The "Latest" on the "Fiscal Crisis" ~ from yesterday's New York Times:
.... 1,265 of the 1,701 people normally assigned to what is called the Executive Office of the President, which includes people who work in the White House as well as the Eisenhower Executive Office Building next door, have been sent home on furlough. They include most of the 90 service staff members who maintain the president’s residence....
The departures have left the White House running on a shoestring budget. Those who are on a shutdown-induced vacation include assistant press secretaries; most of the people who cook and clean for the first family; the people who work in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy; and all but one member of the president’s advance team, which plans and coordinates the logistics for White House events. Even the White House switchboard, a famously efficient Washington institution, is on furlough.
.... Most of the work of White House staff members is invisible to the public, part of a vast machinery designed to make the president look good. But their sudden absence in such large numbers is certain to have a noticeable impact if the shutdown continues for a long time.
And for anyone interested in the Obamas' personal minutiae:
In the residence, where Mr. Obama and his family sleep and eat, life goes on, but with less help. The White House declined to provide any details about how daily life has changed for the first family, which normally has a staff of chefs, butlers, maids, gardeners, elevator operators, carpenters and electricians. One thing that probably has not changed is Michelle Obama’s insistence that Malia and Sasha make their own beds.
“That was the first thing I said to some of the staff when I did my visit,” Mrs. Obama said in a 2009 interview with ABC News, describing her talks with White House employees. “Don’t make their beds. Make mine. Skip the kids. They have to learn these things.”