Congressman Alan Grayson was born and grew up in the Bronx neighborhood of New York City.
Unless you've been living in a cave recently -- Osama, you can stop reading here -- you know that the Republicans have blocked the passage of the appropriations bills that apply to all federal spending between April 8 and September 30, so we are facing a government shutdown.
And as the White House has patiently pointed out, that means no more government-backed mortgages, which now account for 95% of the housing market.
No more government student loans. No more government small-business loans.
No pay for the troops, who are now embroiled in three wars. They still have to fight. They just won't be paid for it. Despite the Thirteenth Amendment.
No tax refunds, just one week before taxes are due.
No federal grants for roads, schools, or pretty much anything else.
No new medical research at the National Institutes of Health.
And hundreds of thousands of federal employees added to the unemployment rolls.
But there is one thing that you can still do, if the government shuts down.
You can go broke.
I'm a licensed attorney, and yesterday I received this cheerful reminder from a bankruptcy court to which I'm admitted:
"The Court will continue to operate, business as usual, on Monday, April 11, 2011."
The staff, the bankruptcy court explained, will be paid out of "fee revenue and other sources." Anyone who wants to petition for bankruptcy will be welcome to do so.
So there it is. When the Republicans shut down the government, health and safety, housing and even transportation are all at risk. But the one thing that you can be sure you can still do is... go broke.
For the bankruptcy courts, it's "business as usual." And the bankruptcy business is booming.
But leaving that one exception to the government shutdown aside, it's now official. The Party of No is now the Party of No Government. The Party of Anarchy. The Party of Chaos.
And remember this: The White House and the Democratic Leadership have agreed (rightly or wrongly) to what the Republicans originally demanded for the 2011 budget -- $30 billion in social spending cuts. Yet now the Republicans are demanding twice as much: $60 billion in 2011 social spending cuts.
But just three months ago, the Republicans insisted on $70 billion in 2011 in tax cuts for the rich. I'm pretty sure that $70 billion is more than $60 billion, any way you look at it. So except for those tax cuts for the rich, we wouldn't be having this argument.
Please make a note on your calendar. November 6, 2012. Election Day. That's when it will be our turn to punish them, the way that they've tried to punish all of us.
November 9th, 2013
Click here for this week's full schedule for the State Theatre and Bijou by the Bay in Traverse City, Michigan. The day has arrived. For ...
September 10th, 2013
[View the story "John Kerry's Accidental Diplomacy" on Storify]
July 30th, 2013
Today Bradley Manning was convicted on 20 of 22 counts, including violating the Espionage Act, releasing classified information and disobeying orders. That's the bad news. ...
June 5th, 2013
This past week, the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), the main federation of Hollywood's six major studios, posted on their web site a list of what they believe ...
March 23rd, 2013
This evening is going be a big moment in turning our country around on the issue of gun violence. That's why I desperately want you ...
March 21st, 2013
I am hosting a nationwide series of house parties this Saturday night where tens of thousands of people will gather together in living rooms to ...
March 15th, 2013
The response to my Newtown letter this week has been overwhelming. It is so very clear to everyone that the majority of Americans have had ...
September 11th, 2010
OpenMike 9/11/10 Michael Moore's daily blog I am opposed to the building of the "mosque" two blocks from Ground Zero. I want it built on ...
December 14th, 2010
Yesterday, in the Westminster Magistrates Court in London, the lawyers for WikiLeaks co-founder Julian Assange presented to the judge a document from me stating that ...
May 12th, 2011
"The Nazis killed tens of MILLIONS. They got a trial. Why? Because we're not like them. We're Americans. We roll different." – Michael Moore in ...
November 22nd, 2011
This past weekend I participated in a four-hour meeting of Occupy Wall Street activists whose job it is to come up with the vision and ...
September 22nd, 2011
I encourage everyone I know to never travel to Georgia, never buy anything made in Georgia, to never do business in Georgia. I will ask ...
December 16th, 2010
Dear Swedish Government: Hi there -- or as you all say, Hallå! You know, all of us here in the U.S. love your country. Your ...
November 2nd, 2010
This letter contains (almost) no criticisms of how the Democrats have brought this day of reckoning upon themselves. That -- and where to go from ...