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Obama agenda: Automatic

Obama signed the fiscal cliff bill with an auto pen.

AP: President Barack Obama has signed a $633 billion defense bill for next year that tightens penalties on Iran and bolsters security at diplomatic missions worldwide after the deadly attack in Benghazi, Libya.

Politico: “President Barack Obama won’t be able to enjoy much of a victory lap from his win over congressional Republicans on the fiscal cliff fight. There are about 16.4 trillion reasons why. The staggering national debt — up about 60 percent from the $10 trillion Obama inherited when he took office in January 2009 — is the single biggest blemish on Obama’s record, even if the rapid descent into red began under President George W. Bush.”

The New York Times adds, “For President Obama and his Democratic allies in Congress, the fiscal deal reached this week is full of small victories that further their largest policy aims. Above all, it takes another step toward Mr. Obama’s goal of orienting federal policy more toward the middle class and the poor, at the expense of the rich. Yet the deal, which the Senate and the House have passed and Mr. Obama is expected to sign soon, also represents a substantial risk for the president.”