* Senate Democrats are eager to begin budget negotiations, just as soon as House Republicans end the government shutdown.
* Marriage equality: “A New Jersey judge on Thursday cleared the way for same-sex marriages to start in two weeks, dismissing the state’s request to prevent the weddings until after a legal appeal of the court decision allowing them is completed.”
* No brainer: “The Senate passed a bill Thursday by unanimous consent that will provide death benefits to the families of men and women killed while on active duty during the government shutdown. Yesterday, the House passed a similar bill even as the Department of Defense worked out a deal with a private charity to cover the expense during the shutdown.”
* A bizarre story out of Tripoli: “Libya’s prime minister was seized and held for several hours on Thursday by former rebel militiamen angry at the weekend capture by U.S. special forces of a Libyan al Qaeda suspect in Tripoli.” Ali Zeidan was later freed unharmed.
* Remember the Senate GOP? “Senate Republicans are unhappy with a House GOP plan to raise the debt ceiling for six weeks without funding the federal government. They are coalescing around their own proposal to pair a short-term debt-ceiling increase with a year-long stopgap to fund the government.”
* National parks: “The Interior Department will reopen national parks if states fund the National Park Service personnel who have been furloughed in the government shutdown.”
* What could possibly go wrong? “The Nuclear Regulatory Commission furloughed 3,600 of its employees Thursday, roughly 90 percent of its workforce, according to a White House official.”
* Everyone makes mistakes, but the Associated Press’ mistake involving Virginia gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe last night was a doozy.
* Ari Fleischer has made the transition from “White House press secretary” to “angry Internet troll.” It’s kind of sad to see someone fall quite so far, so fast.
* Azerbaijan’s presidential election wasn’t expected to be free or fair, but when election officials released results the day before voters were supposed to choose, it effectively ended the charade.
* And we talked the other day about right-wing Arizona state Rep. Brenda Barton (R), who compared President Obama to Hitler. Yesterday, Barton claimed that when she referenced “de Fuhrer” and then spoke about Obama and Hitler, she wasn’t referring to the Nazi leader.
Anything to add? Consider this an open thread.