Some people owe everything they have to the bank accounts of their parents. I owe the state. Put simply, the state educated me, fixed my leg when it was broken, and gave me a grant that enabled me to go to university. It fixed my teeth (a bit) and found housing for my veteran father in his dotage. When my youngest brother was run over by a truck it saved his life and in particular his crushed right hand, a procedure that took half a year, and which would, on the open market—so a doctor told me at the time—have cost a million pounds. Those were the big things, but there were also plenty of little ones: my subsidized sports centre and my doctor’s office, my school music lessons paid for with pennies, my university fees. My NHS glasses aged 9. My NHS baby aged 33. And my local library. To steal another writer’s title: England made me. It has never been hard for me to pay my taxes because I understand it to be the repaying of a large, in fact, an almost incalculable, debt.
In which a Fox News reporter competes to be heard over a children’s choir while doing a liveshot in the rotunda of the Russell Senate Office Building.
The choir makes this quite epic. Almost like the end of a Michael Bay movie, in which all the bad guys have been defeated and two bloodied and bruised humans are kissing (before going back to debate the budget?).
Fox News: Now brought to you with music by aaaangels.
Politicians in Congress, assured of their own paychecks regardless of whether the government shut down, continued battling for budgetary and political turf as the deadline of midnight Friday crept closer.
It was at that moment the White House issued a proclamation to the country concerning the following week:
“NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA … do hereby proclaim April 10 through April 16, 2011, as National Volunteer Week.”