It's over -- it's finally over -- at least for a few months! The government shutdown, which lasted a whopping 16 days, has been lifted after the Senate voted 81 to 18 late last night to approve a proposal that they somehow found the ability to put their hard heads together and concoct. The House followed with a sad 285 to 144 vote in favor of the proposal and it was finally signed by President Obama at 12:30 a.m.
So it goes without saying, it was a long night for our elected leaders, but hey, it was an even longer night for all of those furloughed workers who finally got news that they can return to work today -- and that at the very least they'll be receiving back pay for the days of work they missed. But the longest night of all, perhaps, could be claimed by one vocal White House stenographer who made her feelings known as the bill was being passed.
As the vote was coming to an end, a House stenographer leaped to the microphone and began shouting about how America is not really one nation under God because our founding fathers were Freemasons. I would have preferred it if she had left poor Benjamin Franklin alone and instead called out our current leaders for being spineless, thoughtless twerps, but what's important here is that she reminded our elected officials that most ordinary citizens are rapidly losing faith in our government. And that we're angry -- really angry.
The stenographer's rant was caught on video before she was escorted out of the room by security. Apparently, the incident is being investigated right now, but really guys, stop wasting your time. Most of us would have wanted to take to the mic if we were in that room -- I think you can sum up this mystery with the following explanation: we're pissed off and don't want to take this anymore.
I guess the only thing to do now is focus on the good news. Yosemite and all Smithsonian museums are back open for business, though more than 400 national parks are still shuttered until further notice. The National Zoo in Washington will open on Friday, along with the much-missed panda cam. And NASA has hinted that it will back as early as today.
Let's just hope our elected leaders do a better job of handling business on February 7, when the debt cushion -- poof! -- deflates.
How do you feel about the way the government handled the end of the shutdown?
Image via dcJohn/Flickr