You’ve probably been keeping up with news during this government shutdown (or government slowdown, as Herman Cain calls it, since even some three quarters of the federal government continues running uninterrupted) on television or talk radio or National Review Online or Hot Air or your news media of choice.
But just in case and for your convenience, here is some of what has been happening, with links to sources (or links to places with links to sources):
- Andrew McCarthy, Mark Steyn, and Angelo Codevilla have argued that spending is properly primarily the purview of the House of Representatives, not the Senate.
- House Republicans have passed several bills (as Ted Cruz advocated) to resume funding one part of the government at a time, such as the NIH and WIC. With the first one (to fund the military), the Senate passed it and the president signed it; with all subsequent ones, Democrats have colorfully refused.
Video: “Republicans Try to Fund Experimental Treatments for Children Dying of Cancer, Democrats Refuse”
- By the way, “At this point in Ronald Reagan’s second term, for example, the government had already shut down six times . . . .”
“Government Shutdowns: As American as Apple Pie?”
- The federal government tried to make the shutdown as painful as possible:
- The federal government tried to “close” open-air parks, such as the World War II Memorial, which some World War II veterans had traveled hundreds of miles to see.
“Visiting veterans storm closed war memorials”
- The federal government not only closed Mount Rushmore but also tried to close off any view of it, by taking the extraordinary step of lining highways with cones to prevent people from pulling over by the side of the road.
“Rushmore blockage stirs anger in S.D.: Barring visitors from view an unexpected effect of shutdown”
- “‘Gestapo’ tactics meet senior citizens at Yellowstone”
—Mark Steyn notes, “this passage is worth quoting in full:”
The bus stopped along a road when a large herd of bison passed nearby, and seniors filed out to take photos. Almost immediately, an armed ranger came by and ordered them to get back in, saying they couldn’t “recreate.” The tour guide, who had paid a $300 fee the day before to bring the group into the park, argued that the seniors weren’t “recreating,” just taking photos.
“She responded and said, ‘Sir, you are recreating,’ and her tone became very aggressive,” Vaillancourt said.
The seniors quickly filed back onboard and the bus went to the Old Faithful Inn, the park’s premier lodge located adjacent to the park’s most famous site, Old Faithful geyser. That was as close as they could get to the famous site — barricades were erected around Old Faithful, and the seniors were locked inside the hotel, where armed rangers stayed at the door.
- Mark Steyn reflects further.
These Australians, Europeans, and Asians paid huge amounts of money to fly thousands of miles to see America’s natural wonders. What do you think they’ll be telling their friends back home about “the land of the free”?
- The editors of National Review discuss other examples (including when the government evicted an elderly couple, which it had no right to do), and have some strong words for the Obama administration.
Consider the case of Ralph and Joyce Spencer, 77 and 80 years of age, respectively, who were evicted from their home on Lake Mead in Nevada by an officious park ranger who told them they had 24 hours to vacate the premises. The Spencers own their home outright, but it sits on land leased from the federal government. A lease is a legal contract, and the government shutdown presents no legitimate reason for the violation of that contract. Even if it did, the place to settle such a dispute is in a court of law — not through the arbitrary exercise of federal police power. This is not a blunder: It is the malicious harassment of private citizens in their own homes by an administration intent on creating hardships and then using them for propaganda purposes.
- According to the Washington Times, a park ranger has revealed, “We’ve been told to make life as difficult for people as we can. It’s disgusting.”
“Park Rangers Ordered to ‘Make Life Difficult’ During Shutdown”
- It almost looks as if Senator Sherrod Brown were trying to avoid hearing from his constituents about what they think of these Democrat abuses of power.
“Democrat Senator’s Office Closed, Republican Office Still Open to Feedback?”