Dear Diary: It's been a tedious day, too gray and cold for golf. After the usual depressing Presidential Briefing [is there no good news anywhere in the world?] I had lunch with Biden who tried bravely to cheer me up. Boehner called later, I think purely for the sake of appearances, so he could say that he had called and was still trying to break the fiscal deadlock. In between bouts of coughing and heavy breathing, we discussed our smoking habit and how hard it is to break. He said it was kinda like my addiction to spending borrowed money. Hardy...har...har. Then he abruptly hung up and I listened to the dial tone for a while, nodded and said an occasional "yep." Axelrod had entered the office and I didn't want to reveal that I had been disrespected. One must always seem Presidential and fully in charge.