President Obama spoke with NPR in the Oval Office on Monday, as a visiting group of young people in suits got a tour of the Rose Garden outside the windows. The most striking part of our encounter in this moment of crisis was how familiar the atmosphere seemed.
President Obama says he's tired of the seemingly never-ending rounds of budget crises.
"When it comes to Congress paying its bills ... we cannot be a country that is lurching every two months or three months from crisis to crisis to crisis," Obama said in an interview Monday with NPR's Steve Inskeep.
Yet that is precisely the situation the president finds himself in.
Steve Inskeep's Full Interview With President Obama
During a wide-ranging interview with Morning Edition's Steve Inskeep, President Obama assumed an indomitable posture as he talked about his negotiations with House Republicans.
He said he will not negotiate with Republicans when it comes to a cornerstone of his health care law, and he will not negotiate when it comes to another congressional battle to raise the debt ceiling in a little more than two weeks.
"This perpetual cycle of brinksmanship and crisis has to end once and for all," Obama said.
The sound of Buddhist chants wafts through an annex of the Songtang Hospice, the first private facility of its kind in Beijing. A group of lay Buddhists is trying to ease the passage of a recently departed soul of a patient.
When I first visited this place nearly two decades ago, the average patient stayed just 18 days. Now, it caters to people who are not terminally ill, and the average stay is about five years.