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Congress: Merry Christmas, suckers

Speaker John Boehner told members to go home for Christmas but be back the next day. (Congress = The Bart Simpson who stole Christmas?)

The New York Times on yesterday’s meeting between Obama and Boehner: “Mr. Obama and Mr. Boehner met for less than an hour, not an encouraging sign, with Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner joining the talks. Afterward, as they did following a Sunday meeting, White House and Congressional aides issued near-identical statements saying only that ‘the lines of communication remain open.’  Before the meeting, a senior administration official struck a downbeat note, saying, ‘we are in the same place — Boehner has not given on revenue and has not identified any cuts that he wants in exchange for rates.’”

More: “According to another administration official, the White House hastily set up the meeting Thursday afternoon, hoping to prompt some progress before Mr. Boehner returned home to Ohio for the weekend. Earlier in the day, Mr. Boehner dug in on demands that Mr. Obama lay out more concrete cuts to Medicare and other entitlements as the price for tax increases on the rich.”

This Washington Post editorial gives some ammunition to the GOP: “There are better and worse ways to bend the entitlement curve. Raise the Medicare age, but shield the neediest seniors. If you think Republicans are proposing the wrong way to adjust the cost-of-living index, finance expert Robert C. Pozen has proposed a progressive alternative. But there’s no way to fix America’s problem without doing something on entitlements. If the Democrats — and Mr. Obama, in particular — don’t get more seriously into that discussion, they have no standing to complain about the Republicans’ lack of balance.”

Political Wire: “Despite record low approval rates for Congress, Bloomberg finds that 90% of House members and 91% of U.S. Senators who sought re-election in 2012 were successful.”