Ode to the lame-duck session

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Ode to the lame-duck session
Ode to the lame-duck session

Lawmakers have been earning their keep lately. Given all the legislation that has passed, I could not resist writing this little holiday poem. (My apologies to the author of the original.)

And here goes. Ahem…

‘Twas a few weeks before Christmas and all through the House

The Democrats were stirring, no time to grouse.

Many bills were waiting, to be voted on with care

In hopes that legislation would pass before the New Year.

The Republicans were poised. We'll work together, they said,

While visions of congressional dominance danced in their heads.

And Rep. Paul Ryan in his crisp suit and Speaker-to-be John Boehner in his golf cap

Had just eased back in their chairs for a few minutes nap. 

When out on the House floor there arose such a clatter,

They sprang from their offices to see what was the matter.

Away to the floor they flew like a flash,

Huddled with their colleagues, but it was not for a lash.

Remember the tax cut bill endorsed by the prez

Made devotees feel he doesn't mean what he says.

When, what to Democrats' wondering eyes should appear,

But support for other legislation so dear.

With Sen. Harry Reid, so spry and quick,

They knew in a moment it must be the doc fix.

More rapid than eagles, lawmakers they came,

And he whistled, and shouted, and called issues by name;

“Now therapy caps, RUG-IV, ‘red flags,' housing—Section 2!

Now, 'don't ask, don't tell,' the START treaty and the 9/11 health bill, too!

To the head of the podium, to the top of the hall!

Let's move! Let's vote! Let's pass them all!”

As lame-duck is the session when Congress does thrive,

When it takes its chance at the big play, goes long for the drive.

So to their voting machines, the Democrats they flew,

With support behind them—yes, Republicans, too.

And then, in a twinkling, they saw on the board

The votes in, the majority they did hoard.

As they drew in their heads, and were turning around,

Down the aisle Speaker Pelosi came with a bound.

She was dressed all in red, from her head to her toe,

And her hair was well-coiffed, her makeup aglow.

A bundle of bills she had flung on her back

And she looked downright pleased before she had to pack.

Her eyes—how they twinkled! Her laughter how merry!

Her face was smiling, her demeanor cheery!

She walked with confidence. It was all tied up in a bow.

Meanwhile, the look on some Republicans' faces as white as the snow.

The official pen Obama held tight in his hand,

And the supporters they encircled him like a band.

He had a thin face and a toned belly,

That hardly shook when he laughed (unlike a bowlful of jelly).

He had again a smile and more energy too.

It wasn't yet over; he had more still to prove.

A wink of his eye and a swish of the pen,

Soon gave his party to know he was back again.

He spoke not a few words but went straight back to work,

Signed a few more bills, then turned with a jerk.

And laying his finger aside of his nose,

And giving a nod, from the desk he rose.

He sprang to his jet, to veep Biden he wished well

And to Hawaii he flew to join the girls and Michelle.

But I heard him exclaim, ere he flew out of sight,

“Happy holidays to all, I'll be back for the next fight.”

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McKnight's Daily Editors' Notes features commentary on the latest in long-term care news and issues. Entries are written by Editorial Director John O'Connor, Editor James M. Berklan, Senior Editor Elizabeth Newman and Staff Writer Emily Mongan.

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