Shutdown Oddities

The USDA has completely shut down all of its informational Web sites, including its comprehensive food nutritional content database. The NIH, however, has kept open the Pubmed biomedical literature database Web site.


  1. Michael R says

    Sounds like the USDA, like the IRS targeting Tea Partiers, is acting out of political/self interest, not in the interests of the public. There is no good reason to shut down websites (it takes more effort to shut them down than leave them running) other than playing politics. Presumably they want the public to (a) feel their plight and (b) maximise the blame on Republicans.

  2. smrnda says

    Well gee, the IRS took a payments out of my bank account today, so they must be persecuting this known leftist.

    On the IRS, I see no reason why they shouldn’t have targeted tea party groups. They’re political organizations, not ‘community non-profits’ – the “Tea Party” was the most visible name of a political movement the last few years – candidates were *running for office* on the tea party brand.

  3. sailor1031 says

    atte #1: Bullshitte. If you repeat it often enough uncritical people will believe it. For the nth time – the IRS did NOT target only Tea Party groups. They targeted right and left organizations that were seeking 503(c) tax exempt status on flimsy to non-existent grounds. This is part of what the IRS should be doing. It irritates me greatly that these groups are undermining democracy in the USA and putting their tax burden on the public at the same time. Fukke them!

  4. Nicoleandmaggie3 says

    Most likely they don’t get as many questions from plumbed as they do about nutrition.

  5. says

    While PubMed is run by the National Institutes of Health, it is part of a much larger worldwide network of databases used by international researchers and, as such, is only partially funded by the US government. Most of the back office has been furloughed, but enough money is coming in from the network itself to maintain a skeleton crew and keep the website operational. The USDA, on the other hand, is wholly dependent on US federal funds and the department that runs the website has been shuttered completely “for the duration.”

    As for why websites get shut down, imagine what would happen if a government site got hacked when there was no one around to respond to intrusion alarms, much less qualified to restore the backup copies or otherwise fix the damage. Taking the website entirely offline is pretty much a necessary security measure in such cases.

  6. Anniemouse says

    Also, it’s a matter of five minutes’ work to gracefully take down a huge, complicated website. One person can do it easily. Keeping a website up and running, however–that takes much more–more people, more effort, more time.

  7. Grumble says

    Come on, greg, what’s with the rational explanations? Conspiracy theories are so much more fun!

  8. peterhuestis says

    We actually had a real discussion about this before we were shut down at the National Gallery of Art! I asked my boss, “So, do we have to disable” We really considered it. In the end, it seemed spiteful, especially since it pretty much runs itself (other than maintenance and updating).

    The moral of this story is to visit NGA Images and enjoy a free government service which is still allowed to work!

  9. bam294 says

    No nutritional information? In my world, this means donuts haz no calories. Imma fly to New England and score a zillion Dunkin Donuts butternut donuts. NOM!!!

  10. overfrustrated says

    What can I say?. I am under the impression that we are in the same path we have been the past 6 years. Why?. According to the news now democrats and Obama differ in their strategy in the face of shutdown. This is what greedy republicans are looking for: “divide and you will win”. Another piece of news in the NYT says that Republicans think that default is not a big deal. I am furious. And the feeling is that democrats seem to be only good for sending emails to supporters asking for money. They are so dumb and insensitive that even if you have send them money twice in less than a week they keep e-mailing. What a lack of everything. Do they realize that many of their supporters are unemployed?. At a minimum they should acknoledge that they are aware “you have already sent money and appreciate your effort. We were wondering if you can send a little more and if not don’t worry”.
    I am just fed up with their insensitivity and incompetence. They are only concerned about keeping their asses in place. Just go and fuck yourselves!.

  11. overfrustrated says

    Just got another one:

    “Did you see Lois’ email? She’s going all in to get the Tea Party to stop the madness and end their reckless shutdown.

    Can you click here and automatically add your name to her petition today?

    Standing up to the Tea Party extremists is never easy. They aren’t rational and they would rather favor their reckless political agenda than get anything done.

    Please do your part and add your name.




  12. DrugMonkey says

    The fund raising letters all have a link to remove your email from the list. Why not use it?

  13. overfrustrated says

    “House Republicans submit new proposal to raise debt limit, end government shutdown”

    Yes at the price of keeping the US hostage after November 22 and, in the meantime that is from now until the 22,
    “a bill that would replace some of the deep budget cuts known as the sequester with cuts to entitlement programs, including Medicare. Once the government reopens, House Republicans want Obama to enter negotiations over a longer-term debt-limit increase. In those talks, a House GOP leadership aide said, Boehner would demand that Obama address “the real drivers of our debt and deficits, including the president’s health-care law.”

    Monster Boehner, go and fuck yourself while somebody in this country with balls prepares a strategy to impeach you!.

  14. CoR says

    I have a friend that works for the USDA and manages one of their online databases–from what I have been told, there was no central policy regarding db’s staying up–as a result, some are up, most are down.

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