Jim DeMint of the Heritage Foundation -- an alpha specimen of a Washington DC "wacko bird," -- describes the partial shutdown his Republican House pals have inflicted on the country as merely a "temporary slowdown in government operations."
Don't try to tell that to the old gentleman we met yesterday outside the local Social Security Administration office. He was gaping at this sign taped to the glass door.
"They are supposed to be open." He kept trying to see some activity behind the glass.
The suggestion that a computer might answer his question might as well have been words in Chinese or Russian.
We all eventually wandered off.