* Opposition grows among House GOP conservatives to a temporary deal funding the budget at cut rates, allowing Dems to claim that the right is not allowing Republicans to compromise on spending cuts.
* Chuck Schumer puckishly calls on John Boehner to abandon the Tea Party in order to preserve hopes of a budget deal.
* But Dems are also at odds as tensions seem to grow between Schumer and Harry Reid, a symptom of the Senate Dems’ inability to unify behind a message and vision to counter the GOP’s call for across the board cuts.
* E.J. Dionne notes the power of the widespread conservative and Republican claim that “we’re broke”:
A phony metaphor is being used to hijack the nation’s political conversation and skew public policies to benefit better-off Americans and hurt most others.
We have an 8.9 percent unemployment rate, yet further measures to spur job creation are off the table. We’re broke, you see. We have a $15 trillion economy, yet we pretend to be an impoverished nation with no room for public investments in our future or efforts to ease the pain of a deep recession on those Americans who didn’t profit from it or cause it in the first place.
*Ben Smith notes that the left’s reaction to the Japan disaster reveals its conditional embrace of nuclear power in recent years, a function of climate change trumping nuclear war as the main threat to the planet.
* Andrew Sullivan says Obama’s seeming acceptance of the Pentagon’s treatment of Bradley Manning means he has now taken official ownership of a policy of prisoner abuse.
* A new proposal in Michigan to give the Governor emergency fiscal powers makes Scott Walker’s proposal seem like union busting child’s play.
Steve Benen, on Fox News’ hiring of Evan Bayh:
Fox News hires Democrats who can be reliably counted on to say unpleasant things about Democrats. Why do you think Doug Schoen is on Fox News all the time? Because of his charming smile or because he’s the “Democrat” who hates Democrats?
* But the biggest losers in the Bayh hiring are the poor souls at Media Matters who will have to watch Bayh’s concern-trolling about the deficit day in and day out.
* As Chris Bowers notes, the gathering of signatures to recall Wisconsin GOP is an important dry run before the main event: Organizing for the recall elections themselves.
* Good strategy! NPR finally gets around to criticizing the bogus editing of the James O’Keefe sting video — but keeps apologizing for the former NPR execs out-of-context quotes.
* Ira Glass can’t understand why NPR won’t fight back. Neither can I.
*Takin’ it to another level: GOP Rep. Steve King tells ABC’s Top Line that Republicans should use the threat of a government shutdown not just to win the budget battle, but also to force Dems to agree to defend Obamacare.
* Michele Bachmann’s claim that the battles of Lexington and Concord took place in New Hampshire becomes a bit more ominous when you learn that Bachmann homeschooled her kids.
* And a quick housekeeping note: A number of you have complained about this blog’s new RSS feed. In case you haven’t found it, the new feed is right here. And I am working on getting longer versions of the posts onto the feed. It should be resolved by tomorrow. Thanks again for your patience throughout this transition!
What else is happening?