My Son was married this July to a very nice young woman. They are happy and employed, no small feat in 2010. My daughter is sneaking up on graduation from UW and working part time at The Institute of Systems Biology's lab.
Our President and political system couldn't figure out how to work with the increasingly disfunctional Senate. There is a lot of the "Lets burn this village down in order to save it" philosophy out here on the left. I can't so lightly consign almost a quarter of all Americans to penury. The poorest and most disadvantaged, mostly disabled and children, would suffer the most in any federal shutdown. Don't get me wrong. The Koch brother and Walden families should be taxed within an inch of their private jets, but the right will stack the poor into a breastwork protecting the mansions and dare the moderates and liberals to attack.
I wished that I never would have had to write this but we are doomed. We are slowly turning into an aristocracy with a small overlord class demanding fealty to the high born. Our military is increasingly a more and more commercial enterprise. Already the Air Force is copying the Israeli Defense Force in promoting religious fanatics into the officer class. The AFA in Colorado Springs is now a hotbed of evangelical recruitment, and promotion is dependent on being able to "pass" as born-again.
As empires decay things turn nasty. Rome and England did not take their decline with equanimity, and I don't think we will either. The Soviets couldn't admit that their theory of economic governance wasn't working and they doubled down with their police state as things rotted. Our problems can all be traced back to the Reagan-Clinton-Bush ideology of unfettered free markets with no consideration for national survival. I have said before, and say again "Trying to shoehorn a modern economy through an ideological keyhole will ruin the lock, door and key holder" The bad time comes when the ideology has obviously failed, but the true believers decide to use the power of the state to shut their critics down.
Happy Holidays and a Merry New Year to each of my (three) readers. It can't get much worse.