Sybil's Breaking News from the CNN news desk: Old faces in the new Congress....

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As the new Congress assembles, we recognize many of the long-serving politicians who return to Washington's hallowed halls with their long-standing quirks and eccentricities for yet another term... Seen here are:

(top row, l. to r.)

1) Senator Filbert Crater III: a classic multi-generational politician from a long line of mayors, governors, Congressmen, and moonshiners dating back to the 1830s in his home state. Known for his drawling delivery and off-color jokes, but also a certain amount of charm that he ladles in huge portions on elderly society ladies and their young teen-age sons.

2) Representative Beauregaard Bogardus: notoriously overweight and garrulous gourmand who often brings a nine-course lunch to his desk and eats even while pacing the floor and proposing one bill after another on obesity among inner-city school children and replacing their lunch vouchers with glasses of recycled tap-water.

3) Congresswoman Kelly "Kiki" Tarroltown: former flight attendant and beauty-pageant winner in her home-state. Known for her twinkling eyes and ready smile, she is often portrayed as the "most charming" politician in Washington, and, after hours, the most likely to be found in the Senate's men's room sharing a smoke and a round of cards with attentive “older gentlemen”!

(middle row, l. to r.)

4) Senator Angus Aloysius O'Harrigan: fiery-tempered, red-headed, and prone to fistfights, even in the White House, O'Harrigan brags about his Irish heritage, his 13 children, and his docile wife, Margaret Marie, "who keeps to her kids, her kitchen, and her corset!". Amazingly, she still has her girlish figure despite the many years of domestic life, although she has been to a couple of society events with a black eye, and the occasional broken arm.

5) Congresswoman Nellie Gelliforth: accused of being too old and doddering to serve any longer, she has been re-elected 43 times. In spite of her quavering voice, trembling hands, scrawly handwriting, and wandering mind, the Congresswoman apparently also offers a certain "grandmotherly comfort" to even the most cynical of her critics, perhaps because of her home-made perfume that she always wears on the most confrontational days... she calls it "Cookie Jar".

6) Senator Thymus Phunt, Jr.: one of the stealthiest and most sinister of the "old guard", the senator has been associated with teamster rub-outs, guerrilla activity in undeclared overseas wars, secret arms-deals with Latin American despots, assassinations in Asian casinos, and arson in various Girl Scout cookie drives.

(bottom row, l. to r.)

7) Senator Gerald Edwin Capshat: perhaps the most energetic and animated of all Washington politicians, he’s seen here with one of his ever-present Congressional volumes on policy, rules, and arcana that make him one of the greatest strategists in government. He is best known for filibustering for weeks on end, tying up legislation, shutting down the entire government, ruining the reputations and hopes of his adversaries, and living on stale Saltine crackers and glasses of warm Tang. He was once observed to have gone without urinating for 72 hours, and then, only in a waste basket next to his brief case.

8) Congressman Liam Jolley: possibly the most likable man in the Capitol building, even the janitors and pages have declared him to be kind, friendly, and ready to shake hands with visitors and tourists. Jolley has managed to get lots of work done purely on goodwill and his ability to talk with just about anyone on either side of the aisle. Sadly, he also has been on the watch-list with office security personnel as a possible desk-thief. His misdemeanors include stealing paperclips, thumb-tacks, scotch tape (double-sided only!), lip sticks, mascaras, and personal hygiene products. His breath often smells like Elmer’s Glue and felt tip pens.

9) Congresswoman Gladys Germante: liberated and self-actualizing long before the Women’s Lib movement, Germante had been a lawyer and judge in her home state following a career as a frontier midwife and “ladies’ physician”. Known for her flinty approach to lawmaking and her ability to trade jokes and smoke cigars over brandy with “the boys”, she has remained a power to be reckoned with now in her 52nd year in Congress. Unfortunately, her thinning hair and gravely voice often result in her being addressed as “sir” by the new pages that bustle about the halls… secretly, it breaks her heart. 

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