FRIDAY’S MINI-REPORT…. Today’s edition of quick hits:
* With seven-and-a-half hours to go until the shutdown: “Senate Democratic leaders say a final deal to avert a government shutdown rests in the hands of Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and will only happen if he drops an attempt to defund Planned Parenthood.”
* Even if they somehow strike a deal tonight, “both sides agree” that it’s “already too late for Congress to enact that complicated budget into law before midnight.” It would take a day just to write a bill, and Congress would need a short-term spending bill, lasting perhaps until tomorrow, if an agreement can be reached.
* Rep. Buck McKeon (R-Calif.), the chairman of the House Armed Services Committee and a close ally of Speaker Boehner, seems to think a final deal may still be reached by this evening.
* Republicans deny that the main sticking point is Planned Parenthood funding, but Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) says emails — which can be obtained through FOIA — will prove Dems are telling the truth.
* No one seemed angrier about Republicans targeting Planned Parenthood than some of the Democratic women serving in the Senate.
* House Republicans voted today to repeal net neutrality. That’s an extremely bad idea, and President Obama has already vowed to veto the measure should it reach his desk.
* I still find it extraordinary that her recovery has progressed this far, this quickly: “Rep. Gabrielle Giffords plans to attend the April 29 launch of the space shuttle Endeavour, which her husband, Mark Kelly, will command, Giffords’ office confirmed on Friday.”
* When you know the House GOP’s antics have pushed the line of decency too far: “Tea Party-affiliated Republican Rep. Allen West of Florida is out with a statement in which he says he is ‘disgusted at the perception that Leaders in my own Party…are now using the men and women in uniform’ to pass a short-term budget bill.”
* It’s as if CNN is trying to be awful: “CNN got in on the action Friday afternoon with a little segment that lets ‘you decide’ whether Trump’s [birther] rants are valid or not, treating a point of fact as though it were theory. ‘Donald Trump says Obama wasn’t born here,’ CNN anchor Deborah Feyerick says, in a teaser for the segment. ‘We’ll show you the evidence, and let you decide.'”
* As costs of higher ed go up, where does all the money go?
* Rep. Donna Edwards (D-Md.) quotes the White Stripes at some length during floor remarks, which I suspect is a congressional first. Good for her.
* And to answer a question that’s come up in a few reader emails, I’m not sure what I’m going to do about blogging tonight. I don’t plan to be at my desk much, but under the circumstances, I’ll be keeping an eye on developments, and will almost certainly have some kind of coverage this evening, even if it’s just a post or two, though I’m not sure what time. I guess we’ll play it by ear.
Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.