In addition to putting hundreds of thousands of workers on furlough, a government shutdown — which looked very likely to happen at midnight — would kill some very cute things. The thought of federal workers going unpaid, or threats to their own staffers' health insurance, has not brought the the House and Senate together on a government-funding deal. Perhaps it would help to refocus lawmakers' minds on the cute things that will suffer, like panda cams and frozen yogurt.
Weddings. Nothing's cuter than a wedding, and there are 24 scheduled to take place on the National Mall in October. During shutdown, nobody's getting married on the Mall.
Senate Fro-Yo. What will hungry Hill reporters do for their afternoon treat?
The Giant Panda Cam. The National Zoo will be forced to shutter the beloved panda cam (as well as dozen of other animal cams) in the event of a shutdown.
Puppy press conferences. A Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council press conference was scheduled to occur at Columbus Plaza on Wednesday, but that won't happen now. Dog owners were planning to bring their pups to the conference.
Fountains. The Washington City Paper has a roundup of all the pretty D.C. fountains that won't run during a shutdown.
National parks. Don't even think about visiting Yosemite this time of year.
FOIAs. The government won't process Freedom of Information Act requests during a shutdown. That means you can't request government records on cute things like, say, panda spending.
Shutdown could also hurt charitable organizations like Meals on Wheels, which rely on government reimbursements to keep running. Oh, and you won't be able to get a gun permit until Congress reaches a budget deal. Maybe that will convince Republicans to make a deal with the Senate?