You know who is currently winning the Govt. Shutdown? It's not the Democrats, it's not the Republicans and it sure isn't anyone in the Civil Service. Jim Gareghty suggested nobody will win at all. This would persumably be fine with House Speaker John Boehner who has quite vocally announced that "This Isn't some d--- game!" The White House doesn't see things this way and has announced that they are happy with the shutdown to go on for a long, long time until Congress learns its lesson and obeys. Unfortunately for Team Obama, the enemy always gets a vote. As it has often been when the Democrats demagouge, the enemy is private business. Lockheed Martin Inc is not happy to have this shutdown continue. They've elected to match the Obama Furlough with the ongoing waves of Lockmart Furloughs. The 1st 3,000 are being told to go pound sand this Monday.
In response to this piece of news, the government just got a whole lot less shutdown. 350,000 employess who work for The Department of Defense are now WAAAYYY more essential than they (who am I kidding, we*) were last Tuesday. In response to the possibility of the Military-Industrial Complex becoming a whole lot less industrial over the coming months of a prolonged shutdown, the management of Shutdown Kabuki Theatre has made the following announcement:
The Pentagon will recall almost all of its 350,000 furloughed civilian workers in the coming days, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel announced Saturday, in a move that could substantially ease the impact of the government shutdown on the federal workforce. Hagel’s decision is based on a liberal interpretation of a bill passed by Congress last week and signed by President Obama that ensures uniformed members of the military will not have their paychecks delayed by the shutdown. The law, titled the Pay Our Military Act, includes broad language exempting Defense Department civilians from furlough if they provide direct support to the military.
So all it took was for one major Defense Contractor to stand Emperor Obama down. Just one threat of 3,000 layoffs got his sorry posterior off the mission-essential golf links and on the phone to SecDef Hagel like a bolt from the blue. It again reminds me of President Eisenhower's Farewell Address.
But now we can no longer risk emergency improvisation of national defense; we have been compelled to create a permanent armaments industry of vast proportions. Added to this, three and a half million men and women are directly engaged in the defense establishment. We annually spend on military security more than the net income of all United States corporations. This conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience. The total influence – economic, political, even spiritual – is felt in every city, every Statehouse, every office of the Federal government.
I could be snide here and suggest that since Lockmart pretty much owns the Obama White House, they are now stuck needing a plan to spin off General Motors. That would be funny, but it also should remind us of two things.
1) Men like Larry Ellison, Warren Buffett and George Soros are an American Nomenklatura. As are women like like the CEO Marilyn Houston of Lockheed Martin. They are above the law and they are an unacknowledged 4th branch of government. Gonzalo Lira argues that they enjoy a certain structural pliancy with regard to what rules apply and don't apply. He explains below.
In short, government regulations ought to be in place to safeguard us—the citizens of this society. They should not be in place so as to imprison us. But that is increasingly becoming the case. Worse still, rules and regulations are becoming the preferred way for the few to exploit the many—and exploit them not only with impunity, but with the full weight of government support.
2) It cannot be announced loudly enough that this entire shutdown has been an exercise in low-grade Kabuki Theatre. Aside from Senator Harry Reid revealing the utter disdain and contempt he feels for lower lifeforms like average Americans, we've seen nothing but deceit and contempt from most of the leadership of our nation. It was only after Harry Reid was caught on camera telling the cancer children to pretty much speed things up and die in a bonfire that he even asked himself "Should I not have done that?"
The final thing that this tells us is that America's Doomsday Clock has gotten six minutes closer to midnight. Our government is totally compromised. I can cheer for Lockheed Martin's CEO today for restoring my paycheck, but I'll postively hate Warren Buffett for continuing to block the Keystone Pipeline to aid and abet his railroad monopoly. I'll cheer the Kock Brothers for having the courage to stand in the face of the Progressive onslaught against individual freedom, but tommorrow I'll rue the ability of The Tides Foundation to undermine all that is good and decent about the traditional morality of our great nation.
The ability of one major Defense Contractor to pick up a microphone and cancel President Obama's next smarmy golf foursome at that vital military landmark known as The Andrews Airforce Golf Club may be funny, but it should also make us all deeply afraid of where America is going. We are supposed to be a nation of laws and not men. We are supposed to be governed by those that we select in free and fair elections. These last two days of Shutdown Kabuki Theatre show us that we are increasingly neither.
* - By way of disclosure, it looks like LockMart just ended my personal bout with funemployment.