Archive for the ‘Family’ Category

Furloughed: Hour 371   2 comments

The Senate has just passed a bill to reopen the government by a vote of 81 to 18, with 51 Democrats, 28 Republicans and both Independents voting in favor of the bill.  The bill must now pass the House and be signed by the President before the shutdown is officially over, but if you are a Federal employee, family member or close friend of a Federal employee, or a proprietor or employee of a private business that has been negatively impacted by the shutdown, I want you to know which 18 Senators just showed blatant disregard for you by voting to continue the shutdown:

Alabama – Sessions, Shelby

Florida – Rubio

Idaho – Crapo, Risch

Iowa – Grassley

Kansas – Roberts

Kentucky – Paul

Louisiana – Vitter

Nevada – Heller

Oklahoma – Coburn

Pennsylvania – Toomey

South Carolina – Scott

Texas – Cornyn, Cruz

Utah – Lee

Wisconsin – Johnson

Wyoming – Enzi

I would like to thank Senators Coats and Donnelly for having the sense to vote to let us go back to work.  We should find out soon whether or not Todd Young has any sense.

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Posted October 16, 2013 by Andrew Cabiness in Family, Government Shutdown 2013, Indiana

Furloughed: Hour 360   Leave a comment

“We’re going to turn this team around 360 degrees” – Jason Kidd, 1994

Jason Kidd’s misuse of math upon being drafted by the Dallas Mavericks has long been one of my favorite quotes.  He clearly didn’t realize that 360 degrees is a full circle and that if you turn something 360 degrees, you end up back where you started.  He ended up being somewhat of a prophet, given that the team remained a doormat for another six years, well after Jason had moved on.  In a bit of irony, Jason himself finished off a 360 degree journey by returning to the Mavericks late in his career, winning a championship with them in 2011.

So now, 360 hours after being furloughed, the current situations seems to have rotated a full 360 degrees.  After lots of discussions and rumors of potential deals, we are back where we started: the Senate and President will not accept a funding bill that makes major changes to Obamacare, while Todd Young and his pals will not accept a funding bill that does not make such changes.

I want to reiterate why my anger and frustration is directed at Todd.  While the goal of having more Americans with health insurance is an important one, it’s clear that Obamacare causes a lot of unnecessary and in some cases, financially damaging problems.  I support the goal of solving these problems.  I don’t support shutting down the government and causing so much stress on the economy and on families in order to solve those problems.  Todd and his friends have to accept that they only control one of the three entities (House, Senate, President) required to create or change laws, and the only way to effectively pass their agenda is to gain control of a second entity, if not all three.

Please Todd, show some sense and do what’s best for the people of your district and not what’s best for your campaign war chest.

Posted October 16, 2013 by Andrew Cabiness in Family, Government Shutdown 2013, Indiana, Sports

Furloughed: Hour 325   Leave a comment

“Hey, Chicago, what do you say
The Cubs are gonna win today.” – Steve Goodman

Ten years ago, almost to the very hour, a young Notre Dame graduate from Northbrook, Illinois, tried to catch a foul ball.  It happens thousands of times every year all over the country.  Of course none of the other thousands became a household name.  None of the other thousands were the subject of profane callers into sports radio for years to come.  None of the others got death threats.  I hope that, ten years later, he is able to lead a normal life.

What does this have to do with the government shutdown?  Well, Cubs fans blaming Steve Bartman for their team’s years and years of futility makes about as much sense as Todd Young blaming the shutdown on, well, anybody other than himself.  Perhaps Todd needs this flag to help remind him:

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Furloughed: Hour 312   6 comments

I am altering the deal. Pray I don’t alter it any further. – Darth Vader

I finally figured out a good analogy for Todd Young and his friends.  They are the Sith.  They have no feelings, no remorse, and no respect for deals they’ve made.  They are going to push on for what they want and don’t care who they hurt.  They also have about the same approval rating.

When I started writing about the shutdown, I counted hours instead of days because I thought the shutdown would ultimately end in hours and not days.  Yet here we are 13 full days from the exact hour I was furloughed and still no end in sight.  Financially, I actually planned for the shutdown to last as much as four weeks, never in my wildest dreams believing that it would last long enough that I’d actually start worrying that I didn’t plan for longer.  Yet, I’m starting to get a bit nervous.

Do you know somebody (aside from myself) affected by the shutdown?  How are they coping?  What are they doing with their time?

Posted October 14, 2013 by Andrew Cabiness in Family, Government Shutdown 2013, Indiana

Furloughed: Hour 240   Leave a comment

I’m so tired of losin’, I’ve got nothing to do
And all day to do it
So, I go out cruisin’, but I’ve no place to go
And all night to get there – Styx

This weekend was supposed to be a four-day weekend, but it has turned into a fourteen day weekend.  This weekend the effects of the shutdown are going get a lot more serious, as this is the weekend most Federal employees will receive their bi-weekly paychecks.  Those paychecks won’t be $0, because it will include some time from the very end of September, but they won’t be anything close the full amount of the check.  The estimate of the number of furloughed employees is 800,000.  If their paycheck nets them an average of $1600 and they are missing just over half of it, that is about $700 million that is not making its way into the hand of employees this weekend.  Aside from the hardships this is directly causing those employees, that $700 million will not be spent on travel, entertainment and dining.  Gas stations, amusement parks, and restaurants in areas that serve sizable numbers of government employees are going to start seeing sharp declines in business, if they haven’t already.  People that are fortunate enough to have investments are going to have to start liquidating some of them in order to cover expenses.

We had a trip planned to visit in-laws this weekend.  It’s not a long trip so it won’t require a lot of gas.  Plus, after 10 days being at home most of the day I really need to go somewhere.  We certainly won’t be spending our usual amounts on dining and entertainment, though.  I really thought this thing would be over by now, but Todd Young and his friends really just don’t seem to care.

Posted October 11, 2013 by Andrew Cabiness in Family, Government Shutdown 2013, Indiana

Furloughed: Hour 200   Leave a comment

Today I came across a clip from this past Sunday’s This Week With George Stephanopolous.  He was discussing the current government shutdown with Todd Young’s boss, John Boehner.  Please watch the segment of the interview beginning at 3:06.  Here is a transcript of a key exchange in the interview:

GS: You came to him [Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid] back in July and offered to pass a clean government funding resolution, no Obamacare amendments, that was $70 billion below what the Senate wanted.  They accepted it, and now you’ve reneged on that offer.

JB: Clearly there was a conversation about doing this.

GS: Several conversations.

JB: Several, but . . .

GS: And you offered a clean resolution.

JB: But I and my members decided that the threat of Obamacare and what was happening was so important that it was time for us to take a stand and we took a stand.

So I hope you understand that when Todd and his pals accuse the Democratic Senate and President of not being willing to negotiate on ending the government shutdown, why I see this as a bunch of BS.  They did negotiate.  The Democrats agreed to funding levels $70 billion below what they wanted in exchange for the Republicans not attaching changes to the health care law in order to fund the government.  Then suddenly it’s October, and Todd and his friends have the gall to force hundreds of thousands of people out of work unless they get both the $70 billion in spending cuts and changes to the health care law.

I hope this helps you understand why I feel like a hostage and why I feel like the term ‘extortion’ is not at all an exaggeration.  I hope you understand how those of us out of work feel like we’re being spit on (or change one letter in spit if you like) by people we consider to be our friends but will continue to support people like Todd.  I also hope this helps you understand that even if you do agree with most of Todd’s political views (I agree with many myself), that somebody who can’t advance these views without resorting to these tactics, then maybe you need to find somebody better.  If you feel differently, please feel free to leave a comment.  I welcome the discussion.

Posted October 9, 2013 by Andrew Cabiness in Family, Government Shutdown 2013, Indiana

Furloughed: Hour 168   Leave a comment

It’s been one week since you looked at me . . . but it’ll still be two days till I say I’m sorry. – Barenaked Ladies

It has been one week now, but the rhetoric from Todd Young and his pals has not changed one bit, so I highly doubt it will only be two days until anybody says they’re sorry.  There are all sorts of analogies floating around about the shutdown.  Local columnist Brian Howey compared it to blocking all the lanes of an interstate in order to get the speed limit raised.  I do like it from the standpoint that the people who it hurts, the drivers, are not the ones responsible for setting the speed limit, in much the same way that the people being hurt so very dearly by the shutdown are not the ones responsible for it.  However, the speed limit has a lot to do with interstates, whereas funding the daily operations of the Federal government really has nothing to do with debate on the merits of a health care bill.  A better analogy might be blocking all the lanes of an interstate in order to get the state bird changed.  That comes much closer to the lack of common sense there is in shutting down the government.

When this shutdown ends, it will be very easy to write it off and remind everybody that Federal employees received back pay.  I can’t emphasize enough how much some people are being hurt by this.  The woman who vacuums my office and empties the trash is not a Federal employee and is contracted.  She won’t get back pay.  She has now lost a full week’s pay and will never get it back.  There are hundreds of thousands like her all over the country.  Restaurants and other retail businesses located near government offices are really suffering.

None of this will improve if we sit on our hands and don’t bother to hold Todd and other elected officials responsible.  He really has no incentive to change his mind.

Posted October 8, 2013 by Andrew Cabiness in Family, Government Shutdown 2013, Indiana

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