As of this writing still no deal had been struck to stave off the looming federal debt ceiling Thursday deadline or reopen the partially shutdown federal government.
This past weekend, Tea Party activists, egged on by their dream team of Sen. Ted “Green Eggs and Ham” Cruz and former Alaska Gov. Sarah “I Can See Russia From Here” Palin, attempted to lay all the blame for the government’s woes squarely at the feet of the president at rallies at shut-down national monuments.
Let’s jump ahead, shall we, to the coming weekend assuming no progress is made between now and then to raise the debt limit or reopen the government, which, given Congress’ recent track record, is probably a pretty safe bet.
It’s about 6:50 p.m. Saturday, the 18th. Tea Partiers are rallying once again around the monuments that dot the nation’s capital when one of them looks up and let’s out a mighty scream.
“What is it?” the rally participants ask of their fellow patriot. “What did you see in the sky? Was it a drone? Is Obama targeting us again?”
“No,” said the screamer. “Look! Look at the moon!”
All eyes gaze upward toward what had earlier been a rising full moon but was now almost half dark.
“Oh, no!” the crowd cries. “The partial government shutdown has been extended to the moon! This is all Obama’s fault!”
Palin and Cruz seize on the opportunity like snapping turtles and turn to the crowd.
“There! You see?” Cruz bellows. “Because of this president’s unwillingness to give us what we want – I mean to negotiate – half the moon has been shut down. It’s all Obama’s fault – somehow – for furloughing most of NASA’s employees.”
“Yeah,” echoes Palin. “How am I supposed to keep an eye on Russia at night now? The president is destroying our national defense and leaving us vulnerable to terrorists.”
“Excuse me,” one of the rally participants meekly asks, “but wasn’t there supposed to be a partial lunar eclipse tonight? I’m pretty sure I read about it somewhere.”
“Traitor!” Cruz shouts, pointing at the man. “You’re obviously not one of us. You must be an Obama operative!”
“How can you tell?” Palin whispers.
“Because he doesn’t believe Obama is responsible for half the moon disappearing,” Cruz replies. “And he reads.”
So for those of you reading this, don’t let your Tea Party neighbors throw you into a panic Saturday evening around 6:50 when a portion of the moon disappears. A partial lunar eclipse, also known as a penumbral lunar eclipse is scheduled to take place at that time when the moon grazes the Earth’s shadow. Weather permitting, it should be visible here and last for about 45 minutes.
And while the next total lunar eclipse visible here won’t occur until Tax Day, April 15 of next year, you won’t be able to blame that one on the government either.
Marty Russell writes a Wednesday column for the Daily Journal. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.