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Every time I turn around someone is locking out someone; someone is threatening to lockout someone; and there is a deadline looming. There is always a deadline looming.

Strictly speaking the debt limit debate isn't a looming lockout, but if a deal isn't reached, and the debt ceiling deadline is reached then DEMOCRATIC President Barack Obama has warned he will refuse to pay active duty soldiers or issue Social Security checks.

As a positive side, every reporter, columnist, pundit, and cartoonist in the nation has learned how to spell "catastrophe" which is not, as I believed until I was about 42, pronounced CAT-uh-strofe. "Penelope," I have recently discovered, is not pronounced PEN-uh-lope, either.

For some reason, I have never been confused by the word "apostrophe." AP-uh-strophe is just silly.

Where was I? Oh, yes the so-called negotiations over the debt limit. What will happen is the President will agree to cuts which have the word "trillion" attached. Congressman John Boehner - who is the Speaker of the House, not the Speaker of the Republican Party - will agree to revenue increases so long as they don't have the word "rates" attached. The Senate will go along because the deal will have bloomed from seeds planted by the "Gang of Six."

So, the debt limit will be increased before the deadline is reached and government spending will continue apace.

The National Football League owners locked out the players right after the Superbowl last winter to re-do what is known as the CBA - the collective bargaining agreement. I have no idea what the owners wanted to get; and I have no idea what the players have been trying to protect, but I've never understood the difference between what a defensive safety does and the role of a cornerback.

The deadline was looming for the opening of team training camps, free agency moves, signing draft picks, and preparing to actually play the games so the players and the owners appear to have come to a basic agreement just as players and coaches are supposed to report to camp.

The owners of National Basketball Association teams, not to be left out, have locked out their players to get more of whatever it is they want while the players are struggling to keep as much as they can of whatever it is they have.

The 2011-2012 NBA season isn't scheduled to start until November 1, so the deadline is far from looming so don't expect much news or much movement.

The final lockout is the state of Minnesota which has been closed for about three weeks because the DEMOCRATIC Governor and the Republican-controlled legislature couldn't agree on a budget.

The Legislature passed the requisite bills, but the Governor wouldn't sign them so most state employees were locked out of their offices and massive hardships - like Miller Beer had to be removed from stores because the company didn't renew its license before the shut-down - ensued.

The Governor and the Legislature have kissed and made up and gears of government in Minnesota are beginning to turn once again allowing state workers to go back to work and get Miller Beer back on store shelves where it belongs.

U.S. Government, NFL, NBA, Minnesota all locking out and all looking bad.

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