David Brooks and Ruth Marcus discuss Thurston Howell's obliviousness, the coming debt/tax deal and the ongoing Mideast craziness. I'm more confident than Brooks and Marcus that a deal will be reached to avoid the looming tax hikes and spending cuts. There is a notable change in tone from the republicans. Also, House republicans have said they'd follow Boehner's lead this time. Last time they tried for a deal it appeared Eric Cantor, with the tea party behind him, may have been challenging Boehner's leadership. Boehner and Obama were getting along, golfing and chatting on the White House patio, and that seemed to have been more than the newly-elected tea party House could take. But now that Obama has been re-elected, they've lost the long game. Now they have to give up the extension of tax cuts for the rich. Republicans and the media have yet to figure out that Obama always plays the long game.