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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 March 05, 2015 10:37 GMT

OLYMPIC SLED RIDE

LAKE PLACID, N.Y. (AP) -- If this record-breaking winter isn't wild enough -- you can slide belly-down on sled at about 40 miles per hour. The site of the 1980 Winter Olympics at Lake Placid, New York, is offering skeleton sledding. For 75 bucks, visitors can try the twisting sled run. It's all over in a flash, about 40 seconds. Scott Hayes of Toronto says it was a lot faster than he anticipated. Jillian Frascoia of Richmond, Vermont, says it was scary, but great.

BASKETBALL JERSEY CONTROVERSY

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- It's was an attempt to think pink. And it almost cost a girls' high school basketball team a chance to play for the Los Angeles city championship. Officials disqualified Narbonne High, after the girls wore uniforms with pink letters and numbers for breast cancer awareness. Rules require teams to wear only their official school colors. Now, league officials have reversed their decision, but coach Victoria Sanders has been suspended for the rest of the season. Sanders tells the Los Angeles Times she accepts the punishment. The Narbonne girls' basketball program will be on probation through next season. The team faces Palisades High in the section championship game Saturday.

NATIONAL ARCHIVES-ALCOHOL

WASHINGTON (AP) -- You might think of it as the United States of booze. The National Archives is exploring America's long history with alcohol. Curators pulled 100 original items and documents from the archives. They include the 18th Amendment that created Prohibition, the 21st Amendment that repealed it, President Franklin Roosevelt's cocktail shaker and a first edition of "Alcoholics Anonymous." "Spirited Republic: Alcohol in American History" opens tomorrow in Washington.

TIME CHANGE-SAME HOUSE

KENDALL, Kan. (AP) -- Think this weekend's time change is a headache? Well, consider the situation of Ron and Sherry Finlay. Their home near Kendall in western Kansas sits on the line that divides the Mountain and Central time zones. Walk through a door on one side of the house, it's Central Time. Go through another door, and it's Mountain Time. They tell the Hutchinson News they've decided to live on Mountain Time. But Sherry Finlay says it sometimes gets confusing for visitors.

 
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