John Boehner might not have the worst job in politics, but not many people envy the House speaker these days.
The GOP rank and file won't listen to him, grass-roots conservatives don't trust him, and Democrats say he can't deliver votes.
For a man who occupies the most powerful position in the House, Boehner's inability — or, possibly, his unwillingness — to persuade his fellow House Republicans to accept a budget without delaying or blocking parts of the Affordable Care Act has resulted in the first government shutdown since 1996.
President Obama spoke with NPR in the Oval Office on Monday, as a visiting group of young people in suits got a tour of the Rose Garden outside the windows. The most striking part of our encounter in this moment of crisis was how familiar the atmosphere seemed.
President Obama says he's tired of the seemingly never-ending rounds of budget crises.
"When it comes to Congress paying its bills ... we cannot be a country that is lurching every two months or three months from crisis to crisis to crisis," Obama said in an interview Monday with NPR's Steve Inskeep.
Yet that is precisely the situation the president finds himself in.
Steve Inskeep's Full Interview With President Obama
During a wide-ranging interview with Morning Edition's Steve Inskeep, President Obama assumed an indomitable posture as he talked about his negotiations with House Republicans.
He said he will not negotiate with Republicans when it comes to a cornerstone of his health care law, and he will not negotiate when it comes to another congressional battle to raise the debt ceiling in a little more than two weeks.
"This perpetual cycle of brinksmanship and crisis has to end once and for all," Obama said.
After 162 regular season baseball games, the Cincinnati Reds and the Pittsburgh Pirates will meet tonight in a sudden death playoff. For my team, the Pirates, it's their first time in the post-season in 21 years. And after tonight, after just one game in a scheme surely invented by sadists, the Pirates might be out of the playoffs.
A day after a meeting with President Obama, Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu takes center stage at the U.N. General Assembly on Tuesday. He will likely dwell on Iran's suspect nuclear program and warn the world community against being taken in by Tehran's recent charm offensive.
A woman surnamed Chu (left), 77, attends the hearing of a case against her daughter and husband in Wuxi, east China's Jiangsu province, on July 1. Chu's daughter has been ordered to visit her at least once every two months, in the first case under a new law to protect the elderly.
The sound of Buddhist chants wafts through an annex of the Songtang Hospice, the first private facility of its kind in Beijing. A group of lay Buddhists is trying to ease the passage of a recently departed soul of a patient.
When I first visited this place nearly two decades ago, the average patient stayed just 18 days. Now, it caters to people who are not terminally ill, and the average stay is about five years.