Football? Fighting Fires? The Baby Panda? Some Things Never Change.

By Jack Limpert

Among the lessons learned fifty years ago, while covering city council and school board meetings in Warren, Michigan, a fast-growing suburb of Detroit, was this one: The city council was threatening to cut the school board budget. What a shame, one school board member said, that it looks like we might have to cancel this fall’s high school football season.

Almost 40 years ago Charlie Peters, the legendary editor of the Washington Monthly, wrote about the “Firemen First” tactic of government, explaining why the most essential services, such as fighting fires, would be the first to be threatened by legislators or bureaucrats facing budget cuts.

And in 2013 in Washington? A not-surprising amount of attention is being paid to the turning off of the panda-cam at the National Zoo. Want to see what the zoo’s baby panda is up to today? Sorry, we’re doing what government bureaucrats always do.


  1. The following link to the site from the Washington Post lists alternative panda (China and elsewhere) and other animal cams for those suffering withdrawal from DC’s now closed down Panda Cam of Mei and her baby panda during the government shutdown:

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