Searching For a Quick (and Temporary) Fix: Washington Post: "For the first time, the White House said [Monday] it was open to a short-term increase in the federal borrowing limit, which will be fully exhausted Oct. 17. Senate Democrats, meanwhile, say they will advance a bill this week raising the debt ceiling, perhaps through the 2014 midterm elections. Together, the actions represent an effort to shine attention on the imminent need to raise the debt ceiling. That issue is quickly becoming the central focus in Washington, both because the government shutdown has been partially ameliorated by the recall of nearly 350,000 Pentagon workers and a potential default on the debt is far more of a threat to the economy than the shutdown."
Prove It: New York Times: "Mr. Obama called on Mr. Boehner to put to a vote the Senate-passed stopgap bill to fund the government. 'The House should hold that vote today. If Republicans and Speaker Boehner are saying there are not enough votes, then they should prove it,' Mr. Obama said. 'Let the bill go to the floor and let’s see what happens. Just vote. Let every member of Congress vote their conscience and they can determine whether or not they want to shut the government down. My suspicion is, my very strong suspicion is, that there are enough votes there.' Turning up the pressure, Mr. Obama added, 'The reason that Speaker Boehner hasn’t called a vote on it is because he doesn’t apparently want to see the government shutdown end at the moment, unless he’s able to extract concessions that don’t have anything to do with the budget.'"
No One's Winning, but Someone's Losing: ABC News: "Seventy percent in a new ABC News/Washington Post poll disapprove of how the Republicans are handling the budget negotiations, up 7 percentage points from a week ago. Far fewer, 51 percent, disapprove of Obama’s approach, essentially unchanged in the past week. The Democrats in Congress remain between the two: Sixty-one percent disapprove of their handling of the budget breakdown, up 5 points in this poll, produced for ABC by Langer Research Associates. In another way to look at the results, Obama’s gone from 41-50 percent approve-disapprove last week to 45-51 percent now – a 9-point negative margin then, a similar 6-point negative margin today. The Democrats likewise show little change overall (from a 22- to a 26-point gap). But the Republicans have gone from 26-63 percent approve-disapprove to 24-70 percent, an initial 37-point difference widening now to a 46-point negative result."
China Warns Against Default: Reuters: "China, the U.S. government's largest creditor, is 'naturally concerned about developments in the U.S. fiscal cliff', Vice Finance Minister Zhu Guangyao said in the Chinese government's first public response to the Oct 17 deadline in the United States for raising the debt ceiling. 'The United States is totally clear about China's concerns about the fiscal cliff,' Zhu told reporters in Beijing, adding that Washington and Beijing had been in touch over the issue. 'We ask that the United States earnestly takes steps to resolve in a timely way before October 17 the political (issues) around the debt ceiling and prevent a U.S. debt default to ensure safety of Chinese investments in the United States and the global economic recovery,' Zhu said."
White House Would Accept Short-Term Debt Fix: Washington Post: "President Obama would accept a short-term increase in the federal borrowing cap, rather than one lasting a year or more, a senior White House official said Monday. The statement was an acknowledgment by the administration that it may not be possible to reach a deal on a long-term increase in the debt ceiling before a critical Oct. 17 deadline. Senate Democrats, meanwhile, were drafting their own bill to raise the debt limit, most likely through the 2014 midterm elections, Democratic aides said. The measure is likely to hit the Senate floor later this week."
Nobel Winners: Reuters: "Three U.S.-based scientists won the Nobel medicine prize on Monday for plotting how vital materials such as hormones and brain chemicals are transported within cells and secreted to act on the body, giving insight into diseases such as diabetes and Alzheimer's. Americans James Rothman, 62, Randy Schekman, 64, and German-born Thomas Suedhof, 57, separately mapped out one of the body's critical networks that uses tiny bubbles known as vesicles to ferry chemicals such as insulin within cells. The system, which also describes how vesicles transport molecules to the cell surface for secretion, is so critical and sensitive that errors and disruption in the mechanism can lead to serious illness or death."
Rural Colorado Counties to Vote on Secession: New York Times: "[I]n November, this rural county and 10 others will hold a quixotic vote on whether to secede from Colorado and work to form their own state, one that would cherish the farm towns and conservative ideals that people here say have been lost in Denver’s glassy downtown lofts or Aspen’s million-dollar ski condos. It would be called New Colorado, or maybe North Colorado — a prairie bulwark against the demographic changes and urbanization that are reshaping politics and life across this and other Western states. 'People think this is a radical idea,' said Jeffrey Hare, a leader of the 51st State Initiative, which supports secession. 'It’s really not. What we’re attempting to do is restore liberty.'
Arizona Anti-Panhandling Law Ruled Unconstitutional: Los Angeles Times: "An Arizona law that makes it a crime to beg for money or food in public is unconstitutional, a federal judge has ruled. The decision comes in response to a lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union of Arizona against the city of Flagstaff, which has drawn national attention for its aggressive stance on panhandling by jailing some violators. Last month, the city changed course after the ACLU sued on behalf of a 77-year-old woman who had been arrested when she asked an undercover police officer for bus fare. ACLU attorneys argued that the state law, which makes it a crime to beg in public spaces, and Flagstaff’s enforcement of it were unconstitutional."
A Few More Quick Hits From Slate —
- Crime: Solitary Confinement Is Horrible and Inhumane. Why Is It Still Legal?
- Moneybox: Why Facebook's Building Doggy Daycare But Not Child Care For Kids
- XX Factor: Nebraska Court Rules Teen Too Immature for an Abortion, Fine to Raise a Kid
- Culturebox: Meet Your Maker
- Future Tense: Good News for People Who Love Breaking Bad
- Books: Gladwell Is Goliath
- Frame Game: The Kindness of Kidnappers
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.