* This afternoon, Democratic Congressional leaders met with the President to discuss the way forward on the debt limit. A Dem aide emails that the upshot was that “Democrats continue to support the President’s `grand bargain’ proposal.”
In other words, Dems are still not ready to show their cards on whether they could support the McConnell escape-hatch plan, and Dem leaders (and the White House) want us to think a “grand bargain” deal is still feasible.
* Relatedly, the White House says it could support a short term deal if there’s broad agreement on the larger contours of a “grand bargain,” which also seems designed to keep “grand bargain” hopes alive.
* Coinage of the day: Steve Benen christens the House conservatives hurtling towards default the “House GOP Suicide Squad.”
* Reality check of the day: “Congress and the White House may have passed the point of no return in avoiding a U.S. government debt downgrade.”
* Harry Reid tosses the ball into John Boehner’s court, saying it’s time for the House speaker to tell the world what debt ceiling plan can pass the House.
* National money continues to flow in Wisconsin as the Progressive Change Campaign Committee and Democracy for America go up with a powerful new ad hammering GOP state senator and top recall target Luther Olsen.
* Wisconsin state senator Dave Hansen was expected to fend off his GOP recall challenger, but the Dems’ ground game showed an energy and enthusiasm could bode well for taking back the state senator.
* In case you’re interested, here’s a PDF reproduction of the actual 1983 letter Ronald Reagan sent to then-Senate Minority Leader Howard Baker begging him to raise the debt ceiling.
* History lesson of the day: Steve Kornacki on why it’s misleading for Dems to appropriate Reagan’s legacy on the debt limit as their own.
* But Digby says it’s all about doing electro-shock therapy on the befuddled Tea Party mind.
* Dave Weigel has the letter Michele Bachmann released from the House physician clarifying her migraine condition: She’s able to control it with sumatriptan and odansetron.
* Which prompts the snark of the day from Eddie Vale of Protect Your Care, a group that defends the health reform law:
The irony of Bachman — who says repealing the Affordable Care Act would be her top “entitlement” reform — relying on a note from her government-provided Congressional doctor is harder hitting than her security guards’s treatment of reporters.
* And props to the Daily Kos gang for unveiling a web site focused solely on labor issues and politics. Interestingly, Markos Moulitsas tells me that Daily Kos saw some of its best traffic from coverage of the Wisconsin protests — so this was partly a business decision.
Has Wisconsin made labor cool again?