President Obama's bipartisan tax deal has become the last must-pass bill of the 111th Congress, and as a result it's being loaded up with additional provisions. This is what lawmakers call a "Christmas Tree."
1) The "Thanks for Re-Electing Me Act of 2010."
Nice to hear that Harry Reid, D-Nev., wants to re-legalize online poker. Not so nice to hear that the benefits might go entirely to the existing Vegas players -- er, sorry, "providers that have an established track record of complying with a strict regulatory environment, have an established track record of providing fair games to consumers, and have significant goodwill and assets at stake, in addition to their Internet poker assets, to ensure they would comply strictly with the new regulatory regime."
2) In order to keep the peace between Big Oil and Big Ethanol, Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, is renewing the blending credit, by which oil companies are reimbursed for tainting their gasoline with ethanol, a fuel created by mixing corn with evil. President Obama loves the stuff, too, but not if it comes from Brazil, which is why the bill will also extend the tariff against foreign ethanol.
I'm sure this won't be the end of it.