back to article US.gov - including NASA et al - quits internet. Is the UN running it now?

The US government has disappeared from the internet after a hard core of Republican party lawmakers forced the superpower's state agencies to shut down over a budget dispute. The House of Representatives refused to agree a budget that would keep cash flowing to public departments, meaning that the entire government was forced …

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  1. ItsNotMe
    Mushroom

    "'Due to a lapse in intelligence, the US federal government has shut down"

    There...fixed it for you.

    1. Someone Else Silver badge
      Mushroom

      Other fixes...

      "Due to a lapse in maturity, the US federal government has shut down"

      "'Due to severe brain damage on the part of a few key in-duh-viduals, the US federal government has shut down"

      It's interesting to see how a Brit journo like El Reg reports this...all nicely sanitized and level-headed. In reality, what we really have is a handful of brain-dead, petulant, racist, crybaby twats who think they're more impordant [sic] than the rest of the country, engaging in a raw power grab that they are ill-equipped to handle. This is all about not letting "the black guy" look like he's doing anything positive. It's pretty clear that once anybody understands what "obamacare" is really all about, they really, really want it. And that would really destroy the Tea-bagger narrative, now wouldn't it.

      1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
        Facepalm

        Liberal spotted

        "It's pretty clear that once anybody understands what "obamacare" is really all about, they really, really want it. And that would really destroy the Tea-bagger narrative, now wouldn't it."

        Apparently YOU really understand what obamacare is all about, so YOU want it. Does anybody else? Must be those freaking "tea-baggers", right.

        As far as I see it, its is mandatory insure to be taken out by the taxpayer for a service that already exists in quite a few places. It's not something that will help the bottom rungs to get "free healthcare", which is a concept that exists only in the addled minds of people who think things like healthcare can be "free" (don't be surprised by no service or a deathtrap when you actually need it, as is the use in quite a few places in Yurop). It is also a promise to not pay healhcare workers for the work they do (that is the part called "price controls").

        But apart from that.... anyone talking about the runaway military spending and the cancerous government growth that could be curtailed in order to continue working? NOPE! NO WAY, NO SIR! THAT'S AN ACQUIRED BENEFIT, THIS IS! GIMME AN ADDITIONAL F-35 SQUADRON ON THE TAB, PLEASE. AND ANOTHER 10'000 FEDERAL WORKERS DOING NOTHING BUT HEAT THEIR SEATS IN D.C.

        Another item:

        We all know that in GovMedia speak, “spending cut” means reducing the rate of increase in spending, while “shutdown” means reducing the workforce by 40%. From David Henderson we learn that “defund” apparently means “change a few implementation requirements without reducing funding by a penny.” Specifically, the Congresspeople who supposedly want to “defund” Obamacare proposed only to scrap the individual mandate and remove the subsidy for Congresspeople and their staffers.

        Remember the old Soviet-era joke, “We pretend to work, and they pretend to pay us?” This is the state of US political discourse about economic issues. The Republicans pretend to oppose Obamacare, and the Democrats pretend to oppose them. The purported differences are trivial, the “debate” political theater. Only government officials and the Official Media are amused.

        As well as the patsies, apparently.

        1. lambda_beta
          Linux

          Re: Liberal spotted

          Asshole spotted in this rant.

        2. James Micallef Silver badge

          Re: Liberal spotted

          "for a service that already exists in quite a few places"

          Unfortunately, no. Before ACA, US insurers are allowed to refuse to insure people. If you already have a known condition or family history, you can't get insurance. And vast majority of people were insured through employer, so made reduntant = no insurance. Both leading to a situation where many thousands of people go bankrupt from any illness even if it's not so serious.

          Truth is, ACA was based on design by a Republican think-thank, and is even less 'socialist' than the version Romney introduced for Massachusetts. Republicans being against 'Obamacare' is more about them being against Obama than about them being against the ACA. Original poster was right, and can be backed up with polling data. %age of Americans opposing "Obamacare" is about even. But when asked about individual provisions of the act without reference to "Obamacare", huge majority support the provisions.

          I completely agree on the military though. The US could solve ALL it's budget problems by shaving 10% off it's military budget and it would STILL be spending more on its military than every other country on the planet combined. But then the poor military-industrial complex would only make $billions$ instead of $fantasticillions$, poor guys

          1. Great Bu

            Mis-read the point completely....

            To those out of touch with US politics:

            The purpose of this action is not really to destroy Obamacare - the republicans know full well they have lost this fight and will never force the democrats to repeal it.

            The entire debacle is a result of the start of internal power struggles within the republican party in advance of the 2016 presidential elections (similar to the UKIP/Tory situation in the UK) - the tea party "very right wingers" are trying to draw the non-tea party "marginally less right wingers" (but still so right wing that even UKIP probably couldn't hit them with a rock from where they stand) into either capitulating their position within the GOP to the tea party or being seen to collaborate with the democrats - they then use this as a campaign weapon to get more tea party candidates on the ticket for the elections. Obviously the non-tea partiers in the republican party don't want this to happen - not because they disagree with the priciples of the tea party but because their more pragmatic approach to realpolitik suspects that a fully tea party approach will make the republicans as a whole unelectable for the presidency.

            Anyone who regards this as a 'racists bigots against the black president' has a primary school level understanding of politics and needs to shut the hell up before they embarrass themselves.

            1. John Smith 19 Gold badge
              FAIL

              Re: Mis-read the point completely....

              "The entire debacle is a result of the start of internal power struggles within the republican party in advance of the 2016 presidential elections (similar to the UKIP/Tory situation in the UK) - the tea party "very right wingers" are trying to draw the non-tea party "marginally less right wingers" (but still so right wing that even UKIP probably couldn't hit them with a rock from where they stand) into either capitulating their position within the GOP to the tea party or being seen to collaborate with the democrats - they then use this as a campaign weapon to get more tea party candidates on the ticket for the elections. Obviously the non-tea partiers in the republican party don't want this to happen - not because they disagree with the priciples of the tea party but because their more pragmatic approach to realpolitik suspects that a fully tea party approach will make the republicans as a whole unelectable for the presidency."

              I saw a comment that 10% of the Republican party (IE The Tea Party) made a deal impossible.

              The Tea Party are to the Republican party what the Militant tendency were to the UK Labour Party in the 80s and 90s. BTW while they got support within the party they made it unelectable for decades due to the perception of them as "barking mad."

              So either the Republicans purge themselves of this group or they stay in opposition.

              Personally either works for me.

              But neither option changes the fact the US political system is FUBAR

              1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

                Re: the US political system is FUBAR

                And as long as corporations are legally allowed to masquerade as people it will stay that way.

                1. Chad H.

                  Re: the US political system is FUBAR

                  It's clear you don't get why corporate personhood is actually a good thing.

                  Laws apply to people. They don't apply to dogs and trees and things that aren't people.

                  Because corporations are legal people, they can sell you things, they can't commit crimes, and have to pay up if they hurt you. You can't sue a nonperson.

      2. Eddy Ito Silver badge

        Re: Other fixes...

        And that would really destroy the Union narrative, now wouldn't it.

        FTFY

      3. John Smith 19 Gold badge
        Unhappy

        Re: Other fixes...

        ""what we really have is a handful of brain-dead, petulant, racist, crybaby twats who think they're more impordant [sic] than the rest of the country, engaging in a raw power grab that they are ill-equipped to handle. This is all about not letting "the black guy" look like he's doing anything positive. It's pretty clear that once anybody understands what "obamacare" is really all about, they really, really want it. And that would really destroy the Tea-bagger narrative, now wouldn't it.

        This is no time to bottle up your feelings. Tell us how you really feel :) .

        BTW is it only me who associates any reference to Tea Parties and Tea Bags with that skinny southern dude in Prison Break? They guy whose gender preference can best be described as "Warm-and-concave."

    2. Brewster's Angle Grinder Silver badge
      Joke

      Re: "'Due to a lapse in intelligence, the US federal government has shut down"

      It would only count as a "lapse" if they normally displayed intelligence and had just had a momentary aberration.

    3. Eddy Ito Silver badge

      Re: "'Due to a lapse in intelligence, the US federal government has shut down"

      You mean the NSA is shut down too? In that case, I might just have to support this whole government shutdown thing. As it is, I'm not convinced more than half the people will even notice and since those folks will have the day off I'm not sure all of them will mind until the bills start coming due.

  2. Herby

    Who knows...

    Maybe it WILL save money after all. Kinda like the ticket takers that salaries are more than the tickets sold (French Metro??). In that case, letting everyone go for free saved money by not having ticket takers (it could be a silly rumor).

    In some regards, be careful for what you ask for, you may get it.

    Observation: It costs just as much to have a web site displaying "Closed" as it does to have one open for business. All politics.

    1. Don Jefe

      Re: Who knows...

      Nah. It'll cost more for them to do nothing than had they just kept up their big circle jerk. These moose dicks can't even not do anything right. How can you fuck up not doing anything?

    2. Chad H.

      Re: Who knows...

      Well, no, because bills arent getting paid... have you seen late fees?

      And having a website with content may cost more, you've got to pay for the traffic leaving. a simple 20k "Closed" page only gets sent once per user, a full site is sending a lot more with each click.

      1. petur
        FAIL

        Re: Who knows...

        A 20K page showing 'closed'? What bloatware do you write????

        1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

          Re: Who knows...

          Suppose you had a contract with one of the big 3 suppliers.

          And you hadn't negotiated an upfront price for "government close down pages" and you were forced to have one - how much do you think they would charge ?

        2. Chad H.

          Re: Who knows...

          It was a Capita quote for the contract, they get paid by the bit.

          1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

            Re: Who knows...

            If it was Capita the page wouldn't have been delivered yet, would be misspelled and be a couple of billion over budget

        3. CalinDee

          Re: Who knows...

          fyi - page as displayed when visiting www.nasa.gov (redirected to notice.usa.gov).

          21K - including images. (2.8k text)

  3. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    Goose and gander and rabid hypocrisy laid bare ?

    Obama also branded the Republican rump “extremists” before telling world+dog that his Affordable Care Act would continue as planned regardless of the freeze in government funding.

    If such an action were the result of Johnny Foreigner shenanigans, they would be labelled terrorists and military strike action would be planned against them. It is the American way, is it not

    1. auburnman
      Joke

      Re: Goose and gander and rabid hypocrisy laid bare ?

      Perhaps Obama calling them "extremists" is laying the groundwork to have them rounded up under terrorism laws.

  4. Don Jefe

    Bunch of children. The healthcare act has survived every legal challenge the system provides for. Instead of moving forward and dealing with reality, the Republicans have chosen to disenfranchise every US Citizen by taking away the cornerstone on which the country is founded.

    The funniest thing in all this, to me, is that National Park Service Park Rangers (Law Enforcement) have been dispatched to stand guard at trailheads where the Appalachian National Scenic Trail (Appalachian Trail) crosses roads to prevent anyone from getting on the Trail. Normally there are a grand total of three NPS rangers for all ~2,100 miles of the Trail. They had to get extra Rangers from other, easier to close, parks to make this stupid gesture.

    Devil take the lot of these cocksuckers. Every one on every side.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Actually the republicans have been proposing budgets on a regular basis for the last year or more. If you want to blame someone, blame Harry Reid for blocking them all in the Senate.

      1. Someone Else Silver badge
        Flame

        @AC 1Oct13 17:55 GMT

        What a complete load of bullshyte!

        A budget has to do with allocations of money to various subsections of the government. It does not have to do with attaching riders that are nothing but political one-upsmanship. Now, maybe you consider a farm bill that shit-cans the food stamp program a "budget", but here in realiity-land, that is nothing but political bluster whose job is to raise the 1%'ers up by smacking everyone else down...in other words, political one-upsmanship.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      In reality the Obamacare is the straw that broke the camel's back and it suits Obama to paint it about Obamacare issue instead of the wider debt issue that is slowly but surely breaking the back of the US economy.

      The budget and the nearly 18 trillion in national debt is what this is all about. The US government just can't afford to spend *any* more money. They have run out of options and something has to give.

      Whole departments are just going to have to go, and I vote for those bastards at the NSA for a start.

      1. John Smith 19 Gold badge
        Unhappy

        "Whole departments are just going to have to go, and I vote for those bastards at the NSA for a start."

        What makes you think you will have that choice?

  5. Commenter44655

    I love how their power/internet bills were all paid up until the 1st of October, and no suddenly since they apparently have no money to pay them, they've been shut off with no notice.

    Oh, what's that? They still have the servers up and the internet connections are running? Then why the hell can't we get to the sites? Shouldn't they still be up and running, just not being updated?

    And why are the senators and congressmen still drawing pay -- shouldn't they, too, be "shut down?" Shouldn't they have been the first to have their funding cut? I mean, c'mon, make it worth it to them to figure this out.

    1. saned

      Congressmen will very quickly balance the budget when a law is passed that requires them to draw their pay only on government *surplus*. If not, they should go unpaid.

      1. sjsmoto

        Congressmen will very quickly balance the budget when a law is passed that requires them to draw their pay only on government *surplus*. If not, they should go unpaid.

        Google is showing that almost half of them are millionaires, so not getting paid won't bother them. I would figure the holdouts are in this club so they wouldn't care either.

      2. Oninoshiko

        Congressmen will very quickly balance the budget when a law is passed that requires them to draw their pay only on government *surplus*. If not, they should go unpaid.

        That would be unconstitutional.

        Stop laughing, I'm serious. It's forbidden by the 27th amendment.

        1. Don Jefe

          It is unconstitutional. It would also be against their interests. Only one of those things is relevant to them. Can you guess which?

    2. An0n C0w4rd

      <quote>I love how their power/internet bills were all paid up until the 1st of October, and no suddenly since they apparently have no money to pay them, they've been shut off with no notice.</quote>

      It's more secure to leave a minimalist "We're not here" website up than the full website which could get severely pwned before the muppets on Capital Hill get their act together.

      There's also a ton of infrastructure behind a lot of the sites, that will probably be turned off (or at least secured from being available online) for similar reasons.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Unofficial response from a friend that works at NASA (i.e. he works in the IT group, not the press office):

        "It is partly that no one is around to monitor but partly because the government is shutdown and thus web presence must shutdown too"

        They also said that there is still a security team monitoring the NASA network, but obviously the first line of defence is the firewalls are basically in "deny all" mode, even for traffic that is normally let through

    3. Charles Manning

      "Then why the hell can't we get to the sites?" For the same reason you are not allowed onto park and trails which cost even less to maintain: to push the budget issue into the foreground.

      Nobody really wants to address the national debt and is happy to just turn on the TV and forget all about the $18T debt sol long as all their creature comforts are on tap. The USA has a debt crisis and turning off services is the only way to make Johnny USAian sit up and take notice.

      The biggest problem with making a budget is making one that everyone can sign up to and moves the country away from debt. Having lived so long on both national and personal borrowing, most people will not like the idea that they have to make some hard choices.

      A balanced budget means a lot of cuts all around as well as making some huge value calls on what should and should not be funded.

      I would put universal healthcare well ahead of military spending. I would not do it using the Obamacare model though - I would rather have a system that gives everyone healthcare - not just low income people without insurance. However the might of the US military is a huge part of the American psyche.

      But my view is irrelevant - I'm not an American voter.

  6. Gordon 10 Silver badge

    Genuine question - have the democrats ever been in opposition to the incumbent Prez and help shut down the US Govt or has it always been a Republican House vs a Democrat Prez?

    1. Chad H.

      Yes, the democrats have caused a shutdown, under President Ray-Gun... Sorry, I mean Reagan.

    2. Gordon 10 Silver badge

      Googled my own answer 18 times with various permutations of Democrat vs Republican controlled House, Senate ad Prez, since 1976 accordingto Wiki including this one.

      Do none of them have ANY shame? Cant anyone just pass a law forbidding the linkage of additional legislation to the budget. Then at least they could keep the disputes on funding issues rather than just a free for all.

      1. Don Jefe

        The President used to be responsible for the annual Federal budget. It was his primary operational role. If he had time he'd make some speeches, maybe do a little warring, but the budget pretty well occupied his time.

        Congress decided they didn't like that and took budgetary control away from the President. Now both sides can extort the country and milk it to further their own ends. They effectively made the office of President a Beeblebrox role with little real power. It completely broke the system of governance and we've been paying for it ever since. More resources have always been spent trying to undermine the 'other side' than on getting things done. No party is innocent in this. They are equally guilty for undermining their own country for greed and self interest.

        1. Eddy Ito Silver badge

          HUH?!?!

          "They effectively made the office of President a Beeblebrox role with little real power."

          When did this happen? Presidents have been doing their damndest to push their power envelope past the last Jerk in Chief and have been doing it since at least Andrew Jackson. Arguably FDR was the best at it being able to push around both other branches of government with the best accomplishment being Presidential term limits.

        2. John Smith 19 Gold badge
          Unhappy

          "No party is innocent in this. They are equally guilty for undermining their own country for greed and self interest."

          And now it does not even take a whole parties support to jam the system to a stand still..

          10% of it will do it.

  7. jubtastic1

    Nice

    "Tools down, no one's getting paid (except us off course), until we can be arsed to do our job again"

  8. sisk

    Get it right

    Before I say this I want to make clear that I'm an independent with a very moderate outlook.

    The Republicans are NOT primarily to blame for this mess. If you want to lay the blame in any one place (which I don't think you really should), then it lies squarely with Harry Reid, the moron who refused to even allow the issue to be debated. When a significant portion of Congress wants to vote on an issue and the Senate majority leader won't even talk about it then it's time to throw him out on his ear.

    (Also, Obamacare should never have been passed on the basis than none of the Congressional morons who passed it actually read it. If they worked for me I'd fire the lot of them for that move. (Three of them do, sort of, but I can't fire them without the help of several dozens of thousand of my peers, most of whom are so far out on the political extremes that party affiliation means more to them than what the crooks they keep electing are actually doing.) Exactly what it encompasses is irrelevant to the point that THEY DIDN'T READ THE FRACKING THING! Do I think it was a good idea? I'm not sure. I haven't read it either, but unlike them it's not my job to read proposed legislation.

    1. Chad H.

      Re: Get it right

      The issue was debated... And passed by both houses! There's a reason why its called the affordable care act and not the affordable care bill. Acts have been passed, the debate is complete, it is law.

      As for the shutdown, that again was debated, and the senate voted against passing the bill, thrice.

      1. Charles Manning

        Law != implementation

        Just passing something into law does not make it happen. It still needs to be funded and prioritised over other spending.

        There are also various acts that give the USA national parks, a military and roads. So which should get the priority?

        Funding is the final hurdle for any policy. If they gave Omabacare a one dollar budget it can't function.

        1. Don Jefe

          Re: Law != implementation

          Eliminating funding is cowardly politics, a move played by cowards on both sides. The system wasn't designed to work that way. Budget concerns were to be addressed in the bills debate and once signed into law you dealt with the reality. If your side lost, you put on a bold face and made the best of it. You didn't cut off funding or shut down the government because you were too weak to cope with reality.

          1. John Smith 19 Gold badge
            Unhappy

            Re: Law != implementation

            " Budget concerns were to be addressed in the bills debate and once signed into law you dealt with the reality."

            Sounds like a plan.

            "You didn't cut off funding or shut down the government because you were too weak to cope with reality."

            Should not does not mean will not.

    2. Don Jefe

      Re: Get it right

      It is very, very rare for any legislator to read the legislation they vote on, even sponsor. The laws have mostly been drafted by private groups for nearly 40 years now. It is really easy to tell if an actual Congressperson came up with a bill all by themselves. It is always really fucking stupid. Like declaring parts of the Moon a National Park and sovereign territory. If it actually sounds like legal policy then a 3rd party private entity wrote it. Every single time.

      1. Northumbrian
        FAIL

        Re: Get it right

        I can't argue with you about who drafted the bills - I have no knowledge of that area. But I do have some idea of the difference between writing and reading. Even if the congresspersons have not *written* a bill, that does not mean that they can't *read* it before voting on it. Especially if they are sponsoring a bill - but I suppose that they mostly read the "executive summary" prepared by the organisation which actually drafted it and which glides over any problems or ambiguities in the actual wording.

        I know elected officials these days are very busy with PR and internecine squabbles, but surely some of them have interns who could read the original document and flag up the bits the original drafters slipped in or over-looked?

    3. ACx

      Re: Get it right

      Independent and moderate?

      Amusing...

    4. Someone Else Silver badge
      Facepalm

      @sisk Re: Get it right

      (Also, Obamacare should never have been passed on the basis than none of the Congressional morons who passed it actually read it. [...])

      That would disqualify the vast majority of bills passed by the Congress since the beginning of the Republic. Including the badly misnamed PATRIOT ACT, and every budget resolution since at least Ronald McDonald Reagan, and quite likely before that.

    5. MNDaveW

      Re: Get it right

      Independent moderate, my ass.

      We in the U.S. are about half a century behind nearly every developed society on the planet with regard to healthcare. The Republican party is a coalition of about seven "one donkey" shows. They draw in the Religious Right, paranoid firearms advocates and others with empty promises of action that never appears -- all the while vigorously protecting their only real agenda: "Help the rich get richer by any and all means."

      If you have a gram of compassion anywhere in that tiny cold black heart you might be a moderate. If you didn't focus on the singular Republican scapegoat issue you might be an independent.

      1. Oninoshiko

        Re: Get it right

        Independent moderate, my ass.

        We in the U.S. are about half a century behind nearly every developed society on the planet with regard to healthcare.

        Can you tell me what THIS BILL does to alter that? The only people who benefit from this are insurance companies.

        Those who could not afford health insurance before, only get it now to avoid the fine, but they buy the cheapest thing they can to do it. It's called a "Bronze level plan" under the Affordable Care Act. These are high deductible plans, so they still have to pay for much more then they can afford out of pocket (only now, that they are play for the insurance too, they can afford even less!).

        Those of who have insurance will see rates go up, in addition, many plans (in particular the ones negotiated by organized labour) will be taxed, along with taxes added to medical devices (pacemakers, insulin pumps, etc).

        The penalty for businesses not offering insurance only affects full-time employees, and even then only for businesses with greater then 50 full time employees. Encouraging hiring part-time staff to keep your full time staff at 49 or less.

        So, please remind me, how compassionate are the backers of this bill?

        1. Don Jefe

          Re: Get it right

          It is a law now. It stopped being a bill quite a few years ago.

          The debate was had, had again and had some more. The matter is settled. That's how our political system works. Debate while the debate is on and deal with the outcome.

          The refusal of all involved to follow the very rules they claim to be supporting is the highest of hypocrisies. Even worse it highlights the weaknesses of the GOP platform and its leadership. They cannot lead through this. They cannot deal with reality. They've been throughly trounced so many times over this that now they look like nothing more than spoiled brats who want to take their game home now that they're lost.

          Everyday this drags on the GOP and tea party lose credibility and strength. They can act now to fix this and lose the nutter vote or act later and keep moving voters to the left. They've cut their own throats by acting like bullies in so very many other matters that the bulk of the public blames them for the shutdown. That's all that maters, voter perception. The GOP is going to have to get some leadership. Right now they've got the political equivalent of Stephen Elop in charge of the House.

        2. Chad H.

          Re: Get it right

          >>>>>Can you tell me what THIS BILL does to alter that? The only people who benefit from this are insurance companies.

          This bill has nothing to do with healthcare at all. It is an appropriations/supply bill to find the government.

          Perhaps you mean the affordable care act, which is not a bill.

          Seriously, if you don't know the difference you need to stop copy/pasting crap from tea party HQ and instead go spend some time learning how congress works.

      2. sisk

        Re: Get it right

        We in the U.S. are about half a century behind nearly every developed society on the planet with regard to healthcare. The Republican party is a coalition of about seven "one donkey" shows. They draw in the Religious Right, paranoid firearms advocates and others with empty promises of action that never appears -- all the while vigorously protecting their only real agenda: "Help the rich get richer by any and all means."

        If you have a gram of compassion anywhere in that tiny cold black heart you might be a moderate. If you didn't focus on the singular Republican scapegoat issue you might be an independent.

        A very one sided way of thinking there. And pretty much wrong to.

        Don't misunderstand: I'm as scornful of the Republicans as I am of the Democrats. Neither party has our best interests at heart. The left puts on a good show, but they're just as guilty of some of the things you're accusing Republicans of as the Republicans are. If you pay attention you'll notice that no matter how hard things get for the rest of us the leaders of the Democratic party are still getting richer. Everyone in DC, with the possible exception of the (possibly insane) Pauls have hidden agendas. I call the Pauls possible exceptions because they, unlike others there, seem to tell their views whether it pisses off everyone in the room or not, so I find it slightly more believable that they're being truthful.

        Accusing me of having a 'tiny cold black heart' on the basis that you happen to disagree with me is stupid. I won't beat around the bush there. Make you point with facts, not insults. And this is ONE issue. Commenting on it doesn't mean I focus on it. I come down on the side of the left or the right pretty evenly if you look at the whole spectrum of issues, hence why I say I'm a moderate.

    6. James Micallef Silver badge

      Re: Get it right

      Thing is, Republicans got their arses whupped in the last election. Now they're using the budget / debt ceiling issues to basically say "you either implement our agenda even though it was shot down at the polls by a huge majority, or else we screw up the entire US economy".

      Harry Reid was right not to even discuss the Republican proposals because their proposals were 100% take, take, take, "you do exactly what I say, or else", no interest in negotiating anything.

      Imagine if Vladimir Putin had told Obama "You're going to enact the laws that I want, even though they're complete opposite of what US public voted for, or else I'm going to nuke Washington"

      It's basically political terrorism

  9. Blofeld's Cat
    Big Brother

    Hmm...

    This will probably be a short lived event, but it could still lead to the people responsible being asked awkward questions.

    Questions such as: "What is it you actually do all day?" and "Do we really need to employ you?"

    The B Ark is now ready for boarding..

    1. Charles Manning

      Who are "the people responsible"

      It is easy to blame the politicians for not signing up to infinite spending, but at the end of the day the people responsible for this are the US voters who vote for people them.

  10. David Halko
    Angel

    Strange Reporting... Seemingly Opposite Positions!

    The writer suggests, "Republicans wanted to see a public healthcare scheme dubbed Obamacare delayed by at least a year - something the Democrats just wouldn't agree to"

    ummm... not exactly...

    Actually, aspects of the bill have already been delayed by the Democratic President, meaning President Obama is technically breaking the law, but the Democratic Senate have not impeached Democratic President Obama for not following the law (which the Democratic Senate penned.)

    Ironically, the Democratic Senate and Democratic President Obama refused to pass the suggestion by the Republican House of Representatives, the proposed extension, which would allow The President off-the-hook for technically breaking the law. The legal "relaxation" of the law was rejected by the Democrats, wholesale, leaving President Obama legally liable, and allowing the government to be partially shut down!

    Does the Democratic Senate want to follow up with articles of Impeachment, for every law item that has been illegally delayed by the President Obama, of their own political party? Will the media hold the U.S. President accountable, for the illegal delays instituted by the Democratically controlled Executive branch?

    Honestly, this is beyond crazy! Why can't these people just do something according to the letter of the Law and their Constitution, instead of always doing things illegally?

    If it was a Republican President, one might expect the EXACT SAME THING to play out: Republican House trying to pass a law to give their President legal wiggle-room, and a Democratic Senate trying to block it... but the Democratic Senate would already be moving to impeach the Republican President.

    This comedy never ceases to amaze me!!!

  11. T. F. M. Reader Silver badge

    OK, NASA is off the 'Net...

    ...but what about NSA?

    1. h3

      Re: OK, NASA is off the 'Net...

      They will be fine. (Come under national security).

  12. Mark Scott
    Stop

    Warning!

    An IT joke I saw on Twitter earlier today:

    "America was not shut down properly. Would you like to start America in safe mode, with free healthcare and without the guns? (Recommended)"

  13. jr424242

    Very biased

    Portraying the majority of the House or Representative as a "hard core" fringe is absurd, and amounts to a sheep-like retelling of the Reid/Obama party line. El Reg should aspire to better models than Pravda.

    1. codejunky Silver badge

      Re: Very biased

      @ jr424242

      I would guess by the downvotes that people here dont like to think of the democrats as extremists. Instead they are just sticking to their guns (so to speak).

      To disagree it takes both sides. Both sides elected. Both sides believe they are right. One wants to improve healthcare, one wants to reign in the excessive spending. Both noble goals yet it is the extremists of both sides throwing insults instead of negotiating.

      Is free healthcare good if the country has no money for any public services? Is it worth being a very rich country if you cant afford to live? Both are good arguments, the answer is not simple

      1. Don Jefe
        Stop

        Re: Very biased

        The Republicans do not want to reign in spending. They want to reallocate spending. Read through their proposals. I challenge you to read through them and see for yourself. Don't take the pundits word for it or John Elop Boehner's word for it. Go back to 2001 or start with 2013. Overall spending remains level with a decrease in tax revenue in all their proposed and in their in place policies.

        The GOP want to move the expenditures, basically to other departments, where the numbers look better. The Democrats just accept the numbers don't look good. Both parties proposed and actual policies increase the overall debt and neither really wants to do anything about it. They'll lose votes. That's the only thing they want are votes.

        Instead of parroting what you've heard on TV or news sites spend the time to get to know proposed and actual legislation. It is plainly evident that reducing the debt is not a goal of either the Republican or Democratic parties.

        Both parties are equally guilty of fucking the taxpayer. Neither party is going to help you, the average citizen. It is in their best interests if you choose sides and take at face value the things their 'platform represents'. A divided populace is good for them and they'll do everything they can to keep it that way. People should set an example for the lawmakers and stop choosing sides: That's extremism.

  14. David Halko
    Paris Hilton

    Subsidy & access to insurance... not quite what it seems...

    The article author writes, "The reforms came into force today, allowing millions of poor Americans access to low-cost, state-backed health insurance."

    Millions of poor Americans already had government-backed health insurance for generations - it is called Medicaid.

    Millians of poor Americans already had state-backed health insurance, offered on a state-by-state level, depending on where they choose to live, and how they choose to vote.

    The first Federal Government funded Health Insurance plans for the "uninsurable" were offered many months ago. The subsidy funding "dried up" with weeks, and the plan was already closed to new participants. This exchange is for a class of people that were once considered "insurable".

    The law actually compels employers (who did not get a waver by The President's appointees) to offer health insurance to full time employees. This has been forcing government, educational, and cost sensitive retail institutions to force employees to part-time status, cutting their wages.

    The law actually compels non-poor people, through a tax penalty, to purchase health insurance, who might not otherwise have health insurance. This means, the people who used to be working middle class, but not poor enough for Medicaid, to be taxed at the end of the year, placing additional pressure on former middle-class families.

    The law raises the cost of medical devices (i.e. splints, machines, etc.) consumed by people. This raises the cost of medical care for everyone.

    Sure, there will be a subsidy for those families, but will it be the equivalent to the 25%-50% of the salary, that they lost due to The Affordable Health Insurance Act?

    Sure, there will be a subsidy for some families, but will it be the equivalent of the taxes they will pay for the medical devices that they need in their treatment process?

    The Federal Government "taking over" student loans and encouraging students to take out more loans for college/university, regardless of aptitude or likelihood of being able to complete their degree, was supposed to be a major source of (guaranteed) funding for the Affordable Health Care Act. Was this a reasonable thing to do?

    The number of uninsured, in the United States, is projected by the Congressional Budget Office, to remain about the same after the law. Some people are asking, why all of this cost & effort, when there will be no-net-change in the people being covered?

    The President exempted the Federal Government from the Affordable Care Act, which cut into a guaranteed funding source. It is illegal for Congress to pass a law, exempting themselves, but it is not corruption for Congress to pass a law and have the Executive Branch exempt them from it, drying up subsidy funding (tax) sources?

    Over 50% of polled Americans disagree with Obamacare, many of them for may more reasons that above, but The Republicans taking the "populist" role may not be as politically expedient as they desire.

    1. wilber

      Re: Subsidy & access to insurance... not quite what it seems...

      "Over 50% of polled Americans disagree with Obamacare..."

      If this is in fact true, why is it that when 90% of Americans were polled indicated that they were in favor of Universal Gun Registration nothing was changed? I suppose that that was politically expedient.

      I believe over half of that 50% you referred to said they would not want a Government Shutdown to make the point.

      The US Congress passed ACA in to law and the president signed it and it was ruled Constitutional by the Supreme Court . If they now want to change the law, then change it, but don't close down the government just because now you don't like.

      1. Don Jefe

        Re: Subsidy & access to insurance... not quite what it seems...

        They've tried to change it. The Republicans have had more preliminary vote counts and floor votes trying to change the ACA than any other bill in US history. Every single one failed. They couldn't even muster up enough support within their own party to change the law.

        Every Congressperson is equally responsible for the shutdown. But only the GOP are responsible for completely wasting two years of legislative time focusing on the past instead of dealing with reality and moving forward. The GOP is broken and their leadership is weak. Like any weak entity, the first to strike are the extremists and that's exactly what happened to the GOP. The tea party nutters got in and have poisoned the party from the inside.

    2. Ian 55

      "depending on where they choose to live, and how they choose to vote"

      This is 'let them eat cake', isn't it?

      Not everyone can just up and move to another state, and not everyone is somewhere where their vote matters.

      Some are somewhere where there have been active attempts to stop them voting. Some are somewhere that's been gerrymandered to fuck. Even for presidential elections, if you are not in one of a handful of states, your vote is irrelevant.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    We asked 100 people...

    .....to name a country that didn't have enough money to pay government staff to keep working.

    You said GreeceAmerica

    Our survey said......

    (and it's not even as if they haven't actually got the money. Barking mad, the lot of them)

  16. Dave Hilling

    "A pox on both your houses."

    Its the fault of all the retards in government. You have two sides unwilling to negotiate on anything. One side claims they are negotiating by demanding they get only what they want.... and the other the exact same thing. Its all their faults and anyone who refuses to see it is just a blind partisan unwilling to look deeper than the news headline on their favorite news channel.

    1. Don Jefe

      Re: "A pox on both your houses."

      That's just it, regardless of your personal politics, this is 100% the fault of everyone in Congress. No finger pointing, no nothing, this is abject failure on the parts of Federal Legislators. Every single one of them is just as responsible as the next.

      The only people this hurts are the Citizens. With no functional government they have broken the only thing they were supposed to be doing. Stopping government is not an optional move, you simply can't do tat and consider yourself as doing a good job.

      They can horse trade and place blame all they like, but when they can't come to an agreement and keep the government working they are all to blame. Trying to decide which side is 'right' only hurts us more as Citizens. It is to their advantage, and our disadvantage: Like nearly everything they do. Fuck 'em all, each and every one.

  17. lglethal Silver badge
    WTF?

    The real question I would like the answer to...

    Does anyone think that there is ANY chance that this will change the way Americans will vote i the future?

    Will Americans now begin to show some common sense and start voting out all of these idiots or am I being ridicuously optimistic?

    1. Don Jefe

      Re: The real question I would like the answer to...

      It'll be the same lizards, no matter which lizard gets in. The system is rigged from step #1 to keep 'alternative parties' out of Washington. Only the two main parties quality for State or Federal campaign funds and the radio and TV networks don't give them time because they don't have to. The system is so insanely rigged that occasionally big 'Brand Name' candidates can't get on the ballot in their own State.

      The Republicans and Democrats both skew the system equally. They despise other parties so badly they'd rather elect their enemy than have someone else get in on the flag burning they get up to on Capitol Hill.

    2. Someone Else Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: The real question I would like the answer to...

      That's not exactly the right question. Now that gerrymandering is the law of the land (both parties do it as much as they can) and the SCOTUS has decreed that "money is speech", Incumbents are extremely hard to remove, except at the primary level (where our highly intelligent, civic minded, voting populace is eager to exercise its franchise...Oh, wait...I forgot the <sarcasm> tag....).

      To show common sense, Americans need to start voting out state representatives, and vote in those who will create a fair mechanism for redistricting.

      Yeah, like that's gonna happen....

    3. MNDaveW

      Re: The real question I would like the answer to...

      Corporate USA has funded all the winners. Those winners will never change the system that allowed them to win. They may talk a little different, but take a Republican and give him/her a new sound track (you might need to lube him/her up a bit) and you have a Democrat.

      "Obama-care" does provide for the USA's disenfranchised, but it also makes it illegal to choose not to be insured. By law you must send your money to an insurance company. This is a Republican wet dream. If the Republicans tried to create that law they would get stomped for their blatant avarice (AKA Republicanism).

      It does not matter who gets elected. Without corporate funding (and the resulting special interests), no one has a chance. Meat the new boss. Same as the old boss.

      1. Don Jefe

        Re: The real question I would like the answer to...

        Of course the ACA is a Republican wet dream. The overall plan was drawn up by the most conservative think tank in the nation. That plan was chosen as a way to get conservatives onboard. That predictably backfired because the GOP isn't after any sort of successful policy, they're after the Democrats Congressional seats.

        Instead of trying to include the GOP, the Obama administration should have rammed through real public health care and let the GOP negotiate down to an ACA plan. That would have let the GOP feel strong, and that's really what all this is about. The GOP are supposed to be the strong party, but in reality they can't cope when things aren't exactly to their liking. That's how the tea party got in, posing as 'strong'.

  18. Nathan 6

    No Library of Congress (LOC), Means no document validation

    In the library world a surprising number of XML formatted documents rely on LOC for the Schema needed for validation. Those are all gone now, so work just grind to a halt for now.

    1. bigtimehustler

      Re: No Library of Congress (LOC), Means no document validation

      A reason to never rely on external schemas for validation, if the server goes down, so do you. Pull the validation resources down locally and refer to them on the same server, then your in control!

    2. Dodgy Geezer Silver badge

      Re: No Library of Congress (LOC), Means no document validation

      ...In the library world a surprising number of XML formatted documents rely on LOC for the Schema needed for validation. Those are all gone now, so work just grind to a halt for now....

      So this is a very good trial run to find out what we would have to do to take the net away from the US permanently, then...?

      1. John Smith 19 Gold badge
        Unhappy

        Re: No Library of Congress (LOC), Means no document validation

        "So this is a very good trial run to find out what we would have to do to take the net away from the US permanently, then...?"

        It's tempting, but no.

        This is just the US government.

        BTW as the NSA comes under the DoD I think it will remain connected, although it's web site is probably off line.

    3. Don Jefe
      Thumb Up

      @ Nathan 6

      I think you deserve some sort of an award for finding a real IT angle in all this and staying above the stupid politics! Well done!

  19. Yes Me Silver badge
    Joke

    NSA

    www.nsa.gov sez "Due to the Government Shutdown, this site is not being updated." Maybe they aren't capturing any metadata then.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Boehner puts career on the line

    Like Newt Gingrich before him, John Boehner is at the far end of the plank, and seems to be sawing away at it with every opportunity. The inevitable backlash will force his supporters to distance themselves..it's already happening... and then he'll be the whipping boy for the Republican party, not the poster boy.

  21. Moof

    Great Scam!

    Hire all the developers to come up with redirects and a simple page that screams "oh noes, the government ntertubes are broken!" ... then bail on paying for it all because they are broke!

  22. phil dude
    FAIL

    healthcare.gov is....

    hard to reach. It seems demand for the "unpopular" act is overwhelming. I have been unable to access it since 8am EST. It could of course just be my state, which Hates the Prez (tm).

    Now, it is entirely possible the website was "not ready", but the fact it was not stopped by the shutdown, sort of makes Obama's point. It is law and it is going to happen.

    We are ALL waiting to see what happens....

    P.

  23. Infernoz Bronze badge
    Mushroom

    This is just a mild taste of reality

    All the thickos complaining about this are missing the point; the point is this was only able to happen because the US government failed to live within it's means i.e. budget. If you think this is bad, just wait until foreign countries finally have enough and dump US treasuries, so the government can't get new debt, and has existing debt which come due and can't be refinanced, so it suddenly has a massive growing hole in it's budget! It is only a matter of time before this implosion occurs, and the attempts to stop this are becoming less and less effective; the FED can only buy so much US treasuries, before the stink becomes unbearable!

    1. Chad H.

      Re: This is just a mild taste of reality

      Um, no.

      Appropriations and spending bills have to be passed all the time, surplus, deficit, or anything in between. They are bread and butter bills to reallocate funds from the treasury to the departments.

      The Debt ceiling problem is in two weeks.

      The reason why this has happened to because the republicans in the house haven't been able to convince the senate to repeal the AHA any of the 40 odd times they've tried... So they're now taking hostages.

  24. codeusirae

    Democrats just won't agree.

    "Republicans wanted to see a public healthcare scheme dubbed Obamacare delayed by at least a year - something the Democrats just wouldn't agree to, because"

    The Obamacare bill had passed all legal requirements and was duly signed into law, and has no connection with Republican attempts to blackmail Obamo by threatening to shutdown the economy if they didn't get their own way. If the democrats had tried this then wails of 'anti-American traitors' would have gone up all over Washington.

  25. moiety

    Tax holiday time

    ...as taxes are to pay for government; and as that government has downed tools, then clearly the tax isn't payable from now until they sort their shit out.

  26. P. Lee

    Meanwhile, back in the Clouds

    Companies reeling from NSA snooping revelations are further hit by the realisation by Business that the USA has a government which is intrusive and has banana-republic stability.

    If you really want to correct your budget (and yes, we know you really do need to), stop waging wars on people and stuff. I offer a two-pronged strategy: keep the health-care, stop sending your young men to dangerous places. You'll save far more lives using health-care than you'll save by stalking Bin Ladin's roommates and you'll look far more noble.

    (That goes for the UK gov too.)

    1. Don Jefe

      Re: Meanwhile, back in the Clouds

      Maybe they should declare a 'War on Budgets'! Declaring war on something is a proven way to accomplish exactly the opposite its intended goals.

      Declaring war also provides an easy out for all involves. You can change the goals as soon as you start losing, declare it all a smashing success and go home to decide what thing to declare war on next. It's a win-win for all, especially for anyone involved in the targeted thing!

  27. Big_Ted

    This is so simple

    Its the political equivolent of the kid taking his ball home because no-one will do what he tells them.

    It doesn't matter if everyone else is stopped from doing what they want all that matters is that they feel they are the most important.

    There should be no way to stop government from continuing to work like they have now there should only be the right to stop changes to the budget ie cuts / increases until voted for.

    That way government could carry on kicking the ball while the snotty kid sorts out his problems with a few others.....

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    NASA website

    "Due to the lapse in federal government funding, this website is not available." ...what kind of funding does it take to actually keep the previous contents - no updates,i admit that those can cost someone's time - ? It can't even be about hosting since the website is still there and displaying the message - arguably they had to pay someone to write this page and do the redirect .

    1. Chad H.

      Re: NASA website

      As other commenters have noted, including myself. There is the cost of bandwidth to provide a full service (apparently that Nasa closed page is 21k, as opposed to a browsing session in the Mbs per person), and the problem of noone patching out security flaws as they arise.

      Lets say a new vulnerability is discovered next week that GovernmentProjectA.gov is vulnerable to. lets say that site has personal data on it... I dunno maybe ticket sales to an event or a submission system for a permit or something.

      Would it be better for the site to be down, or up and not maintained?

      1. Don Jefe

        Re: NASA website

        You're right about the unpatched vulnerabilities, but even if one were found it is highly unlikely it would be fixed in a week or so anyway.

        But the bandwidth costs thing doesn't work. The government pays an annual set fee for bandwidth. The providers have already been paid. This is more about making it visible the government has quit working. I work in DC and even there it is hard to tell the government does anything other than fill up the metro with staff and clog up the highways. They've got to so something extremely visible or nobody would notice they were gone.

  29. Shrimpling

    Is it time for history to repeat itself?

    "Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, "

    This sounds like a job for the well regulated militia baring arms I hear so much about.

  30. Tanuki
    Devil

    What about the IRS?

    One hopes that the Infernal Revenue Service are also suspended for the duration of this regulatory hiatus.

  31. Bathrug

    Closed ... was it ever open

    I find it just hilarious, the US government is closed, how can you close a government.

    What they are really doing is just making each other look childish, What ever odd system is in place; the truth of the matter is that business runs the USA, not government and certainly not By the people FOR the people.

    The rants about Obamacare are really irrelevant considering health care is a human right as laid out under section 25 in the universal declaration of human rights. It doesn't say " you have the right to purchase health care" if we used that mentality...

    We would have no democratic system at all , only a system of lobbyists, capitalists and the corporate entities that hang in the shadows behind them.

    I agree with the earlier poster, that the biggest danger to American health .. is the complete f**ked up mentality that sending people to war is more important than saving them from illness and death. That somehow the USA can use warfare to rescue them from a recession/depression as was in the 1930's.

    Cut spending to defense, as invading everyone else .. it isn't defense; its OFFENSE, and start spending it on Schools to educate those who use the military as a career, spend it on a healthcare system that gives people the ability to live without bankruptcy. Ultimately we are watching the USA unravel before our eyes and how can it give democracy to others, when it clearly cant find its arse with both hands

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    A REPUBLIBCAN WALKS INTO A DARK, BACK STREET ...

    FILL THE REST YOURSELF....

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Minor nitpick

    "Tweets from the President are signed -bo"

  34. phil dude
    Linux

    more on healthcare.gov

    I got downvoted last time for something I said....?

    Anyway, tried to signup again today and the website is more fluid. But there is a nagging bug that stops people signing up. It asks you to pick 3 security Q's from drop down boxes. Whatever you put as the answers it says "you must have different replies for the questions". Ooopps!

    We'll see how day three goes...

    P.

  35. Hadrian

    Who turned off the satellite data?

    I'm annoyed I can't get access to NASA / NOAA satellite data for my work (in the UK). Why they can't just leave the computers switched on is a mystery.

    It would be a pity if the MAVEN Mars mission fails to launch next month because of a few petulant politicians.

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