The Republican-led federal government shutdown is in its second day, and the GOP shows no signs of dropping the fiscal gun it's holding to our country's head.
As a result, 800,000 federal workers are staying home again today without pay, food, airline, and accident inspections have stopped, 19,000 at-risk children across the country lost access to Head Start, and the National Cancer Institute is closed, just to name a few.
And of course, the National Park Service and the Smithsonian Institution are shut down, closing popular tourist destinations here in D.C. and around the country.
The last time the government shut down (in 1996), I was eleven years old and living in Green Bay, Wisconsin, so yesterday my curiosity got the best of me and I took a stroll around the National Mall to see for myself what a shutdown looks like.
A selection of photos I took are after the jump. (Click each photo to enlarge.) What does the shutdown look like in your part of the country?
The Smithsonian's famous castle, closed for the shutdown.
The plaza outside the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden is roped off and empty.
The Mall entrance to the National Air and Space Museum -- the second-most-visited museum in the world -- without a person in sight.
The National Mall itself is closed.
Here's the scene outside the National Gallery of Art, also one of the most-visited museums in the world.
The National World War II Memorial, shut down.
No access to the Lincoln Memorial.
President Lincoln is not impressed.
A sign on the Ellipse, just north of the intersection of Constitution Avenue and 17th Street, specifically exempted "1st Amendment activities" from the shutdown...
...but it was situated atop just one lonely barricade, with no police in sight to enforce it.
This man said he plans to protest the Tea Party's extremist tactics until they release their death grip on the federal government.