He keeps going and going and … : To call Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas the Energizer Bunny of Capitol Hill at this point is probably a bit of a misnomer. He started talking around 2:40 on Tuesday afternoon and is starting to look a bit droopy at this point. In case you’re not up to speed on the point of this marathon exercise, Cruz is trying to get the last word on Obamacare and possibly shut down the federal government in the process. The tea party Republican wants the president’s signature health care law defunded. While not officially a filibuster, Cruz’s rant will get its first test at 1 p.m., when the Senate votes to end what has largely been a monologue. Sixty votes would do it. There are 54 Democrats in the Senate, so only six Republicans have to join in to make it happen. Then lawmakers can talk about paying the bills. To do so would take some intestinal fortitude, much like Cruz is showing on the Senate floor.
2. U.S.-IRAN RELATIONS
What’s next?Iranian President Hassan Rouhani is the “it” man at this year’s U.N. General Assembly. Does he signal a change? Is he ready to deal on Iran’s nuclear program? These are the questions being murmured in New York and in the halls of the White House. He tells Christiane Amanpour that he brings “peace and friendship.” In any case, President Obama is taking him seriously (or maybe just calling his bluff), instructing Secretary of State John Kerry to negotiate a deal with Iran on its nuclear program. Call Obama’s move a signal of openness to Tehran that he’s ready to move the relationship to the next level. Where it goes from there? Well, it’s complicated.