Congratulations to Pope Francis for being named Person of the Year by Time magazine, as proposed by yours truly recently.

Shame on the Congress for cutting food stamp aid to the hungry and being ready to refuse an extension of jobless benefits as their gift to the needy before members of the House and Senate leave to enjoy their latest holiday vacation.

It is a disgrace. It is jarring juxtaposition between the worldwide admiration for the pope, who is the champion of the poor and speaks of the right to a job, versus the Congress that cuts aid to the hungry and jobless.

Republicans deserve condemnation for their war against programs that serve the poor, but Democrats deserve little better after their role in previous cuts to food stamps and their refusal to fight for jobless benefits.

I must also add this: Yesterday President Obama gave a passionate and eloquent statement about how important Nelson Mandela has been to his life and value system. But the president has not distinguished himself by his failure, far too often, to fight for the poorest who need his help the most.

Congress should restore food for the poor and full jobless benefits for the jobless before leaving for their holiday parties.

Shame of Republicans for their attacks against the poor; shame on those Democrats who often fail to fight for the poor; and congratulations to the pope who puts them all to shame.