The U.S. Government Shutdown, Explained With LEGOs

#Politics

Wed, Oct 9th, 2013 21:00 by capnasty NEWS

On The Atlantic Wire, the U.S. Government shutdown is explained using nothing more than LEGOs. The size of the pieces actually helps make clear where the money is going.

Confused about the back-and-forth between the House and Senate over the budget shutdown that threatens the entire American economy? Allow us to explain, using the Legos on our desk.

On The Washington Post, Ezra Klein looks at the 13 reasons Washington is failing:

At this point, it's almost cliche to say Washington isn't working. But the truth is harsher: Washington is actively failing. It's failing to craft policies that make the country better. And it's failing to avoid disasters that make the country worse.

It's nice to imagine these failures are temporary or aberrational. It's comforting to believe that they're the result of bad people, or dumb people, or incompetent people. But the truth is more unnerving: The American political system is being torn apart by deep structural changes that don't look likely to reverse themselves anytime soon. A deal to reopen the government won't fix what ails American politics.

And so we need to look deeper than just this battle. The sooner we recognize that something is wrong with Washington, the sooner we can begin the hard work of fixing it.

Meanwhile, the shutdown is causing some other problems:

A multi-state Salmonella outbreak is exactly the scenario food safety advocates and lawmakers warned about when the federal government was forced to shutdown last week.

Now that nightmare has come true, though the federal agencies charged with arresting foodborne illnesses are scrambling to make do.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which is operating with about one-third of its staff on the job during the shutdown, confirmed Tuesday that it has now brought back 30 furloughed employees in its foodborne division to help handle the outbreak, which has sickened 278 people in 18 states.

And lastly, if LEGOs are too complex for you, here's a lovely analogy.

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