The Diddly Awards

The ?heck of a job? badge for political euphemism. And the nominees are?

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Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.), for her description of notoriously tough Rep. Rahm Emanuel (D-Ill., and a former ballet dancer): “Republicans may have the Hammer,” she noted, “but we have the Nutcracker!”

Rep. Ginny Brown-Waite (R-Fla.), for her reply when asked after a speech how she would describe what she does in Congress: “I’m a hooker.”

Rep. Tom DeLay (R-Texas), for visiting the wretched children sleeping on cots in the Houston Astrodome after Hurricane Katrina and joking with them about how the whole experience was like going to sleep-away camp. “Now tell me the truth, boys,” he asked. “Is this kind of fun?”

Rep. Don Young (R-Alaska), for shouting to reporters his reply to those who dared to suggest that funds for his infamous “Bridge to Nowhere”—which would have cost $223 million and be named after himself—should be redirected to help dying people in New Orleans: “They can kiss my ear!”

Senator Joe Biden (D-Del.), who was forced to drop out of the 1988 presidential race after plagiarizing whole passages of British pol Neil Kinnock’s life story and claiming them as his own, for revealing that he still believes the verb “to write” is a euphemism. Discussing the Violence Against Women Act with John Roberts, Biden said, “People say they wrote things. I mean, I actually did write that my little ol’ self”—wait for it—“with my staff.”

WINNER! Ginny Brown-Waite, who elaborated on her trope by explaining just what she believes a congressional representative’s job to be: “That’s right, I said I’m a hooker,” she insisted to her stunned audience. “I have to go up to total strangers, ask them for money, and get them to expect me to be there when they need me. What does that sound like to you?”

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We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

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