3. The sequester
Doomsday. Shooting oneself in the head. Catastrophic. For more than a year, every national security official in the Iron Triangle has begged Congress and the White House to make a budget deal. Nothing worked, from threats of job losses to having to shut down nuclear missiles. Even when Republican and Democratic members of Congress pushed their leaders to talk, silence reigned. Now, the stalemate has reached a second Christmas, proving that in America today politics trumps everything -- even national security.