White House Meeting: New York Times: "President Obama summoned the Republican and Democratic leaders of Congress to the White House for an afternoon meeting Wednesday, the second day of the government shutdown, to urge the passage of measures financing the government and increasing the nation’s borrowing limit — without add-ons like a limitation on his health-insurance law. It was to be the first such meeting since large portions of the government were forced to close at 12:01 a.m. Tuesday, when the new fiscal year began without agreement on a stopgap spending measure, known as a continuing resolution, or C.R., that would finance the government until spending levels are set for the new year."
Don't Hold Your Breath: Washington Post: "The reality is that both sides are leaning heavily on principle when it comes to defending their current stance on the shutdown. For Boehner, this is about standing up for the people who don’t like Obamacare and want it gone. For Obama/Reid, it’s about not re-litigating a law that the Supreme Court upheld and, they believe, the 2012 election affirmed. And, you don’t cave on principle in 24 or 48 hours. The only way you do move off of a principled stand in politics is for a damn good reason — as in a deal that you can sell to your side as going far enough to make it worth compromising."
Diplomacy and Trash Talk: Los Angeles Times: "Democrats used both diplomacy and trash talk to urge House Speaker John A. Boehner to abandon his tea party flank Wednesday and pass a no-strings-attached bill to reopen the federal government, as attention turned to the broader fight looming over the nation’s debt limit. Senate Democratic leaders mocked the speaker as a 'puppet of Ted Cruz,' the Texas senator who has orchestrated the GOP’s hard-line strategy to end President Obama’s healthcare law in exchange for keeping government open. But Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid also telephoned Boehner on Wednesday morning, promising the speaker a broad negotiation on federal budget priorities if the speaker would agree to allow a vote on a straight bill to reopen government."
A Potential Security Risk: NBC News: "With 70 percent of National Security Agency employees currently furloughed because of the government shutdown, top intelligence officials warned Congress Wednesday that the ongoing funding lapse could be putting national security at risk.'The damage will be insidious,' Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said at a hearing of the Senate Judiciary Committee. 'Each day that goes by, the jeopardy increases. This is a dreamland for foreign intelligence services to recruit.'"
Obamacare Rolls On: Politico: "If there’s one message coming out of the White House about the Obamacare sign-up period, it’s this: Forget Washington. While the nation’s capital remains in shutdown mode, lost in a seemingly hopeless partisan clash over whether the rest of the government’s operations and its creditworthiness should be held captive to the health care law, the administration’s six-month window to “enroll America” enters Day Two on Wednesday. After a series of first-day foul-ups that dominated media coverage Tuesday, White House officials say they’re focused on reaching outside the D.C. echo chamber to make sure folks who are eligible — and mandated — to purchase health insurance through state-by-state virtual marketplaces get themselves on the rolls of the new safety-net program."
FBI Shutters Online Drug Market: New York Times: "Federal authorities have charged a man with running Silk Road, a popular online black market for drugs. The authorities identified the man as Ross Ulbricht, who was arrested by F.B.I. agents Tuesday afternoon at a library in San Francisco. Court papers filed in the case in Manhattan accuse him of engaging in a “massive money-laundering” operation and of trying to arrange a murder-for-hire. Mr. Ulbricht is to appear in federal court on Wednesday in San Francisco."
Multiple Fatalities in Tennessee Bus Crash: Associated Press: "A spokeswoman for Tennessee's Safety Department says there are multiple fatalities and injuries in an interstate bus crash between a passenger bus, a tractor-trailer and another vehicle. Spokeswoman Dalya Qualls said in an email the bus was traveling in northeast Tennessee when it crossed the median and struck the other two vehicles. The tractor-trailer caught fire and the bus overturned. Qualls does not yet know the number of injured and dead."
Bill Gates Under Pressure: Reuters: "Three of the top 20 investors in Microsoft Corp are lobbying the board to press for Bill Gates to step down as chairman of the software company he co-founded 38 years ago, according to people familiar with matter. While Microsoft Chief Executive Steve Ballmer has been under pressure for years to improve the company's performance and share price, this appears to be the first time that major shareholders are taking aim at Gates, who remains one of the most respected and influential figures in technology. A representative for Microsoft declined to comment on Tuesday."
A Few More Quick Hits From Slate —
- The XX Factor: In Defense of the Slow Fade: The Elegant Way to Break Up
- The World: What Makes Chemical Weapons Different?
- Moneybox: Shutdown Is Good News for Immigration Reform
That's all for today. See you back here tomorrow. Until then, tell your friends to subscribe or simply forward the newsletter on and let them make up their own minds.