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An aggressive President Barack Obama spoke on the ongoing debt limit negotiations at a White House Press conference late Monday morning.

“I will not sign a 30-day or 60-day or 90-day or 180 day extension,” the president said of a potential stopgap resolution to stave off default. “That is not an acceptable approach.”

Obama dug in, then, on a grand deal that would include new revenue, large spending reductions, tax code changes, and an extension of the debt limit at least until the 2012 elections, if not longer.

He pleaded with progressives in his own party to agree to put their “sacred cows” — Social Security, Medicare, and other programs — on the table to make them “sustainable” and hash out a deal, though he also said these programs are not the source of America’s deficit.

We need to “eat our peas,” the president said at one point to laughter from the press corps, in the context of both sides making tough concessions.

“I’m prepared to take on significant heat from my party to get something done,” Obama added. “I’ve bent over backwards” to get a deal.

He called Republicans who have said they will oppose raising the debt ceiling irresponsible and insisted, “They know better.”

The federal government is weeks — if not days — away from financial chaos, which would stem from the first U.S. default in history.

Former Special Counsel Robert Mueller

Photo by West Point - The U.S. Military Academy / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

After Special Counsel Robert Mueller concluded his investigation into ties between the Russian government and the Trump campaign, the big question still loomed: Was the president guilty of a serious crime?

Attorney General Bill Barr quickly took it upon himself to answer the question, explaining that the special counsel's work had failed to accuse Donald Trump of criminal acts, and he personally concluded that insufficient evidence existed for any charge. This announcement stunned and perplexed many observers while cheering the president's allies. The truth only became clear weeks later when the Mueller report was finally released: It laid out substantial evidence that Trump was guilty of many instances of obstruction of justice, but the report was written so as to avoid making this conclusion explicit. (Mueller also sent a letter to Barr arguing that his initial statements about the resolution of the case had been misleading.)

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