Good morning. Things are really coming down to the wire in Washington. The debt ceiling deadline is midnight tonight.

The threat of default is now looming large, and the US Senate has restarted negotiations after the latest effort at ending this mess fell apart (again) in the House.

In New Jersey, voters head to the polls in a special election that will decide whether Newark Mayor Cory Booker or Steve Lonegan will fill the vacancy left by the death of Sen. Frank Lautenberg earlier this year.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is in New York City with no public schedule.

At 7:10 a.m., GOP NYC mayoral candidate Joe Lhota appears on “Good Day NY.”

At 9 a.m., members of The Port Authority of New York & New Jersey’s Board of Commissioners hold board and committee meetings; 15th floor, 225 Park Ave. South, Manhattan.

At 9:30 a.m., Lhota will address the Staten Island Chamber of Commerce, Kelleher Center, 300 Howard Ave., Staten Island.

At 10 a.m., Sen. Lee Zeldin and state Education Commissioner John B. King, Jr. visit John S. Hobart Elementary School, where a second grader was recently killed in a house fire, 230 Van Buren St., Shirley.

Also at 10 a.m., the Senate Education Committee holds a public hearing on the Regents Reform Agenda, Buffalo City Hall, Common Council Chambers, 13th Floor, 65 Niagara Sq., Buffalo.

At 11 a.m., Democratic NYC mayoral frontrunner Bill de Blasio, the executive director of the NYC Coalition Against Hunger, the Fiscal Policy Institute’s James Parrott, and others publicize a University of California, Berkeley report about the use of welfare programs by fast-food restaurant workers; Burger King Corp. restaurant, 106 Fulton St., Manhattan.

At 11:30 a.m., tenant advocates and community organizations will gather outside REBNY’s membership committee meeting to serve attendees with a “People’s Subpoena”, calling on them to appear before the Moreland Commission, NW corner of 51st Street & Lexington Avenue, Manhattan.

At noon, Mayor Bloomberg will announce the completion of Water Tunnel No. 3 – one of the largest infrastructure projects in NYC history, Central Park, Manhattan.

Also at noon, de Blasio attends a “Muslims for de Blasio” rally, Columbus Park, Corner of Court and Remsen Streets, Brooklyn.

At 1 p.m., the DEC holds a public meeting at the State Fairgrounds in Syracuse to hear reaction to proposed regulations covering the construction and operation of new liquefied natural gas facilities.

At 4:15 p.m., Lhota will visit the Masbia Soup Kitchen, 4114 14th Ave., Brooklyn.

At 5 p.m., Bloomberg will turn on the water in the Manhattan portion of the new tunnel, which will flow through the fountain at the center of City Hall Park.

At 7 p.m., NY1’s “Road to City Hall” will feature a debate between the NYC Council District 50 candidates Steven Matteo and John Mancuso.

At 7:45 p.m., Bloomberg receives the Public Service Award at the 2013 Citizens Union Annual Dinner, Pierre Hotel, Fifth Avenue at East 61st Street, Manhattan.

From 7 p.m. to 8 p.m., Syracuse University will host a debate on the casino amendment, Maxwell Hall Auditorium.


Shortly after 8 p.m. last night, the Moreland Commission issued this statement:

“Today, in addition to the investigation into the legislature, the Moreland Commission has moved to look across the board at all housekeeping accounts. Everything is on the table. We are looking at everything.”

It was the commission’s second statement in just over six hours, and this time, its action does indeed include the state Democratic Party, which spent big on pro-Cuomo ads this year.

This is a reversal for the commission, and comes as it received a flood of criticism for failing to maintain independence from Cuomo’s office and seeming to avoid including him and his allies in its investigations.

The decision to send out this new round of subpoenas came at a closed-door meeting Tuesday that one source described as “like turning over a new leaf, a fresh start.” So far, however, REBNY didn’t receive a subpoena, because it’s cooperating at the moment. (See above link).

The commission is also preparing to send subpoenas to state lawmakers in search of information about their outside incomes – a move that could put a distinct chill on the 2014 legislative session.

The subpoenas are expected to be delivered by process servers as early as today, with a 10-day deadline to respond.

An Albany insider told the NY Post: “The legislators say they already disclose what the commission is asking for. In addition, they cite separation of powers. It’s going to get ugly.”

The NY Observer says: “The Moreland Commission’s brief was too broad in the first place. It’s time to dial it back, get decision-makers in a room and come up with a deal.”

During a meeting with the Daily News editorial board, Cuomo questioned Democratic NYC mayoral frontrunner Bill de Blasio’s plan to raise taxes on rich city residents, virtually shooting down the possibility that such a proposal would be taken up in Albany in 2014, saying: “(T)his is a conversation we just had.”

Staten Island Rep. Michael Grimm denied reports that he had a kinky 17-minute sex romp with a woman in the unisex bathroom of a Brooklyn wine bar, saying: “I will not dignify this absurd distortion of the facts with a response.”

Performing arts venues across New York are trying to head off potentially “devastating” competition from casinos by proposing they work together.

Mike Lupica thought de Blasio didn’t act like a frontrunner in last night’s debate with his GOP opponent, Joe Lhota.

During the debate, which got rather testy, Lhota told de Blasio: “Do not lump me with the national Republicans. It’s unbecoming, Bill.”

Lhota also cast himself as the candidate with more experience in the race, saying: “I can be mayor on day one without any training, without any learning curve whatsoever.”

New York’s spending dropped for the second year in a row, but the state’s debt hit a record $63.5 billion in the last fiscal year, according to state Comptroller Tom DiNapoli.

Cuomo toured Buffalo construction sites and praised the city’s development boom.

Evoking the spirits of Mayor Fiorello H. La Guardia and Gallagher the Comedian, a small group of antigambling activists demolished a defunct slot machine outside the Capitol in the latest attempt to draw attention to the “No” campaign.

The truism that money follows power remains at work in the state Senate, where IDC leader Jeff Klein has reported office expenditures of $5.7 million over the past six years. All told, the Legislature spent $102 million during the most recent reporting period.

Cuomo announced an in-house promotion, tapping Basil Seggos to be his chief environmental adviser – a spot that had been vacant since this spring. Seggos had been assistant to former Deputy Secretary for the Environment Robert Hallman, who left in March.

There’s a lot of misunderstanding about the new and controversial Common Core curriculum.

The Indian Point power plants have been cited for more violations than any other nuclear site in the country, although 99 percent were low-risk violations, according to a federal report awaiting release.

The City of Lockport Police Department has found itself under fire for enforcing an unpopular part of the SAFE Act which limits how many rounds of ammunition may be carried in a standard magazine.

About $105 million was spent on lobbying in the first six months of the year, the lowest in five years, according to a JCOPE report.

Elected officials and government watchdog groups criticized the New York City Board of Elections after it decided to print the ballots for the November elections with candidates’ names in a miniature, six-point font.

The NYT says both charter and public schools need to do a better job at making room for “over-the-counter” students, among them transients and the poor, who show up at the schoolhouse door in the middle of the year.

As the end of Mayor Bloomberg’s third term approaches, the Department of Transportation has furiously expanded the city’s bike network, with 54.5 miles of bike lanes in planning or under construction this year after 17 miles were added in 2012.

Two wealthy congressional candidates in the Hudson Valley – Sean Eldridge and former Rep. nan Hayworth – loaned cash to their campaign committees as they ramped up their respective 2014 challenges to House incumbents.

Almost 4,000 Long Island homeowners will receive on average more than $110,000 each under a post-Sandy housing reconstruction program.

Stephen Baldwin could face prison time if he doesn’t pay back a considerable chunk of the $300,000 he owes in New York state income taxes. The actor is due to appear in Rockland County Court on Friday to give an update on his repayments.