David Hawkings: "Important shutdown news is getting lost in the rhetorical histrionics about Obamacare, the partisan power plays over blinking first and the personal strife for the furloughed federals. Topping the list: The sequester is surviving."
"That’s especially true at the Pentagon. No matter what sort of miraculous bipartisan budget agreement might be hatched once the government is reopened and the debt limit raised, the sequester’s 9 percent cut to defense spending during the next decade looks to be locked in place."
"There’s still an outside chance that, as part of a bargain giving Republicans the entitlement program curbs they’re dreaming about, Democrats might get to fund some of their priorities by easing up on the reductions to the domestic half of the discretionary budget. But even under that most optimistic scenario, the Defense Department will probably be compelled to live with its $500 billion share of the fiscal austerity."