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Tue Oct 1, 2013, 08:58 AM

Many Federal Websites to be shut down -- including THOMAS

This is the kinda stuff that a lot of pundits don't want to report about, It's all the so called little things that are going to affect people. From WaPo: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-switch/wp/2013/09/30/a-bunch-of-federal-web-sites-will-shut-down-with-the-government/

Cyrus Farivar at Ars Technica reported Saturday that both the Federal Trade Commission and the Library of Congress sites will be taken offline and replaced with splash pages. The Sunlight foundation says that this includes THOMAS, the official source of legislative information. That means there won't be an official online resource to track when or if Congress comes to a deal to start things back up. (snip)

Even the sites that don't go down may not function at regular capacity. The Department of Veterans Affairs, for example, says the agency's home page will be "updated intermittently." The Federal Elections Commission site will remain online "but static."
A number of agencies' contingency plans made no mention of their online presences, including the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Justice. But last week, the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) provided some general guidance that seems to imply that many government Web sites will be down.
The USDA website is DOWN.

The first comment at the WaPo article makes a really good point:

I don't know how we can call ourselves an open, free, and transparent society if THOMAS shuts down and the American people can no longer follow the actual legislation and debate regarding the shutdown. Every other government website can shut down, but not the website that actually shows you the bills and resolutions. This makes us no better than the governments that shut down the Internet for censorship reasons during times of crisis.

This is insane. To all of our fellow DU'rs here and overseas, that are affected, I send you --


I have a few friends that fully expect to be home very early from work this afternoon.

8 replies, 618 views

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Reply Many Federal Websites to be shut down -- including THOMAS (Original post)
Raine1967 Oct 2013 OP
Scuba Oct 2013 #1
Raine1967 Oct 2013 #8
benld74 Oct 2013 #2
Raine1967 Oct 2013 #3
lynne Oct 2013 #4
Raine1967 Oct 2013 #7
Name removed Oct 2013 #5
Tanuki Oct 2013 #6

Response to Raine1967 (Original post)

Tue Oct 1, 2013, 09:05 AM

1. Oh, it's not just websites. Enforcement of anti-pollution laws will suffer. Wanna know why?

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Response to Scuba (Reply #1)

Tue Oct 1, 2013, 10:43 AM

8. Insanity -- this is all just insane.

Thanks for linking me to that.

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Response to Raine1967 (Original post)

Tue Oct 1, 2013, 09:09 AM

2. Federal IT making changes as we type, then go home and wait,

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Response to benld74 (Reply #2)

Tue Oct 1, 2013, 09:58 AM

3. HAng in there, benld... eom.

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Response to Raine1967 (Original post)

Tue Oct 1, 2013, 10:24 AM

4. THOMAS is up, at least right now-

- loc.gov is down but links to thomas.gov saying it is up. Taking down websites is all political theater. Once up, it's there. I can understand not making updates and not doing fixes but taking it down is pure theater. Actually, probably cost more to remove it as someone had to do it. Leaving them alone would have cost nothing.

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Response to lynne (Reply #4)

Tue Oct 1, 2013, 10:39 AM

7. I'm not sure it's political theatre.

It might be law: http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2013/09/the-one-weird-law-that-dictates-how-government-shutdowns-work/280047/

Leaving them alone might cost nothing unless someone decides to hack the sites. This might be part of the reason why they are bringing some sites offline. The article does say some are staying up on an as needed basis.

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Response to Raine1967 (Original post)


Response to Name removed (Reply #5)

Tue Oct 1, 2013, 10:36 AM

6. For the same reason Medicare and Social Security beneficiary payments will not be affected

http://www.forbes.com/sites/taxanalysts/2013/09/30/shutdown-will-stop-irs-audits-but-not-aca-implementation/

"...But implementation of the Affordable Care Act (a.k.a. Obamacare) will proceed. Thatís right ó the October 1 launch date for many provisions of the ACA will be unaffected by any government shutdown. The Department of Health and Human Services contingency plan made it clear that healthcare exchanges will open on schedule. The IRS ACA office will have four employees, including its director, exempted from the shutdown.

ACA implementation can proceed because it is mandatory spending not tied to the annual appropriations bills. There is some legal wriggle room for HHS and the IRS to push forward on the ACA despite a shutdown, and, of course, the administration plans to use it. This isnít new information. In July the Congressional Research Service informed Oklahoma Republican Sen. Tom Coburn that a government shutdown would not cause all ACA functions to cease. The CRS, like HHS, cited the mandatory spending components of the ACA to support its finding.

So Republicans canít win their fight against Obamacare simply by shutting down the government. Obstruction isnít enough. ACA implementation will proceed whether a continuing resolution is agreed to or not. Republicans need to actually pass legislation. Their only hope for victory is to get the Democratic Senate to pass a bill that delays or defunds healthcare reform ó and then for President Obama to sign it. No one, not even Sen. Ted Cruz, has ever outlined a plausible (or even an implausible) scenario for how that will happen.
..."

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