With the two houses divided, the parties will have to compromise to get legislation passed. But will they? The challenge will become acute if the Fed's latest stimulus gambit falls short, leaving the economy gasping. The GOP's aversion to spending could be tested.
While American pols deal in brinksmanship over taxes and the economy, China's leaders are smoothly gaining influence on the world stage. Witness the good will generated by Premier Wen Jiabao on his recent whirlwind tour of Europe.