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Good Thursday morning, and Happy Birthday President Obama…

 

The President is in Chicago – his political true north – raising money for his re-election campaign and celebrating the big 5-0. Back in Washington, Politico’s Jim VandeHei and Mike Allen take an in-depth look at all the things dragging down the president’s chances for re-election. The conclusion: The President has been so battered by the debt ceiling debate that he finds himself in the worst political shape of his term, with re-election far from certain. http://politi.co/r4Itdb

 

The President is hitting back against Republicans for holding up a deal to fund FAA inspectors. Four thousand FAA workers have lost their jobs, and inspectors are working for no salary – footing their own expenses – as Congress dithers. The President has called on a resolution to this stalemate by week’s end. By the way, Politico has a handy primer on the FAA fight. Tonight, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood joins us on Hardball.

 

White House officials are also pressuring Treasury secretary Tim Geithner to stay on the job through the president’s first term. Geithner hinted at retirement earlier this summer, but apparently he’s staying put.

 

Thumbs down for the debt deal: A new USA Today/Gallup poll finds 46% disapprove of the deal, only 39% approve.

 

Meanwhile, Nate Silver’s Five Thirty Eight blog takes a look at whether we’re headed for a double-dip recession, or whether we’re already in one.

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