Dear Diary: Boehner arrived looking harassed. It quickly became clear that this Santa bore no concessionary gifts. There followed what, in diplomatic circles, is tactfully called a "frank" discussion. I called him something beginning with F that wasn't Fred and he called me something beginning with a C that wasn't Clarissa. I could swear that the portrait of Washington blushed, though he must have previously overheard much fruitier language from Nixon. Talking of fruit, ultimately the meeting bore none. Coughing and muttering darkly, Boehner strutted off to an idling limo waiting to take him to the airport. That man's carbon footprint would outrank a coal-fired power station. Meantime, we continue to roll towards the fiscal cliff.