Shutdown: Day 4

Friday, October 04, 2013

Fort Carson, CO holds a government shutdown protest. (Clayton Sandell/Twitter)

The government shutdown continues, with lawmakers showing no signs of agreeing on a bill to fund the budget. Dave Weigel, Slate political reporter and MSNBC contributor, discusses the latest news, the deepening impact of the shutdown, and yesterday's shooting at the Capitol, in which a woman was killed by police after she tried to ram her car past security barriers.

We're continuing to gather your shutdown stories. How is the shutdown affecting your life or your work? Big or small, post your story below, or call 212-433-9692 to join us on air.


David Weigel

Comments [40]

TedR from Pottersville, NJ

A long anticipated DXpedition to commemorate today's 70'th anniversary of the massacre of 98 U.S. civilians, the "Forgotten 98", by the Japanese on Wake Island, has been quashed due to the government shutdown. One of the major aspects of amateur (ham) radio is DX'ing in which ham radio operators try to add contacts with new countries and islands to their "life list". One of the rare DX locations is Wake Island which is located in the Pacific, 6700 miles from here, between Midway Island and Guam, and is currently administered by the U.S. Department of the Interior. A group of 15 amateur radio operators have been planning a commemorative DXpedition since the beginning of the year to put Wake Island on the air for the many thousands of radio amateurs who are avid DXers and to give those DXers the opportunity to add Wake Island to their list. Because of the government shutdown, the permit for this commemorative operation is being held in limbo.

This trip has a budget of around $140,000, all from private donations. The people going to Wake Island have donated many thousands of dollars, as have hundreds of radio amateurs and amateur radio organizations. Assembling and testing of equipment accelerated in September, and I believe that the equipment had been packed and shipped to staging areas in Hawaii before the shutdown. In addition to the 15 people going to Wake Island, there are dozens at home supporting the trip, and tens of thousands ready to participate by radio. And sadly, the anniversary of a little known but tragic event of WWII will not be commemorated. It's one more example of how the shutdown is affecting people in unexpected and far-reaching ways.

Here are some relevant websites:

Wake Island during World War II

Bloomberg article about the shutdown and the DXpedition

Website for the Wake Island DXpedition

Oct. 07 2013 10:36 AM
RUCB_Alum from Central New Jersey


Your original post on this topic concerned 'open-air memorials' not public parks. Parks - like beaches - may well be open for use 'at own risk'. This is not necessarily true for memorials. They are not inherently dangerous but may not be safe for use without some supervision available.

Sounds odd but I can imagine circumstances.

Oct. 04 2013 07:11 PM

"Working the Refs"?

What is the appellation for media pundits and reporters coordinating their treatment of a story so that a unified narrative frame is created to cultivate an invariably singular public perception?

or, how do you spell "journolist" these days?

Oct. 04 2013 03:08 PM


Wow. So letting people walk through a public park on their own recognizance is now a political position.

Oct. 04 2013 01:43 PM
RUCB_Alum from Central New Jersey


"You want to mark it?"

No, Jim, I want it open. Have the GOP vote on the budget without extra-constitutional 'conditions. I am tired of the extortion.

Stop dreaming up ways to enable their bad behavior.

Oct. 04 2013 12:53 PM


You want to mark it? Great. Put up a sign that says the equivalent of "no lifeguard on duty swim at your own risk."

Oct. 04 2013 12:32 PM
RUCB_Alum from Central New Jersey

I was serious about the liability. If I don't mark it and you hurt yourself, I am at least partly responsible. If I mark it and you disregard the warning, I am NOT responsible.

The pettiness argument is a distraction. The GOP reduced the President's budget from $1200B to $980B. They should have been satisfied with that. Adding '...and defund ObamaCare.' was a serious overreach on their part and my hope is that the electorate remembers it long enough to make them pay in November 4, 2014.

That's my job until that day.

Oct. 04 2013 12:26 PM


Liabilty? Please. And, no I do not think the world is 'simple'. Nice ad hominem though. Gratz.

@Soldier's Father and bkparent

Vandals ignore flimsy barriers. No, I would not think it was the President's fault if an understaffed park were vandalized. And, I can understand respecting rank. But I cannot understand the logic of ordering your troops to close off a memorial (after explicitly denying access to a WWII vet group).

And please stop telling me about the Tea Party. I am not arguing their case. I am merely saying that the shutdown has involved a lot of pettiness. Other privately owned/funded parks have also been targeted.

Oct. 04 2013 11:27 AM

@Jim - The main thrust of Joyce's comments is that the Executive Branch shut down parts of the government to hurt "people who aren't its constituents." That is totally non-sensical. The government shut down was caused by the lapse in funding brought about by the Republicans in Congress. There is no money so people cannot do their jobs. This is hurting everyone.

As for the memorial, a crazy person defaced the Lincoln monument, National Cathedral and Smithsonian a few months ago. Maybe putting up some barricades was a low cost attempt to provide minimal protection.

Oct. 04 2013 11:11 AM

A batch of well-fed, well-cared-for white millionaires who enjoy taxpayer-funded healthcare telling the poor they can't have healthcare.


Oct. 04 2013 11:08 AM
Soldier's Father from Pelham, NY

@ Jim: Um, maybe the barriers were put up to protect the open air monuments from vandalism while most of the Park Service police are on furlough -- like the paint splatter defacing of the Lincoln Memorial a few weeks back? If the monuments and memorials were left open and something happened, you would probably be among the first railing about how the President failed in his responsibilities to protect them.

Also check your facts -- the Park Service already owned the barriers, and they were put up by regular employees before going on furlough, so the only extra expense involved is dealing with the TV and photo ops of preening Tea Party congressmen (none of whom ever served themselves, based on their complete lack of understanding of the military concept of respecting the rank (from green 2nd Lt. all the way up to Commander-in-Chief) whatever you think personally of the person holding it).

Oct. 04 2013 11:03 AM

@Jim -

"How can you possibly explain spending money to place barricades around open-air memorials?"

Easily. The gov't liability against personal injury ends if the injured visitor is shown to have been trespassing by ignoring the closed sign.

The world is not as simple as you like to think.

Oct. 04 2013 11:00 AM


How do you explain spending money to place barricades around open-air memorials?

Oct. 04 2013 10:50 AM
Soldier's Father from Pelham, NY

Civilian employees of the Department of Defense have been told that they are still responsible for payment of their medical/dental/vision insurance premiums, even though they are are not getting paychecks. If the shutdown lasts less than 3 weeks, the accumulated amounts will be deducted from their first post-shutdown paychecks; if the shutdown goes longer, they will be billed directly and have to pay the past-due amounts and ongoing premiums EVEN IF THEY ARE STILL NOT BEING PAID, and irrespective of whether Congress provides retroactive back pay for the shutdown period. Remember, this is on top of at least 6 unpaid furlough days the civilian DoD employees have already been docked for in 2013.
Another tidbit -- West Point has posted a pdf copy of the "NYS Unemployment Insurance Claimant Handbook" on its website for use by civilian employees. See:

Oct. 04 2013 10:49 AM

@Jim, @Joyce

Hundreds of thousands of employees who protect public health and safety, and the environment and natural resources, have been sent home because a small group of Republicans don't like the Affordable Care Act. It is not pettiness. There is no money. Because of the Tea Party Congressional representatives.

Oct. 04 2013 10:47 AM


Your response to Joyce was a non sequitur. She is spot on about the pettiness. How can you possibly explain spending money to place barricades around open-air memorials?

Oct. 04 2013 10:43 AM

@Mark from Brooklyn

Why aren't the Democrats simply saying "You don't negotiate with an extortionist." ?

1) Why demonize your opponent? It makes them even harder to strike a deal.

2) Because you have set the precedent by already making deals in previous fights like this. The GOP strategy of having the administration draw lines and then STEP OVER THEM is intended to make Obama appear weak. [his international reputation is that of a weakling. In this way the GOP acting out has endangered us all.] Lucky for the GOP that Obama is reasonable. If it had been me, I'd have them thrown in jail - or at least restricted to the house floor, their offices, their homes and the commute between - "House Arrest" - if I can make a pun UNTIL they take up and vote on the Senate's CR.

Oct. 04 2013 10:39 AM


Not sure what 'it' is to which you are referring. Maybe this?:

Oct. 04 2013 10:39 AM
Nick from UWS

Do you guys REALLY THINK that MoConnell and Paul were not aware that they were on camera and mike? DO YOU REALLY THINK THAT?

Oct. 04 2013 10:34 AM
Amy from Manhattan

Presumably federal employees who have to work but aren't getting paid will get retroactive pay, because they are doing the work. It's the ones who've been furloughed & aren't allowed to do their jobs who may not be paid after the shutdown ends, depending on what Congress decides.

Oct. 04 2013 10:32 AM

I don't think the GOP has poll-tested the unpopularity of closing the government in order to get their way on what is settled law. This IS NOT following the Rule of Law. This is putting the House in charge. 396 days and we can act to color them gone.

@Joyce from NYC

"Let's get something straight:"

Let's get something really straight, the shutdown caused by insisting on the defunding ACA is unconstitutional. The GOP is holding us all hostage and acting to 'restore' things they 'like'. When was the Constitution amended to give them what amounts to line item veto power?

@Dorothy - Stay engage but take breaks! They are counting on you to tune out! The fight going on here could not be more important to the future of the republic.

Oct. 04 2013 10:32 AM

Why not ask how many government employees are enjoying the extra vacation time.

Oct. 04 2013 10:29 AM
The Truth from Becky

Shutdown Day 4 - just plain asinine!

@Jim, it does not say that, liar.

Oct. 04 2013 10:29 AM
Soldier's Father from Pelham, NY

Clarification for Brian's statement on West Point football -- the Army-Navy game isn't this weekend, it's in December. The major service academies had to get special permission from the Pentagon to play their scheduled football games this weekend (Army-Boston College and Air Force-Navy), as as the default position is that all intercollegiate sporting events are "non-essential" and therefore cancelled during the shutdown.

(We should discuss on another day why great minds, both military and civilian, find intercollegiate football essential (or even academically related), while health care, parks, schools, etc., are not.)

Oct. 04 2013 10:28 AM
Dan K from Park Slope

I love how the Tea Party, started after Rick Santelli's rant about not bailing out irresponsible borrowers and lenders during the recession, because they issued and signed up for bad loans, is the same party prepared to default on our own loans.

Oct. 04 2013 10:26 AM
bkparent from Brooklyn

BTW, the clip that Brian played earlier, of the NJ Congressman talking about how Harry Reid and the President won't "compromise" was repeated almost verbatim this morning on NPR's Morning Edition, without any comment or discussion of the fact that it is the Tea Party Republicans who are trying to impose their minority (in my view, extremist) view, on an unwilling country.

Oct. 04 2013 10:25 AM
jgarbuz from Queens

In the 20th century, most industrialized countries have come to believe that health care and education are public goods, not simply private goods. That education and health care must be supported to one extent or another by public taxation not merely by those who can privately afford them, and leaving out those who cannot.

At one time, you could either afford a doctor, or some tribal shaman came to pray over you which was a lot cheaper, but usually less effective. So life spans were shorter.

The question is, how much do the healthy and wealthy have to be forced to pay for those who are not. How much should be "charity" and given out of caring for others, or how much should be forced by the government to hand over, like it or not.

Naturally, as more people get poorer and older in a bad economy, more people want the wealthier and healthier to pay for their health care.

Oct. 04 2013 10:23 AM

The fact that it is illegal to volunteer your expertise in service to your country may be the most damning judgement of how far our government has fallen away from its core purpose.

Oct. 04 2013 10:21 AM
Bob from Pelham, NY

Yesterday's segment with Rep. Garrett is a prime example of "working the refs" and getting away with it -- the vast majority of the 100+ comments called Brian out for being too easy on him. I didn't agree, but was appalled to hear the Rep's unfiltered and factually wrong statements being re-played all day yesterday as well as this morning on the WNYC local news segments without challenge or rebuttal. Please go back to being journalists, not just microphones for each side's talking points.

Oct. 04 2013 10:20 AM
Nick from UWS

THE ARMY-NAVY FOOTBALL GAME MIGHT BE CANCELLED? HOW WILL WE EVER SURVIVE?? Jesus Christ, when will this country ever grow up.

Oct. 04 2013 10:19 AM

The game is still on.

Oct. 04 2013 10:16 AM
bkparent from Brooklyn

I am a lawyer who works for EPA, supporting the Superfund program in Region 2 (NY, NJ, Caribbean). Much of my work, and that of my colleagues, consists of enforcement. For example, we negotiate work agreements with the companies responsible for the Superfund sites in our region. We also work on cost recovery. Personally, I am in the middle of several enforcement matters that will bring in ten of millions of dollars. We need this money to clean up the hazardous waste sites in our region.

I find it infuriating that our work has been interrupted by a small group of extremists in Congress. I don't know if they don't care, or if they actually don't want government to work.

Oct. 04 2013 10:16 AM

Please stop referring to the Affordable Care Law as ObamaCare.

Oct. 04 2013 10:15 AM
Joyce from NYC

Let's get something straight:

The Administration is not shutting down ANYTHING that is in its interest.


This is disgusting.

Reminds me of Carter boycotting the Moscow Olympics, hurting thousands of young people, but not his Adminstration.

Oct. 04 2013 10:15 AM
Mr. Bad from NYC

Dear god, the Republicans are completely tone deaf and on their way to permanent minority party status. This sort of idiocy is destructive to democracy and that's true even if you're a democrat. When one party has all the power it is invariably a disaster for the people they govern. Anyone who has lived and worked in cook county can attest to the truth of that. BTW - Cook County has a larger population that 1/2 of the US states.

Oct. 04 2013 10:10 AM

So do you guys just not know when you're getting played? Rand Paul basically just restated Republican talking points, but it seems "secret" because he "didn't realize" he was being recorded. He even makes a point to say that they're saying privately what they've been saying publicly to make them look like they're being open and honest.

Oct. 04 2013 10:09 AM

Meanwhile, over at the NY Obamacare website...


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Oct. 04 2013 10:09 AM
Dorothy from Manhattan

So long, Brian. If I were staying home I'd listen to WQXR but I'm going out and I'm going without my MP3. I simply can't listen to the shutdown any longer and I can't listen to the Republicans any longer. For now and until the news changes I'm listening only to good music.

Oct. 04 2013 10:09 AM
John A

We desperately need a please explain on this: "Americans have said they don't like Obamacare (in the polls)".
Break it down - how large are those polls and what was the margin?

Oct. 04 2013 10:08 AM
Mark from Brooklyn

Why aren't the Democrats simply saying "You don't negotiate with an extortionist." ?

Oct. 04 2013 10:07 AM

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