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 July 31, 2015 09:31 GMT

GRANDMOTHER-GETAWAY DRIVER

ROCKAWAY, N.J. (AP) -- It's not exactly quality time with grandma. Police in northern New Jersey report busting a grandmother they say was the getaway driver for her grandson and his friends. According to authorities, a tip after a home rip-off led them to stop the car driven by 78-year-old Vera Buniak. She's been charged with possession of stolen property. Her grandson, 18-year-old Timothy Buniak, faces burglary and other charges. Police tell the Daily Record she may not have known a crime was being committed, but she was part of the process.

MEDICAL MARIJUANA-PRICES

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) -- Medicinal marijuana users in Minnesota are in for some sticker shock. One of the state's legal pot producers is raising prices after less than a month in business. Dr. Kyle Kingsley of Minnesota Medical Solutions tells the AP prices on pills, vapors and liquids are up by as much as 20 percent. The company is also reducing the discount for low-income users. Kingsley says low demand is one factor in driving up their pot prices.

TAXIDERMY RIVALRY

LANSING, Mich. (AP) -- It's Michigan State versus the University of Michigan -- as played by stuffed chipmunks. Lansing-based taxidermist Nick Saade has created a football display with 22 stuffed chipmunks wearing little Spartan or Wolverine helmets. The chipmunks are in passing, throwing, catching and tackling positions. Saade tells the Lansing State Journal the chipmunk Spartans are about to score the winning touchdown. He adds, "everybody knows MSU is better -- even the chipmunks."

HOT WORK

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) -- Think you're hot? Don't trade places with Robert Carpenter. He's the pit master at The Grille, a Memphis restaurant. His day starts at 6 when it's relatively cool. But he can't stop grilling as the day heats up. Every time he opens the outdoor barbecue pit, the temperature spikes. Carpenter says a wet towel and an industrial fan help a bit. But he tells the Commercial Appeal newspaper, the real key is, "Water, water and more water."

 
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