Monday Morning Political Mix
Good Monday morning, fellow political junkies. The partial shutdown of the government enters its second week and on Day 7 of the crisis neither side appears to have softened its position.
At least furloughed federal workers got the good news over the weekend that Congress had approved giving them backpay for the time they are locked out of their jobs.
Here are some of the more interesting news items with greater or lesser political import that caught my eye this morning.
- Speaker John Boehner said on a Sunday appearance that there aren't enough House votes to pass a temporary spending bill containing no provisions opposed by Democrats that would reopen the government, writes NPR's Bill Chappell. Meanwhile, Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) dared Boehner to prove it by bringing the Senate-passed spending bill to a House floor vote, Huffington Post's Ashley Alman reports.
- A Republican congressman not identified by the Washington Examiner sat down with reporters at the news outlet recently and likened the fiscal fight that led to the government shutdown to Battle of Gettysburg. Byron York writes that the congressman told the journalists that the GOP is in the role of the Confederate forces that stumbled into an engagement with Union forces at a time, place and manner they hadn't foreseen, he said. Now both sides are trying to improvise a way out.
- Which Speaker Boehner will we see as the shutdown crisis enters its second week? is the apt question asked by National Journal's Matt Berman. From the outside, Boehner has looked like a pinball, first bouncing this way than that, depending on the moment.
- Among Republican nightmares has to be this: Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.) is apparently planning on tormenting them long into the future. The crusty 73-year old Senate majority leader who has relished calling Repuplican Tea Partiers "anarchists" is preparing for a 2016 re-election run, reports Politico's Manu Raju.
- The Supreme Court opens a new term in which it will hear a number of cases that could overturn historic precedents. NPR's Nina Totenberg reports that one that will be argued this week could find the court's conservative majority erasing campaign-contribution limits.
- Justice Antonin Scalia may be accused of many things but boring isn't among them. The conservative icon displays his feisty, funny and uber-confident intellect in a bouncy interview with Jennifer Senior in New York Magazine. Among the discoveries: he's no fan of social media, finding "strange" the notion of being "friended" and that he believes the devil is hard at work making people non-believers in God.
- Meanwhile, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has had to deal with some people wondering aloud if it isn't time for her to step down because of her age and her two cancer bouts to give President Obama a chance to name a younger progressive to the Supreme Court. But as the opera fan makes clear in a profile by the Washington Post's Robert Barnes, she's not about to sing her career's final aria yet.
- Republicans are far away from where they must be if their goal is to be a serious governing party attractive to a majority of voters and they don't have much time to make a course correction, writes Judd Gregg, the former Republican and U.S. senator and New Hampshire governor, in The Hill.
- It's called "regulatory capture" when industries appear to have too much sway over their regulators. The Washington Post's Peter Whoriskey writes about a seeming example. The pharmaceutical industry paid big money to shape a Food and Drug Administration scientific panel that advised the agency's decisions on painkillers according to emails made public through an open-records request, he writes.
- Obama weighed into the debate over the Washington Redskins' name by saying in an interview with Julie Pace of the Associated Press published Saturday that if he owned the storied NFL franchise, he would consider changing its name. On its website with its in-your-face url, the team employed long-time Democratic crisis message machine Lanny Davis to essentially, if respectfully, tell the president "no."