UnNews:Government shutdown looms, effects expected to be negligible
7 April 2011
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- This April 8th, for the first time in about a month, the American federal government will shut down. National landmarks and parks will close their doors. The IRS will stop doing its job. Other federal departments, such as the Environmental Protection Agency, the Food and Drug Administration, and the Bureau for the Implementation and Manufaturing of Badger Organs, will work at a crawl.
Nationwide, Americans are bracing for the normal.
Bottled water, canned goods and milk are disappearing off store shelves at an average pace, and so far only 3 people have insulated their houses in plastic in fear of airborne toxins. While this is an increase of 33% over last year's number of home mummifiers, experts blame the spike in Saran-Wrapping on the nuclear worries in Japan, pointing out that 2 of the cacooning culprits live in or near Los Angeles. In other areas, the preparations for the looming mundane are everywhere. In Cleveland, Bob Newman is taking his Audi to the shop for an oil change; it's been nearly 4,000 miles since his last one. In Montana, little Kasey Jane Martin runs to the outhouse, and in Florida, Beatrice Jones has decided not to go for a swim in her backyard pool because she doesn't have one.
All of this barely contained terror is the result of the inability of Democrats and Republicans to compromise on a long-term spending plan for its allowance. Republicans want to do away with National Public Radio, Planned Parenthood and other "evil" public services, increasing federal spending in only a couple of areas, such as subsidies for horse contraception. Democrats, on the other hand, want to keep funding for NPR and Planned Parenthood, as well as all other services currently receiving federal money, like education and health care. Their stance on horse contraception, however, is unknown. The Tea Party segment of the GOP is, as ever, a highly vocal "no," but it is unclear exactly what it is against this time.
The most recent attempt to rectify the budget situation has been a one-week plan by the Republicans. This passed a vote in the House of Reprehensibles by a 247-181 margin. The proposal, however, only funds the Department of Defense, the National Rifle Association, and various scholarship opportunities for the offspring of current Republican members of Congress, so President Obama has vowed to veto the bill. If he does, Republicans have vowed to collectively throw up their hands in dismay and claim that they tried--which, technically, is true.
News of this most recent failure by the government was met with cynical reviews by the public, most succinctly summarized in a statement by Sandy Essen-Estes when she said, "Uhhh, duh. What did you expect?"
President Obama has set aside time from training for the NBA to help in the congressional negotiations, promising to bring the popcorn, pizza and the inflatable Sumo Wrestling suits. Speaker of the House John Boehner is a 2-to-1 underdog in his main stage brawl against Nancy Pelosi, with tickets being sold to the public starting at $4.91.
- Brian Montopoli "House passes one-week budget bill; Obama vows veto" CBS News, April 7, 2011