At a news conference today, President Obama warned that America's fate would closely mirror the plot of WarGames if Republicans successfully prevent the debt ceiling from being raised. "We might not be able to pay our troops, or honor our contracts with small business owners. Food inspectors, air traffic controllers, specialists who track down loose nuclear materials wouldn’t get their paychecks," the president said. "All [raising the debt ceiling] does is say, that America will pay its bills. And we are not a deadbeat nation," Obama noted, before conceding that it had been awhile since the U.S. took a shower, and that we've been "wearing the same sweatshirt with the weird, sticky stain on it for like, two weeks now."

Though the president used strong words to condemn Congressional Republicans ("The financial wellbeing of the American people is not leverage to be used. The full faith and credit of the United States of America is not a bargaining chip.") he still seemed head-smackingly naive about the task ahead.

After recognizing that Republicans could use issues like the debt ceiling "every two months, every three months, every six months," to "change the economy in ways that we prefer…or otherwise we're going to have America not pay its bills," the president added, "We’ve got to break the habit of negotiating through crisis over and over again…My hope is that common sense prevails." Common Sense, on a ventilator in an undisclosed location, could not be reached for comment.

President Obama also addressed gun control in much more muted terms, saying that Vice President Biden would find ways to enact measures to "reduce the possibility of gun violence" that don't require legislation, and that he would be making those proposals "later in the week." Mayor Bloomberg helped him out with one: use a recess appointment to put someone in charge of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms, for starters.

When asked about soaring gun sales and the NRA's (completely unwarranted) fear mongering about his presidency and its supposed crackdown on legal weapons, Obama said,

The issue is: Are there some sensible steps that we can take to make sure that somebody like the individual in Newtown can’t walk into a school and gun down a bunch of children in—in a shockingly rapid fashion? And surely we can do something about that. And—you know, but—but part of the challenge that, you know, we confront is, is that even the slightest hint of some sensible, responsible legislation in this area fans this notion that somehow here it comes and that everybody’s guns are going to be taken away. It’s unfortunate, but that’s the case, and if you look over the first four years of my administration, we’ve tried to tighten up and enforce some of the laws that were already on the books. But it’d be pretty hard to argue that somehow gun-owners have had their rights infringed.

Finally, New York Times reporter Jackie Calmes asked the president about the recent criticism that his cabinet and White House staff weren't diverse enough, and about the recurring theme that he is cold and distant and has tiny pieces of Dentene Ice running through his antifreeze veins.

The president pointed out that both his Supreme Court appointments were women, and that it's "premature" to judge the diversity of his team. About being Meanest President Ever, he replied

With respect to the—this truism about me not socializing enough, and patting folks on the back and all that stuff, most people who know me know I—I’m a pretty friendly guy.

And I like a good party. And you know the truth is that, you know when I was in the Senate, I had great relationships over there, and up until the point that I became president, this was not an accusation that you heard very frequently. I think that—I think—I think that really what’s gone on in terms of some of the paralysis here in Washington, or difficulties in negotiations, just have to do with some very stark differences in terms of policy.

Some very sharp differences in terms of where we stand on issues, and you know if you think about, let’s say myself and Speaker Boehner, I like Speaker Boehner personally. And when we went out and played golf, we had a great time. But that didn’t get a deal done in 2011. You know when I—when I’m over here at the congressional picnic, and folks are coming up and taking pictures with their family, I promise you, Michelle and I are very nice to them, and we have a wonderful time.

But it doesn’t prevent them from going onto the floor of the House and, you know, blasting me for being a big-spending socialist.

Keep your eye on Pete Souza's Flickr feed for Barry doing kegstands.