Friday, November 26, 2010
This year, the leftovers that are most likely to cause upset stomachs aren't coming from turkeys... they're coming from lame ducks.
In the short window between Thanksgiving and Christmas, the lame duck session in Washington needs to address all of the issues that had been postponed owing to "emergencies" like the need to raise the cost and decrease the availability of healthcare services, and of course that most urgent of political emergencies - spending a full year campaigning for re-election.
Now, however, some actual work needs to get done to prevent everything from falling apart. Lame duck Dems are pushing for an "omnibus spending bill" which will fund the government without any close scrutiny. Barack Obama would like congress to ratify a START treaty, to help weaken America's missile defense capabilities before incoming Republicans arrive to screw things up. Doctors are eager to see if they're going to have their Medicare reimbursements slashed in December, after this congress postponed this disaster for only 30 days. And every taxpayer in America will be getting a tax increase on January 1st unless the lame ducks stop quacking and actually deliver a bill (ba-da-boom!).
Somehow, we imagine the scene in Washington much the way we picture Santa's workshop at the North Pole; a wild hub of activity with all of the colorful elves busily trying to get everything done by the last minute.
Or at least, that's how we'd imagine it if elves sat on their rear ends for 11 months of the year.