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New York magazine:

So we decided to collect as many poll numbers as we could to find out just what the American people really think about this whole big debt mess, and maybe figure out which political party has the most to gain or lose if worst comes to worst. ...

Should either side hold out for their ideal plan, or compromise? That's a no brainer: compromise. Two-thirds of Americans in a Gallup poll want to see a deal even if no one's 100% happy with it. Among Republicans that number is a bit lower but still a solid majority.

The People's Answer: Compromise, goddamit!

Dan Balz:

That he asked to increase the amount of revenue he wanted showed Obama’s sensitivity to his base, which grew restless late in the week as reports of a possible deal that included mostly spending cuts trickled out, which reflects the worry among many liberal Democrats that the president is prepared to give too much ground on spending cuts and entitlements just to get a deal.

But it’s clear that House Republicans are the principal obstacle to any grand bargain that includes substantial new revenue. Their rigid opposition runs contrary to public opinion, which shows that a majority of the country believes that a deficit-reduction package should include both spending cuts and new taxes.

It doesn't help that McConnell, Boehner and Cantor each think they're in charge. And reported information does not make it sound like Obama spent the week simply folding, even though there's plenty in what's (speculated to be) on the table to get you mad. But no one wins if we go into default and we have a real debt crisis, Republican-made or otherwise. It may be that the markets need to go south (aka the Boehner drop) to convince Republicans to compromise.


Democratic sources say the two sides have reached an impasse and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has begun preparing his own plan.

Any hopes the president and the Speaker will reunite for further talks are all but over. Boehner said Sunday evening that the path forward does not include an agreement between him and the president.

Republicans have two problems with the debt crisis/budget agreement. One is they can't agree (and get the votes in their caucus), the other is they won't agree (and do anything that makes the president look good.) Everyone who said these Republicans in the House can't govern was correct.

Ruth Marcus:

In the end, as it was in the beginning, Boehner was the guy with the commitment problem. As much as he may have wanted to make things work, he has a commitment problem because he cannot get enough of his caucus to commit to tax increase. So Boehner bolted — and, as bolters often do, offered the usual unconvincing set of excuses for behaving badly. In a letter to his caucus, the runaway speaker explained he had to quit the talks because “it became evident that the White House is simply not serious about ending the spending binge.”

This is demonstrably untrue.

The unscientific WaPo reader poll (45K entries) says fault lies with Cantor (44%), Boehner (37%) and Obama (14%). I ignore most on-line polls; this is interesting because the readership does not skew left (but it's an on-line poll, so despite its size, don't take it to the bank.)

NY Times:

From New York City to Niagara Falls, N.Y., hundreds of gay and lesbian couples across the state began marrying on Sunday — the first taking their vows just after midnight — in the culmination of a long battle in the Legislature and a new milestone for gay rights advocates seeking to legalize same-sex marriage across the nation.
If you want to get married, the Northeast is a great place to tie the knot.

NY Times:

The attacks in Oslo on Friday have riveted new attention on right-wing extremists not just in Norway but across Europe, where opposition to Muslim immigrants, globalization, the power of the European Union and the drive toward multiculturalism has proven a potent political force and, in a few cases, a spur to violence.
Recall the backlash when Homeland Security said watch out for right wing extremists? here's the Wayback Machine in case you don't:
Conservatives are up in arms about a report from the Department Of Homeland Security entitled "Rightwing Extremism: Current Economic And Political Climate Fueling Resurgence In Radicalization And Recruitment."
Frank Bruni on Michele Bachmann's chances:
But whipping up attention isn’t the same as establishing credibility. Vividness doesn’t equal significance. And Bachmann’s profile at this point is wildly out of proportion to her probable fate in the election and the long-term impact on it that she’ll have.

The smart money remains where it has always been: on  Mitt Romney. She still lags leagues behind him in fund-raising, and she finished June with less than a third of the cash on hand that he had. Although her collection pace was brisk, she’ll be playing catch-up for a while and doesn’t have the coziness with big donors that he and others do.

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