Apples/Oranges: Despite the misleading reports in the media, the government has not been “shut down 17 times (or 18, it varies) since 1976. Yes, funding appropriations have lapsed. But. Most of these previous 'shutdowns' lasted over a weekend or only applied to a single or small number of agencies or departments. Until 1981, agencies without new funding were allowed to continue operating at their previous levels, pending legislative action. Real government-wide shutdowns are rare – and for good reason; ask Newt about that.
Discipline: Berlusconi has been unable to control 'his' PDL party, as leading members say they will support current prime minister Enrico Letta in a confidence vote that Berlusconi sought in an attempt to bring down the government in retaliation for his criminal convictions.
The Big Sleep: Senator Rand Paul (Mental Giant-KY) who slept through last year's elections and the debates leading up to passage of the ACA in March 2010, justifies the government shutdown because “We haven’t had a big debate about Obamacare since it passed in Congress.” Well, it passed, dummy.
Möbeus Stripped: There is but one 'side' to the shutdown, "checks and balances" is not what's going on here. Republicans - unable to accept their defeat, unable to accept that there's a Democrat in their White House, unable to accept the idea that poor people may actually benefit from the goddamed too big government, unable to accept the basic concepts of democracy - are solely to blame for the shutdown. They would destroy the country rather than share it with the rest of us.
This, Just In: Reports claim that the War on Drugs failed. Not so; look at how much money was made from the pretense, equipment, manpower, money-laundering profits, privately run prisons, careers, payoffs. Nah, you just didn't get the memo.
The Only Thing To Fear Is Obama Himself: According to Michele Bachmann (Rabid-MN), “President Obama can’t wait to get Americans addicted to the crack cocaine of dependency on more government health care.”
Naming Names: Among those companies too damned cheap to provide healthcare to their employees are Forever 21, Trader Joe's, Seaworld, and Home Depot. They are cutting employees to less than 30 hours a week so they won't have to pay for health insurance – instead throwing the workers on the public dole for their healthcare needs. Corporate welfare. Don't go there. Don't shop there.
Fiesta! Rep. David Schweikert (Millionaire-AZ) says that shutting down the government and sending 800,000 federal employees to bed without supper “is my idea of fun”.
Over, Over There? According to the UN, nearly 1,000 Iraqis died in September in the ongoing (but unmentionable) civil war that has been going on for 6 or 7 years now – back before we called 'victory' and slunk away. But 'twas a famous victory.
To Serve & Protect: Two Chattanooga cops, whose defense for punching, tazing and beating a halfway-house resident so savagely they broke his nose and both his legs as he lay on the floor begging them to stop, was that their victim "was almost sitting up a little bit”, have gotten their jobs back after a local judge ruled their actions were “not ideal” but not sufficient to “ruin the lives (of) two otherwise unblemished and promising police officers?" Another reason to avoid Tennessee.
For Profit: “Hospital budget cuts became viscerally visible earlier this month when Vanderbilt Medical Center announced that nurses must now perform housekeeping duties – cleaning patients’ rooms and bathrooms.”
Bang Bang You're Stupid: A school system in Florida suspended an 8-year-old boy for pretending that his finger and tumb were a gun while playing cops and robbers on the school playground. He didn't even say 'Bang, Bang, you're dead.” With any luck, the administrators involved will lose their jobs and the school system lose the lawsuit. Stupidity is not a defense.
Porn O'Graph: The Nays have it.
The Parting Shot: