Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus! Congress nearing a deal to keep the government in pocket change

Since Congress these days is about as popular with the populace as the gout and a boil on the tip of the nose, their esteemed members decided today and tonight to stop stubbornly playing their silly game of logjam.
Congressional leaders were close to wrapping up a deal on keeping the government funded tonight, but extending a payroll tax cut and other items that expire at the end of the year apparently remained somewhat in limbo.
Still, it seems as if a Christmas miracle is indeed breaking a sweat.
It’s amazing what a motivator putting people’s feet to the fire can be. That’s why deadlines come with a Bic lighter. Actually, this deadline is important enough to come with a flamethrower.
Astonishingly, negotiators appeared to be closing in on an agreement even on the contentious 2 percent payroll tax cut, as well as extending emergency unemployment benefits, forestalling a mandated cut in Medicare payments to doctors, and heading off an increase in the alternative minimum tax for the next year. All of those items expire on Jan. 1.
In fact, talks appeared positive enough that negotiators were willing to work deep into the night. Hope nobody nods off. Perhaps Starbucks should deliver oodles of coffee while three wise men drop off gifts of gold, frankincense and myrhh.

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