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I’m not sure how many of you will remember this classic sketch from SNL’s 1994 season.  Nancy Kerrigan was the guest host and Chris Farley played her skating partner — whose sudden weight gain caused problems for their skating tribute to Sarajevo.  This is one of my all-time favorite SNL moments.  (I tried to find a video clip on line, but was unsuccessful.  It’s laugh out loud funny.)

And in talking about how things are going for the GOP, the image of Chris Farley falling, over and over again, on his ass, with the announcer’s going "Ooooh."   "Oh, that’s gonna hurt."  "Ouch!  Well, they are going to have to deduct a lot for that one." just keeps running through my head in a loop as I sift through the news in this morning’s papers and blog posts.

I’m trying very hard not to count my election chickens before they come home to roost, but with stories like these, it’s hard not to think that there may be a mood for some changes in this country come November.  Remember, Republicans control both houses of Congress and the White House — and yet they cannot seem to get anything done.  They are too weak to even move their own ball forward on their own court, with their own refs calling the game.  Pathetic.

– Bill Frist got a smackdown yesterday in the Senate.  After declaring that this week was to be health care week, his two top priorities got shot down pretty handily — with several Republicans that you wouldn’t have expected voting against the Frist agenda.  Bob Geiger has a great summary of the action — boy, that Frist, what a leader.  (Well, not so much.)  As Democrats continue to press Frist on stem cell issues, you have to wonder what Frist was thinking in announcing Health Care Week without first being sure he’d lined up his votes.  What a maroon.

– Things look even more grim for Bob Ney after the entry of the plea of his former chief of staff yesterday.  Written into the plea deal was the following:

A former top aide to Rep. Bob Ney, R-Ohio, pleaded guilty Monday in the Jack Abramoff influence peddling scandal, admitting he conspired to corrupt Ney, his staff and other members of Congress with trips, free tickets, jobs, meals and campaign events.

The criminal investigation of Abramoff’s lobbying operation has now claimed Abramoff and three former congressional staffers: Volz as well as Tony Rudy and Michael Scanlon, who both worked for former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, R-Texas.

All four are now government witnesses whose prison terms may depend in part on how cooperative they are with federal prosecutors in the investigation involving lawmakers, their aides and members of the Bush administration.

Let’s see, that makes DeLay, Ney, Rove, Foggo…and how many others currently under federal investigation for criminal issues — with Libby under indictment and awaiting trial and Cunningham having already plead on bribery charges.

– The funny thing about the above story is that Republican leadership tried to push Rep. Pelosi on Rep. Alan Mollohan (my own Congressman), yesterday, and Pelosi shot back with an all-time classic response:

I look forward to reading their letter to Speaker [Dennis] Hastert [R-Ill.] on Congressman [Tom] DeLay [R-Texas], Congressman [Bob] Ney [R-Ohio], Congressman [John] Doolittle [R-Calif.] and Congressman [Richard] Pombo [R-Calif.],” Pelosi spokeswoman Jennifer Crider said. “I must have missed their letter on incarcerated Congressman [Randy “Duke”] Cunningham [R-Calif.].

Mwahahahaha. Good one.  And I’m looking forward to that one as well.

– Medicare Part D?  Still sucking.  And according to a recent GAO report, around 60% of seniors who called into the government help-line were given incorrect information that led them to sign up for the wrong plan.  Isn’t that swell? 

– ABC says that the Bush Presidency is floundering.  (Maybe they meant "perching?")  And it’s pissing off Joe Scarborough.  (Thanks to C&L for the clip.)

– Holden’s got the first gaggle for Snow Job — and it was a banner day of simply standing at the podium and introducing John Negroponte.  Heckuva job.

– Swopa has more on the hell that is the Iraqi government.  Trainwreck doesn’t even begin to describe it.

– And just for fun, Crooks and Liars has a clip from Nightline.  Boy, that Lindsey Graham sure can…erm…yeah, just watch the clip.

And that’s just today’s headlines — and a really quick survey of them, at that.  Ooooh, that’s gotta hurt.

UPDATE:  And from the Rubber Stamp Republican Congress has no shame file, check out the commercial used against Byron Dorgan and tell me that the GOP hasn’t lost its mind entirely.  Pathetic.

UPDATE #2:  I like to call this "Patriots need not apply."  The Bush Administration — cronyism knows no bounds.  (Great catch by Atrios.  And a great list here — anything else to add?)