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Thursday, October 3, 2013

Don't Look at that National Monument!

All over the country and around the world, land owned by the United States is being shut down. Barricades are being erected, signs placed, and in some cases, guards stationed. Places like the World War II Memorial made news the first day of the shutdown, but also included were the Omaha Beach Memorial graveyard in France, as well as all National Parks and monuments in the continental United States.

Now, parks and monuments have been closed during previous shutdowns, but this shutdown is decidedly different. This is the first time that open air memorials have been closed. I'll say that again: Open air memorials are closed. Rafting companies are cancelling tours because the rivers they raft (although not their start or end points) run through federal land.

Now, I understand closing a monument like the Statue of Liberty because the government doesn't have enough money to pay guards, maintenance crews, and tour guides. I understand closing the Liberty Island Ferry because the government doesn't have enough money to pay the ferry ticket takers, engineer, and crew.

But that's not what President Obama has done. What he has done is effectively said, "Screw all of you, you can't even stand on the mainland and LOOK at the Statue of Liberty. And if you try, I'm going to hire people to keep you from doing so! Because...ah...we have no money..ah...Republicans..."

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