So if Rep. Dave Reichert's campaign wasn't just blowing smoke out its collective ass when it claimed the three-term Republican couldn't debate Democratic challenger Suzan DelBene because his "schedule had already filled up," then this should free up some time, right?

Congress on Thursday adopted a stopgap spending measure to finance the government through Dec. 3 as lawmakers dashed for an earlier-than-expected exodus from Washington and headed home to focus on the midterm elections.

Hear that? Congress recessed nine days earlier than planned. Which means, presumably, Reichert now has a nine-day hole in his allegedly busy (yet totally secretive) schedule in which to squeeze in at least one public debate.

So here's Reichert's chance to prove me wrong and show that he is neither a smoke-blowing ass, a coward or... well... brain-damaged.