* How’s the reception for the new House GOP bill to defund Obamacare? HuffPo rounds up multiple Senate Republicans who still think it’s not such a hot idea. Sooner or later the House GOP leadership will be back in the same position as yesterday.
* Brian Beutler has a good guide to GOP chaos: House GOP leaders, by embracing the new shutdown strategy, are actually calling conservatives’ bluff, and are ultimately setting the stage for a cave.
* Senate Republicans who have been spoiling for House GOP leaders to take up this crusade are already admitting it will fail in the Senate, and are calling on House Republicans to keep up the fight. Roll Call quotes Ted Cruz:
“Harry Reid will no doubt try to strip the defund language from the continuing resolution, and right now he likely has the votes to do so,” Cruz said. “At that point, House Republicans must stand firm, hold their ground, and continue to listen to the American people.”
Wow. Already shucking off responsibility on to House Republicans to make this happen?
* This tweet in response to Cruz, from GOP Rep. Sean Duffy, nicely captures the deepening divisions and recriminations the Obamacare obsession is creating:
* David Drucker gets inside the anger and frustration of House Republicans who have done what Senate conservatives wanted, only to have them continue giving them the shaft. Look, at some point, it will be time to cut these folks loose.
* What happens if and when the Senate votes down the new House GOP defund-Obamacare continuing resolution? Robert Costa reports this ominous detail from inside a House GOP meeting today:
A shutdown remains a possibility. The leadership doesn’t want one, and Paul Ryan told his colleagues it’d be a P.R. disaster, but, for now, there’s no alternative Republican CR, should things fall apart in the Senate.
They still don’t know what the endgame is here.
* Harold Meyerson on the very real prospects for a populist turn for the Democratic Party driven by a new batch of rising progressive pols who are vying to displace the old order.
* The Fed announces it will maintain stimulus. Evan Soltas on the meaning of the Fed’s decision: It is committed to economic growth, and it understands this recovery just isn’t good enough.
* Also, a key point from Steve Benen: Republican Ben Bernanke has repeatedly said, in subtle and not so subtle ways, that GOP policymaking is holding the recovery back, and this is a key reason for today’s action.
* Or, to put that another way: “Bernanke to Republicans: Stop being the stupid party.”
* And David Atkins on how our lack of sane gun laws is a monstrous policy failure that has cost untold thousands of lives: “It’s the guns, stupid.”