We like this quote by former Republican Congressman Vin Weber of Minnesota (from this a.m.'s WashPost): "If you look at the whole [legislative year], [Republicans in Congress] didn't have a bad year. But, unfortunately, what matters politically is not the whole, but the end. And the end didn't end very well."
The "end" included El Presidente having to cave in to John McCain on an anti-torture statute (not that he's gonna actually follow the law), no oil drilling in ANWR, the budget reduction for poor people's aid and student loans still not passed, and in the last minutes yesterday, Rep. James Sensenbrenner pulled the rug out from under the brokered deal to extend the USA Patriot Act for six more months. It's extended for a mere five more weeks, after El Presidente said no way in hell he would sign a short-term extension. Way!
Leads to gloomy post-mortems like this one, by former Republican congressman, Mickey Edwards (Okla.): "It's the cumulative effect of all of this, whether it is scandal, or failure to get an agenda enacted or questions in the paper every day about unauthorized wiretaps and the failure of Congress to get involved. It's all adding up to a pretty serious situation."
As in uber-lobbyist Jack Abramoff making a deal with prosecutors to nail a dozen lawmakers or so.
And THAT makes for a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!