POLITICS

Government shutdown 2013: What a shutdown looks like in photos, tweets

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(WJLA) - For the first time since 1996, the United States is without a fully functioning government.

Thanks to a lack of appropriations and a bitter fight over a health care law that a portion of Congress is bent on scuttling, the United States government is closed until lawmakers can agree on a way to fund it, even in the short term.

In the meantime, federal workers are furloughed by the hundreds of thousands, museums and monuments are shutdown throughout the District of Columbia, national parks nationwide have closed their gates and the Smithsonian's Panda Cam (NOT THE PANDA CAM!) has gone dark.

In a series of photos, tweets and screen captures, this is what a federal shutdown looks like so far.

It all started in the dead of night with a memo and tweet from the Office of Management and Budget.

At precisely 12:00 a.m. Tuesday, it was a done deal. The government was closed for business, and it didn't take long for lawmakers to lob body blows at each other.

By Tuesday morning, by many accounts, the commute was a little easier on Metro.

And shortly thereafter, the barricades started going up on the National Mall.

One of the most jarring sights is the venerable Lincoln Memorial, surrounded with police tape as if it were some kind of crime scene.

Across the web, government agencies began to tweet and post messages to their sites that, by all accounts, they ceased to function.

All the while, eyes nationwide were fixed on the Smithsonian National Zoo's Panda Cam, waiting for the inevitable moment that it would switch off.

Here's how it looked in better times:

And here's how it looks Tuesday.

And, if nothing else, you're not getting it back until the government gets its act together.

Photos and images courtesy of John Gonzalez, Brianne Carter, Hatzel Vela, the White House, the USDA, The U.S. Capitol and Smithsonian's National Zoo.

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