Despite all the departments and areas that are legally mandated to shutter and/or close, is the White House in danger of over-playing its hand during this whole government shutdown fiasco?
Some are asking if that'll happen, perhaps hoping it will. Those raising the question noted a few items that have popped up since the shutdown began.
As yet another wave of veterans disregarded barriers set up at the World War Two Memorial in DC yesterday, there were more reports that many of the National Park Service sites ordered closed don't usually have any regularly posted personnel there. Sources say the White House ordered those areas closed, even though the National Park Police are not affected by the shutdown.
Of course, those reports came from the Breitbart and Daily Caller websites, not exactly objective sources.
There's also quite a stir now about Saturday's scheduled Air Force-Navy Football game at Annapolis, MD. Navy's athletic director Chet Gladchuck noted Wednesday that --like just about all Division-1 schools-- money to stage collegiate athletic contests an Navy comes from a self-sustaining athletic department. In short, there's no federal money used for Navy football games.
Gladchuck is stumped. He said, "We could run our entire athletics program and conduct events as we always do without any government funds ... "In talking to the Air Force athletic director, their football team could execute the trip without government funding."
So why might the game be scrapped? He added, "Optics ... It’s a perception thing. Apparently it doesn’t resonate with all the other government agencies that have been shut down."
No one can remember service academy sports being suspended during any of the past shutdowns.
As for the game itself, a record crowd in excess of 38,000 is – or was – expected to show-up, with fights and hotels already booked. About 200 football recruits and their families made plans to come to the game. Roger Staubach and other members of Navy's 1963 storied team were also scheduled to be on hand.
Army is scheduled to play at Boston College this weekend. BC has offered to pay for Army's travel. The Pentagon said, "no."
The Pentagon isn't commenting, but there are reports that Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel could give the go ahead for these games.
See...? This is why the government should nationalize Baseball, Football and NASCAR. A shutdown wouldn't last five minutes.
However, we might see some movement if the shutdown lasts long enough to effect the president's March madness brackets.
On the other hand, Native Americans are some of the underrecognized victims of the shutdown:
In South Dakota, Yankton Sioux Tribe Vice Chairwoman Jean Archambeau said the shutdown means money for heating assistance won't be coming this fall. "I don't know what we're going to do," she said.
Well, if we get those Army and Navy games rolling, they can watch them. Surely that'll be a big help.
Update: The military academy football teams will play this weekend after all. That'll be Army at Boston College, and Air Force at Navy in Annapolis. The green light for the games is because they're been long planned and are being paid for with non-appropriated funds, which generally come from outside sources and aren't approved through Congress. A senior defense official said yesterday that the decision affects this weekend's games only, and future games will be evaluated as events unfold.