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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 24, 2014 10:55 GMT

TURNPIKE PIZZA-LAWSUIT

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) -- The New Jersey Turnpike Authority wants to take a bite out of a Florida pizza shop. The authority charges Jersey Boardwalk Pizza uses a logo that looks too much like the Garden State Parkway's green and yellow signs. The agency is suing the pizzeria in federal court. JoyAnn Kenny is the lawyer for Jersey Boardwalk Pizza. She says there's no way anyone would confuse a highway and a pizza place 1,300 miles away. The company operates two pizza shops and sells merchandise online. The Turnpike Authority is asking a judge to order the company to stop using the logos.

VETERAN-LOCKED IN VA CLINIC

DELTONA, Fla. (AP) -- Marine Corps veteran Jeffrey Duck says he was forgotten at a V-A clinic -- and locked inside. Duck says he went a central Florida community clinic operated by the Veteran's Administration Monday afternoon. He tells WKMG he was sitting in a consultation room for more than three hours, then realized he was alone. Walking in the lobby set off an alarm so Duck called 911 on his cellphone. The V-A is apologizing to Duck. Officials say they're reviewing their closing procedures.

NO NIKE SWOOSH

EUGENE, Ore. (AP) -- The swoosh is squashed -- at least for the moment. Adidas has invaded Nike's hometown, Eugene, Oregon, to sponsor the world junior track championships. Hayward Field has the trademark Nike swoosh logo. Crews preparing for the meet are covering the logos and pinning Adidas posters to the fence alongside the track. The Register-Guard newspaper reports the Adidas contract calls for a clean venue. But Bill Bowerman gets to stay. There won't be a bag thrown over the statue of the Nike co-founder and legendary University of Oregon track coach.

GOOGLE-FREE SHUTTLES

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. (AP) -- It would be another perk for Google's Silicon Valley neighbors. The technology giant is offering to provide free shuttle bus service in Mountain View, California. Google is proposing to foot the bill for four electric-powered shuttle buses. The San Jose Mercury News reports the plan is expected to be approved by the city council in September, with the buses rolling the next month. Google also provides free Wi-Fi in the city.

 
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