The barricades are down, the parks, monuments, and museums are open, the pandas are back on TV, licenses, passports, and IRS letters are being issued, and government workers can resume work and consuming. Headlines focus on the futility of the effort and disarray within the Republican Party, with some suggesting 'civil war.' Traditional backers from main street to Wall Street are furious with both the Tea Party and the leaders who allowed the derailment. And Democrats are doing their best not to gloat.

In one week less a day sequestration is set to go into effect and neither President Obama nor Congress seem willing or able to avert it. Left unchanged the policy mandates $85 billion in automatic, across-the-board government spending cuts to begin March 1st.