Rich Galen

By shutting the government down on Friday, the House Majority will signal President-slash-candidate Obama and the Senate Democrats that they mean business and they are willing to put their seats on the line to do what they had promised.

As alien a concept as that has been in Washington over the past several decades, it is likely that the more senior Members of the House and Senate - Democrats and Republicans - aren't taking the freshmen seriously.

They do so at their own peril.

You know the old saying about government spending: Pork is a project in your district. A project in my district is necessary spending.

I understand that it is the job of each of the 435 voting Members of the House to represent their constituencies. But, sometimes the greater good for their constituents is asking them to sacrifice on behalf of the greater good for the nation.

In this case, beginning the process weaning ourselves from the mother's milk of federal spending is a necessary first step toward learning to eat on our own as we fend for ourselves by taking less from the federal government.

By the time you read this, a compromise avoiding a government shutdown may have been reached. More's the pity. If so, Reid, Obama, et. al. use that as ammunition against the larger, more necessary cuts coming in 2012 and what are call the "out years."

"Look how reasonable we were," they'll say. "Now it's time for the Republicans to reach out the hand of compromise to us."

That is a false argument onto which the popular press will latch as the election cycle moves on to show how unreasonably committed to their orthodoxy the Republicans truly are.

On the Secret Decoder Ring today: A link to the piece on a possible budget compromise, and a link to a brief history of the North Africa campaign in World War II.

Also, a pretty good Mullfoto from my plane flying over the Grand Canyon and a Catchy Caption of the Day.

Rich Galen

Rich Galen has been a press secretary to Dan Quayle and Newt Gingrich. Rich Galen currently works as a journalist and writes at