* CNN’s Dana Bash reports:
A Senior House GOP source concedes to CNN that to get the White House on board with a debt ceiling deal, House Republicans would likely have to agree to a clean short term debt ceiling increase. In exchange, Republicans would need to get clear and specific parameters from the White House for discussions and negotiations on ways to reduce the debt and deficit.
The source tells Bash Republicans recognize this would have to pass with a lot of Dems. The question would be what the “parameters” of those talks would look like or whether Republicans would try to set them up to ensure that the next debt limit deadline could be used to extort concessions later. A Senate Dem aide tells me: “Democrats won’t accept any kind of structure that forces negotiations to be tied to the debt ceiling. No matter how short a clean debt limit increase is, it doesn’t change the fact that Democrats aren’t going to negotiate on the next debt limit.”
Still, this does look like a potential sign of GOP retreat.
* Brian Beutler on how this idea suggests the conversation is now focused on how to “walk Republicans back from the brink,” by giving them a way to claim they aren’t surrendering.
* Paul Krugman aptly captures the folly of GOP extortion and the ongoing effort to use robotic talking points to cover it up, and also sees signs Republicans are edging closer to accepting reality.
Simply put, Republicans don’t want a normal negotiating process, because they wouldn’t like what that process would produce. Their goal, all along, has been to alter the power dynamics — to use shutdown and, now, the threat of default to win concessions they might not otherwise…This is extortion when the demands include Obamacare. It’s extortion when the demands don’t.
I’d also add that merely reducing your extortion demands, while maintaining the insistence on negotiating under threat conditions, doesn’t count as a concession.
* Steve Benen catches an interesting trend here: Powerful far right groups who helped fuel the Tea Party’s rise but aren’t really all that on board with this whole tanking the global economy idea.
* David Drucker reports that even a poll commissioned by Ted Cruz finds more Americans blame Republicans for the shutdown, but since they’re faring better than against Bill Clinton, this is a plus! Moral: It’s hard to make the case Republicans are winning.
* And yet, the reality check of the day: Nate Cohn deflates those recent polls showing Democrats with a real shot at winning back the House. There just aren’t any signs — yet, at least — that even the current cris is enough to alter underlying structural realities.
* Derek Thompson on the “false equivalence” debate: If polls show the public is wrongly blaming both sides for the current governing crisis, journalists shouldn’t take refuge behind it; they should try to set the public right.
* Smart point from Benjy Sarlin: The GOP budget shenanigans have gotten so extreme that now threatening default has somehow become the “moderate” position.
* And Sabrina Siddiqui unearths video of Mitch McConnell in the 1990s holding forth on why it was a bad idea for Republicans to use a government shutdown as leverage. It’s a rerun of a bad movie — by choice.