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The first step isn’t going smoothly.

Ranking things and making lists seem to be all the rage these days.

Terry Lee Ming, 66, died on June 7, 2019, in Bellingham, Washington. He was born on Oct. 30, 1952, in Pittsburg, California.
Randy Jason Sullivan, 46, died May 13, 2019, in a mid-air collision near Ketchikan. He was born on Feb. 1, 1973, in Anchorage.
Garold E. Charles, 67, died March 29, 2019, in Saxman. He was born Dec. 19, 1951, in Craig.
A long wait

It’s football season, and politicians are into the game.

They’re playing political football with Alaskans — even some Ketchikan Alaskans.

And everyone from Alaska to Hawaii and from coast to coast. The immigrants — legal or not — also are involved. As is anyone else who might require a federal government service.

Essential services continue to be provided. The military remains on standby. The Transportation Security Administration continues screening at airports. The Federal Aviation Administration hasn’t interrupted airline schedules.

These are examples of federal employees continuing to do their jobs, despite whether they're being paid. Other examples have employees not working. They’re not getting paid, either, but they will when the game is over.

It’s called a government shutdown.

The problem is that President Donald Trump wants to increase security at the nation’s southern border, utilizing fencing and security systems. If he can greatly reduce illegal immigration, human trafficking and transport of illegal substances into the United States, he scores a touchdown.

Of course, those who oppose Trump on even one of many potential levels, don’t want him to score.

And, that, in a nutshell is where the game stands. It leaves federal employees, immigrants, victims of trafficking — whether drugs or people — in limbo.

The question becomes whether the three-week shutdown will come to an end before or after the 2019 Super Bowl. It’s anybody’s guess what the answer is.

But Trump has indicated he’ll wait years. And if he gets tired of waiting, then he’ll issue an emergency proclamation and build the security system.

The system — despite the politics — is likely sooner or later. Democrats, including former President Barack Obama and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, were for it before they were against it. Republicans are for it.

But politicians appear to like to play games.

Fans, if you can call Americans that in this scenario, will be glad to hear: Game over!