Shutdown Apocalypse Roundup, weekend edition

I’m no longer sure how much faith I can put in the computer systems. It looks like there are still people visiting Hot Gas and reading the articles here, but it could be a ploy by the undead. I’m not going outside to verify this for myself because, well… who would feed the dog? But for those of you who have somehow survived five days without the federal government running and not yet been consumed by the hoards of aliens and plague infested miscreants roaming the streets, we’ll try to bring you up to date. Does all of that sound a bit extreme? You haven’t seen anything yet.

Sir Bob Geldoff, of Boomtown Rats fame.

All humans will die before 2030

The musician-turned-activist reckons the world will end in 2030 – leading to the extinction of humankind.

Sir Bob, 61, based his miserable prediction on the effects of climate change.

“The world can decide in a fit of madness to kill itself,” he told a group of youngsters at a summit in Johannesburg, South Africa.

The former Boomtown Rats singer also warned “the next war will not be a World War One or a World War Two, it will be the end.”

Felix Salmon writing at Reuters.

My point is that Ted Cruz, and the Tea Party generally, are basically doing their best to play out this exact fantasy. By shutting down the government, they are destroying not a desert gift shop, but rather billions of dollars of real-world economic activity.

In doing so, the Tea Party is proving that it, truly, is the party of the 99% — of the masses who thrill to zombie movies, who fantasize about living in a post-zombie utopia, who understand that you can’t make an omelette without breaking some eggs. We live in a country where the best way to ensure blockbuster status for your summer movie is to blow up as much stuff as possible — a building, a city, the entire world. Highbrow film critics might find such wanton destruction horrific, but the typical moviegoer just finds it thrilling. And when you look at the grass roots of today’s Republican party, it’s easy to see a bunch of heavily-armed zombie hunters: today’s downtrodden masses, perfectly positioned to become tomorrow’s post-apocalyptic elite.

If you somehow missed it, you simply must read MoDo. Welcome to Ted Cruz’s Thunderdome.

Dead cherry blossom trees litter the bleak landscape. Trash blows through L’Enfant’s once beautiful boulevards, now strewn with the detritus of democracy, scraps of the original Constitution, corroded White House ID cards, stacks of worthless bills tumbling out of the Treasury Department.

The BlackBerrys that were pried from the hands of White House employees in 2013 are now piled up on the Potomac as a flood barrier against the ever-rising tide from melting ice caps. Their owners, unable to check their messages, went insane long ago.

Because there was no endgame, the capital’s hunger games ended in a gray void. Because there was no clean bill, now there is only a filthy stench. Because there was no wisdom, now there is only rot. The instigators, it turned out, didn’t even know what they were arguing for. Macho thrusts and feints, competing to win while the country lost.

Thomas Jefferson’s utopia devolved into Ted Cruz’s dystopia.

Colbert King at the WaPo.

Federal government as the enemy.

Today there is a New Confederacy, an insurgent political force that has captured the Republican Party and is taking up where the Old Confederacy left off in its efforts to bring down the federal government.

No shelling of a Union fort, no bloody battlefield clashes, no Good Friday assassination of a hated president — none of that nauseating, horrendous stuff. But the behavior is, nonetheless, malicious and appalling.

The New Confederacy, as churlish toward President Obama as the Old Confederacy was to Lincoln, has accomplished what its predecessor could not: It has shut down the federal government, and without even firing a weapon or taking 620,000 lives, as did the Old Confederacy’s instigated Civil War.

And finally, for a dose of much needed reality and humor, someone who seems to get the absurdity of it all.

The dog whined for breakfast as usual. I’m told that animals often sense catastrophe before it strikes. All I know about my dog is that he senses food and would let you know it was mealtime even if the house was engulfed in flames.

The coffee maker and shower worked just fine. Probably safe enough to commute with the expectation that the asphalt should sustain itself at least early into this shutdown.

Even in McCarthy’s post-apocalyptic nightmare, I doubted anyone would have resorted to cannibalism this soon. Best to pack a lunch, though. Worst-case scenario, I could barter a turkey sandwich to save my own flesh.

We’re on Day Three of the federal government shutdown, and I’m grateful for each reader who possessed the survival skills required to make it through this column. You’ve got a fighting chance.

And if we make it to Day Five, I’d like to remind them that columnists do not – repeat, DO NOT – taste like chicken.

There’s plenty of reading to tide you over for a while until Sunday Night Football starts. Assuming it does start, of course. But just to be safe, you might want to print all of those columns out and locate a few candles.

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