President Barack Obama, accompanied by Education Secretary Arne Duncan, right, laughs as he visits a classroom at Pathways in Technology Early College High School (P-TECH) in Brooklyn borough of New York, Friday, Oct. 25, 2013, to highlight the importance of education in providing skills for American workers in a global economy. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak) by Josh LedermanAssociated Press Writer NEW YORK (AP) — Regrouping with Democrats after a bitter budget fight, President Barack Obama on Friday cast the recent spending-and-debt standoff with Congress as “a symptom of a larger challenge” but one offering Democrats the chance to show voters the virtues of their vision for government ahead of the 2014 midterm elections.
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Former Illinois Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr., and his wife Sandra, leaves federal court in Washington, Wednesday, Aug. 14, 2013. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh) WASHINGTON (AP) — Former Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. was sentenced to two and a half years in prison Wednesday after pleading guilty to scheming to spend $750,000 in campaign funds on TV’s, restaurant dinners, an expensive watch and other costly personal items. His wife received a sentence of one year.