White House Meetings: Politico: "President Barack Obama is going all-out this week in his push to win over Congress as the government remains shuttered and a debt default looms. Obama will meet with House Democrats at the White House on Wednesday afternoon. Senate Democrats will follow, likely on Thursday, according to Democratic sources. Sources say that House and Senate Republicans will also get invites to the other end of Pennsylvania Avenue, completing a week of outreach from the White House to the 535 members of Congress, although GOP skepticism remains high."
But There'll Be Some Empty Seats: Time: "Obama invited all members of Congress to the White House this week, but House Speaker John Boehner is dispatching only 18 of his 232 members to the meeting, Boehner’s office said. ... A Boehner spokesman said the House GOP meeting, scheduled for Thursday, 'is only worthwhile if it is focused on finding a solution' to the ongoing government shutdown and the looming debt-ceiling crisis. The spokesman, Brendan Buck, said the House GOP is sending a group of 'negotiators,' including the elected conference leadership and selected committee chairs."
Business Groups Push Congress to Reopen Government: New York Times: "House Republicans, facing the ninth day of a government shutdown, appeared increasingly isolated on Wednesday from even their strongest backers, with business groups demanding the immediate reopening of the government and benefactors such as Koch Industries publicly distancing themselves from the shutdown fight. ... It was not clear whether conservative rank-and-file Republicans would go along with that redirection. But other voices usually allied with Republicans stepped up pleas for an end to the standoff. On Wednesday, the National Retail Federation joined other business groups like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the National Association of Manufacturers in asking House Republicans to relent."
A Piecemeal Approach: Washington Post: "This is the odd, gaptoothed version of the U.S. government that the House GOP has sketched out over the past eight days in a series of spending bills that would reopen departments and agencies one piece at a time. The House has passed 11 bills, each funding just one agency or a handful of them. Eight more are in the works. The point is to make Democrats acknowledge something embarrassing — that even as they decry the shutdown, they will reject legislation to reopen popular agencies. But, in the process, House Republicans have revealed something about themselves: The party of small government is struggling — mightily — to decide how much government it actually wants."
Frame Game: Bite the Ballot
Obama Restores Vets' Death Benefits: USA Today: The Pentagon reached an agreement Wednesday with the non-profit Fisher House Foundation to restore death benefits for military families that have been delayed because of the ongoing government shutdown. The announcement came as Congress scrambled to fill a gap in benefits created by the impasse. The House voted 425-0 to restore a $100,000 death gratuity to family and other lost benefits, but prospects for the same action in the Senate remained unclear."
Obama Taps Janet Yellen as Fed Chair: BBC: "US President Barack Obama has officially nominated Federal Reserve vice-chair Janet Yellen to be the next head of the US central bank. He called her one of the nation's foremost economists and policy makers. If the nomination is confirmed by the US Senate, Ms Yellen, 67, would replace Ben Bernanke, who has held the post for eight years. She has been his deputy for the past two years, and would become the first woman to head the Federal Reserve. She has taught at Harvard University and the London School of Economics, as well as holding a series of senior administrative positions in the US."
Alleged Internet Drug Kingpin Sent to New York to Face Charges: Associated Press: "A federal judge on Wednesday ordered a California man charged with operating a notorious online drug marketplace known as Silk Road to be sent to New York to face charges. The order by U.S. Magistrate Judge Joseph Spero came during a brief court hearing in San Francisco for Ross Ulbricht. Federal authorities in New York have charged Ulbricht with three felonies related to the operation of the website."
US Will Reduce Egyptian Military Aid: New York Times: "The Obama administration plans to suspend a substantial portion of American military aid to Egypt, several administration officials said Tuesday, after last summer’s deadly crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood and the recent surge in violence there. The decision, which is expected to be announced in the coming days, will hold up the delivery of several types of military hardware to the Egyptian military, these officials said, including tanks, helicopters and fighter jets. But it will not affect aid for counterterrorism operations or for border security issues involving the Sinai Peninsula and Gaza. The administration’s move follows a lengthy review that began in August after days of bloody attacks on supporters of Egypt’s ousted president, Mohamed Morsi, which left hundreds of people dead. The administration had already frozen the shipment of four F-16 fighter jets and canceled joint military exercises with the Egyptian Army."
Chelsea Manning Speaks: Guardian: Chelsea Manning, the WikiLeaks source formerly known as Bradley Manning, has expressed intense unhappiness at the public profile that is being presented about her, warning that a false impression is being given to the outside world that she is an anti-war pacifist and conscientious objector. In a statement issued to the Guardian, Manning insists that she did not leak hundreds of thousands of US classified documents to WikiLeaks because she was explicitly motivated by pacifism. Rather, she sees herself as a “transparency advocate” who is convinced that the American people needs to be better informed."
A Few More Quick Hits From Slate —
- Future Tense: The Gmail Extension That Aims to Drown the NSA in Nonsense
- Crime: Why the Government Shutdown Is the Best News Ever for Money Launderers
- The XX Factor: Condoleezza Rice Is Ridiculously Overqualified to Serve on the College Football Playoff Committee
- Moneybox: Why Doesn't Puerto Rico Stiff Its Creditors?
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.
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