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The first government shutdown in 17 years, which is in effect as of this morning, has people everywhere pointing fingers and/or scratching their heads.

In a nutshell, the federal government is closed after Congress could not reach an agreement on the funding to keep it running past September 30.

The GOP-controlled House passed a short-term funding bill conditional upon a repeal of a medical device tax and a one-year delay in the implementation of Obamacare.

Clever way to block policy labeled as toxic since it passed in 2010?

Pointless, desperate political gambit? All depends who you ask.

The Democratic-controlled Senate and President Barack Obama weren’t having any of it, and with both sides at an impasse and no end in sight, here we are.

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Will Republicans’ hard-line approach resonate with Americans? Will it have consequences – either good or bad – for the GOP in future elections?

That’s for the pundits to speculate on right now, but the Republican House majority does not see itself as at fault (unlike the New York Daily News cover above).

Rather, they say Obama and the Senate Democrats brought this upon America because of their failure to negotiate or listen to what the people clearly want.

Or so they claim. Either way, it’s little surprise that blame is being cast on both sides and the jokes are flying freely throughout the nation and world at this debacle.

Talk to THG: What do you think of the government shutdown?