Wednesday, October 2, 2013

USA: government shutdown (and "emergency" rumors)

The US Government is since yesterday in technical shutdown for lack of a budget (unlike in other countries the previous budget can't be automatically extended, it seems - someone explain this to me, please).

The effects, which may have dramatic consequences in workers and welfare beneficiaries, are described in this official page:

Below, find an overview of some of the government services and operations that will be impacted until Congress passes a budget to fund them again. For detailed information about specific activities at Federal agencies, please see federal government contingency plans.
  • Vital services that ensure seniors and young children have access to healthy food and meals may not have sufficient Federal funds to serve all beneficiaries in an extended lapse.
  • Call centers, hotlines and regional offices that help veterans understand their benefits will close to the public.
  • Veterans’ compensation, pension, education, and other benefits could be cut off in the case of an extended  shutdown.
  • Every one of America’s national parks and monuments, from Yosemite to the Smithsonian to the Statue of Liberty, will be immediately closed.
  • New applications for small business loans and loan guarantees will be immediately halted.
  • Research into life-threatening diseases and other areas will stop, and new patients won’t be accepted into clinical  trials at the National Institutes of Health.
  • Work to protect consumers, ranging from child product safety to financial security to the safety of hazardous waste facilities, will cease. The EPA will halt non-essential inspections of chemical facilities and drinking water systems.
  • Permits and reviews for planned energy and transportations projects will stop, preventing companies from working on these projects. Loans to rural communities will be halted.
  • Hundreds of thousands of Federal employees including many charged with protecting us from terrorist threats, defending our borders, inspecting our food, and keeping our skies safe will work without pay until the shutdown  ends.
  • Hundreds of thousands of additional federal workers will be immediately and indefinitely furloughed without pay.

Services That Will Continue During the Government Shutdown

  • Social Security beneficiaries will continue receiving checks.
  • The U.S. Postal Service will keep delivering mail.
  • Active military will continue serving.
  • Air traffic controllers, prison guards, and border patrol agents will remain on the job.
  • NASA Mission Control will continue supporting astronauts serving on the Space Station.

Emergency rumors affecting Mid-Atlantic and Puerto Rico

Webguerrillero[es] reports that various sites speculate with this crisis being maybe engineered into a desperate emergency situation that would end with an emergency state, emergency in which the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) would intervene. This emergency would affect FEMA region III, which includes Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, Virginia, West Virginia and Washington D.C.

They also mention that there is great concern in Puerto Rico because the FEMA began sending large loads of coffins and mysterious bags to the island, as well as to "other places in the USA". FEMA replied that these are just "routine supplies".

FEMA has bought 22 million water bags and €6 million in readily edible food. They have also been moving, as mentioned, lots of plastic coffins, in Puerto Rico as well as in the USA, as well as weaponry. 

The Puerto Rican TV source[es] speculates with a possible imminent earthquake in a fault line in Eastern USA, which already hit two years ago, damaging the the North Anna nuclear power plant (Virginia).

Maybe just a mere rumor but it does sound intriguing, especially as seismic weapons do seem very real and were speculated to have been used against Haiti years ago (which "coincided" with a "humanitarian" intervention drill in Haiti - coincidences like that do not happen).


  1. All appropriations for federal government spending must be approved in advance by Congress, and only a handful of constitutionally authorized contracts (e.g. naval shipbuilding contracts) are allowed to extend for more than two years at a time. Some agencies (e.g. the U.S. Postal Service) are not completely beholden to Congressional appropriations since they have user's fees to finance them, or are automatic expenditures set by formula (e.g. Social Security pension payments) although the employees who process those payments must be paid with appropriated funds. Some employees in "essential functions" work without pay in the hope that they will be retroactively compensated when a deadlock ends (e.g. prison guards who provide food, shelter and security to federal prison inmates, and active duty military soldiers who rely on federal government spending for room and board). Also, all such bills must original in the House of Representatives (controlled by Republicans) and ultimately receive approval from the House, the Senate and the President before them become law.

    Any FEMA activity in Puerto Rico is likely just a product of hurricane season. The odds of a FEMA engineered take over of the Mid-Atlantic states and vicinity driven by a government shutdown is absurd (not least of which because it doesn't have funding during the shutdown either).

    1. Thanks for the explanation, Andrew. Here if the budget is not passed in certain term, the previous one is automatically extended. I believe that such thing happened in the USA last year or a few years ago, right? But I'm unsure and maybe I am mixing concepts or something.

      As for the FEMA activity, I really hope is just one of those unfounded speculations but it sounds strange enough for me to mention it for people to ponder.

      ... "is absurd"...

      Sounds indeed absurd but who knows. Something I considered as possibility was that they might be planning some sort of military intervention in Venezuela or something. But when I realized that the coffins were being distributed also to continental USA, I discarded it.

      Let's just say: it looks strange but we have no idea nor any specific clue to give credit to the speculations.


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