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Elliot: See quester? Me, neither

BY BEAU ELLIOT | FEBRUARY 26, 2013 5:00 AM

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“Sequester” has become the word of the day. You probably noticed. It’s everywhere — wine bars, coffeehouses, not-whine bars (we need more of those), the Pentacrest with odd people bumping into each other randomly and discussing sequester. I know you’ve seen them (and probably did your best to avoid them).

(You ever notice that “odd” people always “randomly” bump into each other on the Pentacrest? Good. Because otherwise, I would be the only one who notices “odd” people bumping into each other “randomly,” which would make me feel odd and random. By the way, “random” is a huge problem in Iowa basements, I hear. Not that I’m an expert or anything. Or ever go down into my Iowa basement. Too many spiders and too much random.)

What? You haven’t heard of “sequester”? Where have you been? Oh — watching Hawkeye men’s basketball. You have my sympathies.

But you know how bad that second half against Nebraska was? Sequestration (yeah, really — that’s the noun, and don’t ask me, What’s a noun?) will make that second half seem like an irregular French verb whose conjugation you can’t remember. And don’t really care all that much that you can’t remember. Of course, the Hawkeye men hoopsters are not an irregular French verb. But they certainly are irregular.

(I mean, who blows a 19-point lead against Nebraska? That’s like blowing a 19-point lead against the Houston Astros.)

Sequestration is a deal Republicans and Democrats reached in 2011 (yeah, I know, who can remember the medieval days of 2011?) to avoid some fiscal cliff or another. These days, fiscal cliffs seem to wander around the landscape at will. Or maybe that’s George Will. The landscape these days is so confusing.

The sequestration was designed to be so nightmarishly horrible that Democrats and Republicans would work together to avoid it, then sing “Kumbaya.”

Well, fortunately, it appears as if we won’t be subjected to Democrats and Republicans attempting to sing “Kumbaya.”

Six hundred or 700 or whatever hundred years of music thank them.

Because those federal-budget cuts that seem nightmarishly horrible to people who have a measureable IQ a large segment of Republican lawmakers seem to think are pretty decent.

(I use the phrase “Republican lawmakers” advisedly; “Republican lawmakers” don’t seem to want to make laws, or confirm federal appointments, or do much of anything they are Constitutionally charged to do — they appear to wish to do nothing and collect their cozy salaries anyway. Cool “work” if you can get it, dude.)

Republicans say sequestration won’t really be all that bad, that President Obama is merely trying to scare the American people with his tales of doom and woe in order to win re-election (oops, Republicans — he already did that; did you forget?), and, in any case, sequestration is all Obama’s fault.

(Yes — you got that right; it’s not that big of a problem, and Obama is responsible if there is a problem. It’s fun to be a Republican. That’s why there are so many of them here in Fun City.)

Of course, if you live in Iowa, there is this: Under sequestration, the Washington Post reports that “Iowa will lose approximately $6.4 million in funding for primary and secondary education, putting around 90 teacher and aide jobs at risk.”

And this from the Post: Under sequestration, “Around 2,370 fewer low-income students in Iowa would receive aid to help them finance the costs of college and around 1,020 fewer students will get work-study jobs that help them pay for college.”

There’s lots more from the Post about Iowa and sequestration (and the other 49 states) if you care to look it up.

Or you could follow my example (which I don’t recommend) and focus on Hawkeye men’s basketball as the Hawks play themselves into the NIT. With any sort of luck.

In any case, apparently, the real fiscal cliff will arrive around March 27. That should be almost as much fun as watching the asteroid not hit Earth.


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