1. Ted Cruz is in the Middle Of an Epic “Fauxlibuster,” But It Won’t Change a Thing
Ted Cruz has already made good on his promise to fight tooth and nail against the rollout of Obamacare. Cruz is in the middle of a good old-fashioned talking filibuster to try to keep the Senate from stripping language from a House-approved spending bill that would defund the health care law. The thing is, Senate leader Harry Reid has set up a series of automatic votes to cut off debate. So even if Cruz wants to talk until he is “no longer able to stand,” he’ll have to stop by this afternoon. The Senate will send the spending bill back to the House by the end of the weekend, and that’s when the rubber really hits the road: It’s hard to see how Obama and House Republicans will find common ground for a deal to avoid a government shutdown.
• Two reasons Cruz’s “fauxlibuster” is completely absurd (Atlantic).
• The government could shut down on Tuesday – are you ready? (PolicyMic)
• How politicians *ahem* relieve themselves in the middle of epic filibusters (Mother Jones).
2. Does Iran Really Want a Deal With Obama?
The possibility for negotiations on Iran’s nuclear program hit a road bump on Tuesday when Iranian President Hassan Rouhani turned down an offer to meet with President Obama. The leaders’ speeches at the UN showed there’s still some disconnect between the two countries. Obama sounded skeptical of a deal and threatened to use force against any Middle-Eastern country that builds a nuclear weapon (that’s you, Iran), while Rouhani reaffirmed his desire for peace. It’s frustrating the leaders couldn’t pull off a simple handshake, but John Kerry’s meeting with the Iranian foreign minister is still on for Thursday.
• Hassan Rouhani is giving Obama a chance to end our pointless cold war with Iran (PolicyMic).
• Does Iran really want a deal? (Foreign Policy)
• Check out the Rouhani’s fake LinkedIn profile, courtesy of Israeli officials (Mediaite).
3. Kenya’s Terrorist Attack is Finally Over
The terrorist attack on the Westgate Mall in the Kenyan capital of Nairobi is finally over. Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta on Tuesday announced the military killed five of the attackers and captured 11 others. The strike was the deadliest attack on Kenyan soil in 15 years: The terrorists killed at least 67, including the president’s nephew and the poet Kofi Awoonor. More bodies will probably be discovered in the rubble from the mall’s collapsed floors. In a surprising twist, Kenya’s foreign minister says two or three Americans took part in the attack, as well as a woman who may be the UK’s infamous White Widow.
• Meet London’s mythical, terrorist-linked White Widow (Daily Beast).
• Who are the Kenya mall attackers and what do they want? (PolicyMic).
4. What It’s Like to Live in a Russian Prison
A member of the Russian punk band Pussy Riot released an open letter from jail this week describing her decision go on hunger strike, and the conditions she describes are pretty terrifying. Nadezhda Tolokonnikova says she has to sew for 16 to 17 hours a day to meet her work quotas, leaving her enough time to sleep four hours a night. Inmates go without showers for weeks at a time, and the bathroom pipes frequently clog, covering the ground with human waste. The U.S. might not treat its prisoners much better: Guantánamo officials are still force-feeding 18 inmates through nose tubes.
• How Pussy Riot challenged Putin and changed the world (PolicyMic).
• ICYMI: Yasiin Bey (aka Mos Def) underwent the Gitmo force-feeding procedure (YouTube).
5. Tune in For One Of the Greatest Comebacks in Sports History
Years of planning and promotion for the return of yachting’s premier event to the U.S. looked like a complete bust a week ago: The American team was trailing New Zealand by eight races to one in the final round of the America’s Cup, and only four teams signed up for the competition in the first place. Heck, a handful of the races featured only one boat. It was bad enough to be dubbed “perhaps the worst nautical launch since the Titanic set off across the North Atlantic.” But that was before the American team staged one of the biggest comebacks in sports history. After tweaking its boat and lineup, Oracle Team USA has won seven races in a row, including two on Tuesday. Weather permitting, the U.S. will face off against New Zealand for a winner-takes-all showdown today.
• Larry Ellison’s boat is literally faster than the wind (Gizmodo).
• Real sailors don’t wear pads: what I learned as a competitive college sailor (PolicyMic.
• You’ll never guess the most frequently challenged book in America (NPR).
• Learn the science behind the myth of executive stress (Scientific American).
• Inside the depressing new trend of “death dinners” (Atlantic Wire).
• Are Burger King’s healthier fries… actually good? (TIME)
• 12 ads that trick you into thinking sugar might be healthy (BuzzFeed).
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