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8 Things You Need to Know About the Shutdown 


In case you haven’t heard, the government shut down [Tuesday morning] as Congress failed to pass a “continuing resolution” to keep it operating. You’ll hear a lot of people saying this is a “standoff” or a simple case of two sides being unable to compromise. But it’s not politics as usual—it’s an unusual, and dangerous, hijacking of politics by a determined minority. Here are eight things to keep in mind as you watch this play out.

1. It’s Totally Optional: First and foremost, there’s no reason for a shutdown, except that House Republicans refuse to pass a continuing resolution (CR) without attaching unrelated provisions to undermine the Affordable Care Act. This is not an inevitable crisis. It’s a manufactured one...