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He's perhaps the only American who came out of the government shutdown with his reputation enhanced: the one-man "Memorial Militia" Chris Cox who captivated the nation last month by mowing and cleaning the Mall.
House lawmakers will get a chance Wednesday to grill the National Park Service about its decision to barricade the World War II Memorial and iconic national parks, including the Grand Canyon, at the beginning of the government shutdown — though they had to subpoena the Park Service director to get him to attend.
Nearly 2 miles of Mall separate the Lincoln Memorial from the western foot of the U.S. Capitol, and this weekend a Montgomery County couple did their best to tidy up a few acres.
Hundreds of veterans and their supporters rallied at the World War II Memorial and outside the White House on Sunday, provoking what at times became angry exchanges between police and demonstrators protesting the federal government shutdown.
Taking their lead from the veterans who first pushed through the barricades to visit the World War II Memorial, Americans nationwide are defying the federal government shutdown, tossing aside traffic cones and toppling wooden fences to get to national parks and other federal lands that the administration has deemed out of bounds.
It's astonishing how efficient the federal government can suddenly become when it's not working. Within minutes of the shutdown, the National Park Service had done everything short of putting a tarpaulin over the Grand Canyon to score a political point for the Democrats and President Obama.
The games politicians play: Barack Obama is having a lot of fun using the government shutdown to squeeze the public in imaginative ways. The point of the shutdown game is to see who can squeeze hardest, make the most pious speech and listen for the applause. It's a variation on the grade-school ritual of "you show me yours, and I'll show you mine."
President Obama is set to deliver the keynote address at the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation's annual awards dinner Saturday night in Washington.