* Robert Costa reports that House Republican leaders are mulling making Dems a big mid-October offer that may include a debt limit hike, funding of the government, revenue neutral tax reform, Chained CPI, a medical device tax repeal, and a few other things designed to make conservatives look like they’re winning. Oh, and Republicans might also be willing to rethink the sequester if Dems are open to enough in entitlement cuts! It’s still unclear what Republicans would be conceding in this compromise offering.
A Senate Dem leadership aide emails: “It’s absurd to think Democrats would do a deal just swapping sequester cuts for entitlement cuts. Revenue absolutely needs to be on the table in long-term budget discussions — and those discussions can’t even happen until the government is open and the threat of default is lifted.”
* Jonathan Chait explains the fundamental absurdity of GOP debt limit extortion so clearly that no one could possibly pretend not to understand it. Key point: “Ultimately, there’s either a threat, or there isn’t.”
It’s been remarkable to witness the widespread unwillingness to reckon with the actual GOP position here, objectively defined.
* Relatedly, Benjy Sarlin has a must read noting that House Republicans are falling all over themselves to assure us they would never, ever actually allow default, a marked change from 2011. If that is so, why should Dems give them anything for it?
* Roll Call has more on the Dem discharge petition to force a vote on a “clean CR” that I noted earlier: House Dems say Republicans have privately confided they could support the plan.
* Steve Benen boils down the meaning of the discharge petition gambit: “For the GOP’s centrists, it’s put up or shut up time.”
* But Jonathan Bernstein has a deep dive into demographics and procedure explaining why House Dems will probably never be able to force House GOP leaders to allow a vote on funding the government, even though a majority of the House supports it.
* Okay, so maybe savvy Beltway insiders just know the discharge petition could never work. I very much agree with Atrios on the value of discussing good and/or useful ideas, even if the smart money knows they’ll never happen.
* Obamacare reality check of the day: Ezra Klein is very tough on the problems with the law’s launch, and warns that the administration needs to get all this fixed, “and fast.”
* Bonus Obamacare reality check of the day, courtesy of Kevin Drum: In red states, the message war over the law is very one sided, and not in a way that is likely to improve public awareness about it anytime soon. Depressing.
* Nathaniel Popper has a useful primer: Yes, debt limit default would be a whole lot worse than a government shutdown.
* The Post’s new Monkey Cage political science blog (which you should read) has a useful guide to the five factions of House Republicans, which helps illustrate why divisions are likely to continue to destabilize our politics.
* And via Taegan Goddard, whose site has been invaluable of late:
“I need my paycheck. That’s the bottom line. I understand that there may be some other members who are deferring their paychecks, and I think that’s admirable. I’m not in that position.”
— Rep. Renee Ellmers (R-NC), in an interview with WTVD-TV, on needing to be paid during the government shutdown she supported.