Months of fruitless efforts have come to this.
It's just a few more hours before massive, mandated, nearly across the board cuts in federal spending kick in.
President Obama says he will wait until the last second, 11:59:59 to comply with the sequester law.
His press secretary says that's because the President remains "ever hopeful."
Few see from where that optimism comes.
It's clear that something needs to be done.
If the federal government were a $50,000 a year household, it would be spending $78,000 each year.
How long can that last?
The battle, of course, remains how; what combination of tax hikes and cuts can be fashioned to spread the pain.
If the past predicts the future, the hope for an agreement isn't high.
Consider that the sequester cuts amount to 2.4 percent of federal spending. If you would have to cut 2.4 percent from your family budget would you do it across all spending? Or would you make decisions to protect things like the rent, the groceries, the car and the utilities?
Further adding to the frustration, the March 1st deadline is arbitrary.
Congress set the deadline and said, Look, let's make cuts so drastic and so indiscriminate and so nasty that we'll have to find a solution in time.
The fact that we still don't have an agreement suggests that even Congress underestimated its own inability to get along, and many who use these programs are now caught in the crossfire, whether the program getting cut makes sense or not.
Political analyst Dr. David Kozak calls it "a monument, an emblem of the failure of the American political system."
I just call it a real shame.