* Yes, the ground is shifting on the debt ceiling — big time. From the new Washington Post/ABC News poll:

More than eight in 10 — including 80 percent of Republicans — say there will be serious harm to the U.S. economy if the government cannot continue to borrow money to fund its operations and pay its debts after Aug. 2.

The more-than-eight-in-ten number — it’s 82 percent, according to the internals — is up 11 points since early June.

* Also key: The new NBC/WSJ poll finds that a plurality now wants a debt ceiling hike, a sharp reversal from June.

* The Post poll also finds that more trust Obama over the GOP on the debt limit, 48-39, and that a big majority, 62 percent, favor addressing the deficit with a mix of spending cuts and tax increases.

* But Obama still has clear vulnerabilities: His approval rating in the Post poll is stuck at 47 percent, and 57 percent disapprove of his handling of the economy.

* Also, Jennifer Rubin makes a fair point — while Dems are winning the debt ceiling standoff, the larger war over government is still unfolding largely on GOP turf.

* Key quote from John Boehner, on the McConnell escape-hatch proposal: “It is responsible for us to look at what Plan B will look like.” Yes, and the rest of the House, too.

* The “Gang of Six” plan may have been very pleasing to the bipartisanship fetishists, but it won’t have a place in the final debt deiling compromise.

* The 2012 GOP hopefuls concede that they won’t voluntarily reveal their bundlers, and they are doing the absolute minimum disclosure required under federal law.

* Top GOP donors continue to beg Chris Christie to step in as a 2012 savior candidate, which says more about the quality of the current GOP field than anything else.

* New federal guidelines resulting from Obamacare mean virtually all insurance plans may soon be required to offer free coverage of birth control.

* Digby says the Obama administration deserves props for the proposal because it will provoke a major national backlash from the right, but she advises liberals to hang tough because it’s a fight they can win.

* Speaking of props, Obama throws his support behind the Respect for Marriage Act — the proposal to repeal DOMA, which defines marriage as between a man and a woman — though it has no chance of passing given GOP control of the House.

* Steve Benen has the rundown of Obama’s entire record on gay rights.

* Glenn Greenwald: “Still more work, but gay equality is increasingly becoming an administration bright spot.”

* Check out Joe Conason’s and Avi Zenilman’s new Web site, “The National Memo.”

* They have an interview with Bill Clinton in which he says Obama should take the 14th Amendment option on the debt limit.

* And Jonathan Bernstein has a smart take on the larger meaning of Michele Bachmann’s rough day, and what it says about her chances overall.

UPDATE: Link to NBC poll fixed.