Jedi Mind Melds and Secret Sauce, But No Budget Deal on Sequester
It's March 1, and there's no deal to save us from the sequester. President Obama delivered that message at a colorful press conference this morning. "I am not a dictator, I'm the president, " Obama told reporters, after being pressed on why he wasn't able to convince House Republicans to agree to deal to avert $85 billion in budget cuts.
But who needs a bipartisan budget agreement when you have such a plethora of pop culture references? And not just any pop culture references, but Sci-Fi chestnuts, borrowed from Obi-Wan Kenobi and McCoy. And oh yeah, add a side of secret sauce, and watch the Gen X fanboys and girls go crazy on Twitter.
the president just said: "secret sauce" "jedi mind meld' and said he wasn't a dictator.— KateNocera (@KateNocera) March 1, 2013
BREAKING: The President has apparently conflated Star Wars & Star Trek. it's a Jedi mind trick and Vulcan mind meld.— Ari Shapiro (@arishapiro) March 1, 2013
The President was executing a master-troll in a press conference or he just randomly cited both Trek and Star Wars in a press conference— 2CLINTZ (@clint) March 1, 2013
The President mixed "Star Wars" and "Star Trek" terms, and once again "Battlestar Galactica" isn't even in the conversation.— Tom Ceraulo (@tceraulo) March 1, 2013
The President today committed to end the sequester so Starfleet can protect the spice shipments.— Rick Wilson (@TheRickWilson) March 1, 2013
Only prob with the President making a great joke is everyone’s talking about the joke instead of the INSANE THING CONGRESS IS ABOUT TO DO.— Greg Pak (@gregpak) March 1, 2013
While I enjoyed that media briefing as much as anyone, I have to point out: we still have a problem. Or should I say, "Houston, we have a problem"?
Back to the subject at hand -- the massive budget cuts that are scheduled to go into effect when the clock strikes midnight. Actually, the president's exact words were "dumb spending cuts".
Let's review what happened: early this morning, President Obama went into a closed door meeting with key Democrats Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and top Republicans Speaker of the House John Boehner and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. They emerged from that meeting without any progress, which the president blamed on the Republican's stubborn refusal to agree to close tax loopholes and eliminate deductions on the wealthiest Americans, which would generate enough additional revenue to close the deficit. GOP leaders insist that the gap must be closed by spending cuts alone, even though President Obama's proposal involves both spending cuts and tax hikes.
So, is it all gloom and doom? Should we all start stocking up on canned goods and head for the hills? Regular people will feel the impact, with furloughs and layoffs for government employees from soldiers to teachers, and reduced services at federal offices and programs such as Head Start. But the president assures Americans that we can get past this.
"This is not the apocalypse," the president said, "It's just dumb."
What's next? President Obama is expected to sign a formal sequestration order today, then look toward March 27, another big deadline to reach an agreement on funding -- or the government shutdowns will begin.
What do you think about the sequester? Is it feeling real to you now?