For now, America is a rug stretching from Maine to California, under which we've swept the filthy detritus of money matters and governance. It worked most of the year, though the rug has grown as lumpy as a landfill. Nothing is more important for the moment than provoking millions of people with no means for carrying their current obligations to ply the malls in search of Christmas merchandise, so the little ones will not be disappointed on the Great Day. Who could fail to understand this, too, since the sorrows of children only magnify the failures of the adults who love and fear for them.
President Obama's tax deal with the corn-and-pork-fed mental defectives of the Red States has been spun into an historic act of political ju-jitsu - a sharp trade to great advantage for the slick city operator against the avaricious rubes - but to me it was just another act of Santa Claus Theater. You have to love the conceit that all this fuss about money is finally settled. So we can settle back in the raptures of flat screen high-def 3-D TV and imagine that we're like the characters in Frank Capra's It's A Wonderful Life - which, by the way, in case you never noticed, is a story about a banker who gets into big trouble financing the first larval manifestations of suburban sprawl.
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