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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 27, 2015 07:06 GMT

DRUNKEN BANK ROBBER

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) -- If you're planning to knock over a bank, it's probably best not to knock down a few first. That's what a man in Tallahassee has found out the hard way. Authorities say an intoxicated Stanley Geddie walked into the Capital City Bank and demanded $100,000 from a manager -- claiming he had a handgun and plastic explosives. When police arrived, they found the man "very intoxicated and spaced out" in the manager's office. They also found a cab driver who said he brought Geddie to the bank -- and complained he got stiffed on his $25.50 fare. At least the would-be robber decided not to drive to the bank heist. The Tallahassee Democrat reports Geddie is charged with robbery, petty theft and resisting an officer. He's also being held on two probation violations.

BASEBALL GIVEAWAY

UNDATED (AP) -- Spring training -- a time for baseball teams and their fans to be optimistic. But the Houston Astros are balking over a planned promotion by one of its minor league affiliates. The Fresno Grizzlies of the Triple-A Pacific Coast League feel so confident the 'Stros will win a title soon, they planned to hand out replica 2017 World Series rings as a promotional giveaway this summer. But once the big league club heard about the pitch, they asked the Triple-A team to bench it. Grizzlies officials say they don't want any issues with its parent club.

POLICE HORSE ON THE LAM

CLEVELAND (AP) -- You've heard about the occasional rogue police officer. But a rogue police horse? A spokesman for the Cleveland police department says a horse with the department's mounted unit was tied up at a cemetery -- but got loose and started roaming the downtown area. Police finally caught up with Jack and got him back where he belonged. Police say there were no reports of injuries or property damage. Officers say Jack stayed on the street during his escape -- but didn't stop at red lights.

GOATS CAPTURED

SEATTLE (AP) -- You've probably heard the phrase: "getting someone's goat." In this case, police in Seattle got someone's goat -- times 10. A herd of 10 goats got free from a yard in the Beacon Hill neighborhood -- and began chasing a group of children. That led police on a chase of their own -- after the creatures. The police website says officers were able to wrangle the goats into a pen. Animal control officers were called to reach the goats' owner.

 
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