- The Washington Times - Saturday, December 23, 2017

Sen. Rand Paul, Kentucky Republican, took aim at targets including President Trump’s Twitter habit and wasteful federal spending during his “airing of grievances” Saturday, an annual Twitter tradition inspired by the quirky Festivus holiday at the center of a 1997 “Seinfeld” episode.

Festivus is celebrated every Dec. 23 with a plain aluminum pole and activities including a “Feats of Strength” wrestling match and the “Airing of Grievances,” according to Seinfeld lore. Mr. Paul has participated in the latter annually since 2013, each year taking to Twitter to publicize his problems with individuals including the president and fellow politicians, among other targets.

Mr. Paul continued the tradition Friday in the form of firing off a few dozen tweets addressing people including Mr. Trump as well as Environmental Protection Agency chief Scott Pruitt and Sen. Orrin Hatch, Utah Republican.

“I want to pause to wish @realDonaldTrump a Happy Festivus. We told him to take today off, since he airs his grievances on here every day,” Mr. Paulsaid in one of the tweets.

“I have a #HappyFestivus grievance with @ScottPruittOK. A year as @EPA director and still the toilets are NOT FIXED,” Mr. Paul wrote in another tweet.

With respect to Mr. Hatch, Mr. Paul wrote that, “Somehow, an octogenarian Mormon has better pot jokes than I do.”

“This has been bothering me for a while. #HappyFestivus,” Mr. Paultweeted.

The senator ultimately fired off a few dozen tweets by Saturday afternoon as part of his annual airing of grievances, including a handful referencing the findings of a report he released Friday cataloguing what his office called “egregious examples of waste within the U.S. government.”

Mr. Paul’s office documented around $6 billion in wasteful spending over a three year period, according to the report, including billions spent on projects overseas.

“Your government spent $3,217,960 on putting on music festival and concerts abroad,” Mr. Paul tweeted.

“We spent over $170k to build trails in national parks. Seems like not too bad until you read the next line that the parks were in Russia,” Mr. Paul added.

Other targets of Mr. Paul’s Twitter tirade included Sen. Ted Cruz, Texas Republican, and former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Nevada Democrat, among others.

Festivus was central to “The Strike,” the tenth episode of Seinfeld’s ninth season.

“We didn’t do a lot of seasonal episodes,” Seinfeld producer Jeff Schaffer told Yahoo Entertainment. “But this was a perfect Christmas episode.”

“I don’t know why it’s so popular,” he said with respect to Festivus. “I guess because the traditional holidays are such bloated, commercial events that this resonates, because it gets to the true essence of what we need during the holidays.”


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