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GROUNDED! - President Obama has scuttled his scheduled trip to Asia, including stops in Borneo and Bali. A White House statement sniped that the president’s missed trip is “another consequence of the House Republicans forcing a shutdown of the government.” Vice President Joe Biden was also made to scrap appearances at two Washington fundraisers, one Saturday for a same-sex marriage group and another on Monday for House Democrats. The nixed trip and donor galas are a direct consequence of Republican efforts to nickel-and-dime their way through the partial shutdown. If you can’t afford to keep the World War II Memorial open, you can’t fly to Borneo. It will cost plenty to have Secretary of State John Kerry island hopping through the South Pacific, but the president can’t take the publicity hit.
[Correspondent Shannon Bream calculates just how much it costs taxpayers to fund national parks]
Fore - The golf course at Ft. Belvoir may still be open, but does the president want to be playing a taxpayer-subsidized round of golf this weekend? Democrats are trying to emphasize what they say is a crisis resulting from the partial shutdown. Obama might be willing to take heat over weekend recreation, but pointing out the wacky funding ironies of the shutdown – a golf course open but essential services closed – would not be ideal. The president often seeks escape from the White House and Washington. So what’s he going to do now that he’s had his private jet grounded and every move he makes is subject to scrutiny? House Speaker John Boehner has some suggestions.