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Good News: The United States Still Isn’t a Failed State

The shutdown, depending on how long it goes on, could cause the United States to at least rise a few spots in next year’s rankings (the higher the ranking, the more instability). Congress’s inability to agree on a spending plan has consequences for several indicators of “failedness” where the U.S. has already not been faring too well of late, Krista Hendry, executive director of the Fund, told FP. It’s a demonstration of an increasingly factionalized elite, it leads directly to a deterioration of public services, and it doesn’t exactly do the economy any favors, or strengthen perceptions about the legitimacy of the state. But hey, we have a lot going for us! General rule of law holds — federal courts are still hearing cases, and prison guards are still on the job. Essential services have been preserved; mail, for instance, is still being delivered. Our federalized system means states are still capable of running their own schools and hospitals without federal aid. “We still have air-traffic controllers in the towers, we still have military that are on call and as ready as they were yesterday. Essential services are all still going to function,” said Failed States Index Co-Director J.J. Messner.

Credit: Reuters/Larry Downing By Diane Bartz WASHINGTON | Tue Oct 1, 2013 5:15pm EDT WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Department of Justice, fighting a proposed merger of US Airways Group Inc (LCC.N) and American Airlines parent AMR Corp (AAMRQ.PK), lost a bid to delay the case on Tuesday, and share prices for both companies jumped on perceptions that prospects for the deal had brightened. In Dallas, Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott said his state was dropping out of a U.S. Justice Department lawsuit seeking to block the merger, a move some experts called a crack in the united front of those opposing the creation of the world’s largest airline. US Airways shares closed up 3.9 percent at $19.69 on Tuesday, while AMR closed up 8.3 percent at $4.45. Texas was one of several states that joined the Justice Department lawsuit, filed in August, that has sought to stop a deal it said would lead to higher airfares and less competition. The other states are Arizona, Florida, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia. The District of Columbia also opposes the deal. One airline expert called the Texas decision good news for the deal’s prospects of completion. “This is a positive development for American and US Airways,” said George Hamlin, an airline consultant in Fairfax, Virginia. “The suit was presented as a united front between the federal government and a number of states. The front is no longer united.” In Washington, developments in the long-running merger case met head-on with the day’s biggest news – the shutdown of the U.S. government in a partisan dispute over healthcare reform.

United States roster falling to pieces ahead of remaining 2014 World Cup qualifiers

But Klinsmann (pictured along with Clint Dempsey ) will tell you that opportunities to fine tune and tweak between now and next summer are precious and few, and squandering these chances to reinforce all good tenets and to further fuse the combinations is wasteful. Either way, hes not going to have that chance over the next couple of weeks; his plan to use these upcoming qualifiers for further World Cup prep is unraveling, and quickly so. Lets look at the first-choice players who will not be available, or who will be limited in their fitness and abilities due to recent injuries: Michael Bradley could return to the training field for Roma this week, but his ongoing ankle injury makes a trip to the United States seem less and less likely. Everybody should know by now that Bradley is the one absolutely indispensable piece to this U.S. puzzle, so any efforts at a top performance begins with their midfield glue. Clint Dempseys hamstring issue (Where did he get this thing? No one seems to know.) has kept the U.S. attacker out of Seattles last two matches. Even if Dempseys condition improves, Seattle is likely to lobby for keeping him, for playoff positioning and Supporters Shield pursuits next week. Considering Dempsey is Major League Soccers top wage earner, it seems like a reasonable request. (MORE: U.S. Soccer and Jones refute reports of injury) Jermaine Jones status may be up in the air; reports out of Germany say surgery will have Jones on the shelf for a few weeks.