their peers. So it is up to the media. Why the NYT silence on the problem of alcohol abuse in the chambers? Those enterprising reporters could maybe cop some strands of congress-critter hair or even capture a drop of flying demagogic spittle to forward to a lab for immediate chemical analysis.
With these sloppy drunks immiserating millions of already struggling people through sequestration and shut-down and furloughs and closings of essential services, the whole nation could probably use sponsorship in an Al-Anon chapter for the constituents of sick abusive pols. If Boehner and his Caucus of Creeps won't honorably resign from their leaky ship of state, we should just kick the bums out. Let them, inebriates in the service of inebriates that they are, lurch away into the political oblivion they so richly deserve.
Remember George W. Bush? He was an untreated alcoholic, a "dry drunk". And look where he got us.
And Ted Cruz is a whole 'nother story from a whole 'nother country. He is probably more into stimulants than depressants. Before he left Houston to begin his 20-plus hour marathon filibluster on the Senate floor, I think he must have made a detour to a certain laboratory in Albuquerque, because he came across as more of a meth-head than a drunk. Either that or he is congenitally hypomanic. Judging from his marathon glittery-eyed appearances on cable TV all week, I don't think he ever sleeps.Meanwhile, Paul Krugman blogs that it probably wouldn't be rectitudinal to post on the Times website what he considers to be the best commentary so far on the whole Shutdown Mess: