In a letter sent yesterday to Jonathan Jarvis, director of the National Park Service, 94 members of Congress question the federal government's decision to close open-air memorials during the federal government shutdown.
All signatories are Republicans. The letter was sent to 23 Democratic offices in the House, but all refused to sign on.
The members of Congress have 6 basic question for Jarvis:
Northern New England is in its glory; now and for the next week or so. The leaves are nearing peak color and until yesterday, there has been a big high pressure zone parked over the area so the weather has been what would once have been described as "heavenly." It has been raining now but in a few days, the sun will shine again and the leaves will still be there, in full. And for that, Washington can take no credit.
Another open-air memorial in the Washington area is closed and barricaded off: the Iwo Jima Memorial, just across the bridge from D.C. in Rosslyn, Virginia. A source sends along this picture of the barricade set-up at the memorial, which is also called the U.S. Marine Corps War Memorial:
In an attempt to dramatize the effects of the federal government shutdown, Washington state Democrats may have revealed more about their state and about the state of the economy under President Obama than they intended. The Advance, official blog of the Washington state house Democrats, posted the following on Thursday:
The federal government is shutdown. That means only federal government employees that are deemed "essential" are going in to work.
We're led to believe it's a bare bones operation (Michelle Obama won't be tweeting, the National Park Service website is down, etc.). But in reality it appears the number of folks working is higher than half the federal employees. Or, in raw numbers, about 1,350,000 "essential" federal government employees are still working. And that does not include the 589,000 postal employees, who are working, too.
The U.S. Energy Information Administration reports today that sales of fossil fuels produced on federal and Indian land continue to decline, dropping 4 percent in fiscal year 2012. The slide continues a decade-long trend that accelerated in 2010, as the chart accompanying the report shows: