* Jonathan Bernstein has this exactly right: Dems must continue to hold firm, because at this point, Republicans are only fighting for their ability to engage in extortion for the sake of extortion.

* Here we go: Heritage urges GOP members of Congress to vote No on the new House GOP plan, because it does “nothing to stop Obamacare,” again raising questions as to whether Republicans can even pass this thing.

* Casting still more doubt on the House GOP plan, Rep. Ted Yoho, a leading Tea Partyer, tells Jake Tapper why he can’t support it:

“I ran on defunding, burying and getting rid of Obamacare … a lot of the members of our house, of our conference, ran on the same thing. So for us not to speak up is not to speak up for the American people.”

Tea Partyers genuinely believe the American people are on their side here. The perils of the closed conservative information feedback loop at work.

* Speaking of which, the HuffPollster crew has an excellent look at what all of the polling actually tells us:

[T]wo threads of opinion run clearly through polls on the shutdown: First, Americans are angry at the government generally and everyone involved in the shutdown negotiations. Second, despite blaming many for the crisis, Americans are particularly angry at Republicans.

* And along these lines, John McCain again tries to coax his GOP colleagues back to reality:

“Republicans have to understand we have lost this battle.”

What does it say about the GOP that McCain has become its voice of reason?

* And whatever the American people overall think, this explains a lot: A new Pew poll finds that 64 percent of Tea Party Republicans don’t think breaching the debt ceiling will cause major problems, while non-Tea Party Republicans are more evenly divided on the question.

* Meanwhile, Darrell Issa says he’d vote for a “clean CR,” bringing the count to some 25 House Republicans who would do just that, again underscoring that a majority of the House supports ending the crisis, but isn’t being allowed to vote on it.

* Of course, those Republicans could sign that House Dem discharge petition to reopen the government if they really wanted to. Aides tell me the count is up to 196.

* Ed Kilgore has a good roadmap of the remaining options at John Boehner’s disposal. They all lead back to a simple choice: Either Boehner finally finds the courage to stiff-arm the Tea Party or the damage to the country continues.

* And the Tweet of the day, from NBC’s Luke Russert:

Rep. Pete Sessions (R-TX): no bill on House floor tonight, figure out something tomorrow

Cool, glad this is under control.

What else?


Greg Sargent writes The Plum Line blog, a reported opinion blog with a liberal slant -- what you might call “opinionated reporting” from the left.