Science magazine on the government shutdown:

The shutdown is “just deeply disappointing because Congress has had months to fund the government,” said Ken Kimmell, president of the Union of Concerned Scientists in Cambridge, Massachusetts, in a statement. “Without a resolution the federal scientific enterprise will come to a screeching halt, potentially adding millions of dollars in costs and months of delay to taxpayer funded projects.”

It’s the spawn of “starve the beast” – of that whole right-wing trend to frame all government as the enemy, from Ayn Rand to Grover Norquist to these pieces of crap who are trashing everything now. They want to make the US a failed state; that’s the goal.

The shutdown’s impacts could be especially complicated at federal facilities that host researchers who are not federal employees. The federally-operated Smithsonian Environmental Research Center (SERC) in Edgewater, Maryland, for example, “will be closed to the public and all employees except for a few staff needed for security, animal care and emergency responses,” stated Anson Hines, SERC’s director, in an email. The one-third of the center’s staff who are federal employees “will not be allowed to do any work offsite, and all who are on travel will be required to return home as quickly as possible.” But the other two-thirds are funded through the Smithsonian’s private trust, “so they’re expected to work as much as possible offsite. However, I’m sure you can imagine, without access to the SERC laboratory, the work they can do will be limited.”

The beast is duly starved.

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