Government shutdown: Day 8

Brace yourself for yet another shutdown round-up, where we summarize for you the latest calamities tormenting US Congress. We may as well start with the worst news, which is that there's a major foodborne illness outbreak now coinciding with the cessation of American government.

"There's a new Salmonella outbreak due to tainted chicken in 18 states. CDC would be on it...if not for the #shutdown," freelance journalist Carl Zimmer lamented. That's right: the shutdown has slowed any response to the major foodborne illness outbreak, which has thus far affected 18 states with a reported 278 people sick.

"Eat carefully," advised Jeff Chirico with CBS Atlanta 46. Probably our best line of defense at the moment.

Next up, "Trucker justice!" That from Tayla Burney at WAMU, and her words just about summarize our next story: tractor-trailer drivers are plotting to descend upon the Washington beltway on Oct. 11 and clog the inner loop of the Washington, DC beltway.

Oh, and they want to arrest congressmen.

"Truckers pledge to snarl traffic in DC until Nancy Pelosi is arrested," shared Christopher Mims with Quartz.

... So get excited for that.

"My way or [block the] highway," Sierra Magazine's Paul Rauber quipped. "Grand Theft Derp coming soon to a beltway near you," Slate's Matthew Yglesias added.

"As much as I like the idea of arresting members of Congress simply for being, these insane truckers are insane," reckoned Benjamin R. Freed with Washingtonian

But if these truculent truckers are singling out Pelosi, a slim majority of the country has adopted a different stance. A WaPo/ABC poll reveals that Republican disapproval is increasing during this battle of the budget, while President Obama's ratings have seen some improvement thanks to approving moderate Democrats and independents. Specifically, 70 percent of the country now reportedly views the GOP disapprovingly with respect to the shutdown, up from 63 percent last week. Meanwhile, 61 percent disapprove of Democrats (up from 56 last week) and 51 percent disapprove of Obama.

"Republicans: Not actually winning the government shutdown," NY TimesRoss Douthat observed.

"This poll is why lots of smart Republicans didn't want to get into a government shutdown," speculated The FIx's Chris Cillizza at the Post.

And if that weren't evidence enough, a Politico poll shows that Democrat challenger Terry McAuliffe just gained a substantial lead over Republican Ken Cuccinelli in the Virginia governor's race. And that's not the only Republican suffering. "Most popular person tested in our poll? Why, @BobMcDonnell!" tweeted Alex Burns, the author of the post. "Oof," replied Michael Scherer with TIME.

Still, Burns noted, "Fundamentals in Virginia shouldn't be bad for GOP: Obama approval underwater, 42% rate ACA implementation 'poor.'"

In response to all of the above, The Washington Post pleads that you remember it's notactually their home city's fault--because it's the rest of America who sent these crazies there. Or as David H. Freedman with Inc. pointed out, alternatively titled "Why you and I, and not Washington, are to blame for this mess." 

“There are a number of things wrong with Washington. One of them is that everyone is too far from home,” quoted WaPo's Elizabeth Tenety.

"Think of Washington as a town with character rather than a cruel byword for political malpractice," was the helpful suggestion from Smart Grid Today's Sean Lyngaas


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