by liberal japonicus
This may be a really really bad idea, but here goes.
In the film Philadelphia, one of the lines is 'explain it to me like I'm a four year old'. Well, my jhs daughter asked last night why they are shutting down the government. Imagine, if you will, a bright, bilingual jhs student with absolute minimal exposure to the MSM. I'm not sure if this corresponds precisely to what she has been getting, but this Japan Times article (from the WashPo) seems to get at the overseas sense of what is going on.
Please spare me the exegesis of the other articles in the Post about the shutdown, I assume that because the JT editor chose this as the piece, it roughly stands for the opinion here. Also bear in mind that this sort of story is not only something that seems to appear only once every two or three days, but is also below stories titled "U.S., Japan to update defense rules in 2014" and "Kerry, Hagel visit Chidorigafuchi to diminish Yasukuni". My own take is that it is like the embarassing couple in the restaurant having an argument over various household decisions where everyone else in the restaurant looks down at the soup and pretends it doesn't exist.
So your mission, if you decide to accept it, is to craft an explanation that could be understood by my daughter, with the much more strictly drawn lines that would be associated with a father who is not planning on letting the apple of his eye get married until she is in her late 30's (I keeeed, I keeeeeeed!) If you are able to do this, the blog will probably self-destruct. Have at it.