With the so-called super committee kaput, more market instability looming and the distinct possibility of another recession, the absolute inability of Washington to solve the nation's fiscal problems is inescapable.
Many questions loom over the Super Committee's work, but perhaps the biggest is whether the stripped-down process that Congress established for it can overcome Washington gridlock, or whether special interests will prevail.
I wouldn't make too much out of the personalities on the super committee. The Democrats probably would give something on Medicare or Social Security, but not if the Republicans won't budge on revenues. So the smart money is on deadlock.
In the new congressional joint committee, any plan will only require 7 votes out of 12 in order to move to Congress at large. Which means if one Democrat votes for a Republican plan, then that will be the committee's official plan.