Some National Parks May Reopen Despite Shutdown

Oct 11, 2013, 10:25 am EDT
Some National Parks May Reopen Despite Shutdown

The government, announced on Thursday, that it would allow national parks to reopen,but states must use their own money to open and run the parks.

States that do chose to reopen their parks will not be reimbursed for the cost when the government shutdown ends. All money that states put toward the parks will be viewed as a donation. South Dakota Gov. Dennis Daugaard had offered to partially reopen Mount Rushmore. He planned to open the park, but not the gift shop, restaurant or museum. He also wanted to use state employees to run the park rather than use park employees. Daugaard was told he could reopen the monument, but he would have to fully reopen it and use the park’s employees if he did. Utah is also looking at reopening some or all of its parks. The closure of the Zion National Park has caused the local economy to lose $3.5 million and has turned away 72,000 visitors. The park cost $50,000 per day to run, reports USA Today.

More than 20,000 National Park Service employees have been furloughed due to government shutdown. The closed parks are also hurting local economies that are dependent on tourism. Read 

Government Shutdown Could Delay New Gadgets

Oct 11, 2013, 9:53 am EDT

The ramifications of a political fight among lawmakers in Washington, D.C., could spill over into the technology industry, affecting consumers in ways many probably never imagined.

New electronics products, including smartphones, gaming consoles, TVs and other mobile devices, must receive certification from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) before they can hit store shelves. The FCC evaluates radio signals emitted by about 16,000 devices every year to ensure that they comply with regulations and will not interfere with other radio transmissions, Bloomberg notes.

But the government shutdown — now in its second week — has forced the FCC to furlough 98% of its workforce. While private testing firms complete most of the certification process, the FCC must still provide the final approval on devices. Read 

Starbucks CEO Wants You to Sign This Petition

Oct 11, 2013, 9:44 am EDT

Starbucks (SBUX) CEO Howard Schultz is asking Americans to sign a petition that will be delivered to Congress by October 17.

The petition’s goal is to have Congress end the government shutdown, pay its debts on time and pass a long-term budget deal by the end of the year. Starbucks will be running ads in several national newspapers that will have the petition in them. People are asked to sign the petitions and turn them in at any Starbucks location over the weekend. Petitions are also available at Starbucks’ stores starting today. Those who don’t have a Starbucks nearby can choose to sign the petition online at www.ComeTogetherPetition.com. The petition can also be “liked” on Starbucks’ Facebook page. Schultz is also asking his fellow CEO’s to join him in signing the petition. He said that no company is safe from customers cutting back due to the uncertainty of the government shutdown. He also said that this petition isn’t about making profit, but that it is a genuine concern, reports The Wall Street Journal.

Newspapers that will be carrying the Starbucks petitions include: USA TODAY, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post. Read 

Web Site Lets You “Drunk Dial” Congress

Oct 10, 2013, 8:09 pm EDT

With Congress as unpopular as it is in the wake of the current government shutdown, it’s probably no surprise that plenty of people are angry at the legislature. A newly created web site offers ticked-off citizens a way to blow off steam at their elected officials: drunk dial their office.

Drunk Dial Congress lets users input their phone number into a form, push a button, and call a random member of Congress. The site helpfully suggests having a drink first, and throws out some recipes for cocktails ranging from the Southern Congressman (Jack Daniels, lime juice, sour mix) to the Sleepy Senator (absinthe, tonic water, sugar syrup, and lime juice).

The site also trots out several talking points to use when calling, each of them helpfully linked to a news article about the effects of the shutdown. Read 

Shutdown Madness: Volunteer Told to Stop Mowing Lincoln Memorial Lawn

Oct 10, 2013, 11:04 am EDT

Chris Cox just wanted to make sure that the Lincoln Memorial continued to look its best, even if the U.S. government was shut down due to a political impasse.

The resident of South Carolina hauled his lawnmower to Washington, D.C., and began cutting the grass around the monument to the nation’s iconic sixteenth president. But his efforts were halted by U.S. Park Police, who ordered him to leave, ABC News notes.

Personnel from the National Park Service normally keep the lawns cut at the Lincoln Memorial and other monuments and buildings around the capital. However, the service has seen large numbers of staff furloughed during the government shutdown. Read 

Report: GOP Considers Short-Term Debt Limit Hike

Oct 10, 2013, 10:03 am EDT

Because what this country needs is yet another fiscal standoff in another couple of weeks or months, the Associated Press is reporting that GOP leaders are considering a short-term debt limit hike.

The move would push back the deadline but it’s unclear how long that would be.

The Associated Press quoted unnamed officials close to negotiations. Read 

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