The Senate, for once not too myopically immersed in politics, OKs heath care for 9/11 first responders and the START treaty

Even after 9/11, a day we thought was etched — hell, seared — into our hearts and memories forever, civilization switches off the alarm clock. The world turns lazily over and goes back to sleep.

Remember when first responders to the 9/11 terrorist attack were national heroes? Of course you do. It was not that long ago.

Thankfully and finally, the Senate stifled its mass yawn today.

After a filibuster and threats of obstruction by Tom Coburn, the Senate unanimously passed a bill that would provide health care for 9/11 first responders. Kirsten Gillibrand and Chuck Schumer reached a deal with Republicans to support the bill earlier in the afternoon.

Gillibrand and Schumer, the bill’s chief sponsors, lobbied hard for the legislation to be introduced again in the lame-duck session, when they could still ensure House support. But on Tuesday, they hit a snag when Coburn vowed to block the bill, saying he wanted it to be funded through spending cuts.

The Senate, hyperactive this week because its august principals are itching to get out of D.C. and return home to stuff their Christmas stockings with goodies you and I never will get, also today ratified a new arms control treaty with Russia in a major foreign policy win for President Obama.

The vote was 71-26, more than the two-thirds of those present and voting required for approval.
The START treaty would cap nuclear warheads for both countries and resume onsite inspections that expired a year ago.
At least Obama got some legislation through the lame ducks.
But will he be duck soup once the Republican-led new ducks start quacking in January?