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Meat shortages won't be the only way federal worker furloughs affect our lives if the sequester takes effect. Nearly two million workers, approximately 800,000 of them civilian staffers at the defense department, could be furloughed beginning in April, and while those two million workers will be more directly and harshly affected than most, the fact that they won't be on the job as usual will have broad effects on air travel, education, law enforcement, cancer research, and services to vulnerable groups, as President Obama sketched out on Tuesday.

Furloughs of air traffic controllers will mean that "the volume of travel must be decreased," according to Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. Meanwhile:

The Transportation Security Administration would also face unspecified furloughs that will "substantially increase passenger wait times at airport security checkpoints," according to Janet Napolitano, secretary of Homeland Security.

Democrats on the House Appropriations Committee estimated that TSA would furlough its workforce seven days, which would add an hour to checkpoint lines.

Customs and Border Protection officers would be furloughed 12 to 14 days each, meaning three-hour waits at the busiest airports, according to committee Democrats.

On top of that, cuts to health funding could mean not only cancer research would be disrupted, but also AIDS testing and mental health care; food aid could be cut for more than half a million low-income pregnant women and new mothers; 70,000 kids could be kicked out of Head Start, forcing their parents to find other child care; national parks and wildlife refuges could have their hours shortened or be closed altogether; enforcement of environmental and workplace safety regulations could be loosened; and more.

And of course, the nearly two million federal workers facing furloughs won't just be getting less work done to benefit all of us, they'll be losing pay. That not only means they and their families may struggle to make ends meet, but money taken out of their local economies as they spend less. In other words: bad for federal workers, bad for people who rely on federal oversight and services, bad for the economy as a whole.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Labor on Wed Feb 20, 2013 at 02:17 PM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Hope no passengers get stranded on a disabled (14+ / 0-)

    cruise ship for days, or there could be no coast guard to rescue them

    "I'm sculpting now. Landscapes mostly." ~ Yogi Bear

    by eXtina on Wed Feb 20, 2013 at 02:22:50 PM PST

  •  I think repugs (10+ / 0-)

    blink first.
    No way they screw the defense industry. Their Lords and Masters.

    In all affairs it's a healthy thing now and then to hang a question mark on the things you have long taken for granted." Bertrand Russell (1872-1970)

    by lippythelion69 on Wed Feb 20, 2013 at 02:27:19 PM PST

  •  Grover Norquist must be delirious. (22+ / 0-)

    This is what "drowning the government in a bathtub" really looks like.

    Fuck me, it's a leprechaun.

    by MBNYC on Wed Feb 20, 2013 at 02:27:41 PM PST

  •  Somebody with the authority ought to get out (10+ / 0-)

    a press release informing the flying public to get to the airport 3 (or 4) hours prior to your scheduled flight begining March 1st.

    Notice: This Comment © 2013 ROGNM

    by ROGNM on Wed Feb 20, 2013 at 02:28:29 PM PST

  •  My understadning is that furlough (12+ / 0-)

    does not necessarily mean layoff, but means work one or two less days a month.  Is that correct?

    Join us on the Black Kos front porch to review news and views written from a black pov—everyone is welcome.

    by TomP on Wed Feb 20, 2013 at 02:30:35 PM PST

  •  The Republican stupid: A bonfire of vanities (7+ / 0-)

    If they had a lick of sense the Republicans would stop this stunt.

    look for my eSci diary series Thursday evening.

    by FishOutofWater on Wed Feb 20, 2013 at 02:35:50 PM PST

    •  It's really bad that people will get hurt, (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      including some very vulnerable people receiving mental health services, rental assistance, and so on.
         And many others will be frustrated and inconvenienced in some fairly big and annoying ways.

           None of this need happen, and the president is wise going to the People and telling them (us) so. In the meantime, the GOP is trying to get away with their usual BS, which isn't working for them anymore.
           I'm not sure why they go against the most simple advice there is: When you're stuck in a hole, stop digging.
          They seem to understand that they must change what they're doing if they want to win elections again, but they seem incapable of doing so.
           Why is this so hard for them?

      "We the People of the United States...." -U.S. Constitution

      by elwior on Wed Feb 20, 2013 at 04:04:57 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  What kossacks seem to totally and repeatedly (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        overlook or not take into account or ignore altogether is that this is EXACTLY what republicans want.

        This is their agenda.

        ANY compromise with them is HANDING THEM A WIN.

        Republicans want poor, sick, dying unemployed americans.

        Americans don't know it and have yet to act accordingly.

        The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men.

        by xxdr zombiexx on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 07:05:54 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  GOP: Bonfire of the Inanities, LOL (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      80 % of Success is Just Showing Up! CLIMATE CHANGE: The era of procrastination, half-measures & delays is coming to an end; In its place we are entering a period of consequences!

      by Churchill on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 06:50:42 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Feature, not bug. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      This is totally within the "Totally Destroy the American Government" agenda they have.


      The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men.

      by xxdr zombiexx on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 07:04:18 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Sometimes I worry that these guys really do (0+ / 0-)

      want the economy to crash in a very bad way.  By these guys I mean their Lords and Masters like the Koch Brothers and Art Pope.  It doesnt take much of a student of history to see that a completely destroyed economy is a good time for despots to take control.  I'm not going all Godwin here as it applies to lots of different countries and the rise of their own dictators.  But those guys are smart enough to see that their current policies aren't sound economic policies and that they are destroying the US economy.  Yet they keep pushing for even more draconian measures that will do even more damage.  It just seems to me like they aren't content any longer to continue to make their billions within the confines of our capitalist structure.  Any the only thing they could want that they don't already have is absolute power.  And the silly, backward "need my guns in case of government tyranny" don't even realize where the real threat is.

      "Speak the TRUTH, even if your voice shakes."

      by stellaluna on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 07:08:17 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  They want to kill the economy (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        and they are doing well.

        They want you and your family to be sick, unemployed, poverty-stricken and, really, dead and gone.

        Nothing less.

        People can choose to ignore it but they can't explain it away.

        Republicans and their anti-american agenda are the single biggest threats to our collective future.

        I wish people would figure it out and stop with all the polite and reasonable incrementalism. We're getting fucked blind while being told to take it with a smile on our faces.

        The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men.

        by xxdr zombiexx on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 07:11:19 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  I don't even think its that complicated (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        They think they're right. They don't think anything bad will happen. They think all federal agencies are overstuffed and overpaid, and nothing anybody tells them, no data they get shown, will change their minds.

  •  Obama will lose this battle but win the war (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    FG, tari, Aquarius40, maybeeso in michigan

    The sequester is going through. I know lots of people in Head Start who are being kept in the dark. This is going to trash the economy. Obama knows this and is attempting to build a wave for 2014.

    The DOD crying is pretty strange. The battle will be over endless bills to replace DOD spending after the sequester goes through. I still think Obama wins on this.

    It's going to be a rough ride.

    If you didn't like the news today, go out and make some of your own.

    by jgnyc on Wed Feb 20, 2013 at 04:06:04 PM PST

  •  The sequester will hurt middle class people. (4+ / 0-)

    Any compromise between this President and this Congress at present would hurt people worse off than that.  I'll go with the sequester.  There isn't a currently viable option, vote-wise, that doesn't hurt one group or the other, and only WH willingness to go through with the sequester has any chance of getting Republicans to budge.  Nobody on the Left who fears the sequester has any proposal about how to secure an alternative.  The sequester is both the alternative and the only path to getting one.  Absent the sequester, all Democratic and MSM talk of bringing Republicans along for a non-toxic solution is wasted breath.

    You know, I sometimes think if I could see, I'd be kicking a lot of ass. -Stevie Wonder at the Glastonbury Festival, 2010

    by Rich in PA on Wed Feb 20, 2013 at 05:14:59 PM PST

    •  There will also be a ripple effect. Those people (0+ / 0-)

      who have had something like a person come in one or two days a week to clean will be giving that up pretty soon,

      It won't be just Walmart wondering - "Where are the shoppers?"

      Nothing in the world is more dangerous than a sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity. Martin Luther King, Jr.

      by maybeeso in michigan on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 03:26:34 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Changing the Argument (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Why doesn't Obama become more proactive over this crazy sequester by ordering the Pentagon to come up with a contingency plan for consolidation of the three armed services ?  It's long past the time to start driving the other side really crazy and make them start worrying over reality based consequences.

  •  GOP Congress - across the board cuts are stupid ! (0+ / 0-)

    At the very minimum each department/agency should be free to allocate the cuts wisely to limit the damage. Why does America has to suffer under this Party of Stupid?

  •  Brilliant Republican economic strategery (0+ / 0-)

    Here we effing go again . . .

    And God said, "Let there be light"; and with a Big Bang, there was light. And God said "Ow! Ow My eyes!" and in a flash God separated light from darkness. "Whew! Now that's better. Now where was I. Oh yea . . ."

    by Pale Jenova on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 06:38:50 AM PST

  •  Re: Your last paragraph... (8+ / 0-)

    ...even unemployment benefits are a great boost to the local economies.  Of course people who are unemployed, and those scraping by (like myself) spend just about everything that comes in.

    If enough people like me can't afford to spend 2 bucks at the King Deli on the corner, what the fuck do you think will happen to the King Deli (and its workers, and the places they spent their paychecks??)

    But the cons don't believe in the multiplier (that's like not believing in gravity or air), because it shows the value of the middle class, and even the poor; to economic growth.
    (The rich cannot spend enough to boost our country's economy, and that is when they do spend rather than sock away).

    Buy Aldus Shrugged : The Antidote to Ayn Rand, and tear Ayn and the GOP new orifices. ALL ROYALTIES BETWEEN NOW AND MARCH 1, DONATED TO THIS SITE, DAILYKOS!! @floydbluealdus1

    by Floyd Blue on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 06:40:11 AM PST

  •  Fed agencies haven't worked out the details yet (0+ / 0-)

    80 % of Success is Just Showing Up! CLIMATE CHANGE: The era of procrastination, half-measures & delays is coming to an end; In its place we are entering a period of consequences!

    by Churchill on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 06:50:17 AM PST

    •  False (0+ / 0-)

      They were told to plan for this to happen. I'm still in touch with my former co-workers and they've been griping over the stuff they can't get done under the continuing resolution.

      So the bad guys will have a better chance of defrauding Medicare come March 1st.

  •  All true, all irrelevant. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Churchill, zinger99

    Look, both parties agreed to the sequester, so you can't say they aren't getting what they agreed to.

    It may be the only way to cut our obscenely bloated military budget.

    It may be the least depraved way of making cuts, because in every other credible scenario, the Democrats will just cave more dramatically to Republican demands for cut to social programs.

    •  The cuts that the DoD will endure (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      will be bad. But the cuts to social programs will be worse.  Ultimately, the DoD and their adjunct divisions can get through this with some pain. The multiplier effect will put a lot of strain on a very fragile economy.  It's not an issue that this is the alternative to  "...the Democrats will just cave more dramatically to Republican demands for cut to social programs" because certain social programs are getting those cuts anyway through the sequester.

  •  And Americans are not chasing republicans (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    down the street?

    Frogs boiling in a pot, watching Duck Dynasty and Morning Joke.

    I wonder how much needless punishment americans will take before they stand up......

    probably decades more as long as tv is so good.

    The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men.

    by xxdr zombiexx on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 06:59:28 AM PST

    •  Dear Americans (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      zinger99, Apost8

      How much can I steal from you before you will lift a finger to stop me?

      How many of your kids can I thro into a meatgrinder before you will lift a finger to stop me?

      How long will you starve before you do something about it?

      How long will you slave away for nothing and starve and get nowhere before you decide to do something about it?

      How much shit will you take before you figure out what you need to do?

      Oh....wait..... dancing with the stars!

      The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men.

      by xxdr zombiexx on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 07:08:33 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Yet (0+ / 0-)

      They're not chasing them down the street YET.

      Wait until the next e.coli outbreak, when the CDC and FDA say there's nothing they can do to help. Or when some high placed businessmen traveling first class get their flights cancelled because the airport can't handle the number of flights with a scaled back crew of air traffic controllers. Or when tax returns are delayed.

      They won't want to show their faces anywhere.

  •  A picture beats a thousand words... (0+ / 0-)

    In the photo accompanying the post, there is a sign on the left:  Liberty...Duty Free.
    While surely it is an advertisement for a particular shop selling items exempt from Customs assessment, it could also be read as an expression of the philosophy of the right wing, ie "Give us our Freedom, but don't expect us to pitch in to help preserve or pay for those freedoms."  

    How appropriate that the man closest to it is mooning it, albeit fully clothed.  My thoughts exactly.

  •  I love Tough Obama (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wishingwell, doroma

    He's not blinking.
    He says, Fine, if you want to trash the economy, go ahead.
    I'm not going to play these games.

    Obama 2012...going to win it with our support!!!

    by mattinjersey on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 07:13:35 AM PST

  •  The good news. (0+ / 0-)
    ...bad for federal workers, bad for people who rely on federal oversight and services, bad for the economy as a whole.
    This is good for Republicans. Teabaggers will spend hours bitching about Obama while waiting in line at airport security checkpoints.

    Just when you thought there wasn't a dime's worth of difference between the two parties, the Republicans go and prove you're wrong.

    by shoeless on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 07:22:29 AM PST

  •  terrorists (0+ / 0-)

    Basically, this would be nirvana for terrorists--easy access to planes and to cross borders-- who knew taxes were used to protect us in ways not military? (snark)  I'd like to see the president use his discretion and close facilities in "red" states--think--What would LBJ do?"

    Apres Bush, le deluge.

    by melvynny on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 07:22:40 AM PST

  •  from what I see at airports (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    corvo, Norm in Chicago

    we could furlough 50% of all TSA staff and have shorter lines.  There are WAY too many TSA staff standing around in airports and the procedures are ridiculous and stupid

    •  I disagree actually (0+ / 0-)

      They seem very professional and serious about their job.
      OK there may be too many people standing around.
      But in a well designed system you actually may want a bit of excess capacity.

      Obama 2012...going to win it with our support!!!

      by mattinjersey on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 07:50:13 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  But certainly you can agree with the (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Norm in Chicago

        "procedures are ridiculous and stupid" part?

        •  actually not (0+ / 0-)

          unless you have specifics in mind?
          But procedures are also part of a well-designed system.
          They may seem stupid but at least it is uniform and everyone all over the US is doing it right.

          You know, it used to be some guy with a WackenHut jacket that was half-asleep. So I don't know who WackenHut is or whatever. I like the idea of a nationalized system with procedures and rules that has a guaranteed quality.

          Obama 2012...going to win it with our support!!!

          by mattinjersey on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 08:50:13 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Let's start with the shoe nonsense. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            Hard to know where to continue, since actual requirements vary from airport to airport.  At some, you have to carry your ticket through the body scanner; at others you're forbidden to do so.  Ditto eyeglasses.

          •  And on top of that, the fact that (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            you can now pay your way into expedited security, and that certain age groups are being exempted from the shoe business, just raises the bogosity level further.

          •  ok Here goes: liquids, shoes off - (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            corvo, maybeeso in michigan

            belts off, laptops out of cases but iPads not? What is the difference?

            If you are over 70 or something you don't have to take off a jacket but if you are 69 you do.

            People in wheelchairs have to get out and stand up for a pat down?  We are talking about people who are obviously frail.  It is despicable.

            body scanners that take much more time and prep than the  metal detectors.  I can't leave my license or my wallet in my pockets or my boarding pass?  Really?  I have to put almost everything on that stupid belt.  I have to strip down and be treated like a criminal for the privilege of flying on a plane?  But I can get on any train or any bus or any subway with no security check and no ID???

            That is a starter list.

            •  But liquids are okay (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              if they're in something that looks like a prescription bottle . . . which TSA never removes from the Ziploc for signs of tampering.

              Utter nonsense, all meant to scare us into obedience.  That's what all of our -- frequently and egregiously flouted -- "security measures" add up to.

              Awaiting mattinjersey's response.

              •  I call it theatre of the absurd (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                another term would be "fighting the last war"

                which brings up a good point.  If I have to take my shoes off after the shoe bomber why don't we have to now take our underwear off after the underwear bomber?

              •  Its not utter nonsense (0+ / 0-)

                If you sat down and tried to design the screening system yourself, you would have to negotiate a complex balance of factors. What screening procedures take so much time that they would be unwieldy? What procedures are too intrusive? What procedures are inconvenient but necessary? What are the limitations of various technologies? What loopholes are in the system?

                Anyways you would end up with a system that was imperfect. Probably different people would end up with different systems that would all have strengths and weaknesses.

                The current system is imperfect, and you can see that it still changes. But yet I think it is a reasonable effort, and not sure that anyone else would do much better.

                Obama 2012...going to win it with our support!!!

                by mattinjersey on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 07:22:30 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  you're smarter than this . . . aren't you? (0+ / 0-)
                  What screening procedures take so much time that they would be unwieldy?

                  Even assuming--falsely--that that's their concern, unwieldiness hasn't stopped them before.
                  What procedures are too intrusive?

                  You're joking, aren't you?
                  What procedures are inconvenient but necessary?

                  You're joking, aren't you?
                  What are the limitations of various technologies? What loopholes are in the system?
                  You're joking, aren't you?
                  •  no not joking (0+ / 0-)

                    I don't see your argument.
                    I wrote that there is a tradeoff between inconvenience and security, and presumably they've done some analysis there.
                    For example, people are willing to take off their shoes and it does slow them down. But at least we won't have a shoe bomber.

                    Obama 2012...going to win it with our support!!!

                    by mattinjersey on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 08:01:33 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                •  how about this (0+ / 0-)

                  Put your luggage on the belt for the x ray.  No limits on liquids, no taking laptops out of bags, no long lines of people untying and retying sneakers etc.

                  Walk through a metal detector with your jacket on, your shoes on, your belt on.

                  No scanners, properly calibrated metal detectors  (my belts never set them off but now everyone has to take belts off)  I have seen people being told to take earrings off !

                  It is a joke.


                  •  it is not a joke (0+ / 0-)

                    OK you've described a system. That system has plenty of vulnerabilities. By adding scanners, taking off shoes, and belts, you improve the security. Still loopholes, but some improvement. So in their analysis, it is worthwhile to do so.

                    Obama 2012...going to win it with our support!!!

                    by mattinjersey on Fri Feb 22, 2013 at 08:00:05 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  how does it improve security? (0+ / 0-)

                      Explain how taking shoes and belts off but walking people through a scanner improves security.

                      How does the liquid rule improve security?

                      How does making disabled people stand up out of wheelchairs for a full pat down improve security?

                      and is the level of improvement worth the cost in time and money?

                      How does making people take laptops out of bags but not tablets improve security?

                      How does making me put my wallet, passport and boarding pass through the x-ray belt and out of my posessession in a crowded airport improve security?

                      What is the cost of this absurdity in lost time and productivity and people avoiding air travel?  Is that cost worth any small increase in security?

                      Is every bag in luggage searched?  Why not?    

      •  never said they weren't professional (0+ / 0-)

        just too many standing around, everywhere!!  doing nothing.  I have seen places with 2 lines open, 10 lines closed and dozens and dozens of staff standing around

        And the procedures - they are just following them.

  •  Two thoughts (0+ / 0-)

    This is just another step in the Republican plan to make the U.S. a third-world, third-rate country, with broken government, broken infrastructure, and the corporations able to do whatever the hell they want no matter how many actually human beings are harmed.

    And . . .

    Congresspersons keep acting as if the sequester is some fixed object that has to happen, and can't be changed or avoided.  As Rachel says, the way to not do it is to not do it.  It isn't as if this is some promise that Republicans have to honor (if so this would be the first one).  It is a law Congress passed.  Avoiding it will mean:  pass another law.

    But this is not unique.  It is part of a pattern that has been with us probably since Congress started meeting in 1788.

    As a former federal employee, I was always amused when Congress would justify raising their own pay by claiming that they "had to do so to enable top pay for senior officials to match the market."  It seems there is a law saying that no federal employee's pay can be above the pay rate of a member of Congress.

    And when they said this, no one in the room would pop up and ask, "Who made that rule?  Who could change it?"

    Funny how that works . . . .

    In Washington, whenever anyone does something wrong, everyone else gets punished.

    by Noziglia on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 07:33:55 AM PST

  •  OK, you have convinced me (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Just kill that fucking sequester and be done with it. As ideas go, it ranks right up there with the congressional 'Super Committee (the 'Super-de-Dooper committee as I sometimes think of it) in terms of gross stupidity

    An empty head is not really empty; it is stuffed with rubbish. Hence the difficulty of forcing anything into an empty head. -- Eric Hoffer

    by MichiganChet on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 08:03:48 AM PST

  •  As both a federal employee and DC resident, this (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    will be absolutely disatrous for us here.

    At this point, most of the people I have talked to believe this is going to happen.  Full stop.  The question is how long it goes on before people realize that they rely on government, whether they want to believe it or not.  Hopefully not too long.

    "Give to every other human being every right that you claim for yourself." - Robert G. Ingersoll

    by Apost8 on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 08:12:11 AM PST

  •  I'm flying on March 2 (0+ / 0-)

    Fortunately, I did something I rarely do from here in Milwaukee: I booked a non-stop flight. Usually we have to either start from or change at O'Hare. I'm pretty glad I'm avoiding O'Hare this time, since even in the best of times it can be chaotic.

    Maybe I'll post something when and if I arrive in Phoenix, describing how things went as opposed to how things are supposed to go.

    Anyway, wingnuts. You wanted smaller government. Here it comes. Enjoy!

    The Bush Family: 0 for 4 in Wisconsin

    by Korkenzieher on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 08:32:17 AM PST

  •  Not to minimize the human cost here, but (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    the message should also be that the sequester withdraws billions of dollars from the economy.  Nobody in the MSM is hitting that angle very hard.  

    This is just criminal.

    The most violent element in society is ignorance.

    by Mr MadAsHell on Thu Feb 21, 2013 at 09:30:47 AM PST

  •  Or the TSA can stop gropping people (0+ / 0-)

    Just saying, there are ways to speed up security without putting more touchy feely junk grabbers at security.

  •  Is there any way a government shutdown can (0+ / 0-)

    selectively target Republican congressional districts or constituencies?

    For example, can the FAA ban flights by private jets to cut down on air traffic?

    Could the Department of Interior selectively shut down National Parks in Utah or Kentucky?

    Could the Department of Veterans Affairs selectively shut down VA hospitals or refuse to mail pension checks to veterans in Alabama?

    It seems that if the people who are so excited about "gummint getting out of their lives" were to actually get what they wish for, they'd change their minds pretty damned quick.

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