Minnesota state government is closed. The Minnesota state government shut down at midnight last night, the victim “of an ongoing dispute over taxes and spending between Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton and Republican legislative majorities. Talks fell apart well before the deadline, leaving state parks closed on the brink of the Fourth of July weekend.” Oh, the tears. You see how this works? Evil Republicans, state parks are closed, the little kiddies don’t get to have their snow cones and the sleigh rides, oh, no, no Fourth of July, evil Republicans.

The AP says that the shutdown in Minnesota puts road projects at a standstill, forcing thousands of state worker layoffs, and, of course, all of which we’re supposed see as a taste of the horrors the nation will face if the federal debt ceiling is not raised by Congress. That’s how all of this works. For the record the AP has already rewritten this article and they’ve given it a new headline. The first headline was: “Some Noticeable Casualties After Minnesota Shutdown.” The new headline: “Minnesota Shutdown Prompts Political Blame Game.” And naturally the blame falls on the Republicans.

But the whole purpose of this story is to set the stage for what will happen if we don’t raise the debt ceiling in the whole country. The whole federal government will shut down, oh, the horrors of it all. And again, note what the AP highlights here as the things that are gonna suffer: funding for the state zoo, the Capitol, child care assistance for the poor. Meanwhile, critical functions like state troopers, prison guards, the courts and disaster responses will continue, which should give the Minnesota legislature a pretty good idea what can be safely cut. But the newly elected Democrat governor insists on defying the newly elected Republican majority. It’s historic, by the way, in Minnesota, in both houses, the Minnesota legislature, Governor Dayton would rather shut down that state than consider any spending cuts.

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