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Doyle McManus
Congress kicks the can
Congress kicks the can

It almost seems like distant history now, but it was really just a few short months ago that President Barack Obama and Senate Republicans, spurred by fear of fiscal chaos, did the unthinkable: They went out to dinner and talked civilly about the possibility of a "grand bargain," a compromise that would shrink the deficit through revenue increases and long-term spending cuts. But since that hopeful first date, the relationship hasn't quite blossomed into romance — or even into real negotiations. The deficit is still there, of course, and so — in the long run — is the crisis. But we've also had some better-than-expected fiscal news, and that has...