Jedi Mind Melds and Secret Sauce, But No Budget Deal on Sequester

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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.

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".

Read the full transcript of President Obama's press conference on the sequester

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.

Watch the video of President Obama's press conference

What do you think about the sequester? Is it feeling real to you now?

News and Politics Editor Grace Hwang Lynch blogs at HapaMama and A Year (Almost) Without Shopping.