Click photo to enlarge.
Cape Cod has been a wildly popular summer ocean resort forever. In season, rents are huge; everyone wants to vacation in this gorgeous Atlantic region. The pressure to develop Cape Cod commercially is huge and relentless.
But since the administration of President Lyndon Johnson, a huge swath of seashore was set aside as The Cape Cod National Seashore. It's protected from development, and anyone can spend the day walking the magnificent beach, seeing the wildlife (sea lions bask on rocks just offshore, the beaches are sea turtle egg nests), swimming, picnicking.
In 1970, I had the pleasure of enjoying another great, huge National Seashore, Padre Island, a wild public treasure that stretches from Corpus Christi, Texas south to the Mexican border on the Gulf of Mexico.
As the above photo shows, the National Seashores (and National Parks and National Forests) have been closed since a bunch of Tea Party Republican assholes, led by US Senators Ted Cruz and Rand Paul, managed to shut down nearly every activity of the federal government.
They claim they've done it to force the repeal or de-funding of the Affordable Care Act -- its enemies call it Obamacare.
Which they can't achieve because the U.S. Senate is controlled by Democrats. The ACA is the Law of the Land, passed by both houses of Congress, signed by the President, and the US Supreme Court upheld its constitutionality when it was challenged by several "red states" -- states under Republican/Tea Party control.
So the Tea Party/Republican assholes are throwing a hissy-fit tantrum and holding their breath until they turn blue. The tantrum has taken the form of forcing the federal government to cease most of its functions and send its civilian employees home on unpaid furlough.
For S.W.M.B.O.and me, our encounter with The Federal Government Shutdown was a minor inconvenience. The seashore beach wasn't closed or the road chained shut; but the shutdown left the National Seashore with no employees who protect the National Seashore and its wilderness flora and land and marine fauna. The employees who clean up after visitors -- well, the Cape Cod National Seashore is going to get dirtier and uglier and more degraded the longer the shutdown lasts.
Fuck our public national wilderness treasure. Obamacare -- the USA's first attempt to put in some kind of national health care scheme to provide medical care to all regardless of economic status -- must be stopped no matter what, say Cruz and Rand Paul and all the Tea Party whack jobs, who seem to be scaring the crap out of the useless Republican Speaker of the House of Representatives, John Boehner.
Well, Boehner can be replaced by more aggressive Tea Party whack jobs, and he doesn't want to lose the prestigious Speakership. (Regardless of party, the Speaker of the House is third in line of succession to the presidency.)
I could list hundreds of other federal programs and workers who have been furloughed -- ordered not to work -- for the last week.
The one that most concerns the fragile recovering economy is the Internal Revenue Service. The housing market -- whose collapse sunk the economy under George W. Bush -- is recovering, but the first step to obtain a mortgage is to have the IRS evaluate the mortgage applicant to see that the applicant has paid all his/her federal taxes.
Now no one answers the phone at the IRS, no mortgage applications can be approved, no mortgages can be issued, no houses can be sold. This is the most likely way the lingering shutdown will flip the recovering economy back into the Bush Toilet of the last 7 years.
Agricultural inspectors. The safety and purity of food which you take for granted every time you grocery shop -- as the shutdown goes on, the food becomes less well inspected, the food becomes less safe.
Head Start -- also since LBJ's presidency, a hugely successful pre-school education program -- has been suspended. Screw poor kids, screw a successful program that boosts their success in all their subsequent education.
The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children is a federal assistance program of the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) for healthcare and nutrition of low-income pregnant women, breastfeeding women, and infants and children under the age of five.
... has been suspended. Screw the health of infants and their access to milk and healthy food.
In case no one remembers, the Republican candidate Mitt Romney was soundly rejected by American voters in 2012, and Barack Obama was re-elected for his second 4-year term.
Mitt believed most Americans are entitlement bums who just want free stuff from the government. He said he likes to fire people.
Don't get me started. But his whack elitist gazillionaire ideas, espoused by his party, continue to strangle the recovering prosperity and safety of the USA.
All this is pissing me off and making me sick. There's no "principle" here, as the Tea Party whacks and Boehner claim. With Obama in the White House, Democratic control of the U.S. Senate, and re the Affordable Care Act, even a sympathetic U.S. Supreme Court, all the whack Tea Party Republicans can do is poison and paralyze the federal government and sicken and stall the economic recovery.
So, in lieu of governing or legislating good things for the American people, that's what they're doing. They're making America sick.
There's one up side to this toxic tantrum. By the time the next presidential election cycle begins, the American people will be so angry with the Republicans and the whack Tea Party assholes that it's unlikely any Republican candidate can defeat the Democratic nominee. In its current makeup, the Republican party is incapable of re-capturing the White House. It's about to vanish from the American political landscape.