"The chair recognizes Senator Hackenbush."
"Do I have time to change my tie before C-SPAN shows up?"
"No. I want to get started before something else happens and they close the building again. Congressman Flippenfloppen, read the list of what we have so far."
"All right, here goes: We agree on stronger cockpit doors, more sky marshals, guns for pilots, and better food in coach."
"Good. All in favor, say 'aye'"
"Wait a minute - coach? I thought we were talking first class only."
"Now, don't start that again! We need to compromise or we'll never settle this thing by Thanksgiving. "
"Thanksgiving? I thought we were aiming for Christmas."
"Mr. Chairman, I move that we all agree on St. Patrick's Day. All in favor?"
"Wait a minute! We need to get this done now. There's a war going on, the economy's in the toilet, and we can't even agree on who should check people's luggage."
"Mr. Chairman, I move that we admit we're all a bunch of boobs."
"All in favor, say - "
"Hold on, Senator! Speak for yourself. I'm trying to prevent an unprecedented and unwarranted expansion of government."
"But the government always expands in wartime. Why else do you think it's good for unemployment?"
"Not this time, Mr. Tax & Spend. If you Democrats had your way, there'd be a cabinet secretary for Oprah's Book Club."
"Sounds good. Second?"
"Wait a minute! How can we outsource law enforcement? Do you want to contract out the FBI? The Customs Service? Why not the Marines?"
"Why not? And while we're at it, I don't see why a private security firm can't handle that bombing in Afghanistan."
"All right, all in favor - "
"Hold on! We've been screwing around with private airport security ever since the Wright Brothers, and everybody knows it doesn't work. The turnover's ridiculous, the morale's terrible, and some of these people can't tell a stick of dynamite from a Slim Jim."
"All the more reason to keep them in the private sector! Once they're civil service, we'll never get rid of them."
"Private sector? United Airlines can't even fire its CEO without losing money."
"Mr. Chairman, I move that we get rid of everyone in Washington and replace them with my brother-in-law."
"All right, hold on! Let's stop arguing and find some common ground here. How about this: We make the airport screeners government employees, but they all have to be conservative Republicans."
"Now, what's the problem?"
"You'll never find enough of them to work for minimum wage."
"I give up. Can't we find any nonpartisan way to solve this?"
"Mr. Chairman, I move that the attorney general arrest Ralph Nader."
"Good. Now we're getting somewhere."
"Okay, all in favor, say 'aye.'"
Copyright 2001 Newrite, Inc. All rights reserved. GLW's on WGN Radio AM 720 and (http://www.wgnradio.com).