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At his late-afternoon press conference on the debt ceiling fight yesterday, the president made clear he doesn’t want a short-term fix.

“I don’t think that the American people sent us here to avoid tough problems,” he said. “That’s, in fact, what drives them nuts about Washington — when both parties simply take the path of least resistance — and I don’t want to do that here.”

He said the nation has “a unique opportunity to do something big” and shouldn’t “kick the can down the road” on the broader issue of government red ink.

But is a grand bargain really a possibility here? This is the least productive Congress in recent history–whether measured by number of votes or significant bills passed. The GOP majority is taking its “small government” philosophy to the extreme, effectively halting progress on every issue. And with loud voices on the right essentially denying reality and saying the government won’t–even that it can’t–default, Obama’s “nuclear” option–invoking the 14th amendment to say the debt ceiling is unconstitutional–is looking more attractive.

 

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Vladimir Putin

Intelligence officials in Great Britain are telling reporters that “the Kremlin’s real goal is to mobilize 1 million,” in the planned conscription announced by Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday, according to The Guardian newspaper in London. British defense officials “reiterated in a briefing on Friday that it was their belief it will be very hard for Russia to reach 300,000, never mind any larger figure.”

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Danziger Draws

Jeff Danziger lives in New York City. He is represented by CWS Syndicate and the Washington Post Writers Group. He is the recipient of the Herblock Prize and the Thomas Nast (Landau) Prize. He served in the US Army in Vietnam and was awarded the Bronze Star and the Air Medal. He has published eleven books of cartoons, a novel and a memoir. Visit him at DanzigerCartoons.

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