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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 January 28, 2015 10:07 GMT

SUPER BOWL TICKETS

PHOENIX (AP) -- A Super Bowl ticket for six bucks? Sounds impossible -- unless you have a time machine. Ticket prices for Super Bowl 1 started at just $6. The cheap seats didn't jump into the three figures until the 1988 Super Bowl. Face value for tickets to Sunday's big game range from $800 to $1,900. But forget about trying to get one at those prices. Resale tickets on the official NFL Ticket Exchange are now topping 14-grand apiece. But you can find some nosebleed seats for about 4-K.

SUPER BOWL-PRIVATE JETS

PHOENIX (AP) -- Getting to the Super Bowl will be half the fun -- for those who can afford it. Hundreds of private and luxury jets are expected at Phoenix-area airports by kickoff Sunday. The jet-setters will get VIP treatment. NetJets will have a lounge where customers can relax with free food, drinks, TV and Wi-Fi. They will also get a Super Bowl swag bag and admission to a party Saturday night with Lady Antebellum as the headliner. Officials at Phoenix's main airport say the private jets won't go to the head of the line. The officials note that commercial jet traffic will have priority.

WINTER WEATHER-NYC SNOW ANGELS

NEW YORK (AP) -- Bianca Hillier and Eloise Pollard are the Big Apple's snow angels. The pair took advantage of the snowstorm that shutdown New York City yesterday to make snow angels on a deserted Tenth Avenue at West 34th Street. Usually the streets would be full of traffic during the morning rush hour. Hillier calls it a "once-in-a-lifetime opportunity." She's an Ohio University journalism student. Pollard is a recent university graduate from London.

SMITHSONIAN-LONDON

WASHINGTON (AP) -- You hear Smithsonian and you think Washington. But the Smithsonian Institution could be coming to London. Officials there are working with the Washington-based Smithsonian to create a new museum in London's Olympic park. It would feature exhibits from Smithsonian sites including the National Air and Space Museum, National Museum of American History and National Museum of Natural History. The Olympic park cultural center is slated for a 2021 opening. It would be the first Smithsonian outpost outside of the U.S.

 
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