Shutdown Shenanigans - 10/08/13

    There might be a hint of rant here.  My apologies in advance.

   Last week I called on an FBI agent for a news story I'm working on.  My call was returned today, Tuesday.  I'm not complaining.  The civil servant didn't have to call back at all.  Afterall, he's not getting paid.  I was told when I left the message last week that it could be a few days since this was considered  "non essential" business during the government shutdown.  Yes, I realize my place.  Chasing down hardened criminals comes first, of course.

    Once on the phone today, the FBI agent & I exchanged pleasantries at which time he volunteers, "I'm doing as good as can be workin' FREE."   Who wants to work for free?  Really... anybody?   Not me!  And I certainly don't expect our FBI to either.   Yet, that's what these men and women have been doing for more than a week now.

    FBI agents got the letter last week that said, "Unfortunately, whether you are in an 'excepted' or 'non excepted' status, there may be a financial impact to your paycheck."  Plus, the agent I was talking to doesn't even know if he'll get back pay.  That letter goes on to say, "Only if Congressional action is taken to pass legislation which allows for the retroactive payment of compensation for the time period encompassing the government shutdown, then all employees will be compensated for that time period."  That's a big if!

    If Congress and the President couldn't first agree on a full year's worth of appropriations, much less a continuing resolution.... why would this agent have any expectation they'd work it out for his retro pay's sake?  Regardless of how you feel about Obamacare, the bargaining chip in all of this--- this is wrong.  Wrong for our economy, wrong for small businesses that can't get loans to stay afloat, wrong for tourists traveling on fall break who are shut out of parks and landmarks, wrong, wrong, wrong.  

    I did some checking and as of this writing, Congress has been paid $1.9 million during the shutdown. $1.9 MILLION   Their salaries are constitutionally protected during a shut down.  

   Yes, congress gets paid... along with active military. In terms of accomplishment, these two aren't even on the same planet.  While one will spend tomorrow trying to figure out how to stay alive, the other will spend tomorrow trying to figure out where to order sushi.  And yes, we'll probably get the bill for that too.

    I'll let you know how the story with the FBI agent comes along.  It could be a while.  The government---  shutdown my deadline.    

 

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Last Update on August 31, 2015 09:29 GMT

SELFIE CRASH

ORIENT, Maine (AP) -- Texting and driving? Not safe. Driving while taking a selfie? Even more not safe. Police in Maine say a man crashed his car while taking a selfie with his passengers. Authorities say several people were hurt when 29-year-old Jordan Toner lost control of the vehicle he was driving with seven passengers. When he leaned over to take the selfie, his car ran off the road and hit a tree. He's been hit with a distracted driving summons.

DESTINY'S CHALLENGE

BOISE, Idaho (AP) -- Sheriff's deputies in Idaho are trying to find their destiny. That's Destiny as in the girl's name -- not their reason for being. Authorities have been interviewing more than a dozen girls named Destiny as they try to crack a vandalism case. It seems someone spray-painted a prom invitation on part of the Black Cliffs in southwest Idaho back in May. The message read: "Destiny, Prom?" If authorities can track down who was trying to woo Destiny, that person's destiny could be jail. The crime is punishable by up to six months behind bars and a fine of $1,000.

GRENADE BROUGHT TO POLICE STATION

SOUTH BURLINGTON, Vt. (AP) -- A grenade in hand -- was worth a lot of concern to police in South Burlington, Vermont. A woman found a hand grenade in her grandfather's belongings -- and decided to bring it to the police station. That got their attention. Police cleared the department and nearby buildings -- because they weren't sure if the grenade was live. In the end, the state bomb squad had to come in to deal with the grenade. As late as yesterday, authorities hadn't determined whether the grenade was dangerous or inactive. They are urging residents who find grenades or other potentially devices to leave them where they are -- and call the police.

TELESCOPE MISTAKEN FOR RIFLE

FARGO, N.D. (AP) -- They were hoping to check out some stars. But the first light they saw when trying to use their telescope -- was that from police officers who mistook their telescope for a rifle. Levi Joraanstad and Colin Waldera were setting up their telescope behind their apartment Monday when police flashed a bright light into their eyes and told them to freeze. The students couldn't see who was shining the light -- and thought it was a prank by other students. Despite the confusion, it turned out O.K. Police say the students were never in any danger -- and that police approached them because they'd rather be safe than sorry.

 
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