Originally published on Fri October 11, 2013 9:05 am
Happy Friday, fellow political junkies. It's the 11th day of the partial federal government shutdown, 2013 edition.
President Obama and House Republicans at least opened a line of communications before the second week of the shutdown ended, so that was good news.
Less positive was that it came only a week before the Oct. 17 expiration date Treasury Secretary Jack Lew gave for when he would run out of tricks to keep the U.S. government from defaulting on its obligations.
Former NSA contractor Edward Snowden has been exposing the most profound secrets of America's surveillance system, and the Obama administration's response to that? Declassifying lots of other material. The NSA has been under orders to do that from the White House, yet many lawmakers are demanding even more, which raises the question: when do we know enough? NPR's Carrie Johnson reports.
There's been a lot of speculation about whether John Boehner could lose his job as speaker of the House if he doesn't placate the Republican's vocal Tea Party faction. So far there's been no attempt to oust Boehner.
And as NPR's Ailsa Chang reports, it would actually be quite hard to kick him out of the job in the middle of a congressional term.
Grand Canyon National Park is closed for the government shutdown, but tourists determined to see it can take in views from reservation land. The Hualapai Tribe owns Grand Canyon West, where visitors can venture onto a Plexiglas horseshoe walkway that stretches out over the chasm below.
On the east side of the Grand Canyon, visitors are flocking to the Navajo Nation, where Nita Rodriguez gives a tour.
Ten days into the partial government shutdown, the estimated 800,000 furloughed federal workers have got to be feeling a bit stir crazy.
Congress has agreed to pay back the furloughed workers for the time they are shut out of the office, so for some it's like an unexpected, but paid, vacation of indeterminate length. But the more than a week of shutdown definitely means going without that cash in the short term. And for some of those workers with less of a financial cushion, that means getting creative.
You're listening to ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News.
I really messed up. Those words today from the former mayor of Detroit, Kwame Kilpatrick, before he was sentenced to 28 years in federal prison on corruption charges. Kilpatrick added: We've been stuck in this town for a very long time dealing with me. I'm ready to go so the city can move on.
With no sign of an end to the government shutdown, the economy here in Washington, D.C., is getting walloped. The D.C. region, including parts of Virginia and Maryland, is the biggest hub of federal workers and contractors in the nation. And a local economist projects the region could be losing $200 million a day during the shutdown.
NPR's Allison Keyes reports the impact extends far beyond federal workers and angry tourists.
When it comes to commodities, corn is king. About a third of U.S. cropland is planted with corn and prices have been high but that's changing. As Amy Mayer of Iowa Public radio reports, farmers have seen prices drop to their lowest point in three years.
AMY MAYER, BYLINE: On a clear fall day in central Iowa, Aaron Layman(ph) climbs into the cab of his green combine to do some maintenance. He's hoping his corn has a couple more weeks to grow before harvesting. He says he knew sky high corn prices were temporary.