In honor of the 123rd anniversary of Yosemite National Park in the central Sierra Nevada in California, Google devoted its Google Doodle to the old park. The timing is curious but nonetheless appropriate under the circumstances, given that as of Tuesday, Yosemite will be closed to the public because the National Park Service has become a casualty of congressional partisanship. House Republicans and Senate Democrats failed to reach an agreement that would fund the federal government past September 30 — the end of the 2013 federal fiscal year.
As the clock approached October 1, the White House Office of Management sent a memo to all affected federal agencies, instructing them to begin implementing plans for an "orderly shutdown" due to a lack of funding. One of those agencies affected is the National Park Service, which manages all of the country's national parks and many of its monuments. The agency oversees 401 sites which collectively average 715,000 visitors per day. All park entrances will be closed immediately, visitors will be told to leave, and park employees will be furloughed.
So Happy Birthday, Yosemite National Park! Please don't be offended when no one shows up for your birthday party. It's not that we don't want to go. It's that we literally can't.