Daily Digest: budget battle, drunken T-Paw aide, flower power

Katherine Lymn

A “last-ditch” late-night meeting Wednesday didn’t produce the compromise necessary to solve the federal budget crisis and eliminate the possibility of a government shutdown, the New York Times reported today. President Obama met with majority leader Sen. Harry Reid and Speaker John Boehner and said that while the three didn’t reach an agreement, they did narrow the issues down. Lawmakers and congressional aides reported progress Wednesday in confidential talks between the House and Senate, and Obama had warned earlier that the shutdown would have adverse effects on the economic recovery because “companies don’t like uncertainty.” House Republicans, meanwhile, have drafted a one-week stopgap plan to fund the government through Sept. 30 for the Pentagon so military families and personnel would get paid past this Friday (if you’re wondering, lawmakers will keep getting checks regardless). Republicans will win support from conservatives with the military shoutout, and they hope Dems will support it so they don’t look unsupportive to the troops. Should no deal be reached after marathon talks through today, nonessential government functions would be shut down, including the National Zoo (but lions would still get fed), national parks, government-issued Blackberries and the Smithsonian.

A aide to former state Gov. T-Paw was arrested early Wednesday after drunkenly trying to get into a stranger’s home in Iowa at about 3 a.m., the Strib reports. Benjamin Foster, 24, joined Pawlenty’s political action committee in late 2010 and is part of the likely presidential candidate’s exploratory committee. A 15-year-old girl found him drunk and he later vomited in her family’s yard. “His arm was in my back door, trying to get in and I screamed and went upstairs to my parents’ room,” the teen told the local TV station. Police said Foster was trying to get to a friend’s house, but he was in the wrong city. Pawlenty had sober staffers put Foster on a two-week unpaid suspension. He was arrested on suspicion of public intoxication and trespassing.

To counteract the budget brouhaha and inebriated aide, here’s some flower power from the Big Picture. Looks like we’ll be just short of 70 degrees this weekend.