It's Wednesday, Sept. 25, 2013, which puts us five days away from a possible federal-government shutdown that would begin Oct. 1 if Congress fails to pass a stop-gap spending bill.
So the drama in the Senate over the spending bill leads the day's interesting political items and features Republican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas. At this writing, Cruz was in the last gasps of an anti-Obamacare talkathon. That's where we start:
- If you got a good night's sleep, you have at least that over Sen. Cruz. He spoke through the night on the Senate floor as he maintained an anti-Obamacare marathon floor speech (technically not a filibuster since he wasn't delaying a Senate vote on a must-pass spending bill to keep the federal government from shutting down next week.) Grasping for rhetorical filler at times, he even worked in Dr. Seuss's "Green Eggs and Ham" though somehow failed to get around to Tupac Shakur's "All Eyez On Me."
- Rep. Peter King, a New York Republican known for his bluntness, called Cruz "a fraud," reports The New York Times's Jim Dwyer. King accused the senator of misleading many Republican voters into believing the Affordable Care Act could be de-funded if only other Republicans would support the Texan. King has presidential ambitions, as does, presumably Cruz.
- Congressional Democrats see opportunity for political gains in what they see as Republican overreach in risking a government shutdown next week over Obamacare, Zachary A. Goldfarb writes in the Washington Post. Not only is Democratic confidence that it's likelier they will hold on to the Senate increasing, some are even suggesting Republicans are unwittingly setting the table for Democrats to retake the House — which almost no Congress watcher thinks will happen.
- The battle royal of ten candidates to succeed Thomas Menino as Boston's next mayor was whittled down to two contenders writes Jim O'Sullivan and Patrick D. Rosso of the Boston Globe. Facing each other in a runoff in November will be Massachusetts state representative Martin Walsh (18.47 percent) and city councilor John Connolly (17.22 percent), who topped the field. Coming in third was C. Charlotte Golar (13.77 percent) who had hoped to become Boston's first woman and African American mayor.
- A runoff in a Republican primary for Alabama's 1st Congressional District seat, a race our Adam Wollner paid attention to here at "It's All Politics" — in which a hatred of Obamacare has been an animating force — will pit mainstream conservative Bradley Byrne against Tea Party conservative Dean Young. Young also is the preferred candidate of the religious conservatives, writes George Talbot of the Alabama Media Group.
- The hunters become the hunted, sort of, in California where paparazzi who take pictures not just of celebrities but of the children of the rich and famous will now be guilty of a misdemeanor for their snaps of the kids. Gov. Jerry Brown signed a new law that makes such photos illegal, writes Patrick McGreevy and Melanie Mason in the Los Angeles Times. Celebrities had lobbied for the law.