Sequester Desperation: The Gold Watch Trick vs. Washington Monument Syndrome vs. Firemen First

The better to soak you with. ||| ZazzleZazzleThere is rumor that a small amount of federal government might get the slightest of trims come March 1. So what are bureaucracies and the politicians that fatten them doing? Reaching for their trusty bag of tricks. Here's the Washington Examiner's Byron York:

There's no doubt President Obama is using the so-called Washington Monument maneuver in the fight with Republicans over sequestration budget cuts. It's a time-honored tactic of bureaucratic warfare: When faced with cuts, pick the best-known and most revered symbol of government and threaten to shut it down. Close the Washington Monument and say, "See? This is what happens when you cut the budget." Meanwhile, all sorts of other eminently cuttable government expenditures go untouched.

So now Obama is warning of drastic cuts in food safety, air traffic control, police and fire protection -- in all sorts of services that will allegedly be slashed if the rate of growth of some parts of the federal budget is slowed.

But perhaps the biggest example of the Washington Monument maneuver is coming from the Defense Department, where it goes by another name. Over many decades of defense budget battles, the Pentagon has often used a tactic known as a "gold watch." It means to answer a budget cut proposal by selecting for elimination a program so important and valued -- a gold watch -- that Pentagon chiefs know political leaders will restore funding rather than go through with the cut.

So now, with sequestration approaching, the Pentagon has announced that the possibility of budget cuts has forced the Navy to delay deployment of the carrier USS Harry S. Truman to the Persian Gulf. 

The mid-'70s looked so mid-'70s! ||| Fair useFair useYou stay classy, people who spend my money.

Back in 1976, when the opinion-journalism left cared more about non-Defense waste and shameless bureaucratic feather-bedding, Washington Monthly founder Charles Peters coined the "firemen first" principle, whereby

the public will support [the Clever Bureaucrat's] valiant fight against the budget reduction only if essential services are endangered. Thus, C.B. always picks on teachers, policemen, firemen first.

There's a simple way to turn such emotional manipulation around. Which is: You doubled the federal budget in one decade. So what do we have to show for it? It's not enough that the fireman has his job, the Navy carrier is in the Persian Gulf, or that the Washington Monument is open--you don't get to double your budget on maintenance. 

Reason on the sequester here.

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  • Fist of Etiquette||

    I was forced to watch NBC News the other evening. When they talked about the cuts, they made zero attempt to critically analyze the probable effects and instead chose to mindlessly parrot the administration's claims.

    I really hope Boehner can hold back the tears and House Republicans can let this go through, and watch as nothing happens.

  • Mainer2||

    Saw that too...pretty pathetic.

  • eyeroller||

    I suspect the Republicans are going to say "See? See? We cut spending, just like we said! Mission accomplished!!"

    And then it's back to business as usual.

  • Pro Libertate||

    This is such nonsense. If we had to spend half the budget to build an emergency defense against an asteroid on a collision course with Earth, I bet we could still maintain most of our military and critical services as well as a good part of the welfare system.

  • Paul.||

    What about the Roadz?

  • grey||

    The asteriod project is Shovel Ready, we should do it now.

  • robc||

    Priority based budgeting ends this nonsense.

  • DaveAnthony||

    This is a place where we really need to follow the Texas example. Politicians are so fucking lazy that they resist any cutting even when it's decades old useless bureaucracy that accomplishes little. They would rather just keep taking and taking than have to make even moderately difficult choices. You never hear them say "oh we'll just cut x agency that you've never heard of" but instead go for "BUT THE FIRST RESPONDERS!!!!!1111oneoneone"

  • Tony||

    we really need to follow the Texas example.

    You get the "I invented a phrase that's never been uttered" award.

  • John||

    Because no one would ever want low unemployment and a solvent government. Much better to follow the California example and have permanent double digit unemployment and a government that is facing bankruptcy.

  • Night Elf Mohawk||

    Tony is Pauline Kael?

  • Citizen Nothing||

    He doesn't know anybody who votes in Texas.

  • Paul.||

    How did T o n y get his real name back? I want mine back!

  • Brett L||

    Biennial budgeting would be a good start. And for all of Gov. Goodhair's faults, he did get them to zero out all the budgets and start from scratch one year.

    Seriously. Were I a House Republican, I would start a two year project to do just that, and enlist some young Dems who wanted to make a name.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    This morning, on Bloomberg, they were talking about the "huge" cuts coming in the sequester; they then brought up the F35. Apparently this program (of dubious actual strategic value), despite the fact that it is seven years behind schedule, who-knows-what multiple of the original estimated cost, and plagued by egregious flaws, is TOO BIG TO CUT.

  • sarcasmic||

    Every now and then my job takes me into a federal building. It's rare to actually see someone working. There are various groups standing around and talking, people aimlessly wandering about, some shamelessly asleep at their desks, but work? Nope. Very rarely have I seen any actual work being done.

  • DJF||

    That is not all bad, just think if they actually worked at enforcing all the laws and rules they have already made.

  • sarcasmic||

    They greet each other with an odd salutation that involves holding up a number of fingers. It was a while before I learned what it meant. The fingers represent how many years before they collect their pension. They're just killing time getting paid to do nothing until they get paid to do nothing. And they're totally shameless about it.

  • wareagle||

    why wouldn't they be shameless? It's not like the system discourages it.

  • sarcasmic||

    When contractors run out of things to do, all hell breaks loose. Damn lazy contractors standing around and drinking coffee! Only we can do that!

    Shameless in their hypocrisy as well.

  • Virginian||

    I took a government job six weeks ago. I literally do nothing all day. There is no kind of workflow supervision or task management. I just browse the Internet all day. I have some stuff to pull up if the boss ever comes over, but he's not even here half the time. The other woman in the office takes two hour breaks twice a day, and there are three other people here, plus student workers, to do the job of maybe three people total.

    I always complained about lazy government workers, but it has to be seen to be believed. Imagine an employee, then take away reason, productivity, and accountability. That's how it is.

  • John||

    They just want you to fill a chair. The worst part is that I get no credit for the meaningful stuff I do do. I have a few clients that do good work and appreciate the help I give them. And that means nothing to my bosses. What they want is me to write ridiculous memos about made up issues that create the illusion of the great importance of the writer. I stopped caring long ago and work on things I enjoy and collect their money.

  • Virginian||

    Haven't seen boss all day, checked the whiteboard. He's not coming in at all. So I could just leave at noon if I wanted to.

  • John||

    I have written a law review article since being here. Now I am thinking of writing an historical fiction novel of the life of Edward III. I really like Sharon Kay Pennman's novels on Henry II. I don't see why someone couldn't do the same thing with England's other great medieval king.

  • Virginian||

    You know I have a lot of little snippets of Tom Clancy/Larry Bond style Team America scenes floating around in my head.

    You think someone would pay 50 cents on Kindle for an 80 to 100 page novella like that?

  • John||

    I don't' know why not. And even if they don't, you do it for the pleasure of writing it. Everyone says they are going to do something like that, but few people do. My great grandfather wrote a book on the wildlife of Nebraska. It was never published. But today sixty years later, it is fascinating to read and have.

  • Virginian||

    You should publish that on Kindle.

  • John||

    I should. It is actually pretty interesting to read. Not because of the information on wildlife but because the guy was born in a sod house in Western Nebraska in 1886. It talks about what it was like to live on frontier and how things changed between then and the modern world. It is really interesting.

  • Brett L||

    Take their money, do everything you can short of being fired to confound them. Welcome to BuSab.

  • MJGreen||

    Jesus. You guys are really depressing me.

    I can only imagine how many commenters on HuffPo, Politico, etc. are government workers who do practically nothing else all day.

  • grey||

    Mrs Grey managed government workers. Three managers, she should have been doing all their work, she had no more than 2 hours 'work' per day. She left for boredom and general reek of socialist death about the place. Could she fire the union worker that came in too high to work each day? No. Surely she could do something about the gal that facebooked all day? No. The list goes on, but as pathetic as you may imagine a government office - it's worse.

  • DJF||

    Yet whenever they have these ‘cuts’ the military for example never announces that they are closing the base golf course or in bases near towns with several grocery stores never shut down the commissary.

    Let alone get rid of some of their overmanned generals/admirals ranks and their bloated staff.

    Or even do something about the wasteful procurement system which just considering the failed programs which did not produce anything could pay for all the “cuts’ if someone had had the guts to cancel it when it was obviously going to be a boondoggle. The Future Combat System for example, armored vehicles the Army could not even decide what it would weigh, going from 16 tons all the way up to more then 60 tons.

  • Virginian||

    I saw that the Royal Navy has 47 ships. They have 47 flag officers. That's bloat right there.

  • Jordan||

    Matt, I demand that you use the National Lampoon cover for all sequester stories. In the absence of Lobster Girl, it's the least you can do.

  • John||

    They could always make these cuts in a more reasonable manner if they would pass a fucking budget. But that would require Democrats admitting just how much they have increased spending. It is all about lying and giving their trolls in the media talking points to ensure the average low information voter has no idea what they are actually doing.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    The other day, I was talking to a friend, and I was reminded of those Pakistani ship breakers. You know; the guys in skirts and flipflops who swarm over old ships with great big acetylene torches like ants and pull out the good reusable parts and reduce the remainder to bite size chunks ready for the smelter.

    That is exactly what we need in Washington.

  • John||

    The sad and funny thing is that we are rolling in money. They collect well over a trillion dollars a year in tax money. But they are so greedy and craven, we could collect a hundred trillion and still not have enough.

    It pisses me off when people say we are broke. It is like saying someone with a seven figure income but a incredible gambling problem is broke. They are not broke, they just need to stop gambling.

  • Shùn Yú||

    It pisses me off when people say we are broke.

    If you do not have enough revenue to cover expenses, isn't that the definition of broke? Is your government "gambling" or do they simply have too many bills?

  • Virginian||

    Well there's a difference between "broke" and "squandered a fortune". Someone with crippling medical bills would be broke. Someone who spent 10 thousand dollars a day on heroin would also be broke, but no one should have any sympathy for them.

  • Shùn Yú||

    So the US became broke by squandering a fortune. And the final analysis is that it is still broke, which John was saying was untrue. No one should have sympathy for the US, but for the US to correct itself, it needs to face the fact that it is indeed "broke." And denying that fact does not help.

  • Virginian||

    Well you have to understand, when someone here in the US says "we're broke" what they often want is higher taxes. Leftists are big on claiming that there just isn't enough revenue coming in. So it's important to continuously hammer the point that it is the spending, not the revenue, that is the problem.

  • Shùn Yú||

    I understand that expenses are the cause of the issue, not revenue. The point I was trying to make with respect to John's comment was that the US is indeed broke. Once you admit that, then you can look at the underlying issues as to why that is the case. Denying that simply fact does not help. I have heard other Americans say the same thing regarding not being broke, when the US is in fact broke. Once you convince them of that, then you can hammer the expenses issue.

  • John||

    Broke means you have no money Shun. We have lots of money.

  • Shùn Yú||

    Broke means you have no money Shun. We have lots of money.

    Sure you have lots of money, but not enough to pay all your bills. In my book, and most businesses, that means you are bankrupt (more accurate than broke maybe). If you have lots of money, why do you need to cut spending? If the US was not able to borrow or print money, would it be able to cover its expenses from tax revenue?

  • ||

    The government doesn't, it spends it all and then borrows more. Having credit cards doesn't mean you aren't broke.

  • John||

    Darius and Shun,

    What you guys don't understand is the only "bills" the government has is the service on the debt. The rest is just spending. All of that could end tomorrow.

    Saying the government is broke is like saying I am broke because I have promised myself to buy a new Aston Martin every year for the next ten years. The promise to buy the car is not the same a s "bill". In the same way, the promise to pay entitlements is just that a "promise" but not a bill the way service on the debt is.

  • Virginian||

    Exactly. If I were to assume dictatorial powers, the budget would be instantly balanced.

  • Shùn Yú||

    What you guys don't understand is the only "bills" the government has is the service on the debt. The rest is just spending. All of that could end tomorrow.

    If the US did that, what would happen? Do you think the populace of the US would sit idly by if the government said they would only pay the debt and nothing else? You still cannot seem to wrap your head around the fact that the US is functionally bankrupt. It cannot meet its commitments without borrowing or printing money as it runs an operating deficit every year. As long as you keep the fantasy that the US has lots of money, no-one will ever take you seriously. As I asked you upthread, if you have plenty of money, why do you need to cut spending?

  • Virginian||

    You're really not understanding his point.

    See, the way leftists talk about spending is though it is locked in stone. But it's not. I could balance the budget tomorrow, if I were given dictatorial authority to do so. The issue is that Congress and the President are elected by a population that seems to genuinely believe everyone can collect a check from the government and there will never be problems with this.

    The US government cannot meet its commitments, but at some point it will renege on them. Spending will either be cut in a responsible way, or it will happen in bankruptcy. Or massive inflation.

    He's not saying that there isn't a deficit or a debt, he's saying that the solution is very simple: cut spending.

  • Shùn Yú||

    Virginian, thank you for taking the time to respond. I understand his point that The US government cannot meet its commitments, but at some point it will renege on them. Spending will either be cut in a responsible way, or it will happen in bankruptcy. Or massive inflation.

    This is why I kept asking him why he felt the US has plenty of money, when the clearly do not. When he states that, he leaves himself open to counter-arguments like the one I made.

  • Virginian||

    Yeah talking with leftists about this is particularly maddening. They refuse to cut anything. I mean, I'm not exaggerating. I've had people look me in the face and say every dime of the trillions and trillions of dollars in spending is a vital necessity.

    There is plenty of money for the core functions of government. The government is broke because they spend money on luxuries and flat out waste.

    I've seen this paragraph around the Internet:

    “If the US Government was a family, they would be making $58,000 a year, they spend $75,000 a year and have $327,000 in credit card debt. They are currently proposing BIG spending cuts to reduce their spending to $72,000 a year. These are the actual proportions of the federal budget & debt, reduced to a level that we can understand.”

  • KPres||

    Somebody should make a "If you were the government" calculator and put it online, where you put in your salary and it spits numbers at those those ratios back out at you. That would make it real for people.

  • Night Elf Mohawk||

    How about a seven figure income and a seven or eight figure amount of gambling debt?

  • John||

    We can pay our debts. The servicing of the debt is only a few hundred billion a year. That would leave over a trillion for the rest. We are not broke, we just need to spend less. There is a difference.

  • Night Elf Mohawk||

    Oh, I agree wholeheartedly that we need to spend a lot less. The problem with the gambler analogy is that the people spending our money have a vested interest in continuing to be able to do so. And a lot of the people receiving our money have a vested interest in continuing to receive it.

    The solution is trivial. The implementation is not.

  • wareagle||

    two years ago, Obama threatened to veto any holdup of the cuts; today, he does a 180 and, again, his dogwashers pretend to not notice. That he is a dishonest fuck is not news; that his supporters cheerlead that is fast becoming a non-story, too. How many issues has this occurred with now?

  • thom||

    The way this tactic is implemented has become criminal when politicians play politics and shut down the essential functions of government while leaving the fat uncut.

    The first things they do is cripple the country's air-travel system? Shut down food safety inspections? These are actual things the government does that the economy has come to rely on. By throwing this hissy fit and hitting these areas first, the President is actually directly harming the American people.

    How that is not grounds for impeachment is beyond me.

  • Redmanfms||

    Shut down food safety inspections? These are actual things the government does that the economy has come to rely on.

    Having worked in a chicken processing plant I can say unequivocally, no business "relies on" the useless, time-wasting warts that are the USDA inspectors.

    Our plant changed the USDA station (on threat from the government) because things that made it past our intrepid and useful inspector was passing shit (really did pass too, she wasn't just sleeping) that didn't meet our internal QA. This fact apparently embarrassed the inspector inspector who did an audit so the whole production line had to be changed around the USDA inspection station.

  • Redmanfms||

    Wow, that sentence is crunchy...

    Things that passed .gov inspection failed internal QC/QA is what I was trying to say.

  • Scooby||

    I would hope that your internal QC/QA was stricter than .gov inspection- the USDA requirements are a bare minimum.

  • Redmanfms||

    I would hope that your internal QC/QA was stricter than .gov inspection- the USDA requirements are a bare minimum.

    That's not the point.

  • sarcasmic||

    There's an egg farm near where I live and it's no secret that the inspectors sleep their entire shift.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    They should definitely just sent everybody from the TSA home. That'll show us.

  • John||

    That is just it isn't it. If they shut down the FAA and the TSA, I seriously doubt the airlines, who have billions of dollars riding on the system will just close and go home. I am thinking they will figure out a way to do those things themselves and the world will go on. For that reason, I doubt this "threat" will have quite the effect the criminal retards who are making it think it will have.

  • Virginian||

    I got in an argument with a leftist last night about high speed rail. When I pointed out planes were much faster and more efficient, not to mention flexible and cheaper, he said

    "Well what about the time savings? With security and all it takes longer to fly from NY to DC then it does to take high speed rail.."

    But I'm sure you'll be shocked to hear that he didn't think getting rid of the TSA was practical.

  • Rights-Minimalist Autocrat||

    You should have pointed out that the TSA would eventually be screening his high speed rail passengers, also. It's the TSA, not the ASA.

  • Paul.||

    Boom. You get a cookie, sir (or madam).

  • KPres||

    But I'm sure you'll be shocked to hear that he didn't think getting rid of the TSA was practical.

    Funny that he thinks trains wouldn't be a terrorist target and need their own version of TSA.

  • thom||

    Maybe long term they will. But short term they are fucked.

    Nobody expects any of this to impact over the long term. This is real damage that happens over the short term, where the government has inserted themselves into something, made themselves essential, and then is willing to pull the rug out.

    If the TSA goes home tomorrow, the airlines aren't going to fly. If the food safety inspectors go home tomorrow, the meat, eggs, poultry, etc isn't going to be sold. Real damage will be caused.

  • Marshall Gill||

    If the TSA goes home tomorrow, the airlines aren't going to fly. If the food safety inspectors go home tomorrow, the meat, eggs, poultry, etc isn't going to be sold. Real damage will be caused.

    You have got to be fucking kidding me. Airplanes won't fly if each passenger has not been rapiscaned? You are high.

    As for meat, eggs, etc, I personally couldn't care less if a government turd/bureaucrat declares my food "safe" or not.

    The only reason these things would be damaging is if the government completely banned them for lack of protection money.

  • thom||

    You might not care, but airlines are not going to fly if the security checkpoints get shutdown. Stores will not sell uninspected food. Put yourself in the shoes of an executive for these companies - assuming you could even legally continue operating, you're not going to take the risk.

  • Marshall Gill||

    But your point is not that these organizations need government for anything but protection from the same.

    If I can sue you for not having all of your posts approved by an government editor, you would "need" a government editor.

    So the only "need" is the avoidance of liability. Guess who decides the levels of liability?

    So the only "need" for these agencies is the ostensible "protection" from government.

    You don't really believe that the only thing that separates us from "bad" food is the USDA, do you? Without the Department of Education children will never learn their ABC's?

  • thom||

    No, I don't think these organizations need government in any way, nor did I say as much.

    What I did say is that if the TSA shuts down tomorrow, the airlines stop flying tomorrow.

    If food stops getting inspected tomorrow, then grocery stores stop selling that food.

  • Murgatroyd||

    I work in the aerospace industry as an engineer. Our facility is inspected regularly by the FAA, who usually sends a representative for a 2-day facility tour and inspection. The audits are basically pointless because the review that the FAA performs would only catch the most egregious and blatant violations...basically the facility and processes are too large and complex for a simple review to discover any flaws.

  • Murgatroyd||

    The other stupid thing about the FAA is that all of their regulations originate from recommendations provided by the OEMs. The FAA does not have the knowledge base to actually establish safe procedures, so their role is mostly reactionary in that they will create regulations that simply restate current industry best-practices or policies. Furthermore, the FAA is not incentivized to be proactive about safety. If an aircraft falls out of the sky, it is the OEMs and MRO organizations who stand to lose millions of dollars and jobs, not the FAA. The FAA could be completely eliminated tomorrow and the aviation industry would be just as safe and the cost of transportation would decrease.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    Imagine an employee, then take away reason, productivity, and accountability.

    Nice.

  • Night Elf Mohawk||

    [quote]So now Obama is warning of drastic cuts in food safety, air traffic control, police and fire protection -- in all sorts of services that will allegedly be slashed if the rate of growth of some parts of the federal budget is slowed.[/quote]Make this happen and show people that the world won't end because of it.

  • Night Elf Mohawk||

    Damned BBCode habits. :/

  • Invisible Finger||

    I actually agree with "Firemen First". We employ far too many firemen, police, and teachers. I think those areas ARE the biggest bloat of government.

  • Virginian||

    Firemen in particular. I mean, yes, firemen yay Dalmatians and trucks and calendars for housewives to buy.

    But the average fireman responds to three or four fires a year. And usually they just surround it and spray water. They drive up, and ask if anyone is still in the house. Answer is usually no, because most people have smoke detectors and aren't going to leave family to die. This perception that on a weekly basis they're running out of a blazing house with two children and a puppy in their arms is just not true.

    Volunteer FDs work perfectly fine, along with volunteer EMS folks. Hell, a lot of rural areas have volunteer deputies. Yet somehow, the world keeps turning.

  • Invisible Finger||

    The biggest waste in firemen is fire drills.

    During one fire drill, a fireman chastised me for bringing a closed bottle of water out of the building with me. "it could spill and make the floors and stairs slippery."

    I immediately responded "So you're saying the sprinkler system doesn't work?" His only response "There are no 100% guarantees." My response "That's what I needed to hear. Thanks."

    The same lazy industry that put into the International Residential Code that all single-family homes built after 2010 must have a sprinkler system on all floors. A nice of waste of $10K on a system that has a 1 in 10,000 chance of ever being used in the first place. But it makes their jobs easier.

  • Redmanfms||

    The same lazy industry that put into the International Residential Code that all single-family homes built after 2010 must have a sprinkler system on all floors.

    Seriously?

    That means I'll need fucking flood insurance if I ever buy a new house, regardless of proximity to flood plains.

  • AlmightyJB||

    Well the problem is that they then do their own version of the "gold watch". The police will still pull you over for seatbelts, bust kids smoking pot, and bang prostitutes and than arrest them. But if you're being robbed. I'm sorry we don;t have enough officers to respond because you cheap bastards voted to cut our budgets. Sorry it took us an hour to get to your burning house but those budgets cuts ya know. We're simply going to have to stop teaching math and reading but don't worry your 6 year old Suzie will still learn how to put a condom on a banana and her gym teacher.

  • Invisible Finger||

    Fine by me. All it does is make their uselessness more obvious.

  • AlmightyJB||

    Except they'll have the media spin on their side.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    This is real damage that happens over the short term, where the government has inserted themselves into something, made themselves essential, and then is willing to pull the rug out.

    If the TSA goes home tomorrow, the airlines aren't going to fly. If the food safety inspectors go home tomorrow, the meat, eggs, poultry, etc isn't going to be sold. Real damage will be caused.

    WHEEEEEEEEE!

  • John||

    If the TSA goes home tomorrow, the airlines aren't going to fly. If the food safety inspectors go home tomorrow, the meat, eggs, poultry, etc isn't going to be sold. Real damage will be caused.

    I don't believe that. You mean people are going to starve and the grocery stores will empty? No way. That shit will get done.

  • Rasilio||

    You know it is amazing how stupid and cowardly the Republican Congressional Leadership is.

    The first time Obama goes off on how horrible it will be to cut school lunches and close the Washington Monument (which iirc is actually closed for repairs following a 5.8 earthquake in West Va back in 2011 and isn't scheduled to reopen till 2014 at the earliest) you hold a Press conference where you beg him to choose those items to cut because you have compiled a list of items which chould be cut that the average American would never notice and many would probably be angered if they knew that the government was paying to do anyway but since it is his choice and you don't want to do his work for him you'll keep your list a secret until after the cuts have gone into effect.

    Course the problem is you'd actually have to have a list of items you wanted to actually cut

  • db||

    I think I like the concept but, Holy Run-on Sentence, Batman!

  • ||

    Course the problem is you'd actually have to have a list of items you wanted to actually cut

    I think there are enough in Washington with the courage to compile a list. The real problem is the message would never be heard. Between the media outlets ignoring or mischaracterizing the effort and the electorate grabbing their remotes to see who won America's Fattest Talent it would be pissing in the wind.

  • db||

    Obama should threaten to shut down the ATF and whoever runs the instant backvround checks. It'll snarl up the firearms business to no end. No way will FFLs risk selling guns without the instant check system available.

  • Virginian||

    But isn't it true that if the background check doesn't go through, you are assumed to be a legal buyer?

  • Virginian||

    http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cj.....nics-delay

    If they want to shut the system down, I'd wait three business days and transfer the gun.

  • Almanian!||

    No, fuck you, cut spending.

  • Bradley Strider||

    The Pentagon has announced that the possibility of budget cuts has forced the Navy to delay deployment of the carrier USS Harry S. Truman to the Persian Gulf.

    Great. Fantastic. Even the Pentagon's most dire budget cut scares are beautiful. I hope they cut their fire alarm budget next and the whole place burns to the ground.

  • Dallas H.||

    I'm just always amazed at how much stuff gets done for just $40 billion dollars. I mean, if cutting that little results in the shutdown of every possible thing, what is all the other money used for?

  • Cavpitalist||

    The Washington Monument IS closed. Took my girl to DC for the first time last month, and they told us it had been shut down since the "earthquake" a couple of years ago.

  • Kendall Rigdon||

    The sequestration is not even a cut. During the Bush era, Congress came up with perhaps the most sinister of notions. Built into each and every budget is an automatic four percent (4%) budget increase every year, without a vote, without a disclosure.

    This was done out of fear for a potential passing of a balanced budget amendment which would have, in theory, tied the hands of Congress from spending beyond its means.

    Every long term, federal politician, in both parties, is a liar, a hack, and a manipulator of the highest order. These loathsome creatures, much like insects, must be fumigated out of the federal government. A simple law limiting the ability of any one person to hold any federal elected or appointed office for no more than 10 years is an easy resolution of the corruption.

    Congressional terms used to be a debt of service to society. If it's the best job you have ever had, you are per se unqualified for office. Party is the problem. Get rid of them both and let people run on ideas. We are possibly headed for a direct democracy where everyone can vote directly for anyone running for office.

    "Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely." John Emerich Edward Dalberg-Acton. 1887.

    Live local, buy local, govern local.

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  • Video Game Nation: How gaming is making America freer – and more fun.
  • Matt Welch: How the left turned against free speech.
  • Nothing Left to Cut? Congress can’t live within their means.
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