Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Federal Gov't Shutdown Begins: The Triumph of the Confederacy of Republican Dunces -OR- Return of the 17-Year "Brood X" GOP Cicada *

*Yes, that subject heading mixes and matches a lot of ideas, and, no, I didn't come up with all of them.

The U.S. Capitol dome as seen from the west side with a small cumulus cloud in an otherwise nearly cloudless cerulean blue sky, Washington, D.C., 5:13PM September 29, 2013.

I had biked on an interesting zigzag path from where I live (by U and 16th Streets NW) down to the Capitol grounds. We were deep in a mT air mass despite the calendar date. It continues to be very dry, though the Capitol grounds are very well-watered.

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OK, so the Federal shutdown has started (the first in 17+ years) but the agency that my company supports will remain open for the time being (of an unspecified duration depending on the program office). I should be OK -- i.e., not furloughed -- for two to perhaps as long as four weeks based on this and being carried on overhead for a period. I also have some lovely pictures from my (shortened) bike ride on Sunday early evening I took right here in D.C. The lead image to this entry a few of the others are from that bike ride. I had intended to post them all in a single entry.

Huffington Post's screaming headlines precisely at midnight October 1, 2013. The link to the headline about Congressmen boozing it up during this (wholly unnecessary) crisis is here.

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I will say that some of the things Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has been saying about the House Republican crazies, not to mention also doing, have been very edifying -- he's clearly really pissed. Pres. Obama just seems exhausted, though he is sticking firm to his position (which he has to do given that this situation could quickly become a constitutional crisis). Having said that, though, at this point, it wouldn't shock me if he just lets a debt breach also occur on or about Oct. 17th no matter how cataclysmic. I think he has been getting bad advice about the 14th Amendment option (FWIW, it seems pretty clear to me).

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The U.S. Capitol dome (briefly shaded by a cloud passing in front of the Sun) as seen on the northwest side by the side of the lovely but little known but wonderful Summerhouse with its lovely grotto, Washington, D.C., 5:15PM September 29, 2013. Yes, that's a newly-wed couple getting their picture taken. I was nearby admiring one of the two ginormous Pagoda trees that grow there.

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However, at this point, I'm too tired to complete the entry I started. It was a rather politically-themed one involving lots of usage of phrases such as "neo-Confederate radicals" and "Teabaggers." Maybe it's just as well. What's so maddening is just how small the coterie of the most radical neo-Confederates are -- maybe no more than 40 -- but Speaker Boehner is as powerless as he is ineffectual and the radicals in their severely gerrymandered, one-party districts are answerable ONLY to right wing talk radio / cable. But this was their strategy all along.

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Yours truly inside the little Summerhouse with dazzling sunlight not quite silhouetting me, U.S. Capitol grounds, Washington, D.C., 5:23PM September 29, 2013.

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As for the shutdown, it was all anyone was talking about today. Here is a vintage D.C. sort of WaHoPo article about Federal shutdown happy hour specials around town. Speaking of The WaHoPo, here is a vintage editorial by the "Professional Centrist" editorial board trying to split the difference and "blame both sides" in equal fashion. This includes Fred Hiatt, the bad-tempered Ruth Marcus, and human cat-woman Jo-Ann Armao. For this editorial, they probably even phoned Benjamin "Ben" Wittes and Tory ex-pat Sebastian Mallaby for their input.


Wittes and Mallaby (pictured above) refer to two former WaHoPo editorial board members and courtiers of Washington Consensus Central who today live lives ensconced in the pseudo-academic world of corporate-friendly think tanks whence they arrogantly pontificate about "the hard choices" others (always others, usually far poorer and weaker than they) "must make."

Couple walking on the northwest side of the U.S. Capitol grounds, Washington, D.C., 5:20PM September 29, 2013. The U.S. Capitol dome is sort of visible behind the trees lost in the over-saturation of the blue sky in my low-quality cellphone camera. The large tree is, I believe, one of the two big Japanese Pagoda trees that grow by the Summerhouse.

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I sense that Ben "having failed to make the case" Wittes is probably a lot like Wall-P, gadding about serenely in the knowledge of his own purported genius, burbling things the military/surveillance state wants to hear, while Mallaby is just a well-paid clueless tool of corporate oligarchical overclass intrigue. For Mallaby, obsessed with some chimerical notion of "Free Trade," the implementation of "policies" that turn every American city into Detroit is his paramount professional goal in life.

Anyway, that aside, thank God fewer and fewer people even look to this group anymore for anything. It's pretty much limited to Cokie Roberts, David Gregory, and Mark Halperin these days.

The scaffolding-and-scrim-covered Washington Monument at dusk, Washington, D.C., 8:06PM September 29, 2013.

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The Lincoln Memorial at dusk with cirrus and altostratus clouds in the distance and a jet on final downriver descent into Reagan Washington National Airport, Washington, D.C., 6:18PM September 29, 2013. Oh, and then there's the scads of tourists on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial.

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I had a good gym workout tonight including jogging, weight-lifting, and swimming. But I don't want to stay up crazy late tonight and get back into my "usual" schedule.

Speaking of bike rides, I may bike to work tomorrow, esp. if I opt to skip the gym. Not sure yet.

OK, that's all for now. (Sorry for all the HuffPo links in this entry, but they were useful.)

Stunning sunset over the Rosslyn section of Arlington across the Potomac River as seen from the Washington Harbour section of Georgetown, Washington, D.C., 6:40PM September 29, 2013. The skyline of Rosslyn (including that big new building at 1812 N. Moore Street still under construction) is visible, as is a fortuitously timed flying bird (pigeon?) flapping its wings.

I stopped at Chadwick's in Georgetown for a nice dinner (salmon, sautéed spinach, brown grain rice, white wine, and a cup of coffee) by myself in a dimly lit secluded corner. The bar area was crowded with people watching the last quarter of the Redskins game.

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That's all for now. In my next entry, I may post the remainder of the pictures I took on Sunday. Oh, yes, all day long I've had the violin part of Lenny Kravitz's "It Ain't Over 'til It's Over" playing in my head. That song was part of my most recent jukebox Saturday night entry.

--Regulus

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