The time has come for all good men to get together with one another

Apologies if there’s already been threads about this that I missed, but…what can we do to help furloughed federal workers? Let me know in the comments and I’ll frontpage the best suggestions. Are any of you furloughed federal workers? What can we do to help you?






152 replies
  1. 1
    chopper says:

    i’m a fed, but i’m not furloughed yet. likely by next week tho.

    trump just signed a bill guaranteeing us back pay if we’re furloughed which is nice, but knowing him he’ll use a loophole to pay us in hamberders.

  2. 2
    chopper says:

    personally i think it would be better to focus advice and help on gubbermint contractors who will not be getting back pay and are really getting the royal screwjob here.

  3. 3
    The Dangerman says:

    …pay us in hamberders…

    I read someplace (maybe here) that Trump probably uses a speech to text thing on his phone; that explains this typo and many others (“counci” instead of “counsel”).

    Doesn’t really explain covfefe, however. I’m on first covfefe, so that could explain things.

  4. 4
    O. Felix Culpa says:

    People like janitors, cafeteria and office workers, yes. Not the NYC FBI folk. Call me a bad person.

  5. 5
    David Hunt says:

    Well, there’s the obvious tactic of calling the offices of Senators (especially GOP Senators) and tellig them that the government needs to be put back to a running state. I don’t know how much effect that would have, though. My shallow perusal of news is the McConnell isn’t even allowing bills to restart the government come up for a vote.

  6. 6
    Yutsano says:

    I’m a furloughed fed, and what I could use right now is someone to help me navigate the complexities of unemployment. Others have been getting money already and I haven’t gotten it yet. But it also looks like once this works out I get back paid for a couple of the weeks that were messed up. Ugh. Can I just get back to work now please?

  7. 7
    Tom Hamill says:

    I’m a furloughed Fed, but mid-career with an employed wife and a nest egg. We will survive. I would like all folks, especially those with R senators, to write and express their desire to see this resolved by passing a budget first and dealing with immigration second. I also would like our politicians to make sure this never happens again, such as (Vox suggested) with legislation that if a budget is not passed, the government continues to be funded by CR.

    Tom

  8. 8
    chopper says:

    i have an interesting question – let’s say this furlough goes on for some time and i decide fuck it, i’m quitting. i would have to b/c as long as i’m furloughed i can’t work another job in the same area, i’d have to quit first before taking another job.

    how the hell do you quit when you can’t use your email and your boss and all the HR people can’t either and are sitting on their couches doing nothing? nobody would receive your notice and who would process it?

  9. 9
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @chopper: that sounds to me like it falls in the category of “not your problem”. Send by regular mail if you need to so you can have a record of your resignation date.

  10. 10
    psycholinguist says:

    My local paper in a deep red area had an article about local effects of the shutdown today – in this case hundreds of fed guaranteed home loans in this Appalachian county are not getting processed because the FHA can’t sign off. They included interviews with a few local people who had already paid a thousand or so for inspections and the like who were about to lose that money, and the homeowners who were about to lose a sale. They also had a piece on our local food bank and the increase they’ve seen in need since the shutdown. These kinds of local impact stories I think can be effective

  11. 11
    Ella in New Mexico says:

    what can we do to help furloughed federal workers?

    Truthfully, the best solution requires the indictment of half of an entire chamber of Congress, several Executive branch appointees and the President and Vice President of the United States.

    And a statute that legally outlaws any further “government shutdowns and non-payment of Federal workers”, regardless of whether Congress can get the President to sign a budget.

    But that ain’t gonna happen anytime soon, so…

    All I can say is that my family was here in this same place several times over the past few years and it fucking sucks. Over the decades we have taken In-service hardship withdrawals from my husband’s TSP, racked up credit card and student loan debt and generally set ourselves back many years financially.

    During the Obama era, we had at least one or two shutdowns, and then a partial furlough during the “sequester” in which we were forced to drop two days of pay every pay period for 5-6 months one year at the same time my hospital census was so low I could only pick up an average of two days a week. We ended up owing taxes to the tune of $5000 because of early withdrawals, reducing withholding, etc. plus racked up debt.

    Someone quoted an anonymous WH advisor the other day saying they hope “many of these workers just quit. We don’t want them or need them, and its a good way to shrink government”. I’m not saying that’s the widespread secret agenda of this shutdown, but it sure is convenient that the Grover Norquist acolytes like Mulvaney are getting their rocks off fucking over Federal Employees.

    So, back to my first suggestion….

  12. 12
    The Midnight Lurker says:

    Help furloughed federal workers, you say? Hmmmm. Well, I have one suggestion:

    IMPEACH THE MOFO!

  13. 13
    khead says:

    I’m good. This week. But I’m also pretty sure the USPTO will shut down at the end of the month. This is the first time in 20 years the office set up a “furlough guidance” website. I’d ask for help with cat food before I’d ask for anything for me.

    Please contact your Congresscritter.

  14. 14
    eric says:

    @Steve in the ATL: not legal advice….i would not bet on the letter getting there either. Were i to do it, I would use my phone, video the letter so it can be read, place it in the addressed and stamped envelope and video it going into a US postal box. that is belts, suspenders, and an extra pair of hands, but if your date of quitting ever becomes an issue, the “mailbox rule” should have you covered. Not legal advice.

  15. 15
    Kay says:

    @psycholinguist:

    My local paper in a deep red area had an article about local effects of the shutdown today – in this case hundreds of fed guaranteed home loans in this Appalachian county are not getting processed because the FHA can’t sign off.

    Some ambitious political-typa person could make an argument that the Trump Administration are “out of touch” for minimizing the difficulties caused by this. Because they are. They’re insulated, coddled people who don’t have to do any of the boring, exhausting hoop-jumping that normal people have to do to complete a transaction. These prospective buyers and sellers can’t just deliver stacks of cash in a bag, like the Trump Administration hires do for their shady deals- we have to follow applicable laws, rules and regulation.

    It’s very elitist, this hissy fit Trump is pitching. He can afford it. We can’t.

  16. 16
    germy says:

    Here's Donald Trump desperately trying to get Vlad's attention at the G20 dinner. pic.twitter.com/5sIKuJvtu8— Jennifer Hayden (@Scout_Finch) July 19, 2017

  17. 17
    Mai Naem mobile says:

    I ad MSNBC on on the background yesterday and they had a furloughed EPA scientist on. Initially she made plenty of good points. Her husband who I gather worked in the private sector was trying to get as much extra work as he could. She has two autistic kids one more severe than the other who needs therapy with high copays which they’re not doing and they’re holding off any discretionary spending etc. Then she started talking about debtors who were working with them and ones who weren’t. One of the ones who wasn’t was BMW. Then she went off on a rant against Mitch McConnell. I wonder how many people turned out after she mentioned BMW. I even reminded back the segment because I wasn’t sure if I had heard BMW correctly. I don’t think she did much to help the cause however much I agree with the points she was making.

  18. 18
    a thousand flouncing lurkers (was fidelio) says:

    Some are starting Go Fund Me pages;
    here’s an example of one.

  19. 19
    MazeDancer says:

    Have posted a “what can we do?” comment for a couple weeks. But people have been stumped for ideas.

    But think the best idea – besides contacting Reps and scream “open the Gov” – is direct people to their local banks. Many of them are offering no interest loans. If your bank isn’t, highly rec you change to a local bank. Because ones in TN, NM, and NY are.

    OTOH, would really like a Balloon Juice Fed Employees Support Fund. Even if it “just” goes to cover some Chewy.com gift certificates. People deserve some good.

  20. 20
    --bd says:

    @eric: @Steve in the ATL: CPA here. Use certified mail, return receipt requested. We do this for any paper filed returns with significant checks enclosed. You have a record of the mailing date and it also has the bonus of providing a tracking number for you to print delivery info just in case the return receipt post card does not make it back.

  21. 21
    trollhattan says:

    Their explanation for every bad thing happening WRT the furloughs is “it’s the Democrats’ fault–especially that monster from San Francisco.” Anybody predisposed to believe their tale will gladly take this turducken and run with it.

    Folks on the fringes seem less inclined to buy it, perhaps explaining his downward poll drift.

  22. 22
    Doug R says:

    Well, my mom died in October 2017. Collecting their mail, they had about 10-15 charities they were giving $50-100 a year.
    So this year instead of my usual $100, I gave $200 to our local food bank. I originally started donating when as a courier my route included an area with a lot of beggars. Knowing that most of the money given goes to feeding their addictions, I figured giving $100 was equivalent to paying someone 25 cents a day.
    I can deduct most of it on my taxes and if someone is truly hungry they can go to the local food bank. Money works better for food banks as they have great buying connections apparently, the local radio station was saying it’s something like 4 to 1.

  23. 23
    ET says:

    @Tom Hamill: which is they way it used to be before before Carter’s AG Civiletti.

  24. 24
    Adam L Silverman says:

    Someone could find me a job that doesn’t rely on the Federal government. Anyone need a low intensity warfare (everything below interstate war: revolution, rebellion, insurgency, guerrilla warfare, and/or terrorism) subject matter expert specializing in irregular, asymmetric, unconventional, information, and psychological warfare, civil affairs, human intelligence – specifically what the British call cultural intelligence, and leveraging cultural intelligence for the development of strategy and policy? And leveraging cultural intelligence for emergency management and disaster response?

  25. 25

    @eric:
    Or you could just pay a few bucks extra and use registered mail.

  26. 26
    a thousand flouncing lurkers (was fidelio) says:

    And from Twitter, a tweet with a link to the Go Fund Me site, an entire section of Federal workers asking for help.
    Whether you can donate or not, do express yourself plainly to your elected representatives.

  27. 27
    khead says:

    @Kay:

    Trump thought he could contain the damage to people shitting in parks. At the risk of sounding naive, I am counting on big business to go bonkers if/when the PTO shuts down. And I still think this ends in a day if the TSA folks totally walk away.

  28. 28
    The Midnight Lurker says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    Anyone need a low intensity warfare (everything below interstate war: revolution, rebellion, insurgency, guerrilla warfare, and/or terrorism)

    Yes, Dr. Silverman. As a matter of fact, I DO have a job for us!

  29. 29
    Doug R says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    Anyone need a low intensity warfare (everything below interstate war: revolution, rebellion, insurgency, guerrilla warfare, and/or terrorism) subject matter expert specializing in irregular, asymmetric, unconventional, information, and psychological warfare, civil affairs, human intelligence – specifically what the British call cultural intelligence, and leveraging cultural intelligence for the development of strategy and policy? And leveraging cultural intelligence for emergency management and disaster response?

    Well, we’re having a federal election in Canada later this year.

  30. 30
    khead says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    Coal company CEO. WV or KY.

  31. 31
    Kent says:

    Former Fed here. I lived through Newt’s shutdown in 1995. Frankly most middle class Feds will probably survive OK as a lot of banks and credit unions are now doing essentially interest-free payday loans. At least that was the report on NPR this morning. The contractors and other businesss that rely on Fed workers are going to get screwed the worst. If you have a big Federal building or office of some sort nearby, stop in and give some love to whatever local cafe or business is across the street.

    I am pessimistic that we will ever reach a timely conclusion to this until we have some sort of major disaster like a plane crash or disease outbreak that can be linked to this.

  32. 32
    chopper says:

    @Steve in the ATL:

    regular mail would be returned. guess that would suffice as to proof after the fact, tho
    not sure new place would hire me if they were unsure as to actually having separated.

  33. 33
    chopper says:

    @khead:

    i’m PTO also. 20 years under the belt but i’m really starting to get sick of this shit.

  34. 34
    RAVEN says:

    Everyone saw the news piece that explained how African Americans are overrepresented in the Federal workforce?

  35. 35
    HRA says:

    @Yutsano:

    You have to inquire why your check is late at the office where you made your claim either in person or by phone. They have the means to track it to you state labor dept. where the checks are made and sent.

  36. 36
    Ohio Mom says:

    @David Hunt: I’ve done that for the past couple of days, pestered Rob Portman’s interns. Does it accomplish anything, probably not unless lots of other people are doing the same.

    On an unrelated, off-topic note, saw today that Mean Jean Schmidt is coming back. Thankfully her sights are not DC, she’s planning on running for the Ohio Statehouse, replacing another miserable
    Rethuglican who is reaching his term limit. Not my district so I will not have to bear being represented by her again.

  37. 37
    Elizabelle says:

    @RAVEN: No. What was the source? Or a link would be great.

    Is true, I think.

  38. 38
    The Very Reverend Crimson Fire of Compassion says:

    @RAVEN: Link, please?

  39. 39
    rikyrah says:

    @RAVEN:

    Everyone saw the news piece that explained how African Americans are overrepresented in the Federal workforce?

    Knew that already.

  40. 40
    The Dangerman says:

    @khead:

    At the risk of sounding naive, I am counting on big business to go bonkers if/when the PTO shuts down.

    I haven’t been following things THAT closely, but hasn’t Trump, each time an “oh shit” task pops up, just declares the workers essential and have them work without pay?

    And I still think this ends in a day if the TSA folks totally walk away.

    Partial agreement; if the TSA walks, there will be a band-aid of some form applied, but it will take a disaster to open things up. Someone breaks in an 8 hour line at TSA and goes postal or something (not advocating here, just spitballing).

    And I’m still saying Trump doesn’t go the Disaster Declaration route. If he could have, he would have already. He can’t, presumably because that either fucks the Senate or the Courts fuck him. Or both.

  41. 41
  42. 42
    Elizabelle says:

    @RAVEN: Thanks Raven. That makes complete sense to me.

    And we cannot let Trump and his maladministration set the precedent of just calling back the feds that are convenient for them. Don’t allow it.

    I wonder how Congresscritters and Senators, who fly way more often than we do, feel about “nonessential” FAA inspectors?

  43. 43
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @The Midnight Lurker: All lines are open. All operators are standing by.

  44. 44
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Doug R: I’ve had the privilege of working with two different Canadian general officers and being one of the primary faculty for a third. It would be an honor and a privilege to come work for and with our allies to the north.

  45. 45
    Martin says:

    @RAVEN: State and federal governments are much better at the non-discriminatory hiring practices compared to the private sector. We actually take that shit seriously.

  46. 46
    Punchy says:

    Become strippers. Because a world with more boobies is objectively a much better world.

  47. 47
  48. 48
    🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)  🗳🌷 says:

    @Ohio Mom:

    I’m not sure what would be more effective: harassing Mitch McConnell via his office or various R senators who would then pressure him.

  49. 49
    MazeDancer says:

    @khead:

    I’d ask for help with cat food before I’d ask for anything for me.

    Say the word. At least set up a PayPal account or Amazon Wish List. Let people send you cat food and litter.

    This goes for every Fed Worker out there. And if you are hesitant, don’t be. One, you deserve some grace in your life right now, so let us be able to deliver some. And, two, when your checks start flowing again, you can pay some of it forward to your local shelter if you like.

    Called Chewy.com, they don’t have gift certificates after all. Alas.

  50. 50

    @trollhattan:
    The underlying problem for the Republicans is that their voters aren’t of one mind on the shutdown. There are some extremists who side with Trump’s view that there shouldn’t be any non-essential employees in the first place, so the shutdown amounts to a lockout of people they’d love to fire anyway. Then there are people who are OK with the idea of a shutdown to get leverage, but many of those people are upset they’re being personally inconvenienced. Finally, there are some relative moderates who don’t like the shutdown at all, or who think the wall is stupid and a lousy reason for shutting down the government.

    No matter what you do, you can’t please all those people simultaneously. The people who don’t like the shutdown may be willing to buy an attempt to shift the blame to the Democrats, but that’s going to piss off the people who want the shutdown and think the Republicans should proudly own it. And vice versa; proudly owning the shutdown will please the hard liners, but it will alienate the shutdown opponents. Either approach will tend to bleed support, and trying to somehow split the difference is more likely to leave nobody satisfied than to please everyone.

  51. 51
    Martin says:

    Honestly, I think the federal workers deserve enormous respect for not congregating at the White House and tearing down the fence that surrounds it, simply to illustrate the point. I don’t want them to storm the building, or do any other harm, but I think we need a reminder of how fixed fortifications are a monument to the stupidity of man. The Berlin Wall didn’t prevent anyone from emigrating, it just slowed them down long enough to get shot by the east germans. Once the east germans stopped shooting, the west germans tore the wall down with simple hammers.

  52. 52
    Doug R says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    I’ve had the privilege of working with two different Canadian general officers and being one of the primary faculty for a third. It would be an honor and a privilege to come work for and with our allies to the north.

    Ooh! You sound like a Justin Trudeau speechwriter! You know weed is legal in EVERY province now-what’s holding you up, eh?

  53. 53
    WaterGirl says:

    @MazeDancer:

    Say the word. At least set up a PayPal account or Amazon Wish List. Let people send you cat food and litter.

    This goes for every Fed Worker out there. And if you are hesitant, don’t be. One, you deserve some grace in your life right now, so let us be able to deliver some. And, two, when your checks start flowing again, you can pay some of it forward to your local shelter if you like.

    I second this! for everyone who is impacted by the shutdown.

    Though I would extend it to dog related items, as well. :-) At Balloon Juice, we do not discriminate!

  54. 54
    AThornton says:

    @chopper:

    There’s no reason to quit until you have found another job.

  55. 55
    Martin says:

    @Roger Moore:

    The underlying problem for the Republicans is that their voters aren’t of one mind on the shutdown. There are some extremists who side with Trump’s view that there shouldn’t be any non-essential employees in the first place, so the shutdown amounts to a lockout of people they’d love to fire anyway.

    Let’s be honest here – the only voters that matter are Coulter, Hannity, Limbaugh, Fox and Friends, and maybe a few others. The entire state of Alabama and West Virginia could rise up against him and he wouldn’t care. We’re being ruled by a posse of overpaid media idiots with no accountability to anyone other than catheter advertisers.

  56. 56
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Doug R: I can’t move to Canada without a job. The few contacts I have in Canada have not had much luck given that Canadian hiring practices privilege hiring Canadians for a position before anyone else. If you’re up there, think you know someone who could put my knowledge, skills, abilities, and expertise to good use, shoot me an email, I’ll send a CV, and you can push it across.

    I also have extensive experience with training and educating military personnel, civil servants working in national security, contractors working in national security, and law enforcement.

  57. 57
    chopper says:

    @khead:

    two weeks back the director send out an email saying we had “a few additional weeks” of funding, but i have no idea if that’s supposed to mean as little as two?

    normally i’d think if we’re done as of tomorrow we’d hear something, but this new director is pretty terrible with communication. DC area offices were shut down monday due to snow and we got an email telling us about it the next day.

    he sure does love putting a nice ol’ picture of himself in every mass email tho.

  58. 58
    chopper says:

    @AThornton:

    thanks for the advice, i hadn’t thought of that.

  59. 59
  60. 60
    Ruckus says:

    @The Dangerman:
    On 9/11 I was flying in the eastern US when the WTC was hit. When we landed at ATL there were National Guard guys with M16s walking around in pairs, making sure everyone was out of the terminal ASAP. I forsee something like that, legal or not.

  61. 61
    MazeDancer says:

    @WaterGirl:

    Though I would extend it to dog related items, as well. :-) At Balloon Juice, we do not discriminate!

    Absolutely! Any pet. Ferret Chow. Fish nibbles. Any critter.

    Also, add whatever you want to your Wish List. Books. Chocolate. Let us lift your spirits.

  62. 62
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Doug R: That’s nice. It doesn’t tell me that they 1) have any openings and 2) will actually hire an American even if they’re authorized to do so. Also, this list is almost entirely convenience stores, fast food restaurants, regular restaurants, and hotels.

  63. 63
    Face says:

    @Adam L Silverman: That CV doesn’t sound nice enough to be hired in Canada. I mean, you seem like a nice guy and all, but I’m not sure you’re Canadian Nice.

  64. 64
    trollhattan says:

    @Adam L Silverman:
    A couple of large engineering firms come to mind. Have you ever herded a thousand libertarians?

  65. 65
    greengoblin says:

    I am a furloughed contractor. I am good as I am in the upper income bracket and my company is giving me other work. However, I don’t know how long they can afford to keep that up.

    I hope Congress includes backpay for contractors as many are hurting and I would like to see my company paid. That is something people can do: call reps and tell them to backpay contractors. I saw some Senators are working on this.

  66. 66
    Starfish says:

    I am not a federal worker, but I am involved in a program where we are learning about local non-profits and local government and how the government shutdown is going to affect people.

    Some of the entities that deal with issues of poverty get federal grants, and they may hurt when that grant money does not come in as they see increased demand. Some people have suggested donating to The Capital Area Food Bank. I would also suggest donating to the Maryland Food Bank. There are a lot of federal employees in that area. I am not sure if people are going to start getting evicted for not having their Section-8 vouchers, but donating to organizations especially in MD and DC that deal with homelessness issues would be good. (I am sorry that I do not know what those organizations are.) People are worried about TANF/SNAP benefits. Donate to entities that pay utility bills for people in some cold states.

    There are people donating to reservations that are not going to get the federal dollars that they were counting on. There are numerous Democratic Party headquarters taking donations for Pine Ridge Reservation here in Colorado.

  67. 67
    trollhattan says:

    @Ruckus:
    My first post-9/11 flight was October and the place was swarming with cammo-clad ANGs toting M-16s. Man, was that place jittery.

    Know two folks who were in the air–one ended in Las Vegas and the other in Alaska. She was headed to Bali so not packed very well for the unexpected week’s stay.

  68. 68
    Doug R says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Looks like the deadline is Jan 20: https://www.liberal.ca/jobs-emplois/
    Looks like the social democratic NDP is still building their website: https://www.ndp.ca/jobs

  69. 69
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @trollhattan: Yes, but it requires a flame thrower at least. Possibly a ballista.

  70. 70
    Kayla Rudbek says:

    @chopper: the current rumor is that we are funded through February 8. And normally I would be agreeing with khead that Big Pharma, Big Tech, Big Ag, and Big Oil will all start to scream if they can’t get their patents and trademarks issued, but with the current administration I don’t think that any of them have the brains to listen.

  71. 71
    The Dangerman says:

    @Ruckus:

    …there were National Guard guys with M16s…

    A long time ago (mid 90’s, pre-transfer), I flew into Hong Kong (the old airport with the dangerous approach; kinda fun, in a give me another drink kinda way) and disembarked to police (soldiers?) walking around with automatic weapons.

    Maybe this is normal in international travel (I’ve done very little outside of Canada); it was shocking. Seeing it in ATL would have sent me to the nearest off terminal bar.

  72. 72
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Doug R: Every single company on that website are chain restaurants, fast food restaurants, convenience stores, gas stations, car washes, dry cleaners, things like that. I couldn’t get hired in the US to work at those places with my educational background and work history. No one is going to hire me to do minimum wage work, even if I’m willing to do it, here. Why would anyone be willing to have me move to Canada to do so?

  73. 73
    AThornton says:

    @chopper:

    Ran a headhunting business for 15 years before moving back into computers. No idea what’s happening these days.

  74. 74
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @The Dangerman: A lot of airports in other countries are patrolled by law enforcement armed with machine pistols. I’ve seen this in a number of airports in Europe.

  75. 75
    Ladyraxterinok says:

    @Mai Naem mobile: BMW the car company? Confused

  76. 76
    tobie says:

    @khead: I don’t know if you saw the news about MD-1’s horrid Congresscritter but Andy Harris was in the news yesterday. He met with Charles Johnson to discuss Johnson’s genetic sequencing business (aka let-me-prove-caucasian-genes-are-the-best) and, when asked why he was meeting with a white supremacist claimed he had no idea about Johnson’s track record on denying the Holocaust. Harris is just so awful–words fail. Anyhow I’ll call his office to let him know how much the shutdown he’s supporting is hurting his district.

  77. 77
    catclub says:

    @Yutsano:

    But it also looks like once this works out I get back paid for a couple of the weeks that were messed up.

    and then you probably have to PAY BACK any unemployment payments you got. Going back to work is much simpler – ….but not available at the moment.

  78. 78
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Ladyraxterinok: The most likely have a loan to finance their car.

  79. 79
    🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)  🗳🌷 says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    No one is going to hire me to do minimum wage work, even if I’m willing to do it, here.

    Why not, out of curiosity? Trust me, work at a grocery store as a cashier. They’re almost always hiring because they have a high turnover rate, especially around the holidays.

  80. 80
    The Dangerman says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    I’ve seen this in a number of airports in Europe.

    Odd thing was I didn’t see a lot at my ultimate destination (Chongqing; an interesting city that I would go back to in a heartbeat if it wasn’t for the post trip case of the uncontrollable trots) where I don’t recall any obvious security at the airport. Well, other than my interpreter, who I later assumed was keeping an eye on me.

  81. 81
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @catclub: It is also important to remember that in some states furloughed workers can’t even file for unemployment. Either because they are still technically employed or because the rules require providing evidence, by providing names and phone #s of the people you’ve applied for jobs with each week, as part of the qualifying requirements to receive unemployment. Given that the jobs that a large portion of furloughed Federal workers and/or contractors would apply for are not done via phone, but by online applications, and there are no names or contact phone #s to provide for verification of application, this locks people out of qualifying for and receiving the social insurance benefits they’ve been paying into throughout their working lives.

  82. 82
    ljdramone says:

    @Martin: Ah, but did any Fascists ever invade East Berlin across the antifaschisticher Schutzwall*? No? Walls work! Q.E.D.

    * Anti-Fascist Protection Wall, the East German name for the late unlamented Berliner Mauer.

  83. 83
    Mai Naem mobile says:

    @Adam L Silverman: I don’t think you would have a problem with immigrating to Canada. I don’t know what kind of job but I have several extended family members who immigrated to Canada fairly recently with a lot fewer qualifications than you.

  84. 84
    catclub says:

    @greengoblin: I am still flabbergasted that contracts can be effectively cancelled by the US Gov saying
    ‘we’re closed!’.
    The contracts I understand have a period of performance that does not care about a shutdown. ALSO, the money is already obligated, so you might as well pay the money and get the contract work done. silly simple me.

  85. 85

    @Martin:

    The entire state of Alabama and West Virginia could rise up against him and he wouldn’t care.

    McConnell would care a great deal, indeed. He cares a lot about keeping Senate seats. His senators care a great deal, and can absolutely be pressured. He didn’t get the Obamacare repeal, and that was vastly more popular with Rep[ublicans than a shutdown. Did you see his face when McCain shot down his final attempt? McConnell looked like he wanted to vomit. He wanted that badly, which is why it and the tax scam are the only things he’s gotten off his ass and worked for. The senators are feeling heat, and if it gets bad enough they will evict McConnell as Majority Leader. Now, things would have to be pretty bad, but it only gets worse from here, and McConnell isn’t going to wait until that’s even a significant threat. He loves his position too much.

    Trump… narcissists aren’t logical, and don’t think in terms of power in the same way others do. Yes, they think of it all the time, but in weird, subjective terms. He hates when the public turns against him. He hates being powerless against a woman. He hates being yelled at. He hates publicly admitting weakness. Reputation is vastly more important to him than actions. He’s hoping McConnell will hand him a bill to sign, so he can get out of this mess.

    Where this breaks, I have no idea, but it’s not the monolith it looks like. Pressure is building up.

  86. 86
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)  🗳🌷: I’m either asked one of the two questions: 1) how soon until we have to replace you because you’re just waiting for your next military contract? and/or 2) do you have a drug problem?

    I can’t even get a job as a substitute teacher because the requirements where I live dictate I have to disclose specific about work I’ve done, which I can’t because it is classified. When I explained this to a supervisor in the public school H/R shop I was told there was nothing they could do. If I didn’t disclose the information in detail, they wouldn’t consider my application.

  87. 87
    The Very Reverend Crimson Fire of Compassion says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Thank you.

  88. 88
    Elizabelle says:

    @Kayla Rudbek: Funded through February 8.

    Meanwhile, we all have our calendars marked for February 7. Cohen testifies to Congress Day. Seems Trump could use a ginormous diversion still, no?

  89. 89
    khead says:

    @The Dangerman:

    Current guidelines say that when the PTO excess fee money runs out, we close the next day. As in, we aren’t even allowed to sign in even if we work from home. I’m not sure how the office would react if ordered to work.

  90. 90
    Ceci n est pas mon nym says:

    I’m a retired fed. During a previous furlough, I found out about the FEEA, Federal Employee Education and Assistance Fund and started giving to them. I’ve been giving them a monthly donation ever since. I seem to recall the motto “Feds helping Feds” as they mostly focus on that kind of collegial outreach. But I’m sure they’re open to outside donations.

    Just went there and their front page has a bunch of shutdown resources for furloughed federal workers, as you might imagine. That would probably be a good place to look for other ways to help out.

  91. 91
    khead says:

    @chopper:
    @Kayla Rudbek:

    I’ll guess that – if this continues – we shut down sometime right after count Monday on the 4th.

  92. 92
    AThornton says:

    Adam Silverman:

    Might want to look at consulting for the big insurance and re-insurance companies. Right now they are re-vamping their risk assessment protocols due to Global Warming and the local and low intensity conflicts that are absolutely sure to follow.

  93. 93
    trollhattan says:

    @Adam L Silverman:
    You’re hired!

  94. 94
    Ceci n est pas mon nym says:

    Yes, it’s Trump’s shutdown, but can we stop talking about looking to Trump to back down? He’s a baby, he’s going to throw his tantrum, and more to the point he’s largely irrelevant. The person who needs to be kicked in the gonads is McConnell. All he has to do is allow a vote. Trump can stay in his room and tweet away for the rest of his life, I don’t care. It’s Congress, specifically the Senate, that needs to act.

  95. 95
    khead says:

    @tobie:

    Holy shit. No way that Harris doesn’t know about Johnson’s “previous associations”.

  96. 96
    catclub says:

    @Adam L Silverman: that’s some catch, that catch-22

  97. 97
    Ceci n est pas mon nym says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Yeah, I’ve seen it at DeGaulle. Along with a number of other things that make me feel like the French have their act together, security-wise. Watched (well, heard, since we got evacuated out of that part of the terminal) them blow up a suitcase once.

  98. 98
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Mai Naem mobile: Again, I need a job before I could make the move.

  99. 99
    catclub says:

    @Frankensteinbeck:

    He cares a lot about keeping Senate seats.

    It is notable that for both Alabama and WV, there are half as many GOP senators from those states as you would expect, so McConnell will care about them only 50%. Now, OK, or WY or MS, or LA or FL he would be 100% worried.

  100. 100
    🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)  🗳🌷 says:

    @Adam L Silverman:
    Have you considered trying to work for foreign governments? Perhaps an ally of ours? I hope I’m not insulting your intelligence as I’m sure this was one of your first thoughts.

  101. 101
    Elizabelle says:

    WaPost breaking news: State Department diplomats called back to work, for now

    The item in full, with misspellings:

    The State Department is calling back its furloughed diplomats next week after shifting money to payroll from other accounts, but the returning employees will still have to wait to get their retroactive pay, officials said Thursday.

    The decision to recall diplomats was announced by Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan during a luncheon for mor [sic] than 180 ambassadors attending an annual conference. He received what one official described as two “rousing” rounds of applause.

    Officials said a review of the State Department’s various accounts came up with enough money to pay half a month of payroll. Beyond that, officials cautioned they will have to see if they can identify other funds that can be tapped should the shutdown extend beyond that.

    Though the number of furloughed employees has shifted from week to week, currently 40 percent of the 14,500 working in the United States are furloughed, as are 23 percent of 25,000 working overseas.

    All State Department employees are being recalled to regular duty with pay effective Sunday, which marks the start of the next pay period. In effect, that means most will not return to work until Tuesday, because Monday is a federal holiday. They will receive a regular paycheck on the next payday, Feb. 14.

    Officials said the decision was made because a “full team” is needed to address issues around the world, and out of concern for the financial hardship and uncertainty affecting State Department employees during the longest shutdown in U.S. history

    Because the money comes from available funds on hand, the employees will still have to wait to be paid retroactively for the four weeks of pay they missed. Instead, they will have to wait until a new appropriation of money is made.

    The State Department still intends to resume work on a threadbare level. Employees are being asked to adhere to “strict budget constraints” on new funding for contracts, travel and other needs.

    ETA: That’s a nice Valentine’s Day present. Talk about not taking a paycheck for granted.

  102. 102
    crshark says:

    I’m a furloughed fed in southern California. My wife is a state employee and has gotten a lot of overtime because of the wildfires. That and savings will get us through. My supervisor sent me some links:

    Info on California Unemployment Insurance: https://www.edd.ca.gov/Unemployment/FAQs-federal-shutdown.htm

    Federal Employee Education Assistance Fund: Offering emergency loans and links to other resources: https://feea.org/2019/01/03/shutdown-resources-feds

    Additional assistance for SoCal feds:

    For the duration of the shutdown, affected individuals and families will have access to emergency food boxes with fresh produce, bread, dry goods, and proteins. To receive services, qualified recipients should bring photo identification to MEND, 10641 N. San Fernando Rd., Pacoima CA 91331. Details on days and hours of distribution can be found on the agency’s website:www.mendpoverty.org

  103. 103
    Doug R says:

    @Adam L Silverman: RBC is on that list. Royal Bank of Canada.
    Did you try CSIS?

  104. 104
    Elizabelle says:

    I am thinking of the ads, with lines upon lines of average looking Americans.

    And each pulls out their TRUMP paycheck, with 0.00 on it. Lines upon lines upon lines of people.

  105. 105
    khead says:

    @MazeDancer:

    Thank you for the kind offer but we should be good. Just joking that the cats would eat better than me if my office went full shutdown.

  106. 106
    TomatoQueen says:

    I’m a fully-funded-through-Sept 30th-fed in Alexandria, Va., so up to my arthritic arse in pearl-clutch handwringing over my good fortune (have experienced all the previous shutdowns in the past 30 years tho’); please to be donating to our beloved Chef Jose Andres’ charity World Central Kitchen, which serves hot meals in disasters by the thousands and has opened up a feeding station in DC for hungry feds; make sure your local food bank helps with cat & dog food too; make use of your local State, not federal, parks; donate to United Way’s or your local community foundation’s General fund, which will be the source of emergency funding and will be called on frequently in the coming days to assist with all kinds of needs.

  107. 107
    What Have The Romans Ever Done for Us? says:

    I’m a furloughed fed, but I’m in pretty good shape – been living well within my means for a couple decades now and have roughly a year’s salary saved in non-retirement account liquid assets that I can access without penalty. Since apparently we will get paid for not working I don’t lose all that much by spending that money down a little as it will go right back up when the furlough ends. I don’t feel all that good about being paid for not working but it wasn’t really my choice to be in this situation so…

    Plus my wife is a nurse practitioner who makes six figures and she is still working. Would be willing to help others who are not so fortunate if folks have good suggestions on how.

  108. 108
    catclub says:

    @Elizabelle: I still think all these callbacks violate the Anti-deficiency Act. Especially the ones designed to reduce the PR impact of the shutdown.

  109. 109
    Elizabelle says:

    @Elizabelle: WaPost corrected their State Department story.

    It’s 9,500 employees overseas, not 25,000. Corrected paragraph now reads:

    Though the number of furloughed employees has shifted from week to week, currently 40 percent of the 14,500 working in the United States are furloughed, as are 23 percent of 9,500 working overseas.

  110. 110
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @catclub: I’m someone who has either been a GS 15 or a GS 15 equivalent pay graded contractor for over a decade. I have a joint doctorate and two masters degrees. I’ve done everything from tactical fusion intelligence operations in Iraq to working on the DOD’s side of the Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations to being a Senior Fellow at SOCOM. I’m too senior to get hired in a world ruled by the Budget Control Act/sequester and not senior enough to pick up the phone and get a professor of practice or senior fellow position at a university or think tank. And because I’ve published next to nothing for the better part of the past 15 years because all my written work was for Army, DOD, and other US government agency consumption, I have no publication history much past 2008, which excludes me from searches for academic positions at universities.

  111. 111
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)  🗳🌷: Most foreign governments tend to hire their own citizens for the type of work I do. I’d be more than willing to work for the Canadians, but there has to be a job for me to apply for. And, of course, I have to be careful that it wouldn’t mess up future work in the US – either civil service or contract.

  112. 112
    Martin says:

    @khead: I hate to be the one to say this, but this isn’t going to end until the public sees people dying as a direct result of the shutdown, or rioting, or some other frightening thing. And Republicans in Congress have come straight out and said that they won’t force the issue until that starts to happen.

  113. 113
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Doug R: CSIS does not now, and has not had, anything I’m qualified for. RBC hasn’t either. Banks don’t hire PhDs in political science and criminology. Even to do risk analysis. I know this from experience.

  114. 114
    eric says:

    @Roger Moore: that requires signature on the other side and that is part of the problem.

  115. 115
    MazeDancer says:

    @a thousand flouncing lurkers (was fidelio):

    Thanks for GoFundMe link. Person who posted link to 450 pleas is not getting much action on her account.

    Possibly due to ultra handsome/adorable pic on GoFundMe page which no one could believe is real. Which she is changing. And are, apparently, actually her real husband and daughter. But tweet validates cute kid.

    Gorgeous people get hungry, too. So I gave a tiny few bucks. Since not any Balloon Juice Fed Workers available for gift receipt, got to do something.

  116. 116
    WaterGirl says:

    Trump cancels Pelosi trip citing furloughed workers

    “I am sure you would agree that postponing this public relations event is totally appropriate,” Mr Trump said in a letter.
    On Wednesday, Ms Pelosi urged the president to postpone his State of the Union address, citing furloughed staff.
    Mr Trump has been in a standoff with Democrats over the shutdown for weeks.
    This is a breaking news story – more to follow.

    Can trump cancel a congressional trip like that?

  117. 117
    dimmsdale says:

    I’ve been doing audio narration for the Library of Congress through a contractor, working full-time for the last year and a half. Suddenly, blammo, no more work. At this point all I have coming in is Social Security, but that puts me leagues ahead of government workers and contractors who don’t have a 2nd source of income. Both my folks worked for the federal government and considered themselves public servants. It’s beyond infuriating to see government workers suffering for our so-called president’s petty little ego. My condolences and best wishes with everybody on this thread who’s experiencing this crap. Those of us who are contractors or working per-project won’t get back pay, but you civil servants sure deserve it and I hope you get it sooner rather than later. Please accept my thanks for your work in the public service.

  118. 118
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @WaterGirl: He can cancel the use of official US government air craft, which the Speaker of the House flies on as a security precaution/protocol post 9-11. My guess is that Pelosi will call his bluff and fly commercial.

  119. 119
    The Moar You Know says:

    I am still flabbergasted that contracts can be effectively cancelled by the US Gov saying
    ‘we’re closed!’.
    The contracts I understand have a period of performance that does not care about a shutdown. ALSO, the money is already obligated, so you might as well pay the money and get the contract work done. silly simple me.

    @catclub: Part of every contract with the Federal government includes a clause whereby the Gov’t can just cancel the contract. I forget the term. I’ve had to read the acquisition rules several times but there’s just too much in there to memorize – and I didn’t really want to.

    If you don’t like it, you don’t have to do business with them.

    Oh, and if they’ve given you money and then terminate the contract, you have to give any unused portion of it back. In practice that does seem to mean “all of it”.

  120. 120
    Elizabelle says:

    @WaterGirl: More from your BBC link (maybe new stuff):

    US President Donald Trump has postponed House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s upcoming trip to Brussels, Afghanistan and Egypt, citing the government shutdown.

    “I am sure you would agree that postponing this public relations event is totally appropriate,” Mr Trump said in a letter.

    On Wednesday, Ms Pelosi urged the president to postpone his State of the Union address, citing furloughed staff.

    Mr Trump has been in a standoff with Democrats over the shutdown for weeks.

    White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders shared the letter in a tweet on Thursday.

    “I also feel that, during this period, it would be better if you were in Washington negotiating with me and joining the Strong Border Security movement to end the Shutdown,” Mr Trump wrote.

    “Obviously if you would like to make your journey by flying commercial, that would certainly be your prerogative.

    “I look forward to seeing you soon and even more forward to watching our open and dangerous Southern Border finally receiving the attention, funding, and security it so desperately deserves!”

    Trump is such a goddamned shitwad. I think he should hang for what he is doing to this country.

    Pelosi probably laughed when she saw that one. She could fly commercial, in a heartbeat.

  121. 121
    Elizabelle says:

    Issue for Pelosi is: do you stick with doing longterm business, which I am sure the overseas trip is, or stay closer to home.

    And what do you do when your opponent is an unrealistic demagogue who is a nihilist too, and whose word is no good?

    Look forward to seeing what she decides.

    I have to say, I have been thinking that I hope Pelosi has superb executive protection. I worry a little for her safety, I really do. She is an asset that the Trump side does not possess.

  122. 122
    chopper says:

    @Kayla Rudbek:

    2/8 would be nice. who knows, this may go on a while tho.

  123. 123
    WaterGirl says:

    @Elizabelle: If Pelosi flies commercial, and then Trump’s head explodes, I would be willing to personally reimburse Pelosi for the trip.

    Trump looks like such a pathetic, weak fool. How much longer can this go on?

  124. 124
    WaterGirl says:

    @Elizabelle: I worry for Pelosi’s protection, too, particularly in Russian and any other country Putin’s assassins could work in.

    I’ll never be able to prove it, but I totally believe that Trump would sanction Pelosi’s murder in a heartbeat if he thought he could get away with it.

  125. 125
    MazeDancer says:

    Apparently, the Afghanistan part of Pelosi’s trip was classified. So, Trump revealed it so she can’t go.

    Scum. Utter complete scum he is. Not news. Just venting.

  126. 126
    WaterGirl says:

    @MazeDancer: Can he be impeached for this? It’s not the first time he has revealed classified information.

    (I know he won’t be, but geez, how can this man be left in office?

  127. 127
    sherparick says:

    Federal workers really are not suppose to accept or solicit gifts from strangers. I know these ethics quibbles about gnats while President Emoluments is raking it in left and right appear strange, but like taxes, the ethics rules will be applied with rigor to the “little people.”

    You can help them file for unemployment, which they should all start drawing pretty soon. You can put them in connection with food banks and local state energy credits.

    From U.S.A. Today.

    WASHINGTON – Furloughed federal employees who are using GoFundMe and other social media to raise money because they are not being paid are likely violating ethics rules and could face punishment when the government reopens, experts say.

    But one reason no one knows for sure how ethics rules apply to the 800,000 federal employees not getting paid is that the Office of Government Ethics, the primary source of such guidance, is one of the agencies that is closed.

    Tyler Cole, legislative director at Issue One, a nonpartisan government reform group, said he believes these sort of solicitations violate rules governing gifts to federal employees.

    In particular, Cole cited the prohibition on cash gifts of more than $20.

    “They didn’t want people to be handing cash around to federal employees,” Cole said of the authors of the rules.

    Virginia Canter, chief ethics counsel for Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, has a similar view.

    “I see this as a potential minefield,” Canter said. She said employees using one of these sites may be able to take steps to avoid running afoul of ethics rules, such as not identifying themselves as a federal employee.

    But all of the nearly 150 campaigns reviewed on GoFundMe that are soliciting donations for federal employees clearly identify themselves or the person they are trying to help as a federal employee and most say what agency they work for. Some also say the position they hold in that agency.

    Michael Roots, 57, of Georgetown, Texas, identifies himself as an IRS employee on his GoFundMe page.

    “It was very hard to do,” Roots said of deciding to create the campaign and ask for donations. “We have always been givers.” So far, he has received $760 of his $3,000 goal in five donations ranging from $20 to $400. Two donations have names attached, but the other three are anonymous.

    Roots, who works in information technology, said he has been at the IRS since August 2018 and worked for the Veterans Administration the previous six years.

    He said he has been looking for a temporary job but that is difficult given that he can’t say when he will be called back to work. For now, he has been delivering food for restaurants but what he earns barely covers the cost of gasoline.

    He can’t do any work related to tax preparation – his area of expertise – because that would be a clear violation of conflict-of-interest rules. He said he looked to guidance on the GoFundMe site before deciding that it was OK because personal gifts are allowed.

    Ethics rules for federal employees do include an exception for “gifts based on a personal relationship.”

    Gifts motivated by a family relationship are fine but what qualifies as a personal relationship is more complicated. Just because someone is connected on social media, for example, doesn’t necessarily qualify as a “personal relationship.”

    Once the federal government reopens, the two ethics experts said the Office of Government Ethics has several options: It could decide that the solicitations are within the rules or it could change the rules. It could also find these employees to be in violation but only admonish them not to do it again.

    But the regulations also calls for improper gifts to be returned.

    Cole with Issue One said he hopes that the OGE uses “common sense” and compassion in determining what to do.

    A partial government shutdown began Dec. 22 when President Donald Trump and Congress could not agree on funding he requested for a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border.

  128. 128
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @WaterGirl: As the overall original classification authority for the US, he can declassify whatever he wants, whenever he wants, for whatever reason he wants, with no external review or input required.

  129. 129
    catclub says:

    @The Moar You Know:

    I forget the term.

    force majeure?

  130. 130
    WaterGirl says:

    @Adam L Silverman: I thought he actually had to declassify something formally rather than just spouting off on anything he wants, in the company of anyone he chooses?

  131. 131
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @WaterGirl: It’s complicated. Also:

  132. 132
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @AThornton: @Adam L Silverman: international law firms typically have security protocols and associated staff (some even provide ransom insurance as an employee benefit!). Don’t know if they do risk assessment in house or buy it from one of those consulting or insurance firms.

  133. 133
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @Adam L Silverman: send trump your CV listing all your classified work, then we be blurts it all out on tv, it’s public and you can add it to your job applications.

    I’ll leave it to you to work out the minor detail of how to get trump to read your CV during a televised address, since I have clearly done the heavy lifting already.

  134. 134
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Adam L Silverman: How’s your Ukrainian?

  135. 135
    Elizabelle says:

    Trump — or Steven Miller, who likely drafted the letter — called Pelosi’s trip “your excursion.”

    Yeah. She was jetting out to buy herself chocolates and rugs.

    Fuckers. Anyway, it’s evidence her letter about the SOTU left a mark.

  136. 136
    Wyliecoat says:

    @The Dangerman: This makes so much sense.

  137. 137
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Steve in the ATL: I’ve already passed on the opportunity of a political appointment in this administration.

  138. 138
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @MazeDancer:

    Gorgeous people get hungry, too.

    Speaking of which, I never had lunch and I am *famished*

  139. 139
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @Elizabelle:

    Issue for Pelosi is: do you stick with doing longterm business, which I am sure the overseas trip is, or stay closer to home.

    Or do you pull a Hillary and demonstrate to the dim bulbs that you can do more than one thing at a time?

  140. 140
    Quinerly says:

    @Elizabelle: I think I’m understanding that the delegation was to leave at 3pm today. Military bus with the delegation on it has turned around.

  141. 141
    Elizabelle says:

    @Steve in the ATL: WaPost readers are suggesting NDP use her time to obtain Trump’s tax returns.

    Nancy Pelosi can do a lot more than one thing at a time. She’s incredible. I do wonder, though, if it a security risk for her to travel abroad at this time. No one is irreplaceable (well, Abraham Lincoln turned out to be), but she is so valuable and just about irreplaceable.

    She will come out swinging in some other fashion. Not let this become the juvenile tit for tat that Trump and Steven Miller are trying to put on deck.

  142. 142
    Elizabelle says:

    OT: He’s allegedly fine, but almost 98-year old Prince Philip had a car accident today. Near Sandringham. He was driving a Range Rover, and the vehicle appears to be on its side. Not clear if he was alone in the car at the time.

    The Guardian; the BBC had a somewhat longer article.

    Philip personally drove the Queen and the Obamas around during their 2014 visit to the UK.

  143. 143
    WaterGirl says:

    @Adam L Silverman: hahaha

    Even pirates were more sane than Trump, and even they probably followed Pirate norms.

  144. 144
    Uncle Cosmo says:

    @Adam L Silverman: First time over the Pond, August 1980, I landed at Frankfurt Flughaven & the first thing I noticed on the concourse was a sprinkling of what seemed to be very polite & mild-mannered security types in caps & short sleeves – with what looked like toy pistols slung over their shoulders: Uzis or equivalent. I remember thinking, If any one of those guys suddenly loses it & lets loose there’ll be a couple dozen bodies before he’s taken out. Scared the crap outa me.

  145. 145
    Uncle Cosmo says:

    @The Dangerman: Some years later (summer 2000 IIRC) I was going through the Royal Castle in Stockholm & got a look at the palace guards’ assault rifles. Nasty looking – & I include the guards (for some reason Swedish uniforms have always struck me as sinister, even though I know better). The funny thing is that upon reflection, their hand-held cannons probably could not have inflicted as much carnage on a crowd of tourists as one of those cute little Uziish pistols I remembered from that first day in Frankfurt.

  146. 146
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Uncle Cosmo: Hechler and Koch MP5s or MP7s depending on the year.

  147. 147
    Uncle Cosmo says:

    @khead: The antics that motherfucker Andy Harris is best known for came a few days after his first election to the HoR, when he yammered at the Feds because his goddamn platinum-plated Congressional health care coverage hadn’t started IMMEDIATELY. It had to be explained to him (in words of one syllable or less) that he didn’t qualify until he became a Congressperson, & that wouldn’t happen until the new Congress convened in early January. This yoyo is living proof that it takes no real intelligence to collect an MD; either that or he’d spent too much time huffing his stock in trade (anesthesiologist).

  148. 148
    Uncle Cosmo says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Well, boychik, thankew for the clarification. Inasmuch as I hadn’t even fired a hand-held projectile weapon until ~5 yrs ago, you will forgive me the imprecision. I recognized enough to know each one of those “toys” would’ve been a massacre in the hands of anyone intent on doing massive amounts of bodily harm & not much caring if s/he lived through it.

  149. 149
    Uncle Cosmo says:

    y@WaterGirl: The Democratic delegation probably dodged a bullet here – maybe literally. If anyone in the Krumblin-na-Potomacu had a brain to match their inherent evil, they would have let the trip go forward – & then announced the itinerary in public, in detail, while the plane was landing in Afghanistan – & then canceled the return flights to strand them there.

    Think how much more of a mess these assholes could have managed.

  150. 150
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Uncle Cosmo: I was just being informative.

  151. 151
    wv blondie says:

    I’m not a furloughed fed, but I am part of the collateral damage – I’m a “1099” (boy, I hate that phrase!) for various PR shops and contractors in the government space. Conferences I would normally attend and write about are being cancelled; white papers I would ghost for submission to a federal agency are being put off; sell sheets and other product info aren’t being updated. Adding insult to injury, whenever the comms pipeline opens again it’ll take me anywhere from 30 to 60 days to get paid. I was already struggling – now I’m contemplating declaring bankruptcy and trying to sell my house before it gets foreclosed.

    God damn that motherfucker.

  152. 152
    RSA says:

    I became a federal worker recently; I’m not furloughed now (I count my blessings) but I have been within the past year or so.

    A small thing anyone might do is explain the situation to people who are interested but don’t know the details. I was in the airport yesterday, talking with other passengers, and found them to be sympathetic but not especially well-informed. For example, one thought that only currently working feds would get back pay, but not the furloughed. That’s harmless ignorance, but there’s more that people could be told about, especially the examples in the comments about contractors, small businesses and individuals supporting federal workers, home loans, unemployment, and so forth. (Some of this was news to me, too.)

Comments are closed.