Being a member of Congress can be really hard. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has been stuck in Washington for months while negotiating the deal to raise the debt ceiling, and he was really starting to miss his pomegranates back in Nevada. So when a deal was finally forged late Sunday night, lawmakers felt an overwhelming sense of relief, joy, and pride that could only be expressed in the classic American tradition of the thumbs up.

The Hill's Alexander Bolton reports that Sunday night, after Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell announced the country would not go into default, as he walked back to his office, he let a photographer snap him grinning and giving a thumbs up. "The impromptu portrait"--soon featured on Yahoo's homepage--"surprised Senate insiders who have long known McConnell as a stone-faced poker player." But he was not alone in his thumbs upping. Nor was the act a partisan one. On the contrary: a whole bunch of lawmakers have been indulging in this dated gesture--way to make the American public think you less ineffective and corrupt, boys!
 
McConnell's moment in the sun:
 
 
Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson proudly strode in to cast his vote for the bill Tuesday, thumb held high:
 
 
And here's House Speaker John Boehner, the cool chain-smoking cat, thrusting his own thumb upward Friday after the House voted for his plan: