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THE NEW ICE AGE - By Charles Payne

Exasperated-to irritate or provoke to a high degree; annoy extremely.

Yesterday, President Obama told CNBC he is exasperated after bending over backwards to appease Republicans. That's farfetched to say the least but probably the word of the moment.

Everyone is exasperated these days. Who doesn't feel slighted whether your political leanings are left, right, center or agnostic? America is a nation drifting apart like the opening scene from Ice Age.

When we were told unity was around the corner, nobody thought it would mean universal disdain ... for each other. Some may consider it poetic justice, but there's something wrong when only the poorest citizens are happy, even as their circumstance becomes direr. The question now is have we gone beyond the point of no return, or can the nation be stitched back together? I think the answer is yes, although I have no illusions of it happening anytime soon.

For now, we are stuck in a mental nuclear winter ironically fueled by fearful talk of global warming and income inequality. Some are frozen in their own tracks by the palpable pulse of fear or anger or confusion, others in a defensive position standing their ground against the tyranny of the agendas of their own elected leaders. While exasperated is the word of the moment, a close second would be petty. For the second day in a row, WWII vets had to storm a memorial in their honor, but this time they faced fresh barricades.

I can tell you right now those old dudes weren't having any of it ... they don't get exasperated, they just kick tail!

Symbiotic Relationship?

The relationship between President Obama and Wall Street executives is the most interesting symbiotic relationship around but not unlike that of the Coyote and the Badger.

First observed by Indians of the Great Plains, these would-be rivals discovered long ago they could use their individual strengths to assist each other (More than likely this collaboration goes back far enough that even Sid, the tree slot from the Ice Age might have fallen prey).

The coyote, known as the trickster, has speed and agility, and the badger has the ability to burrow deep into the earth and snag prey with its long claws.

It's not uncommon to see a coyote hunting side by side with this slower and dumpier friend. In fact, coyotes have more success hunting with badgers than with each other as research has shown their squirrel count pops 30% higher. The idea is simple. On occasion badgers chase prey from hiding places in the earth, and on other occasions coyotes send prey scurrying into those hiding places where their buddies wait.

Washington has had Wall Street's back, and Wall Street has had Washington's back going way back even before the creation of the Federal Reserve. When the nation tumbled into recession and mass panic, billions in long-term loans and trillions in short-term loans were shoved to Wall Street. This was an example of coyotes chasing prairie dogs (also known as Main Street citizens) into their burrows. More recently, the script has flipped, and Wall Street is paying the White House gobs of cash that it gets from Main Street.

Yesterday, President Obama asked the badgers to go nuclear and send the markets and public opinion as deep into the earth as possible in order to pry the House of Representatives from their position into one of surrender. It was bald-faced stuff right out in the open but came natural to these guys just like hunting buddies on the Great Plains.

The Prey

While banks keep forking over billions in fines and still prepare to do the bidding of the White House, real business people and Main Street are losing more and more confidence in President Obama.

That means less confidence in the recovery, and that means less of a recovery and possibly a new Ice Age.

Jobless Claims

So it looks like we won't be getting that employment report tomorrow but weekly jobless claims still came out. The result was 308k, up slightly from a revised 307k the previous week but also below the 313k consensus. The four-week average also continues to improve, having fallen from 329k to end August, to 305k currently. And that bodes well for what would have been tomorrow's jobs report, as claims have generally trended well with the unemployment rate over time.