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And then Congress was crushed by a boozy Smas tree just laid off from its job.

How do you trick 61 U.S. Senators into hanging out for a few hours without an eruption of bloodshed? You promise them a mystery holiday treat! It works on children, so why not? A very mischievous Al Franken snuck in a new “Secret Santa clause” to the Senate’s bazillion page protocol in an effort to bring a late-breaking smidgen of friendly behavior to the fancier chamber of Congress before the end of Government for the year/forever, hooray! (Do not worry, though, Harry Reid and Mitch McConnell are still in the process of Ruining Everything with an acrimonious new deadlock over the payroll tax cut extension today.) So who got what (besides America, who gets nothing)??? Remember, kids, there’s a ten-dollar limit!

The names of the givers were supposed to be CLASSIFIED, but luckily for all of us the reporters over at the WaPo style section have sussed out the dirty details instead of the standard “hard newz” approach of just quoting the press release:

  • Joe Manchin gave Chuck Schumer two pieces of coal as a symbol for America’s hatred for Congress. Schumer loved this and pestered everyone at the party until they had a look at his new lumps of coal. Yes yes, everyone gets it, Chuck Schumer.
  • Schumer “laid a bottle” of buffalo wing sauce, according to the style report, and then handed it to Mike Johanns of Nebraska, who was so touched by this sexytime gift that he said, “I don’t know if I will even ever open this. I may just display it.” Ew!
  • Mary Landrieu got an empty box of popcorn from cheapskate Kent Conrad, who stole it from Dick Durbin. “I think we all have to tighten our belts,” said Conrad, which means stealing.
  • John Kerry, he is a rich person. He gave Marco Rubio a signed Red Sox jersey. Show off!

And of course our two favorite old bitters, Ancient Harry Potter and Ancient Gay Sea Turtle, were too busy with their stooge slapfights to bother:

Neither Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid nor Minority Leader Mitch McConnell had joined in the merriment.


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