(NEWSER– No sequester kumbaya. President Obama and congressional leaders met for an hour this morning and made zero progress on striking a deal to avoid the automatic budget cuts, reports Politico. Their respective statements afterward tell the story:

  • Obama: "Let's be clear: None of this is necessary," he said, reports AP. "It's happening because of a choice that Republicans in Congress have made. We shouldn't be making a series of dumb, arbitrary cuts to things." He warned that while not everyone will feel the cuts initially, "the pain ... will be real."

Read more at Newser.com