Jack Tame: Total failure of common sense

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Goodness, it's been a mad week in Washington.

Capped off by gunshots on the President's doorstep and an inexplicably topless Kiwi witness - DC in October isn't that warm - it almost amounted to the Mad Maxian dystopia the cable networks had been prophesying all week.

As news broke of a mentally ill woman leading law enforcement officers on a car chase along Pennsylvania Ave, many in the Twittersphere queried if her actions might have been some extreme reaction to the week's political dysfunction.

The reality of the shutdown for most Americans though, wasn't quite so bad. The Statue of Liberty was closed. Whoop de doo. Apparently some passport offices closed, as did Washington's national monuments. If anything though, the real victim of the US Federal Government shutdown was the National Zoo's PandaCam web camera. Of course the real impact of the shutdown (or the "slimdown" as Fox News dubbed it) was on the 800,000 workers told to stay home.

A friend's father works as a professor at a federal university. "I'll be fine for a few missed days," he told us after being sent home without pay. "But what about my colleagues ... the ones with young kids? If this thing drags on, it's really bad."

Yes, the continuing madness on Capitol Hill was more than enough to make up for an offline Panda webcam. Talk about ways to make a dumb-and-determined-to-ensure-its-own-extinction mammal seem smarter than your average bear.

The thing I still find incredible is the ability of a select few Republican renegades to ignore an obvious national mandate.

They opposed the Obamacare healthcare reform since well before it was signed into law. Since then, their party lost an election by five million popular votes. And in the few days of the shutdown that Obamacare has been running, the holdouts have been presented a fresh mandate by the US public: the millions upon millions of Americans who've signed up for the programme online.

If only there was a way to end the madness. To illustrate to these congressmen that playing cute only gets you so far. That flatly refusing to buddy up with a partner from time to time, leads to eventual extinction.

What a dreadful shame it is that PandaCam is black.

- Herald on Sunday

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