The current US federal government shutdown - which is more of a slowdown - has merely set the stage for an even more nerve-racking deadline on October 17 when the US will cross their debt ceiling. At most the government could get by for another couple of weeks with $30bn cash on hand, but without a deal the US will in effect be in default in a couple of weeks.
President Obama has to make a crucial decision on the US response to Syrian President Assad's use of chemical weapons and deliver the speech of a lifetime on the 50th Anniversary of the "I Have A Dream Speech" in the shadow of one of the greatest orators of all time - Martin Luther King Jr on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial.
As the saying goes "presidential candidates campaign in poetry and if they are lucky enough to win, they govern in prose". Presidential Candidate Barack Obama was especially good at campaigning in poetry. Perhaps that is why, even though he has won re-election for a second term, he is unwilling to dismantle his campaign appartus and get into the down and dirty, nitty-gritty work of governing in hard edged well disciplined prose.