* The Boehner bill just squeaked through the House, 218-210. While that’s an achievement for the House GOP leadership, given what they were dealing with, the presence of the Balanced Budget Amendment only serves to confirm that the only thing that could pass the House thus far is something that was so tailor made for the Tea Party that it has no chance of ever becoming law.
Dems mustered total unity against the bill, which will make it easier for them to portray the measure as a thoroughly partisan sop to the hopelessly intransigent right.
Now the critical work starts in the Senate, where the leadership in both parties will try to find a compromise that can pass the Senate with Dem and Republican support. The real significance of the chaos that led up to the House passing its bill is that House GOP leaders will now have more ammo for the argument that virtually nothing the Senate produces can pass the House (unless Speaker John Boehner is willing to abandon the Tea Party and forge a coalition with lots of Dems, which I’m skeptical will happen).
* Senate Dems and Republicans are in the midst of intense talks over some kind of “trigger” compromise,” suggesting that Senate GOPers know the House proposal is a nonstarter and are getting serious about dealing.
* Reid is privately offering more spending cuts up front and a promise of a Senate vote for a Balanced Budget Amendment in order to get Senate GOPers to support a compromise.
* With Senate negotiations about to hit crunch time, Senate Dems rush out a new video featuring footage of Senate Republicans acknowledging that Republicans are not going to get everything they want in the eventual compromise.
* As Steve Stromberg notes in a big-picture piece, even if the House passed the bill, the whole mess only serves to highlight the larger dilemma that will continue to haunt Boehner throughout his Speakership.
* Why won’t Obama invoke Constitutional option? In part because it would show that Congress can’t function, and the consequences of that alone could be severe.
* Digby warns that if Dems are largely responsible for passsing a compromise filled with deep cuts that harm the economy and their constituents, they will own it.
* Righty blogger Allahpundit says Scott Brown’s support for the Reid bill could mean he faces a conservative primary challenger, and adds that Brown is weakening the GOP position heading into negotiations.
* Ben Smith, on the subterranean recall war in Wisconsin: “both parties are trying to activate their own bases without alarming the other’s.”
* Jonathan Capehart deftly skewers the silly media meme that Obama is “on the sidelines” during the debt debate.
* Black Follow Friday? Obama’s campaign takes to Twitter to urge Americans to contact GOPers to push for compromise, but ends up hemorraging thousands of followers.
* And it really is odd that some political commentators don’t think President Obama should have called on constitutents to contact Congress to urge a debt ceiling hike.
What else is happening?