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The queen could end shutdown

Doesn’t matter who you blame for the government shutdown, the truth is simple: If you owned a store and your management team agreed to spend money but refused to come up with a plan to pay the bills, you’d fire them. In 1975 the Australian government shut down over a budget squabble — just like the U.S. has done 17 times now. Guess what happened? The queen dismissed the prime minister and parliament. Then Australia held elections to restart from scratch. And they haven’t had another shutdown since — finally a good argument for a monarchy in America.

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Was anyone else surprised to learn the “panda cam” at the National Zoo was considered nonessential and had to be turned off because of the government shutdown? How much does it cost to keep a webcam running? Don’t worry, every second of the cute pandas’ lives were still captured on film. But only the National Security Agency can see it ... for now.

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Also shut down, Congress’s barber shop, dry cleaners and wellness center. Don’t you wish you had those perks at your office? All we have is an unreliable vending machine with nearly expired junk food.

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At City Hall, Commissioner Dan Saltzman wants more bird-friendly design standards in Portland to keep birds from crashing into buildings and windows. We want to know, what’s wrong with those daisy stickers grandma uses on her sliding glass door? Meanwhile, Amanda Fritz is trying to shove homeless people into the Pearl District. Nothing says “Keep Portland Weird” like glitter-paved streets covered in urine.

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The city of Portland responded to KATU-TV’s public records request for all emails pertaining to the hotly debated Pearl District homeless camp. The counter? A bill for nearly $9,000 for the documents. We wonder why those emails are so expensive but all the Derrick Foxworth and Sam Adams emails were free?

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Reporter Jim Redden of the Trib noted more and more California software companies are moving to Portland. Why? Could it be the daily ritual in San Francisco of watching the Google (and dozens of other companies) luxury buses haul upward of 14,000 up-and-comers from the city south to their respective HQs and back every day. They don’t dare live down the peninsula. Portland’s quality of life would give them back two hours of their lives every day. Gov. John Kitzhaber’s Grand Bargain 2.0 could be the deal he can strike with these companies.

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The Cassini space probe, at work sniffing the planet Saturn since 1997, has detected plastic on the surface of its moon, Titan. Who didn’t think, “OMG, those pesky plastic bags made it all the way to Saturn now?” In fact, it’s the first time scientists have found ingredients that comprise plastic on another planet. Do they throw Tupperware parties in space?

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