Monday, October 7, 2013

Give up paychecks during shutdown? Never mind

DAY SIX - Government shutdown

Of the many comments from  lawmakers to the question of whether they will give up their pay during the shutdown, a few have made it to the top of the pile. These would include...

Rep. Renee Ellmers, R-N.Car., who said she would not forego her pay because "I need
my paychecks.  That's the bottom  line."  ( Actually it wasn't.  Her words created  such a stir that she changed her mind and agreed to send the money to charity.)

Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, also appears to have had a change of heart after first declaring. "I'm working.  I'll continue to be paid."   Lee, you should know, once served as Supreme Court Justice Alito's law clerk when Alito was an appellate judge.)

We particularly liked Sen. Orrin Hatch's (R-Utah) response in giving up his pay. The Salt Lake Tribune noted Hatch, a Mormon,  will send it to the Church of the Latter Day Saints. He's obligated  to  give his church five weeks pay a year.  The charitable add-on is therefore tax deductible. One observer noted that he merely turned the other check.

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One possible  game changer in the shutdown is to lock Speaker John Boehner and all of the Tea Partyers  in the U.S.  House in a room without chairs or men's rooms until they agree to vote on a clean bill.

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As one who lived through the horrific McCarthy Era as a student and later a reporter, I would  caution  you not to take the comparison of Ted Cruz to Joe McCarthy lightly.  In a spin of the Buick commercial,  "If you didn't know Joe McCarthy, you don't know Ted Cruz."

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