This story from The Hill about Rand Paul's threatened filibuster of the FY 2011 spending deal somehow misses one of the biggest parts of the story: if Paul wants to, he almost certainly could force a short-term government shutdown.
Remember, the Senate can move very quickly when it collectively wants to, but a single Senator can force a delay. A single-Senator filibuster is generally defeated by attrition (that is, waiting him or her out). Once multiple Senators are involved, however, the only way to defeat the filibuster is through the cloture process -- which not only requires 60 votes but also takes a few days, and possibly a week or more if those Senators really want to maximize delay. The Hill story doesn't say anything about other Senators willing to join Paul, although he does say that "we" haven't decided about the filibuster strategy yet; it's unclear whether this means "myself and other Senators," "myself and other Tea Parties," "myself and my other selves," or what. Of course, it's also Paul would insist on a cloture vote but agree to expedite it or to allow yet another bridge CR to pass in order to prevent a government shutdown in the interim. The point, however, is one Senator, and certainly any small group of Senators, could force a short shutdown if they want to.
Anyway, I covered some of this last week before the deal (see items 4 through 6), but it's worth a reminder -- the usual sequence is a leadership agreement followed by ratification on the House and Senate floors, but every once in a while something screwy happens. As we learn more details of exactly what was agreed to, it's still very possible that this thing could collapse completely, or at least cause a little excitement before it's signed into law.