With the members of the congressional deficit-cutting supercommittee essentially announcing that they couldn't get to "yes," the nation is only seeing the latest turn of the screw in the partisan paralysis gripping policymakers in Washington. We all know it is far from the last.
Coming as it does now less than a year before the 2012 general election, the panel's failure to achieve at least $1.2 trillion in deficit reduction means each major political will now be focused on trying to persuade voters that the other party is more responsible for the impasse.
This is the month when the stately, voluptuous turkey takes a place of pride on most dinner tables. But when it comes to dessert, it's worth considering the relevance of another bird — the humble magpie.
That's because, according to the Oxford English Dictionary, the word "pie" — defined as a baked dish topped with and sometimes also surrounded by pastry — may well derive from the Latin word pica, meaning magpie.