For John, BLUF: I love the First Amendment. Nothing to see here; just move along.
So the US Congress arrived at an acceptable balance and passed both a Continuing Resolution (to fund the Government) and an increase to the debt ceiling. What they didn't do was pass a budget, but the CR, once again substitutes for a budget. Maybe next year.
However, it appears to me that the thing that pushed the US Congress over the edge toward resolution was a noontime protest outside the Social Security Office in Lowell, as these four photos show. It was a pretty cheerful group of protestors, willing to talk. I am glad I stopped by.
After the noontime demonstration the demonstrators were going to have pizza. I saw about six pizza boxes stacked up by the steps into the building housing our Social Security Office.
I would like to thank the protestors for stepping up and talking to the issue of the Government shutdown.
Next, I hope they will pick a day and protest the debt itself, for which we will pay an estimated $222.9 billion in interest this fiscal year (FY2014, which started 1 October—see the bottom photo and the sign with a date on it.).
Regards — Cliff