Define ‘essential’

All over but the shouting: Unless the U.S. Senate and House can come to an agreement to extend funding today, a government shutdown could throw 800,000 federal workers off the job without pay.

The good news: Some essential workers, including Border Patrol agents, air traffic controllers and meat inspectors, will remain on the job. The bad news: Somehow, Congress is still considered “essential.”

Tartar or ketchup? A tough season ended on a bitter note for fans of the Seattle Mariners, who along with absorbing the loss of manager Eric Wedge, watched the M’s lose to Oakland, 9-0.

Fans who watched the final game drowned their sorrows by splitting one order of garlic fries, with plenty left over for the seagulls.

Don’t know much about history: On this day in 1938, British Prime Minister Nevil Chamberlain noted the Nazi annexation of Czechoslovakia’s Sudetenland, saying famously, “I believe it is peace for our time.”

Chamberlain thus provided members of Congress, radio talk show hosts and online commenters with a handy quote to demonstrate their poor understanding of history.

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