Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
September 1, 2014

Biggest Losers in the Shutdown Logjam: Lumberjacks

Of course the mainstream media fumed about the sickly babies denied medical care by the defunded National Institutes of Health, the single moms forcefully weaned off assistance by suddenly shuttered Women, Infants and Children program offices, and visiting combat veterans unable to pay their respects at national monuments deemed off-limits during the protracted government shutdown.

But is it possible us political hacks miss the forest for the trees?

Business watchdog Jillian Eugenios sure as heck didn’t.

Biggest Losers in the Shutdown Logjam: Lumberjacks

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The multitalented newshound — she’s currently juggling a web producing gig at the “TODAY” show, freelance writing and graduate studies at the City University of New York Graduate School of Journalism — decided to take a step back from the budget fight fray and think about who, other than those already swept up in the headline wars, might be taking it on the chin in the ideological squabble.

All the talk about national parks, naturally, planted a seed in her mind.

“I feel like a lot of attention was given to the tourists not being able to have the vacation they imagined, which is fair,” she said of the outcry the administrative hiatus evoked from the leisurely minded. “But I thought, what about the people who rely on those same tourist destinations as their livelihood?”

Stopping the chopping: Shutdown causes lumber stocks to fall from Jillian Eugenios on Vimeo.

Her curiosity blossomed into a homemade video — “I made that the other day, sort of just for fun,” she said of the roughly 100-second analysis — examining the effect the shutdown had on the timber trade.

“It wasn’t just hiking trips and outdoor weddings that got chopped. The logging industry also took a whack,” Eugenios says as part of her narration.

As part of her expose, Eugenios weaves together hard facts (noting there’s been a nearly 3 percent drop in the value of logging financials on the S&P Global Timber and Forestry Index over the past few weeks) with ominous “Game of Thrones”-like predictions.

“As the government shutdown enters its third week, lumber companies have reason to worry: Winter is coming,” she warns.

We found her outside-the-Beltway-bubble thinking incredibly refreshing.

Mind you, it was nowhere as entertaining as Monty Python’s paean to the scruffy, scrappy — and occasionally cross-dressing — powerhouses who fell forests for a living.

But then again, what is.

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