WITH PROFOUND apologies to Clement Clarke Moore .

'Twas the month before New Year with a Wolf in the wings,

And Pa. awaited his taxes and things.

Republican leaders sat wringing their hands.

Oh, what could they do to derail the Wolf's plans?

The state of the state? A big fiscal mess.

How best to fix it was anyone's guess.

The Wolfman was ready, his team really eager,

But prospects for GOP help looked so meager.

"On Katie," called Wolf, "on Richman, Shapiro.

Tell Stack to stay home, I'll be the lone hero.

I'll bring Pennsylvania the gifts it desires,

As soon as I make a bunch of new hires.

Which won't take long 'cuz you see, my dears,

I've put cabinets together for many years.

Then fair taxes for all! More money for schools!

I'll simply outwit those GOP fools."

Yet GOP leaders still hold the most clout.

Their majority votes could lock the Wolf out.

And all through the House Mike Turzai was stirring.

He still wants his booze bill, that goal is enduring.

And a brand-new House leader, his name is Dave Reed,

Looks likely to push what Republicans need.

The Senate, too, could cause Wolf some trouble.

It punted Pileggi, I mean on the double.

So now its new leaders, Scarnati and Corman,

Could very well show Tom Wolf the door, man.

Still, Wolfie's got allies who stand at the ready.

Dwight Evans, John Hanger and, of course, there's Fast Eddie.

Policy-making requires hard-sell.

Who better than those who worked with Rendell?

Yet none of this set up should make us forlorn.

We're still entertained with stories of porn.

Not Seamus, for certain, how must he feel?

As he thinks of a smiling, Grinch-like, Ron Castille.

Though Seamus must feel a whole lot less tension,

Now that he's getting that fat public pension.

And Kathleen Kane, what trauma she's wrought!

From killing a sting to kid-porn that's not.

From lawyering up to that bump on her head.

(Some even say her career could be dead.)

From protecting gay marriage and winning high praise.

To misstatements and leaks that could number her days.

But this time of year is for faith, joy and hope,

Not for some scribe to act like a dope.

So here in the season of bright green and red,

As Tom Corbett looks forward to, well, Hilton Head,

Let's offer good wishes to pols of each party,

And hope the new year keeps each hale and hearty.

And maybe, for once, they'll all do what's right.

And with that, good luck and to all a good night.

Blog: ph.ly/BaerGrowls

Columns: ph.ly/JohnBaer