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Wednesday, December 22, 2010


President Barack Obama, the comeback kid, was presidential today at a press conference hailing the bipartisan victory for America.  In consideration of the beating he took on November 2, followed by both incoming Speaker of the House John Boehner (below) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (right) publicly stating that their primary goal will be to insure that Obama is a one-term president, it is remarkable that this lame duck congressional session was a surprising bipartisan success at overcoming gridlock.

Congress passed:

  -  the $858 billion tax cut (really, it was not a reduction as was a continuance of an earlier piece of legislation);

  -  repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell;"

  -  9/11 responders health bill (which the House is set to pass today as the final act this year);

-  and just a few minutes ago, the Senate ratified the START treaty by a vote of 71-26 (this was the legislation he most wanted, and agreeing to allow the tax cut for "millionaires" sealed this deal).

There were other bills that made it through, like funding of the federal government until March, but these five were the ones the President really wanted.  Could it be that the cure for our broken government is an almost even split of Republicans and Democrats in Congress?

Nah, in 2011 the gridlock will start anew. The Dream Act has a chance, but immigration in general will go nowhere.  Energy and the environment?  Forget about them!  If my Huffington Post article lamenting the fact that the U.S. has never had an energy policy, ever, and our country had 30 months of democratic control to make amends, and did not, there is not a chance for anything to happen until Peak Oil comes crashing down on the world.  Again, the lobbyists control D.C., and they are very good at continuing funding for traditional items such as fighting (or wars), fossil fuels, financing and farms.  Hmm...the F's of lobbyists.

The Dow Jones Industrials went up 26 to 11,559, while world markets were mixed.  Gold fell $4/toz to $1385 and petroleum is at $90/barrel.

As expected, Omeka, west of Hawaii, is now a remnant low.  It is absolutely beautiful in Honolulu today.  Here is my view as I gaze to the right from my computer:

Oh, yes, over the next few days, Chicago (the President's other home) will remain below freezing with snow.


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