As we write, the budget mess in Washington has shut down or curtailed many important programs and agencies, but be assured it's all hands on deck at the Arkansas Times. Arkansas, and the rest of the country, is in a crisis mode; the Times is at its best when the going gets tough. Unlike Arkansas's four Republican congressmen, who voted to bring on the mess, and are unhelpful no matter the going. Well-intentioned Arkansans such as the Times must do what they can to aid the hungry and homeless, the children and the elderly, all those in need who've been abandoned by Congressional Republicans. The estimable Gov. Mike Beebe has remained at his post, doing yeoman work in keeping alive a food program for low-income mothers and their children. Keeping it alive at least for a time, anyway. There's fear that Rep. Tom (Mad Dog) Cotton will use fire hoses on children who attempt to claim their milk and cereal. Cotton and the rest of his gang believe there's not enough hunger in America, and too much affordable health care. It's difficult to negotiate with them unless you can be as cruel as they are. President Obama clearly cannot.