A D.C. fortune cookie: Stay unruffled in govt. game of chicken

B y the Chinese calendar, it's the Year of the Rat, but yours
truly accepts no responsibility for what's happened so far. Actually, it's looking more
like the Year of the Cognitively-Challenged Higher Primate.

The blizzards that iced Washington this month blanketed the end of the second federal
furlough of the fiscal year. Mother Nature wasn't the only one doing a snow job, the Rat

Frustrated cries of federal employees were heard even from the Rat's fur-lined bunker
in cyberspace, while the congressional standoff with the White House showed all the drama
of the Cuban missile crisis re-enacted by a sixth-grade Spanish class.

In this first quarter of the fiscal year, the only people on the federal payroll who
have proved themselves non-essential are the elected ones. Those guys have ideological
differences about the texture of toilet paper in federal rest rooms.

And it isn't over yet.

Amphibian-from-Georgia Newt Gingrich and his minions on Capitol Hill still threaten to
take their ball and go home if the president doesn't play their way. Another furlough is
almost guaranteed--it's just a matter of when. In preparation, the Rat has a list of ways
to protest the lack of organic computing power now demonstrated in this serial game of

For the next government shutdown:

The Packet Rat once managed networks but now spends his time ferreting out bad packets
in cyberspace. E-mail him at ([email protected])

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