In the face of a possible government shutdown this Friday, it looks like all "nonessential" government functions would be shut down until Congress agrees to pass a budget or continuing resolution allocating funds. This makes sense--after all, the essential jobs should stay running during the interim, where minor things could halt for a while without major impact, like national parks, museums, paying our soldiers . . . Wait, WTF??? So our soldiers, the guys and ladies who are out there hauling muck and carrying weapons to serve what the geniuses Obama and Bush have decided are critical national security goals, because of course otherwise Afghanistan and Libya will team up and send their own Marines to take over the East Coast, you're telling me our FREAKING SOLDIERS might have their pay interrupted because 536 people can't act like adults and pass a stupid budget so things can run while they debate the bigger issues over the coming months??? But hey, it's not all bad! The very members of Congress who are currently screeching like spoiled children and shutting down our government will still be getting paid. After all, this is important since they have to make ends meet (only earning a paltry $174K a year--I'm sure soldiers make TONS more than that), and of course Congressmen are "essential" government workers. Just to remind you how "essential" government workers are, Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords was shot in the head three months ago, hospitalized and unable to get to work, vote on legislation, or attend to constituent matters since that time. Notice that not only has no one called for her to resign on the grounds that she cannot perform her job, but she's even being touted for the Senate. Something tells me that a job can't be that "essential" if you can be effectively absent from it for a calendar quarter without anything grinding to a halt. (Not a knock on Giffords, of course, but just an illustration of how much of a joke the job of a politician really is) Well, I for one hope that if this does go down, every soldier and their families remember it well when they vote in November 2012.