Government Shutdownpocalypse Live-Blog: Day 4

Photo: Warner Bros.

Oh, look, it's the fourth day of the government shutdown, with no end in sight. Fantastic. We'll be keeping track of all the bickering, name-calling, grandstanding and political posturing right here, all day, again. 

6:02 p.m.: This seems as good a way as any to cap off one of the stupidest weeks ever.

5:19 p.m.: Ted Cruz explains compromise as only Ted Cruz can (because of his inability to feel shame):

“It is the view of every Republican in this body, and indeed every Republican in the House, that Obamacare should be entirely and completely repealed. Nonetheless, the House started with a compromise of saying, not repealing Obamacare, but simply that it should be defunded.”

4:55 p.m.: The National Weather Service in Alaska is getting sassy

4:54 p.m.: "I will personally pay the cost of panda cam's electricity." You get one guess.

4.39 p.m.: D.C.'s Z-Burger had been offering free burgers to furloughed government employees since Monday, but yesterday, its owner announced he had to end the deal

Peter Tabibian, Z-Burger’s owner, said the chain gave out 15,840 hamburgers during the promotion, the equivalent of more than $88,000 at retail prices. “It literally almost put me out of business,” he said. Lines over 200 people deep were also burning out Z-Burger employees, he said.

This is why we can't have nice things.

4:34 p.m.: Curious how much members of Congress have earned since shutting down the government. Here you go!

2:56 p.m.: Democrats are attempting some kind of sneaky procedural trick to force a vote on a clean continuing resolution in the House. Stay tuned. 

2:50 p.m.: We gave twenty furloughed federal workers 100 words to say whatever they want about the shutdown. A few excerpts:

  • "The govt seems to have become more like terrorists than leaders."
  • "We are competing with the Googles and Yahoos, we need to be at least open for business."
  • "I'd rather lose my house than see Democrats cave and Republicans walk away thinking this is a winning strategy."
  • "I'm an immigrants. Growing up, I wanted to be nothing else but American .... At this moment, all I feel is disappointment."

2:22 p.m.: In his latest piece, Jonathan Chait explains to Republicans how extortion works

2:10 p.m.: President Obama and Joe Biden went to lunch this afternoon at Taylor Gourmet, which is providing a 10 percent discount to furloughed government workers. "That, I think, is an indication of how ordinary Americans look out for each other," Obama said to reporters, "and aren't obsessed with politics and aren't trying to extract concessions out of each other." Very subtle. 

1:18 p.m.: Tourists are continuing to visit the National Mall, but thanks to the shutdown, all the bathrooms are closed. “I was just crying because I couldn’t go to the bathroom for over like 45 minutes," says one tourist from Rochester. She didn't fight the Nazis though so no one cares. 


12:24 p.m. Here's a compilation of the senate chaplain's daily shutdown-related prayers. It's ... it's not working. 

12:10 p.m.: A heroic 29-year-old rabbi has used the power of the dreidel to test the limits of the shutdown. Read her inspiring story here

11:23 a.m.: It seems like "some damn game" is the perfect description for what this is, actually. 

11:09 a.m.: White House press secretary Jay Carney is pushing back against that anonymous administration official's utterly moronic quote in the Wall Street Journal today. 

10:56 a.m.: Hey, Congressman Justin Amash. 2007 called — it wants its pop-culture references back. (Also 1994 just called me, it wants its joke formats back.)

10:25 a.m.: What Harry Reid says about John Boehner in private (and now in public, we guess): "He's a coward."

10:10 a.m.: One small example of the economic ripple effects of the shutdown: Fewer people need dog walkers. "I think they can handle a week," says the owner of one D.C. dog-walking business. "But after a week ... I honestly don't know what I would do."

9:48 a.m.:  North Carolina congresswoman Renee Ellmers, a Republican who supports the shutdown, is not giving up her pay voluntarily, like some other lawmakers. "I need my paycheck," she says. "That's the bottom line." Unlike the 800,000 furloughed federal employees, all of whom are independently wealthy. 

9:40 a.m.: The new Economist cover pays homage to North by Northwest but seems not to realize that humiliating government shutdowns are exactly what the Founders envisioned, according to Newt Gingrich

9:35 a.m.: The debates of the past couple of days have centered around gaffes, or at least perceived gaffes — Harry Reid asking "why would we want to" support an NIH funding bill that saves the lives of children, Congressman Marlin Stutzman admitting that the GOP is merely holding out for something, anything, for the sake of pride. But this one, in the Wall Street Journal, might be the most bone-headed of them all, and it comes from an anonymous Obama administration source: 

Said a senior administration official: "We are winning...It doesn't really matter to us" how long the shutdown lasts "because what matters is the end result."

The conservative National Review didn't waste any time. "Remember that, every time you hear Obama bewail the shutdown, that his own staffers are saying it 'doesn’t really matter' to them how long it lasts," Jim Geraghty writes.