On the one hand, your government is still shut down. In its third day, there are few hopeful signs Republicans' desperate insanities are abating. Lot of people not working. Lot of web sites that should be more useful than they are not functioning. It's sour stuff, and unnecessary.

On the other hand, I saw Facebook pictures yesterday of my buddy—who works for the Labor Department—enjoying an outing at an apple orchard with his young family. It's an afternoon that wouldn't have been possible were it not for his furlough, and I have to say it looked lovely. I don't have an article to link to here, but I'm pretty sure this shutdown is making apple barons out of what were heretofore just humble apple orchard owners. And they say upward mobility is a thing of the past.

Oh! And the shutdown isn't even the greatest of our worries. It's the looming, sort of related, fight over raising the debt ceiling. Basically we might default on our loans sending the economy into a tailspin.

In fact: It's being said Republicans only shut down the government to give themselves greater sway in that fight. Unfuckingbelievable.

You've no doubt found some fine explanatory journalism about this congressional mess. It's out there. But the realest talk I've seen all week comes from Al Jazeera America. READ IT.

Those Republicans are throwing tantrums over Obamacare should be resting easy. According to a New York Times analysis, their party is already screwing over poor minorities, single mothers and low-wage workers without insurance. "Because they live in states largely controlled by Republicans that have declined to participate in a vast expansion of Medicaid, the medical insurance program for the poor, they are among the eight million Americans who are impoverished, uninsured and ineligible for help." Mission accomplished!

Sorry, bitcoin investors! The FBI's seizure of popular, illegal online bazaar Silk Road has sent the nascent, bewildering currency plummeting. The guy who ran Silk Road? The Dread Pirate Roberts, obviously.

Today in tragedies: A boat carrying around 500 African migrants capsizes off the coast of Italy. A ghastly bush crash in Tennessee.

After just three days, this week's special session of the Oregon legislature is a wrap.

The Oregonian's august editorial board is mad about Right 2 Dream Too.

Don't go changing on me now, weekend forecast. You don't know how much I need this.


I'm not convinced those FBI agents in the Silk Road case know who they're dealing with.