Wednesday, October 16, 2013

The Situation Is Dire

As of tonight, the following things are true:

- There is no bill that has passed either chamber of Congress that will lift America's debt ceiling.

- If we do not lift the debt ceiling by the 17th of October, Thursday, we are at risk of defaulting on Treasury bills (America's debt). Because Treasury bills are the global standard for a safe investment, this would mean global financial chaos.

- The Senate is scrambling to put together a compromise bill that would raise the debt ceiling, but any lone Senator (read: Ted Cruz) could blow up the deal just by jamming procedure through Friday.

- Speaker John Boehner has failed to even pass a Republican-friendly bill to raise the debt ceiling in the House, and that wouldn't have passed the Senate in any case.

That's the truth. But my reality is that right now, Harry Reid and Mitch McConnell have their shirts off and are engaged in a bare-knuckle boxing match in the middle of the Senate floor. John McCain is wearing a knit cap and screaming at McConnell to get Reid against the rope. In a corner of the chamber, Ted Cruz is puffing up as the essence of Yog Sothoth fills him with unspeakable vigor. Al Franken's reading Bible verses while dressed up as Stuart Smalley, trying to suppress the incursion, but the tentacles are already forming. Rand Paul is not there: he's gone to seize Fort Knox, in anticipation of going back on the gold standard.

In the House, Boehner is kneeling in front of Eric Cantor with a Tantō sword clenched in his trembling fist. Tears run down his cheeks as he begs forgiveness, over the phone, from Rush Limbaugh - but Limbaugh demands that honor be satisfied. Nancy Pelosi has snapped and is holding vote after vote to empty air. She's winning, but the margins are surprisingly tight. Michelle Bachmann is leading the rest of the GOP caucus in prayer, hoping that maybe this will be enough to trigger the Rapture.

Grim stuff, but it's almost better to think that way than to remember that a small gang of cretins has hijacked our legislature and is holding a metaphorical gun to my country's head over nothing. And we can't do anything about it.

Tomorrow I'm going to go to work, do my work, and write a bit on breaks. I will leave at my usual time, purchase a few comic books and Chipotle dinner for myself and my wife (without regard for my diet, under the circumstances). Then I'll come home, spend time with my family, and see them to bed. And then I'll turn on the news, and when the end comes I'll say a prayer for my country and go to sleep. And in the morning I'll get Ben up and prepare him for our new lives in Barter Town.

I think we can make it work.
But I'm going to look like crap in that outfit, so please, take a minute today to call your representatives and ask them to get us out of this.

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