One of those mornings of alternation between everything happening and nothing at all.

Here are some midday news and views items, piping hot:

* Ponnuru reports House may pass its fiscal proposal and then leave town.

* Precedent hard-liner Chait calls that possibility “chilling.”

* Pelosi indicates virtually all House Dems could vote for Senate plan as she understands it.

* Felix Salmon argues that the sequester already in place is a form of debt default.

* Panetta goes all Green Lantern in criticizing Obama for not personally resolving budget differences.

And in non-political news:

* Fisticuffs nearly break out between lawyers at hearing on A-Rod’s appeal of suspension.

Back after a brief lunch break. Here’s more Duke Ellington, with “It Don’t Mean a Thing.”

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Ed Kilgore is a political columnist for New York and managing editor at the Democratic Strategist website. He was a contributing writer at the Washington Monthly from January 2012 until November 2015, and was the principal contributor to the Political Animal blog.