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Media pretty excited we've got another 'shutdown' . . . although by the time you read this it could be over; UPDATE: Yep, over already
UPDATE: Well that didn't take long.
The good folks at Reuters couldn't believe their good fortune at having the opportunity to write this in the wee hours:
The U.S. Senate approved a budget deal including a stopgap government funding bill early on Friday, but it was too late to prevent a federal shutdown that was already underway in an embarrassing setback for the Republican-controlled Congress.
The last shutdown was such a disappointment for the media because their usual tactic of knee-jerk blaming Republicans didn't work, as everyone knew Chuck Schumer and his insane DACA demands were the cause. Also, people quickly figured out the "shutdown," which didn't even last an entire real work day, was no big deal.
This time the shutdown is clearly the work of a guy with an R after his name, since it was Rand Paul's nine-hour speech objecting to the budget deal that delayed the vote and made it impossible for the Senate to pass the bill before midnight, when the previously passed spending authority expired.
Now you know if you read this site that Rand Paul is Rob's favorite senator and that he's one of my least, mainly because he talks all the time about high and mighty principles but usually finds an excuse not to go along with any move in the direction of what he claims to want. Nothing is ever perfect enough for him, and it has to be all or nothing or he'll bail.
In this case, the budget deal is so awful that I can hardly blame the guy for speaking in opposition to it, although a nine-hour barnburner just to make sure everyone is stuck staying up late and we get a technical "shutdown" to give people something to talk about is a perfect example of talk for the sake of talk. That said, Paul's words were mostly correct, and needed to be said. It's just that he could have probably made the point by reading any column from this site or one of several others, but he wanted to talk for nine hours and make sure the vote couldn't happen until after midnight, so the media have their "shutdown."
Most likely, the House will vote early this morning to approve the budget bill and President Trump will sign it, ending the shutdown but sending the country once again on a spending trajectory so obscene that we could easily see deficits north of $1 trillion.
If you want to blame someone for that, start with Chuck Schumer who refusees to adequately fund the Armed Services without also getting a spending blowout on a wide variety of domestic priorities. And blame Mitch McConnell for going along with Schumer's demands, although in fairness to McConnell it's hard to do otherwise when you probably can't hold together your 51-seat majority to tell Schumer no.
Then again, it might help if McConnell at least tried to get rid of the filibuster, and he refuses to do that. So we will spend and spend and spend, because there's no mechanism to stop it and it's easier to just keep doing it.
Oh, and for this briefest of moments, the government is shut down. It's kind of nice. I wish it was for real.
Dan writes Christian spiritual warfare novels and does all kinds of other weird things too. Follow all his activity by liking him on Facebook!