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Wednesday, October 2, 2013

CONGRESS, WALRUSES AND THE SIMPSONS


What is that photo above?  I'll get to it later, but October 2 is a rather uneventful day in history.  October 1 at least started the new federal fiscal year.  This is why the budget squabble and differences on Obamacare resulted in our government shutdown yesterday.  Our U.S. Congress likes to play political games to attract attention.  Most of the time, any news is considered better than none for re-election purposes.

Have you noticed the free campaign ads all your congressional delegates get from the nightly news?  They are clearly working diligently to seek that elusive but sensible compromise to settle this nonsense.  They will, of course, succeed, and you will re-elect them this fall or two years henceforth.

As part of the show, President Obama called to the White House Congressional leaders later today.  The 2014 FY budget will not be settled (the last time Congress actually passed the entire Federal Budget was in 1997), but continuing resolutions will again keep the government going, eventually.

There was a 21-day government constipation in 1995/6 under President Bill Clinton when Republicans controlled both houses.  How many of you remember that the Reagan Administration suffered through eight full government shutdowns, each for only one to three days?  So nothing is new, and nothing much happened to our economy.  In all cases, only non-essential (how would you like to be one of them--they represent less than one third of one percent of our populace) civilian federal employees were furloughed, accompanied by closure of national parks.  Congress keeps meeting, our military continues to get paid, airports run as normal and your mail gets delivered.  There are exceptions, as schools can get closed and garbage ignored in D.C.

There will still be another showdown around the middle of this month when the debt limit issue has to be addressed.  See "OUR NATIONAL DEBT" to the right for details, which as of now stands at $16.75 trillion.  Wait a minute, I thought our debt ceiling was $16.7 trillion???

What else is not happening today?  Ice is lacking in the Arctic Ocean.  That is why that photo at the top of 10,000 walruses on land was recently taken.  Actually, nothing again really new, as a similar congregation two years ago accumulated  30,000 of them, and in 2009, a marauding polar bear caused a stampede, resulting in 130 young casualties.  And you thought you had a tough life.

How can I safely report on this late-breaking piece of hyperbole without alarming everyone...but one of the SIMPSON characters will die this season.  Who?  You'll need to watch every episode.  Can you believe that this is now their 25th season?  Yes, this is tantamount to bragging, but I never once watched a full half hour program.  I dare you to view just 50 seconds of the very first clip in 1989.

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Tropical Storm Fitow, now at 70 MPH, will become a typhoon tonight, shifting track by moving west, now skipping Japan and Korea, sneaking between Taiwan and Naha (Okinawa), and predicted for landfall south of Zhoushan late this coming weekend.


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