Tales from the Trail

Washington Extra – Turkey talks

The good news? Thanksgiving will not be interrupted by eleventh-hour negotiations by the “super committee” to strike a deal to cut the burgeoning deficit. After months of work, the 11 men and one woman called it quits today. Their statement said “it will not be possible to make any bipartisan agreement.” No mention of the word on everyone’s tongues: failure.

Even in the early days of the super committee, we are learning, hope was in short supply. At one of the early breakfast meetings, members kept saying how hard it would be to reach agreement. South Carolina’s  Democratic Representative James Clyburn said to his fellow panel members: “Do you want to know what’s hard? Desegregating South Carolina in the 1950s. I met my wife in jail.”

Right now, it’s hard to believe this Congress “can build on this committee’s work,” as the committee co-chairs said hopefully in their statement. There seems to be little faith left on the Hill. Just look at the harsh words from Republican Senator Olympia Snowe, who said the panel’s failure “represents yet another regrettable milestone in Congress’s steady march toward abject ineffectiveness.”

As our grade school grammar teachers would remind us, turkeys are done and people are finished. And the super committee? Done. Over. History.

Here are our top stories from Washington…

US deficit panel fails to reach deal
U.S. lawmakers abandoned their high-profile effort to rein in the country’s ballooning debt in a sign that Washington likely will not be able to resolve a dispute over taxes and spending until 2013. Republican and Democratic members of a 12-member congressional “super committee” said they were unable to resolve their significant differences as they ran up against a deadline to deliver a plan that would cut U.S. deficits by at least $1.2 trillion over 10 years.

Obamas celebrate White House Thanksgiving with…6 pies

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It’s pies, pies, and more pies at the White House Thanksgiving dinner table this year.

First Lady Michelle Obama, an advocate against child obesity, told an interviewer that it was OK for folks to eat pie on Thanksgiving, and as if to set an example, the White House released a list of the SIX pies the Obama family and its friends would be enjoying on Thursday.

Apple, pumpkin, sweet potato, banana cream, cherry, and huckleberry pies were all on the Obama list. 

Washington Extra – Happy Thanksgiving

dinnerHappy Thanksgiving! Washington Extra will return on Monday.

Here are our top stories from Washington today…

U.S. vows unified response to North Korea, eyes restraint

The U.S. urged restraint following a North Korean artillery attack on South Korea and vowed to forge a “measured and unified” response with major powers including China.

For more of this story by Phil Stewart and Andrew Quinn, read here.

N.Korea pulls U.S. back to a “land of lousy options”

North Korea‘s artillery attack on South Korea poses the second test in three days of Washington’s vow that it will not reward what it deems bad behavior with diplomatic gestures, and underscores that options are limited without serious help from China.

For more of this analysis by Paul Eckert, read here.

Bernanke’s plea for fiscal help goes unanswered

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke’s unusually blunt plea for fiscal help will probably go unanswered, leaving the economy too limp to put people back to work any time soon. Bernanke has warned that the country is on an economic trajectory that will leave millions unemployed or underemployed for many years, and he said there were limits to what the central bank alone could do to help.