Good morning, fellow political junkies. We're now only a little more than three days away from a federal government shutdown if Congress and President Obama don't reach an agreement on a stop-gap budget measure by Monday evening.
So we start our daily look at some of the morning's more interesting political items there.
- Over at Politico, Todd Purdum has an intentionally provocative piece that invites congressional Republicans to make good on their threats to cause a government shutdown, default on the national debt etc so we can get the whole governing-by-ordeal thing over with. It's the cry of an exasperated victim who says "just shoot me, already" to the guy with the gun. Of course, that usually feels better to say before the gunshot than after.
- An attempt by Speaker John Boehner and his leadership team to lessen the likelihood of a shutdown faltered Thursday, reports the Washington Post's Lori Montgomery and Paul Kane. The leaders were rebuffed by the House GOP Conference's Tea Party faction in their attempt to get hardliners to shift demands for fiscal concessions from the budget fight to the debt-ceiling.
- Because of that failure, the House debt-ceiling plan has been delayed, report The Hill's Russell Berman, Bernie Becker and Erik Wasson. The expectation was that a debt-ceiling bill would be considered by the House Rules Committee Thursday with a floor debate and votes Friday. But all that's now up in the air. The Senate is expected to finish its work on the temporary spending bill Friday.
- Many have argued that political compromise is the essence of the American constitutional system created by the Founding Fathers and that it would therefore be logical for Tea Party conservatives to be more receptive. Michael Gerson, a former George W. Bush speechwriter, does a particularly good job of laying out the merits of compromise in the Washington Post.
- Sen. Ted Cruz achieved something with his 21-hour anti-Obamacare talkathon that would have been harder without the marathon; it redeemed him in the eyes of many Tea Party conservatives who only days before thought he had thrown them under the bus, writes Rich Lowry at the National Review Online.
- Haunting. That's one description for the New York Times' campaign "Hers to Lose" documentary on Christine Quinn, the one-time frontrunner's stunning collapse in the recent Democratic primary campaign for New York City mayor. It captures the height and nadir of the former city council president's attempt to become the city's first woman and lesbian mayor. It also shows the mix of forces — in her case anti-LGBT bias, Bill de Blasio's breakthrough campaign messenger (his son) and her own overbearing style — that can make or break campaigns.
- Much of Obamacare's success hinges on younger, uninsured people signing up for coverage and in relatively significant numbers. Slate's John Dickerson writes that administration officials believe Healthcare.gov will be a critical part of making the sale to these young invincibles. (Our NPR Shots blog, has a calculator produced by the Kaiser Family Foundation that allows users to learn if they qualify for a federal subsidy to help pay their premiums.)
- Whichever Republican coined the phrase Obamacare as a pejorative was on to something. CNBC's Steve Liesman reports that more people (46 percent) opposed Obamacare versus 36 percent who opposed the Affordable Care Act.
- Someone's trying to soften Obamacare's image by giving it a cute and furry face through the Adorable Care Act Tumblr using photos of animals. (Internet + cats = success.) The White House and its political expeditionary force, Organizing for Action, disclaim responsibility. But they might want to put on retainer whoever did it.
What interesting political items have you come across this morning? Feel free to share them with us in the comments section.