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Dec. 26, 2011, News Update

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House Republicans come to their census, vote to pass payroll tax cut for two months. Perhaps they were visited by ghosts of Republicans past? Or simply heard from angry constituents? Or simply tired of late night jokes about playing Scrooge? They still deserve bags of rotten tea in their stockings... Be prepared for the replay by Valentine's Day.

After bill passes, President Obama joins Michelle and the kids in Hawaii for holiday vacation. Birthers claim he should have gone to Indonesia or Kenya.

Speaking of Michelle, Jim Sensenbrenner, Republican Congressman from Wisconsin, refers privately to her "large posterior" and "big butt." He might have said "fat ass," which accurately describes the Congressman himself, who henceforth will be known as Jim Non-Sensenbrenner or Senseless-brenner.

His office says he sent a note of apology to the First Lady. Wonder if it went something like this: "Dear Mrs. Obama: I'm sorry about my reference to your big butt and large posterior. Those remarks were made in private and were not meant to become public. Calorically yours, Jim."

Speaking of Hawaii, following observation of surprise Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Dec. 7, 1941, Pearl Harbor Veterans Assn. disbands. As it points out, it ain't getting any new members.

Speaking of Pearl Harbor, Newt Gingrich's campaign manager in Virginia equates Newt's failure to get enough signatures to get on the ballot in that state with Pearl Harbor. Why not 9/11, which would have appealed more to younger votes?

Same guy calls for write-in vote for Newt in Virgina primary, then finds out write-ins illegal in that state. Hey, Newt, if you can't round up 10,000 signatures to get you on the ballot in the state where you live, then you're in big trouble. It's like Virginia is the Grinch who stole Gingrich.

Robocalls go out all over Northern Virginia urging voters to show up at Gingrich rally location to sign up in his behalf. Problem is, many of those voters are Democrats! Oops... must still be using a Rolodex.

Things no longer going Newt's way in Io-way, either, where he's down and Ron Paul is up. If Paul actually wins in the Iowa caucuses, it will be every bit as meaningful as Mike Huckabee's victory there in 2008.

Paul is getting his own comic book. Fitting, since Republicans already have their own comedy show -- It's known as the presidential debates.

Debate scheduled for Dec. 27 with Donald Trump as moderator canceled when most of the candidates decline to take part. Damn. It would have been really entertaining watching Trump ask such questions as "What do you think about me as the candidate?" or trying to "fire" some of participants. And why didn't they replace him with Sarah Palin?

Only eight more schlepping days left before the voting takes place in Iowa. Can you stand all the excitement?

Thousands of Russians continue dis-putin the results of Vladimir Putin's party in parliamentary elections as fraudulent, demand new balloting. Putin jokes that protesters' white ribbons of peace resemble condoms, so one demonstrator carries picture of Putin with shawl that looks like a condom. Is that how you say "d..khead" in Russian?

Former Soviet Union President Mikhail Gorbachev calls on Putin not to run for president again next year, says three terms are enough -- two as president, one as Prime Minister (and virtual president). Sorry, Gorby, but Vlad calls on you to shut up.

Mass protests against regime of President Assad continue in Syria... Would it be impertinent to ask why the U.S. and NATO bombed the hell out of Libya to "prevent civilian casualties" but ignores Syria where there have been thousands of civilian deaths since the uprising began?

President Bashar al-Assad tells wimpy interviewer Barbara Walter he's not responsible for all those civilian deaths and that he's "not in charge" of the Syrian army. So, Bash, what keeps you in power if not the army -- your charm, your wit, your good looks, your family name, perhaps your hatred of Israel?

A dollop of show biz news for the holidays: In case you don't know it, Regis Philbin has left the daytime TV show Live with Regis and Kelly after several years on the job. The New York Post reports -- OK, prints a story -- saying the ratings for Live with Kelly (and a variety of co-hosts) have plunged since he left in mid-November. ABC says the ratings have actually risen... confirming that there are lies, damned lies and TV rating statistics.

And Oh Yeah -- Christmas observed -- by Christians and others interested in exchanging gifts.

U.S. Senators engage in Secret Santa gift exchange program, suggested by Al Franken, a Jew. By the way, when Jesus Christ was growing up, wouldn't he have celebrated Hanukkah?

Gifts had a $10 spending limit. Too bad the legislators can't apply that kind of discipline to the federal budget.

As for the gifts? Write you own punch line here. (However, any mention of coal is forbidden as too easy).

Hanukkah also observed... Jews believe oil to light lamps in a temple for one night actually lasted eight nights. Christians believe in virgin birth and resurrection. Retailers don't care either way as long as believers buy lotsa stuff.

Not so The Pope, who decried all the "superficial glitter" and commercialism surrounding Christmas and calling on people to remember "the child in the stable." And don't forget the collection plate.

Fox Noise TV anchor in Chicago says on air that parents should quit deluding their kids about Santa Claus. Elementary school teacher in New York tells 7- and 8-year-old kids that No, Virginia, there is no Santa Claus... that the presents under the tree are put there by your parents. OK, now it's okay to use your line about coal or Scrooge. They both should be made to don red suits and a white beard and go play Santa in a mall somewhere next Christmas.

Huge Christmas for basketball fans. The NBA is back -- just in time for guys to have something to do Christmas afternoon.

As for News Update, Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, Season's Greetings, Hava Nigila Hanukkah and Zany Zwanzaa... whatever decorates your tree or lights your Menorah.