We may be clocking in late, but the Atlantic Wire keeps its promises. Yesterday we began the countdown to Christmas by plucking out gems from the glut of pre-holiday commentary. Today, we may have an even better selection. (And in a coincidental "Christmas miracle," the Senate has rescheduled its vote on Christmas eve from 7 p.m. to a more merciful morning hour.)


  • Twas the Night Before Christmas, and All Through the Senate... Sen. Roland Burris re-writes the holiday classic to take digs at Republican opposition to the health care bill. He begins, "It was the night before Christmas, and all through the Senate
    the right held up our health care bill, no matter what was in it..."
  • Santa Claus Is a Health Hazard, say Nathan J Grils and Brendan Halyday in BMJ. The two authors cast doubt on Santa's worthiness as a role mode. Why? "Santa is a late adopter of evidence based behaviour change and continues to sport a rotund sedentary image." To read the full article, you'll need an account, but a summed-up version is here. In short, Santa should quit the sleigh and take up sportier habits, and make a habit of handing out carrots.
  • Obama's Commie-Pinko Ornaments stun Capitol Confidential. The Washington-focused blog of conservative hub Big Government raises eyebrows at the White House Christmas tree ornaments. Among the offensive images? An Andy Warhol painting of Mao, a photo of famous transvestite Hedda Lettuce, and Obama's visage pasted onto Mount Rushmore. The creator was Simon Doonan, whose "naughty yuletide window display of Margaret Thatcher as a dowdy dominatrix and Dan Quayle as a ventriloquist's dummy" dropped jaws in the past. 
  • 'Nelson the Hard-Nosed Reindeer'  Rick Horowitz lampoons Sen. Ben Nelson, who forced a compromise over abortion in the Senate health care bill. He spins out an elaborate story of reindeer preparing to fly, when Nelson ruins it all: "Just as the reindeer were all in their harnesses and ready to go, with Rudolph in the lead -- just at that precise moment, Nelson the Hard-Nosed Reindeer said, 'Not so fast...He said he wasn't going anywhere until he got a few 'adjustments." He ends by taking a dig at Lieberman "the weasel."
  • Senators Who Won't Skip Christmas? 'Bastards'   Ace at Ace of Spades has no pity for minority leader Mitch McConnell, who opted to back down from stalling tactics designed to thwart or delay a Senate health care vote. "Dude, people miss Christmas, you know. Not to play the troops card. But okay, what about the troops? ... You should get your ass to work for the same reason 7-11 employees work on Christmas. Because it's your job to do so, asshole."
  • Christmas = 4th of July, suggests Chuck Baldwin at Political Byline. "America's birth is directly linked to the birth of our Savior...Therefore, at this Christmas season, let us remember well the founding principles of these United States of America. Furthermore, let us renew with vigor the fight for freedom before our liberties and our heritage are gone altogether. From my family to yours: Merry Christmas!" He appends an ominous postscript: "In the meantime, if you have a .40 S&W-caliber handgun, you might want to stock up on ammo now, because price is fixing to skyrocket and availability is fixing to dwindle--again. As they say, a word to the wise."