, Newburyport, MA


January 5, 2013

Get your parachute out for the next cliff

Big Freddy was late for our morning break, and I had about finished with the newspaper when he arrived.

“So, did you see the New Year in?” I asked as he settled himself.

“Saw the old one out and slept like a babe in its mother’s arms,” Freddy said.

“Contented that we wouldn’t be going over the economic cliff after all was said and done?” I said.

“Since Mitch McConnell called Joe Biden to see if anyone in the White House knew how to kick the ball down the road,” Freddy said.

“Which they did,” I said.

“Smart move,” Freddy said. “Biden and McConnell go back a long ways together. He lets Obama know it’s now or never if he wants enough of a deal to keep from going over the cliff, Obama gives him the green light, Biden calls McConnell back, and the rest is history.”

“But the end run had to have hurt Harry Reid,” I said. “He and McConnell had been going at one another in the Senate for months.”

“Not by a long shot,” Freddy said. “It let Reid off the hook. McConnell had a long and friendly history with Biden. It frees Reid up for what’s going to be blood on the floor of both the House and Senate two months from now.”

“Deficit reduction,” I said.

“Facing reality,” Freddy said. “Uncle Sam’s bent over with debt. The Treasury can’t pay our bills without borrowing more and cutting back. Republicans still rule the House. If they don’t knuckle under it’s over the cliff we go.

“Two years down the road Democrats get to rule everything in Washington.”

“And advantage Obama’s legacy,” I said.

“He needs the Congress. All of it,,” Freddy said. “He has the Oval office, he has the Senate, and he has whatever it is we’re still fighting for in the Muddled East which has been going on for so long kids born back when it started are finishing grammar school.

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