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Senate
  • U.S. Senate Falls Off the Insult Cliff

    Strained negotiations over the fiscal cliff have to led to some heated remarks in the normally stodgy Senate. Harry Reid called House Speaker John Boehner a "dictator" for the latter's refusal to bring Senate bills to a vote in the House. Before that, Reid compared Republicans to the New York Jets.

    Which is to say: Senate insults have gotten lame lately and productivity seems to have suffered as a result. At least you could count on the Senate to authorize a war or two in the days when Dick Cheney stalked the chamber, telling Sen. Patrick Leahy to do a certain anatomically impossible thing to himself.

    Maybe if we get back to the days of hardcore incivility and let elected officials blow off some steam, they'll get more work done. Consider the greatest congressional insults in history:

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    Tags: Fiscal Cliff, Harry Reid, History, Senate
  • A Short History of Senators Complaining About Having to Work

    When: December 2012
    What the Senate Should Be Doing: Extending tax rates, passing a farm bill to avoid the lactocalypse, raising the debt ceiling.
    What they're Doing: Complaining

    Mostly, people just looked mad. Senator Charles E. Schumer, Democrat of New York, his tie slightly askew, looked as gloomy as the clouds hovering over the Capitol dome. "I didn't realize how much I didn't want to be here until I got here," said Mr. Schumer, who had taken the red eye from San Francisco, where he had arrived only days earlier to visit his daughter.

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    Tags: Fiscal Cliff, History, Senate
  • Miss U Already: Rest of the Gang

    The new year is almost upon us, and that means a new (possibly less do-nothing-y?) session of Congress. We've already profiled four departing lawmakers we'll miss terribly: Ron Paul, Scott Brown, Dennis Kucinich and Joe Lieberman, or as we call them, three gnomes and a truck driver.

    But there are oh so many more. Here's our special send-off for the rest of 2012's outgoing Congresspeople. Stay funny, guys.


    Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA)
    Age: 72
    Best known for: Working to make affordable mortgages available during the housing crisis; consumer advocacy and protection; gayness; communism.
    What the future holds: Pahking his cah wherever the Tea Party isn't.

    See them all here!

    .

    Photo by Jay Mallin/Bloomberg – Contributor/Getty Images


    Tags: House of Representatives, Senate
  • Miss U Already: Joe Lieberman

    In which we take a look back at the departing federal lawmakers we'll miss most in 2013.

    Name: Sen. Joe Lieberman ("I"-CT)

    Age: 70

    Terms: 4

    Leaving Congress Because: Retiring

    Best Known For: Getting jowl-deep into Iraq, whether America wanted it or not.

    Memorable Quote: "We are in a three-way split decision for third place." One of the great- nay, the greatest political quote of all time. Step down, Dan Quayle. Stick a pipe in it, JFK. This is the best there ever will be.

    Greatest Accomplishment: He failed to win the support of seniors in Florida in the 2000 presidential election. He's Jewish. It's Florida. The mind boggles.

    Why We'll Miss Him: Getting lost in those jowls for hours. It's like a being in a Snuggie, warmed by the glow of moderate waffling.

    What He's Doing Next: Letting the door hit him on the way out, since nobody went to his goodbye party.

    What the Future Holds for Him: Tinkering with ways to harness the energy potential of Joementum. Discovering that a potato can power a lightbulb. Hanging up his jowls and calling it a day.

    Previously
    Miss U Already: Dennis Kucinich
    Miss U Already: Scott Brown
    Miss U Already: Ron Paul

    Photo by Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images


    Tags: Connecticut, Independent, Joe Lieberman, Senate
  • Miss U Already: Scott Brown

    scott brown

    In which we take a look back at the departing federal lawmakers we'll miss most in 2013.

    Name: Sen. Scott Brown (R-MA)

    Age: 53

    Terms: 1

    Leaving Congress Because: Defeated; too sexy?

    Best Known For: This, a thousand times, this. But also a tasteless joke about a curling iron and Martha Coakley's butt.

    Memorable Quote: "Each and every day that I've been a United States senator, I've been either discussing issues, meeting on issues, and secret meetings with kings and queens and prime ministers and business leaders and military leaders."

    Greatest Accomplishment: Teaching us that the tomahawk chop is even more offensive outside a baseball stadium than inside one.

    Why We'll Miss Him: Who else is going to pose for tasteful full-frontals on the Senate floor?

    What He's Doing Next: Whispering "John Kerry for Secretary of State" into a severed pig ear, burying the pig ear, digging up the pig ear as soon as he sees a shooting star, then stringing the pig ear around a pigeon's neck. Wherever the pigeon lands, Brown will call the White House from his cellphone, saying "John Kerry" over and over again until President Obama hangs up. He will do this every day.

    What the Future Holds for Him: Riding his pickup truck through the doors of his new Senate home when he takes over for Secretary of State Kerry. Realizes there is no such thing as a Senate home (when they're in D.C. they live in apartments, where they can do whatever without their wives knowing). Backs up slowly, and returns to one of his six houses.

    Previously
    Miss U Already: Ron Paul

    Photo by Suzanne Kreiter/Boston Globe/Getty Images


    Tags: John Kerry, Massachusetts, Republicans, Scott Brown, Senate