Overheard on CNN.com: Shutdown politics and practicalities
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, left, and House Speaker John Boehner disagree about reasons for the deadlock in Congress.
April 7th, 2011
04:43 PM ET

Overheard on CNN.com: Shutdown politics and practicalities

Comment of the Day:  “My tuition is due the 15th. The VA has yet to pay it and my school is telling me that they are going to cancel my enrollment. I can't afford to pay the tuition and there is not enough time to take out a loan. If there is a shutdown the money wont get paid by the VA and I won’t be able to stay in school."

Harry Reid says government shutdown is likely

With Democrats and Republicans still at an impasse, it appears the government is headed for a shutdown.  According to Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid,  "The only thing holding up an agreement is ideology," while Republican House Speaker John Boehner said the disagreement is over numbers and “underlying policies.”

libdisorder said, "Only 'nonessential' federal employees will be affected. Why do they have 'nonessential' jobs but 'essential' paychecks?"

hoofleau said, "Go ahead and let the government shut down. It would be a pleasant change for once. I guarantee not one Congressional Representative will miss a paycheck or health benefits. For all you government workers: it's time to quit riding the coattails of our government and create your own living for yourselves. There was always the saying, 'If you want a good job, decent money, and don't want to work so hard, get a job with the government.' "

armywife815 answered, “Well, lucky for you, the ones who do work for the government - a.k.a. your military, who is underpaid and overworked - allow you to sit comfortably in your computer chair to type your comment. Yes, all our military personnel chose their living and how they support their families but someone had to step up and do it.”

Bojak said, “I work for a state and federally funded organization that assists men and women with developmental disabilities. I make less than $12/hr and a full quarter of my income goes to health insurance. If I'm riding the coat tails I picked the wrong coat because I don't wind up with very much at the end of the month."

carrotroot said, "The government doesn't just run itself. You need people to run it. Saying that government workers ‘need to create their own living’ is disgraceful thing to say. These folks are neighbors just trying to earn an honest wage, not welfare-queens on the public dole."

When a headache really is a brain tumor

It is difficult, sometimes, to know when to assume the best or fear the worst. John Tonich, a high school sophomore, began having headaches after a wrestling match.  Visits to the family doctor resulted in diagnoses like dehydration and flu. But when John texted his mother from school, saying he felt dizzy, she took him to the emergency room. He had a brain tumor. CNN.com readers wrote to share experiences from both sides.

Frantastic77 said, "This breaks my heart, I wish all the best to John and his family. My husband was diagnosed with medullablastoma at the age of 25. He had seen three different doctors all telling him it was something trivial and dismissing his requests for a CT scan. He finally visited the ER and told them he wouldn't leave until he got one. He was right, and not a moment too soon; a few weeks more and it would have been inoperable."

temoc said, "When my wife and I were still dating she would always complain of headaches. We went to our university doctor and he wrote it off as an infection. A few days later we went to the emergency room for more headache problems and after a CT scan and an MRI, a tumor was located on the pituitary gland. Six years after two surgeries to remove it, she is doing great but we are grateful that we checked rather than relying on faulty information that it was merely a headache."

Zjenopks said, "My brother's doctors told him his dizziness and headaches were a result of his blood pressure medication being off; he died six weeks later from this same kind of tumor."

fegero said, "I had headaches and was told I was stressed and I'd feel better if I relaxed. I had a seizure and crashed my car on the way to work before I was given a chance to have an MRI; they found a tumor in my hippocampus. Luckily I only had a benign tumor, and 11 years later I'm still here."

AlpaChino said, "I used to get headaches daily, to the point where I went to a doctor about them. Then, about five years ago, they stopped. I honestly can't remember the last time I had a headache. I'm not sure what that means, but for those of you that get them often, there is the chance it will change."

boxfan said, "Everything on the 1 thru 5 list could also be a migraine. As one who grew up with migraines, I can tell you that I don't wish them on my worst enemy. The pain was so intense, that back in high school I would put my head in the freezer to try and dull the pain. I eventually outgrew them and they came with less and less frequency."

On the Brain: Inside autism

Are more children being born with autism now? If so, why? A story about Autism Awareness Month had CNN.com readers struggling for answers.

Anne McElroy Dachel said, "It is hard to understand how CNN can focus on autism, saying that one in every 110 children has the disorder and not give us one explanation for why this is happening to our children. We've had two decades of the press calling autism a mystery, as the numbers reached epidemic levels. In the 1970s, the autism rate was one in 10,000 and hardly anyone knew what it was."

Tina said, "There is no outbreak of autism. There have always been that percentage, or higher, of people with autism in the population. Autism afflicts just as many adults as it does children. Look in the engineering and tech fields. There are just as many adults with autism spectrum disorders as there are children with it."

Randall Arnold, who described himself "as a highly-functioning autistic (Aspergers)" explained why he thought autism is on the rise: "In the past autistics were called ‘eccentric’ and rarely married. In recent times, highly functioning autistics have been drawn to high-tech centers such as Silicon Valley, where they (we, actually, because I am one) meet others and marry. This concentrates the genes involved, often resulting in children at a lower-functioning level."

Compiled by the CNN.com moderation staff. Some comments edited for length or clarity.

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soundoff (59 Responses)
  1. Don't worry about me I'll be fine!!!

    I feel betrayed by my country. It doesn't matter whether or not I have enough money to get me by for a couple of days or a few weeks, Because it's the principle of the whole situation. I am sickened by the civilians of America. Most people are to coward in the first place to fight for there country and then they have the nerve to get upset at us services members who do nothing but what they are told to do and blame us for the budget deficit. We're only a million in a half strong and we don't get paid, we'll I would like to see how you people would react if the Government told you that you weren't going to get paid either.

    You people don't care about us, were dying out there everyday and all I here is civilians talk about how they should shut down the Government because it doesn't effect them. We'll lets see how fast you people come calling on your Military when you allow another open opportunity for another terrorist attack. Just remember one thing the only reason this country is allowed to thrive is because we are a Super Power who control the Air and the Seas. With out us there is no America because every opposing nation would stand in line to seek there teeth into us. The civilians of america are just as phony as the country's who smile in our face but wish nothing but the worst behind our backs.

    I am also appalled at the fact that you wouldn't pay your Active duty service members who go on long deployments, missing precious time with there families to risk being killed. But you'll still pay wealthy Congressmen who sit behind a desk, never have to sacrifice anything, never accomplish anything, and hardly ever show up to work because they are to busy playing golf and spending the average paycheck of $174 thousand dollars a year. I also love how you reporters on CNN ask these Military wifes if we've voiced our opinions and pettioned the Government, knowing that were not supposed to speak out against the government. That's what the civilians are supposed to be doing speaking out for us and making sure that we are taken care of so we can protect this country. But hey I don't think Americans know the meaning of the word Selflessness because the only the only morals this country values is Greed.

    April 8, 2011 at 9:36 am | Report abuse |
    • Johnny Irish


      Calm down – the average American is not responsible for the military being furloughed or Congress getting paid. At this point there is nothing that we can do. When we go to the polls next you can bet many of us will remember this, but for now our hands are tied. As for military speaking out against the government, you're incorrect. You may not be able to speak out in a manner to undermine the government, but you are allowed to voice your opinion regarding policy.

      Also, this coming from a veteran, remember you are a volunteer, so you signed up to serve this country, so for you to ask and demand "thanks" from an entire country is hypocritical. This country is free, and yes you have a hand in keeping it that way, but you cannot make statements like this, "...With out us there is no America ..." and this, "...Just remember one thing the only reason this country is allowed to thrive is because we are a Super Power ..."

      Those statements are very forthcoming and arrogant. If you want the support of these people, it's best to not tell them they are useless compared to your service...

      April 8, 2011 at 10:05 am | Report abuse |
    • di

      I am appauld also. I think goverment is to big and that congress be should cut and there they can save 61 billion

      April 8, 2011 at 1:21 pm | Report abuse |
  2. heather

    At the end of the day obviously our leaders need a basic economics class. Balancing the peoples checkbook isn't that hard. Quit playing the ideological game the harm that would be done far outweighs whatever point the hold out senators are trying to make.

    April 8, 2011 at 12:06 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Matthew Martin

    I sit now waiting on my family's future....I am a Veteran of the US ARMY and if this shutdown happens my family and I will be put out in the street. We rely on the money for schooling from the VA to help keep my head above water. I hope all this is worth it to the suits up there knowing if this goes down Me and my family(which includes my brand new 3 month old daughter) will be forced into a awful situation. Im so upset for my military brothers out there who's family lives will be put through this hardship. This is not fair...and I am truly let down by my government if they cannot get this resolved. America the great huh....we will see by tonight...thats for sure.

    April 8, 2011 at 12:11 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Ben

    Let your voices be heard the only way a politician will listen – YOUR VOTE. Vote every current politician out of office the very next election opportunity. They are failures at running our country. Get them out of office.

    April 8, 2011 at 2:23 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Pete

    Both the Democrats and the Republicans have totally missed the point.
    Our national debt is killing us. Any deficit increases it.
    We need to cut not 30 Billion, or 60 Billion, but TWO THOUSAND BILLION.
    If we can do that, we can pay off a tiny fraction of the national debt.
    Continuing to run a deficit is irresponsible, and will lead to the demise of our country.

    April 8, 2011 at 4:05 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Rioh Reigh Pheigh

    Please, dont shut down! We need you all!, badly, If It does shut down, I will be Homeless,without medcine for my mental problomes, and in the world all alone in a homeless shelter! I dont want to go that route! Please think of the people you are hurting! PLEASE GOD! HELP ME, ANYONE, PLEASE HELP US ALL NOW, OH PLEASE WAKE UP AND SEE THE LIGHT I AM IN INTENSE PAIN NOW PLEASE KEEP (MEDICAID AND SOCIAL SECCURITY)!!!! PLEASE AT LEAST KEEP THOSE THINGS THAT I REQUIRE TO LIVE MY LIFE!. I LIVE IN A GROUP CARE HOME FOR THE MENTALLY ILL AND HAVE BEEN MENTALL ILL ALL OF MY LIFE, YOU ARE MY ONLY FREEDOM! PLEASE DONT TAKE THESE THINGS AWAY!!, LOVE ALWAYSE, Rioh R. Pheigh

    April 8, 2011 at 7:20 pm | Report abuse |
  7. nibiru

    Wow! http://nopolicestate.com

    April 8, 2011 at 7:36 pm | Report abuse |
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