Happy Thanksgiving Deadline!
A fresh look at Beren and Luthien

Shutdown for the holidays

I'm not following the news closely, but apparently the federal government is in "shutdown mode."  It's hard to tell because this is an extended holiday weekend.  The president was kind enough to give us Monday off, Tuesday is Christmas so I don't think anyone will notice until Wednesday morning.

All in all, it's as good a time for a political pie fight as any, and it helps illustrate the fact that our government is a lot more complex and sprawling than people realize.

The postal service seems unaffected, and that's the part most people deal with.  Same with the entitlement programs, which are on a financial autopilot.

It's interesting that the state of Michigan (where I used to work) doesn't have this ability to shut odd parts down while leaving the rest intact.  This is because that state's constitution requires it to operate on an annual cycle, so if that gets messed up, everything grinds to a halt. 

Back in before the present constitution was adopted (in 1963), there were payless paydays for state employees because the budget was botched (and revenues fell short).  Again, other than a hiccup a few years back (which was exaggerated for political effect), our term-limited amateurs in Lansing seem to be able to handle the annual appropriation thing much better than the long-serving "professionals" in Washington.

Maybe there's a lesson there.

At any rate, I hope everyone can take a break from current events and simply enjoy the season.  The kids are old enough that the old excitement is gone and we mostly relish time away from work and school, making cookies and catching up with old friends.

Merry Christmas!



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