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upper hand: Russian President Vladimir Putin (center) signed a natural gas agreement with Chinese President Xi Jinping, but President Obama is still working on a deal. (RIA Novosti via Associated Press)

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And now on our stage, a lame duck will attempt to stop ... (Illustration by Dana Summers of the Tribune Media Services)

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Marines Through the Ages Marines with Headquarters Battalion gather in a display of historical pageantry, after a dress rehearsal for the annual Marine Corps Base Hawaii at Dewey Square, Nov. 6, 2013. The uniforms replicate those worn in the periods ranging from the Revolutionary War to the current MARPAT utilities. Each of the uniforms highlights the evolution of the Marine Corps from past to present, showing we still carry the same values and traditions today as we did when it was born in Tun Tavern, Pa. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Matthew Bragg/Released)

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Staff Sgt. Christian Fuentes motivates recruits with Company F, 2nd Recruit Training Battalion, as he moves down the rows during the senior drill instructor inspection at Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego, Aug. 23, 2013. The purpose of the inspection is to provide drill instructors an opportunity to test recruits in multiple areas, to include their uniforms. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Benjamin E. Woodle)

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Three noncommissioned officers from Marine Barracks, Washington at 8th & I, perform during a Tuesday Sunset Parade at the Marine Corps War Memorial in Arlington, Va., July 30, 2013. There are seven companies with various sections that comprise Marine Barracks Washington, the U.S. Marine Band, the U.S. Marine Drum & Bugle Corps, Guard Company, Company A, Company B, Headquarters & Service Company, and Marine Corps Institute Company.   (Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Dan Hosack/Released)

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Sgt. Justin Glenn Burnside motivates a recruit with Echo Company, 2nd Recruit Training Battalion at Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island, S.C. Burnside, originally a signal intelligence specialist from Bristol Fla., is one of about 600 drill instructors who shape the approximately 20,000 recruits through Parris Island annually into United States Marines. This handful of dedicated DIs is entrusted with sustaining a more than 237-year legacy. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. David Bessey)

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Old Corps/New Corps Sgt. Chesty XIII, official mascot of the U.S. Marine Corps, right, stares down his successor Recruit Chesty, left, during training at Marine Barracks Washington, D.C., March 20, 2013. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Dengrier Baez)  

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Marines assigned to Battalion Landing Team, 3rd Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment, conduct a Marine Corps Martial Arts grappling session during a motivational run on Onslow Beach, N.C., March 4, 2013. BLT 3/2, the ground combat element of the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit, conducted the run to generate esprit de corps and enhance unit cohesion before embarking on their deployment this month. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Christopher Q. Stone)

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Marines with India Company, 3rd Recruit Training Battalion, Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island, wait to march onto Peatross Parade Deck during a graduation ceremony aboard Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island, S.C., April 13, 2012. The graduation ceremony consisted of five platoons from India Company. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Aneshea Yee)

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The Blue Angels, Marine Corps' C-130 Hercules, affectionately known as "Fat Albert," flies over the Silent Drill Platoon at Marine Corps Air Station Yuma, Ariz., March 4.

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Marines Through the Ages Marines with Headquarters Battalion gather in a display of historical pageantry, after a dress rehearsal for the annual Marine Corps Base Hawaii at Dewey Square, Nov. 6, 2013. The uniforms replicate those worn in the periods ranging from the Revolutionary War to the current MARPAT utilities. Each of the uniforms highlights the evolution of the Marine Corps from past to present, showing we still carry the same values and traditions today as we did when it was born in Tun Tavern, Pa. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Matthew Bragg/Released)

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FILE - In this Thursday, July 31, 2014 file photo, a customer walks past a statue of Ronald McDonald on display outside a McDonald's restaurant in Beijing. McDonald's Corp. on Monday, Nov. 10, 2014 said that a key global sales figure slipped 0.5 percent in October, with weakness in the U.S. and ongoing difficulties from a food-safety scandal in China weighing down its business. (AP Photo/Andy Wong, File)

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Joe Abbey, Arxan Technologies' director of software engineering, displays on his computer how he hacked into a phone app during a demonstration at the Black Hat USA 2014 cyber security conference Aug. 6 in Las Vegas. Federal systems grow more susceptible to attack as the government's online offerings expand to user-friendly websites and apps, experts say. (Associated Press)

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U.S. Sen.-elect Thom Tillis answers a question from the media during a news conference in Charlotte, N.C., Wednesday, Nov. 5, 2014. Tillis unseated Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan in Tuesday's election, narrowly winning a race that attracted more than $100 million in spending from the candidates and outside groups and that proved to clinch the Senate majority for the GOP. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton)

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FILE In this June 23, 2014 file photo, recruiter Christina O, left, with New Western Acquisitions, meets with employment seekers during a job fair in Philadelphia. As the economic recovery enters its sixth year, many Americans don't feel better off. The strong jobs report on Friday, Nov. 7, 2014, showed that the jobless rate the most closely watched gauge of the economy’s health is down to 5.8 percent. After Tuesday’s midterm elections, exit polling showed how little falling unemployment has resonated. Most voters said they cast their ballots out of fear for the economy, stripping the Democrats from the Senate majority and implicitly rejecting President Barack Obama. Many Americans don’t feel they’ve benefited from falling unemployment any more than they have from a sustained rise in the stock market or from solid U.S. economic growth. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

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Facebook. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma, File)

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Child seats, manufactured by Takata Corp. are displayed at a Toyota Motor Corp.'s showroom in Tokyo Thursday, Nov. 6, 2014. Takata, the Japanese air bag maker embroiled in a massive recall totaling some 12 million vehicles globally, says it's taking more special losses for new recalls and will sink deeper into the red for the fiscal year. Takata said Thursday it will record a 25 billion yen ($218 million) loss for the fiscal year through March 2015. It previously forecast a 24 million yen ($210 million) forecast. (AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi)

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President Obama listed three issues on which he wants to work with Congress immediately in the lame-duck session: a funding request to fight Ebola, a new authorization for military force against the Islamic State and a budget to complete the fiscal year. (Associated Press)

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Dan Danner, president of the National Federation of Independent Business, said a change of leadership in the Senate was crucial for American business. (Barbara L. Salisbury/The Washington Times)

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Now that the GOP has control of Congress ... (Illustration by Dana Summers of the Tribune Media Services)