2018 is going out in the dark, at least for 25% of the government. The Grinch who stole Christmas for 800,000 families is avoiding the rain in Mar a Lago and throwing temper tantrums to try to get his way. To that meanie Marine, he says, "you can't quit, you're fired..." except he could never actually face him to do that, so he tweets it. When "Chuck and Nancy" patiently explain to him how government works, and that he can't get his wall, even from his Republican pals, he throws a temper tantrum on live TV, then tries to take it back in yet another live-TV lie-fest "it's not me, it's you, I'm rubber, you're glue! Wahhh!". His Turkish Bud whispers sweet nothings in his ear and he impulsively gives him a Christmas withdrawal. (Vlad chortles out loud) It's hard to ignore the screaming child rolling around in the aisle at Wal-Mart-a-Lago, but that's what adults are required to do. Fred, you should have spanked him as a child. He learned nothing from "military school" except how to avoid military service and that uniforms are great costumes.

So, 2019 enters in a tailspin. As far as Wall Street is concerned, 2018 didn't happen, and 2017 is looking iffy. December looked like 1931 - no, really. Subpoenas and indictments await the next Congress and his Justice Department is trying to hide what's in plain sight, but oops, the Acting AG is "nonessential personnel". Not only is the wall without funds, so are all those "beautiful" Border Patrol officers, and ICE, and Kirstjen Himmler Nielsen "Pay-no-attention-to-that-man-behind-the-curtain." Will the flat-spin end before we hit the over-warmed earth? Will the Titanic right itself after scraping that iceberg right ahead? Will the Grand Ostrich Party pull its collective head out of... ahem... the "sand"? TIME will tell. And New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Newsweek, Washington Post...

Horizontal stripes are "the new black" I hear.
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A well reasoned argument is like a diamond: impervious to corruption and crystal clear - and infinitely rarer.

Here, as elsewhere, people are outraged at what feels like a rigged game -- an economy that won't respond, a democracy that won't listen, and a financial sector that holds all the cards. - Robert Reich