Along with thousands of others, I got to attend one of the glittery White House holiday parties last week. The President, just back from South Africa, made a brief appearance.
My favorite: Bill Yosses’ pastry-and-candy White House mounted on a fireplace of cookie tiles, some in classic Dutch style but with Washington DC scenes replacing windmills.
And the cookies! They were in endless supply, crisp and delicious. They mystery: how they get produced in this quantity. Even by New York City standards, the White House kitchen is small.
In a year notable for government inaction on crucial legislation, the party was a welcome respite. As today’s New York Times puts it,
the lack of movement in the Senate is only half the story of a Congress that has reached record levels of inactivity. Lawmakers simply are not spending as much time in Washington for many reasons, including a distaste for the contentious atmosphere that a deeply divided government has created and the demands of a fund-raising schedule…There was no agreement on a farm bill that would provide agricultural subsidies as well as food stamps for poor families.