I’m going to begin by repeating something I said last week. The one thing that reporters should be asking House Republicans right now is very simple: Why are you against a clean continuing resolution to re-open the government right now? Republicans owe Americans an answer to that question, and an explanation for why the pain that’s being caused is worth it. And, yes, it’s appropriate for reporters to ask Democrats why they’re against the House’s last offer, too — but I’m more confident that they can answer that one.

1. Go through the looking-glass: Suzy Khimm interviews Heritage Action’s Dan Holler. Among the high points: The 2012 election doesn’t really count because “Obama certainly didn’t make a strong case for” the Affordable Care Act.

2. “The most telling thing about Boehner’s remarks is their brevity. The Speaker spoke for about five minutes, responded briefly to one question, and bolted out the door.” Jonathan Chait on today’s John Boehner . . . uh, can we call it a press conference?

3. The case against tiny continuing resolutions, from Derek Thompson

4. David Frum on what’s wrong with the Republican Party.

5. I argue that it’s mainstream conservative Republicans who are the problem — not the moderates, not the radicals, not John Boehner.

6. See also Josh Barro, who notes, correctly, that “Waiting For Michele Bachmann To Stop Being Crazy Is Not A Strategy,” and that if sane Republicans wanted to end this, they could do it easily.

7. Brian Beutler proposes a way out of the impasse. Plausible, but the real question here is what fig leaf will leave the ‘fraidy cat conference least uncomfortable, and I have no idea what that might be.

8. The federal marketplace continues to be a mess, but Obamacare is working a lot more smoothly in some states, and Sarah Kliff shows why and how.

9. Here are the statistics from the California exchange, where things are also going relatively well.

10. And, yes, the federal Affordable Care Act rollout is full of glitches and mistakes; Garance Franke-Ruta has one of them. Most likely, all of this will be forgotten in a few months, but right now it’s certainly overshadowing any good news stories, to the extent that the press are covering anything beyond the budget mess.

11. Stop blaming gerrymandering for everything! Seth Masket has a quick, solid primer on the trade-offs in redistricting.

12. Guess what? Fact check what politicians say, and they’re more likely to skip the lies. New research from Brendan Nyhan and Jason Reifler on how to give politicians better incentives.

13. And if baseball was like politics, radical Republican style.