Friday, October 04, 2013

A Modest Solution To The Government Shutdown

The Morons are still holding the line on shutdown, but Captain Orange (Speaker John Boner) has leaked a quibble when it comes to the upcoming vote on the debt limit. Believe it when you see it, boys & girls. The blogger hopes that the POTUS 44 tells Captain Orange to go eat monkey brains when the Speaker proposes another "Grand Bargain" that will gut Social Security and Medicare in return for a raise in the debt limit. There is only one appropriate response to Captain Orange: "Fck [sic] You and the horse you rode on to get here." There is no reasoning with the Morons. If this country is a failed nation-state like Somalia, then Death Squads fit the bill. Send 20 teams of motorcycle-riding assassins to visit the House Morons. Two shots to each empty head (a double-tap) and the Shutdown is over. If this is a (fair & balanced) remedy for Moronism, so be it.

[x New Yorker]
I’m Just A Law: The Shutdown Cartoon
By Ian Crouch

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There are few things as generally well known about the political system in United States as the basic process through which a bill becomes a law—and that knowledge, at least among a couple of generations of Americans, owes a bit to civics classes, sure, but probably a good bit more to the iconic “Schoolhouse Rock” cartoon short “I’m Just a Bill,” first televised in 1975 and replayed since in classrooms. (Jon Stewart showed a clip last night on the “Daily Show,” to knowing, delighted cheers.) It missed a few twists and turns—amendments and riders and the like—and left out the cynical bits about the lawmaker-lobbyist mutual-enrichment cycle. But, still, thanks to this catchy guide and its suddenly radical notion that the functioning of a democratic republic is an exciting, honorable thing, almost any grade-school child could credibly explain the lawmaking process.

Watch all three glorious minutes, and return for a moment to a time when a “sad little scrap of paper on Capitol Hill” could be cast as an American hero:

But with the government shut down after the House of Representatives refused to pass a budget that funded the Affordable Care Act, the familiar narrative—idea, bill, debate, vote, signature, law, happy ending—no longer holds. “I’m Just a Bill” needs a coda:

[x YouTube/TheGreatWorker Channel]
I'm Just a Bill
By Schoolhouse Rock

♪ “I’m just a law, yes I’m only a law, and some people think I’ve got a few flaws….” ♪

“Gee, what’s the matter, Law? I thought that once you were passed by Congress and the President signed you, you’d get a shiny badge and a little respect. Why are you still singing the blues?”

“Well, son, after I became a law, some people out there still didn’t like me, and so they challenged me in the courts. Eventually, I went before the Supreme Court.”

“Oh, no! Did the Justices say something was wrong with you?”

“No, they heard the arguments from lawyers and decided that I was basically O.K., that I could still be a law.”

“That’s great, Law! So why are you still out here crying on the Capitol steps?”

“Well, even though all three branches of the government said that I passed muster, a lot of people were still angry, and so it looked like maybe they’d vote out the President during the election to show how much they didn’t like me.”

“And they did?”



“Hold on a second, I’m trying to think what rhymes with defund… Moribund? Thumbed? Maybe bummed?”

“Law, you’re losing me.”

“O.K., a group of hard-liners in the House of Representatives was still suspicious of me—they talked about death panels and socialism—and they’ve been trying to find ways to stop the parts of me they don’t like from being put into place. They wanted to take away the funding that Congress had already approved, but that didn’t work so they went after what we call a continuing resolution. Next I guess we might break the debt ceiling. And, even though my Web site is up, some eight hundred thousand workers have been forced to stay home today…”

“Defunding? Death panels? Web site? Debt ceiling? Law, this is getting pretty confusing. I’m not sure a song is quite enough to …”

♪ “I’m just a law, yes I’m only a law…” ♪ (trails off). “Aw heck, kid, you’re right. I thought I had the story down, it had been basically the same for about two hundred and twenty-five years….”

“Sorry, Law. I’ve got to go, my class is about to visit the Lincoln Memorial.”

“Wait…. Oh, well, you’ll see when you get there.” Ω

[Ian Crouch is a Web producer at The New Yorker. He received a B.A. (English) from Duke University and an M.A. (Journalism) from New York University.]

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