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Obama agenda: Sounding the alarm

USA Today: “Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew chided Congress Thursday for refusing to raise the nation's debt ceiling, saying that waiting until the last minute to avoid default could prove ‘very dangerous.’ ‘It is irresponsible and reckless to insist that we experience a forced default to learn how bad it is,’ Lew told the Senate Finance Committee in prepared testimony. ‘We now find ourselves on the precipice with some Republicans once again threatening default.’”

AP: “Some businesses say they'll be forced to hire fewer people or cut employee hours to avoid having to offer insurance coverage to workers under the new health care law. But an economic researcher says there’s too much misinformation circulating about the law and that there’s no data to support claims that companies have already been cutting workers hours. These views were expressed Wednesday at House Small Business subcommittee hearing to look into the part of the law that requires companies with 50 workers or more to offer an affordable insurance plan to those working an average of 30 hours a week in any month.”

AP: “The nomination [of Janet Yellen to Fed chair] adds a wild card to the mix, and the need for Senate hearings, debate and votes adds to Congress’ already complicated mix of year-end business. A few Senate Republicans, like Sen. Bob Corker of Tennessee, have spoken out against her as too dovish on monetary policy, but Yellen is widely expected to be confirmed. Administration officials say the timing of her pick is mostly a coincidence, but it could serve Obama’s interests in the current budget fight.”

National Journal quotes tea partiers who think Obama is too mean and as the website puts it “plays too rough.” One quote with the lionization of Bill Clinton: “Bill Clinton did not intentionally antagonize Republicans,” said Austin Scott of Georgia. “And I think that most of those [earlier] presidents would have welcomed the opportunity to negotiate. And if they’re right on their points, then certainly they’d want to negotiate.” They say Obama is too “personal.” But has it gotten personal with them toward the president? “It’s not so much personal with many of us,” Scott said. Uh… right…

Washington Post: "Treasury Secretary Jack Lew plans to warn lawmakers Thursday that he will be unable to guarantee payments to any group — whether Social Security recipients or U.S. bondholders — unless Congress approves an increase in the federal debt limit."

New York Times: " As the government shutdown grinds toward a potential debt default, some of the country’s most influential business executives have come to a conclusion all but unthinkable a few years ago: Their voices are carrying little weight with the House majority that their millions of dollars in campaign contributions helped build and sustain."

Massive typo in a tweet from Obama’s communications director led to a racial slur that was deleted.

Da coach, Da coach, Da coach, Da coach. Ditka! Famed Chicago Bears coach Mike Ditka says he would have beaten Obama had he run in 2004 against him in the Senate race. He said, “"Biggest mistake I've ever made. Not that I would have won, but I probably would have and he wouldn't be in the White House."

Maybe he would have won with quotable doozies like… "One of my favorite things is mayonnaise and I have to tell you that. I love mayonnaise, but I don't eat it any more. If I do I put light mayonnaise on it, which I know is still not good but it's a lot better than the other one and I don't eat it that much."  Or "I've been into the habit of freezing white grapes and using them as a snack. Instead of eating peanuts or popcorn or something like that or pretzels, I just eat the white grapes."