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from Tales from the Trail:

One less New Year’s resolution for Obama

President Barack Obama can cross at least one New Year's resolution off his list ... quitting smoking.

According to White House spokesman Robert Gibbs, it's been about 9 months since the president indulged in that habit.

Gibbs tweeted last week "POTUS hasnt' had a cigarette in about 9 months." (sic on apostrophe placement)

Gibbs told CNN that Obama chews Nicorette and stopped smoking by using "stubborn willpower."

from Tales from the Trail:

This lame duck sure can fly

Congress seems to work better under deadline pressure (like journalists).

Democrats are racing to cram as much through the post-election lame duck session as possible, before their majority turns into a pumpkin when Republicans take control of the House of Representatives in January.

HUNGARYRepublicans are grumbling about all the rush, but President Barack Obama went to their pond with some bread -- tax cut extensions for the wealthy -- so they aren't quacking too loudly.

from Tales from the Trail:

Bo braves rabies shots to share Obama Hawaii holiday

Bo may lead a life of perks and treats at the White House, but the first dog still had to get rabies shots like any other canine visiting Hawaii in order to share the holidays with the president and first family. OBAMA/

The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported that Bo received two rabies vaccinations, an implanted electronic microchip and had to have a blood test to ensure that he was rabies-free.

from Tales from the Trail:

Washington Extra – Whose bipartisanship?

The feeling appeared mutual when President Barack Obama shook hands with Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell after signing the tax cut bill. It looked like the picture of what Obama called a "bipartisan effort."  OBAMA/TAXES-SIGNS

McConnell tried not to grin too much over the Republicans winning the war in their efforts to extend tax cuts to the wealthy.

from Tales from the Trail:

Obama moves to bolster national security staff

USAOn the same day he unveiled a review of his Afghanistan war strategy, President Barack Obama moved to bolster the White House national security team, which has been short-staffed after a series of changes.

Obama tapped Brooke Anderson, currently part of the U.S. mission to the United Nations, as chief of staff and counselor for the National Security Council.

from Tales from the Trail:

Washington Extra – Making nice (or not)

It was President Obama's day for showing the business community he cares. He invited CEOs to Blair House across the street from the White House to discuss ideas for creating jobs and revving up the economy.

USARepublicans tried to turn the olive branch into an inconsequential twig. House Speaker-to-be John Boehner (who wasn't invited) tweeted while the meeting was underway that it amounted to a "nothingburger."

from Tales from the Trail:

Seneca Nation has message for Obama on taxes

Robert Porter, president of the Seneca Nation tribe of Native Americans in western New York state, has a message for President Obama.

"I'd like to see the president not be so timid in his efforts to support and protect Indian country," he says. USA/

from Tales from the Trail:

Washington Extra – Question of Constitution

Constitutional or unconstitutional? That is the question the U.S. Supreme Court eventually may get to decide on President Barack Obama's landmark healthcare law.

(By one definition, constitution can also refer to one's health -- just throwing that in.) 

from Tales from the Trail:

Obama spared bedroom banishment by signing hungry kids law

President Barack Obama escaped banishment from the marital bedroom by signing the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 on Monday, and delivering on an issue that his wife has fought hard to advance.

"Not only am I very proud of the bill, but had I not been able to get this passed, I would be sleeping on the couch," Obama joked at the signing ceremony at the Harriet Tubman Elementary School, offering a rare, if humorously intended, glimpse of the presidential marriage.OBAMA/

from Tales from the Trail:

White House podium turns time machine for Bill Clinton redux

USA-TAXES/OBAMA-CLINTON

Bill Clinton took the White House press corps on an unexpected journey back in time on Friday afternoon with an impromptu trip to the briefing room podium, where he held forth for half an hour, obviously loving every minute.

The former president didn't rise to the bait when he was asked whether he enjoyed coming in and offering advice more than running the country. Clinton, like his fellow Democratic President Barack Obama, grappled with crushing losses to Republicans in mid-term congressional elections two years into his presidency.

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