Budget Deal Closed World’s Truly Greatest Show on Earth and Ended T-Shirt Sales

Posted on April 9, 2011

What’s a circus without clowns?  The world had plenty of them poking fun at our non-working democracy.  The Brits of course had the most fun with it.  Here are a few excerpts from an article in the Guardian:

Government shutdown 2011: Friday 8 April

US federal government shutdown averted as Obama and John Boehner agree over budget and Planned Parenthood funding

guardian.co.uk, Friday 8 April 2011

    Capitol building Washington DC 

    12.30am: The House has now passed the stop-gap funding measure by 348 to 70, and now it will be rushed to the White House for Obama to sign into law. Phew.

    Michele Bachmann was one of the 28 Republicans who voted against the bill, telling Fox News that “the time to fight was now” – which doesn’t agree with her earlier statement about tonight not being the right fight. Oh well, Michele Bachmann didn’t get where she is today by worrying about such matters.

    So that’s it: thanks for reading and goodnight from Washington.

    12.12am: My colleague Ewen MacAskill files his news piece for the Guardian:

    The Republicans forced the Democrats to agree to $39bn (£23bn) in spending cuts in this year’s budget to September, $6bn more than the Democrats were prepared to accept earlier this week. In return, the Republicans dropped a demand to cut funding for Planned Parenthood, an organisation providing health care for women. Republicans objected to the organisation’s links to abortion.

    12.01am: No, the House didn’t manage to beat midnight, but it doesn’t matter at this point. If you are federal employee, stop using your Blackberry.

    Here’s the full text of Obama’s remarks.

    11.54pm: The House is just about to vote, and then we’ll be done for tonight. I’m turning the deadline countdown clock off.

    11.40pm: John Boehner has 20 minutes to get the bridging bill through the House if he wants to beat the midnight hour – although because the bill is in process it doesn’t really matter exactly.

    11.21pm: The Senate has passed its half of the deal, the short-term spending bill in order to keep the government open. Just waiting on the House of Representatives.

    I hear that Rand Paul was the only vote against the final passage.

    11.04pm: Obama is now speaking, and mentions the Washington Monument that can be seen through the window behind him:

    Tomorrow I’m pleased to announce that the Washington Monument, and the entire federal government, will be open for business tomorrow.

    “We protected the investments we need to win the future,” says Obama, and mentions defending womens health – Planned Parenthood, confirmation that the Republican attempt to defund the organisation.

    He’s careful to make mention of coming together and finding common ground: “I want to thank Speaker Boehner and Senator Reid for their leadership,” and mentions the deal as the largest annual spending cut in American history.

    Then he mentions a letter he received from a mother in Colorado whose son’s class was about to visit Washington, just at the point that the federal government would have been closed if this agreement hadn’t been reached:

    A few days ago, I received a letter from a mother in Longmont, Colorado. Over the year, her son’s eighth-grade class saved up money and worked on projects so that next week they could take a class trip to Washington DC. They even have an appointment to lay a wreath on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

    The mother wrote that for the last few days the kids in her son’s class had been worried and upset that they might have to cancel their trip because of a shutdown. She asked those of us in Washington to get past our petty grievances and make things right. And she said, “Remember, the future of this country is not for us. It’s for our children.”

    Today we acted on behalf of our children’s future. And next week, when 50 eighth graders from Colorado arrive in our nation’s capital, I hope they get a chance to look up at the Washington Monument and feel the sense of pride and possibility that defines America — a land of many that has always found a way to move forward as one.

    That’s it: only five minutes long, stressing compromise.

    10.40pm: So what’s next? Aside from the fact that we haven’t seen the deal yet. Looking further ahead to April or May, there’s the issue of the debt ceiling, which dictates how much the US government can legally borrow.On CNN, Republican senator Kay Bailey Hutchison of Texas tells Anderson Cooper: “The debt ceiling is going to be Armageddon.” So there’s that to look forward to.

    (Here’s an explanation of the debt ceiling and why it matters.)

    ABC’s Jake Tapper says on Twitter that “Both sides reviewing language right now … nerd/staff level, at this point”.

    Boehner is selling us out tonight. We will primary Boehner next year. #tcot #teaparty #GOP #TPN #TPP #SGPless than a minute ago via TweetDeck Favorite Retweet ReplyJudson Phillips

    .12pm: Gawker’s Jim Newell has a different angle on what’s behind the whole government shutdown:

    This government budget crisis has produced at least one very welcome offshoot for Barack Obama: It gives him an excuse to cancel a family vacation to lame Colonial Williamsburg. Maybe that’s been the goal all along?

    8pm: Four hours to go until the shutocalypse begins.

    Latest news: there may or may not be deal, according to sources.

    GOP: don’t retreat! The country is going broke. We can’t AFFORD cowboy poetry & subsidizing abortion.less than a minute ago via web.

    7.44pm: At last: Sarah Palin has broken her silence of several minutes, via Twitter.

    America can’t afford cowboy poetry? And of course “subsidising abortion” with federal funds is already illegal. Oh and the country isn’t going broke. Other than that, spot on.

    Republican leader John Boehner John Boehner, Speaker of the House of Representatives, on the phone with President Obama this evening

    6.41pm: A protest at the DC residence of Republican leader John Boehner is planned tomorrow by Washington residents, disturbed at the shutdown of their local government services such as garbage collection in the event of a federal government shutdown.

    The Facebook page “If Boehner shuts down the government I am taking my trash to his house” has nearly 8,000 people saying they will attend. According to the page:


    – We’ll meet at Capitol South Metro tomorrow at 9:30 and lead a walk toward the Speaker’s house.

    – Despite the title of the rally, bringing trash is NOT REQUIRED. Bring yourself and, if you can, make a sign. Don’t bring lots of dirty, gross trash. Come in a costume if you’d like!

    6.11pm: A Fox News reporter explains that a government shutdown would affect government functions “whether it be national parks or FBI child porn investigations”.

    6.05pm: Here is a round-up of all the latest rumours. There are four main theories currently circulating:

    • There is a deal.

    • There isn’t a deal.

    • There might be a deal.

    • There won’t be a deal.

    6pm: Six hours to go. There are various rumours of a deal, none of them credible, but let’s see.

    My guess is that the Republicans will back down on the Planned Parenthood defunding in exchange for a few billion more cuts. But who knows.

    5.50pm: This being America, someone has already spotted a business opportunity and started selling t-shirts on the back of a government shutdown:

    Are you officially an “essential” government employee? Well, now you can buy a t-shirt advertising it to the world and rub it in to your “nonessential” colleagues!

    The shirts, which come in 12 different colors, and are priced to sell at $17, are tagged with the slogan: “Officially Essential 2011.”

    Get ’em while you still got disposable income. Or before negotiators strike a deal and render the tees moot.

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