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Greg Sargent at The Washington Post on whether moderate Republicans really want to end the shutdown. Sargent explains that although Speaker John Boehner is claiming there aren't enough votes to pass a clean funding bill in the House, "Boehner won’t allow such a vote, precisely because it probably would reveal the votes are there to reopen the government." So it is up to moderate Republicans who would vote for a clean CR to speak up. Sargent concedes, "The smart Beltway money will snicker that the discharge petition has no chance of succeeding. ... But that doesn’t mean it can’t provide a focal point that will help clarify exactly where these moderate Republicans actually stand on funding the government, in the sense of whether they are prepared to actually buck their leadership in order to do it." Ezra Klein, Sargent's colleague at the Post who runs Wonkblog, tweets, "It's pretty clear that if Boehner wanted R's to support a clean CR, then with Dems, the votes are there." 

Sean Wilentz at The New York Times on why Obama should invoke the 14th amendment. Wilentz, a professor of American political history at Princeton, writes that despite Republicans' threat to default, "the Obama administration has repeatedly suppressed any talk of invoking the Constitution in this emergency." Despite the Obama administration's conclusion that the President can't invoke the 14th amendment to end the debt crisis, Wilentz argues, "In fact, that record clearly shows that Congress intended the amendment to prevent precisely the abuses that the current House Republicans blithely condone." But if Obama does this, "the House might lash out and try to impeach [him]. Recent history shows that an unreasonable party controlling the House can impeach presidents virtually as it pleases, even without claiming a constitutional fig leaf." Mike Sachs, the former SCOTUS writer for The Huffington Post, tweets, "Sean Wilentz pens most powerful plea yet for Obama to invoke 14th amendment option for debt ceiling."

Jonathan Chait at the Daily Intelligencer on Republican rationalizations of bargaining with the debt ceiling. Chait explains, "Conservatives have endlessly repeated John Boehner’s absurd talking point that debt-ceiling extortion happens all the time, or pretended that old-fashioned posturing over the debt ceiling like Obama did as a senator is the same thing as holding it hostage for policy concessions ..." Chait specifically calls out Ross Douthat's argument in The New York Times "that the debt ceiling 'hasn’t been' a threat to the Constitutional order, though of course the premise of Obama’s argument is that if it becomes a regular feature of negotiations, it will be one." Noam Scheiber tweets, "saying 'we've always negotiated around debt lim' like saying pointing gun at cabbie [is the] same as debating directions w/him — both happen on cab ride."

Charlie Cook at National Journal on the future for Republicans. Cook contends, "you would be quite believable if you were to suggest that the GOP has been making an active, masochistic effort to isolate itself from moderate, independent, and swing voters, further exacerbating all the problems with target constituencies that cost Mitt Romney the presidency and the GOP a national popular House vote victory." House Republicans would need to "self-destruct" to lose their majority, but that appears to be what they're doing. The GOP won't "crumble immediately," but "Republicans should worry about what is happening to their brand." Justin Baransky, a former press secretary for Harry Reid, recommends the piece. 

David Weigel at Slate says Cory Booker's slump is real, but overrated. "The political conventional wisdom machine has put Cory Booker through the Stations of the Gaffe," Weigel writes. The New Jersey Senate hopeful has fallen a little in the polls, yes, but he's still leading his Republican competitor by low double-digits. Weigel quips, "At this rate, Republican candidate Steve Lonegan will overtake Booker at some point in 2015. The election is next Wednesday." He concludes, Booker's campaign is "suffering very minor setbacks from 1) the candidate talking himself into two-day 'scandals,' like the ridiculous nonsexual DM with a Portland stripper, and 2) the press acting unexpectedly like the press. It's giving Booker his first-ever tough scrutiny." Eliana Johnson, a media reporter at National Review, points out The Washington Post's Chris Cilliza's suggestion that Booker call his office, and notes that Weigel and Cilliza are "both correct." 

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