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Hagler v Hearns & Obama v Boehner - By Charles Payne

<P align=center>Merry Christmas</P>
<P>The three-day showdown between Speaker Boehner and President Obama will not go down in history as the greatest but it reminded me of the boxing match Ring magazine called "the most electrifying eight minutes ever." In 1985 middleweight champ Marvelous Marvin Hagler defended his title against Thomas "Hitman" Hearns. Hagler was a monster in the boxing ring, a throwback to an era where fights could have been held in phone booths and yet Hearns was the one with the feared punching power that came from a body that would have made Adonis blush. This was billed as "The War" but that was an understatement.

Round 1- Hagler storms out of his corner and unleashes a barrage of punches on the "Hitman" and none were jabs, but Hearns launches a skilled right to the chin of the champ that breaks his hand and dazes Hagler. From there on out these master pugilists simply traded power shots in what many boxing fans and historians still consider the greatest round ever.

Round 2- Hearns comes out jabbing more but the pace was still blistering and Hagler continued to apply pressure, looking to put an exclamation point on a career that saw many get more chances, more accolades and greater riches. He was the everyday man from Brockton, Massachusetts that never got the respect he deserved - that night he was taking that respect.

Round 3- Blood dripped down Hagler's face and that made him even angrier and determined but also threatened a halt to the fight that would have rewarded the title and belt to his challenger. An exchange of blows saw Hearns stagger backwards with an awkward smile meant to say "I'm not hurt," but in the squared circle it always means you're hurt. Marvelous Marvin Hagler moved in for the kill - a powerful right that hit Tommy's chin and shut out his lights.

I watched the fight at a packed theater with my brother and it was only after the last round that we realized we actually were hugging the entire time. It was that thrilling. In fact I forgot who I was rooting for as both men deserve credit and should go down as warriors for all time.

<U>Boehner vs. Obama
This week's "war" had a similar script as Boehner possessed a more muscular payroll tax cut extension and came out swinging in the first round. Both men went blow for blow but it was clear after the first day/round Boehner was hurting. In the second day/round Boehner tried to jab more and regain equilibrium. As he sat on his stool before the third day/round he was clearly beaten and demoralized. Looking across the ring he could barely see, in part from the cigarette smoke, but also from the battering in the public arena and he was shocked to see his calm and cool opponent…petting a dog!

At that point he turned to his corner man, Mitch McConnell, and exclaimed "cut me Mitch, cut me." With that Senator McConnell pulls out a blade that would have made Jim Bowie blush and plunges it into the back of Boehner. Wincing in pain and obvious defeat, the Speaker of the House throws in the towel prompting President Obama to borrow a line from his 2008 campaign: "I may be skinny, but I'm lucky!" Like a real boxing match both men eventually hugged and Boehner whispered to Obama, "next time can we just have a beer summit" to which the President flashes a grin and says "sure, but you bring the cigarettes."

<STRONG>Santa Clause Stealthy as Ever

</STRONG>I don't hear a lot of people talking about a Santa Claus Rally and that's great because the best rallies are those that go unadvertised. But, don't look now but we are having a great week and re-approaching key breakout points for major indices.</P>