Compreendi, mas não havia entendido. Agora compartilho a explicação para a expressão "lame-duck session".
Dear Mr. Morris -- Do you know the source of the phrase "lame duck?" -- Barb Bumann, Spokane Public Library, Spokane, WA.
Now here's an easy one. The phrase "lame duck" comes to us from Aesop's Fables, specifically the tale of Androcles and the Duck. It seems that an escaped slave named Androcles encountered a ferocious duck in the forest. But rather than eating the terrified slave, the duck merely asked Androcles to pull a thorn from his paw, or foot, or whatever. Androcles complied, and he and the "lame duck" became fast friends, frequenting local bars and often sharing a cab home. Many years later, Androcles found himself at a banquet where the main course was roast duck. (Aesop, of course, is best known as the founder of the Greek philosophy known as Cheap Irony.) Unable to stomach the thought that his feathered old friend might be integral to the repast, Androcles decided to leave the banquet, but on his way out stepped on a lion's paw and was summarily eaten. The moral? Eat what you're served and never share a cab with a duck.
Oh, all right. A lame duck (I suppose I ought to call it "flight-challenged") is one unable to keep up with the flock and who is thus easy prey for predators. The phrase "lame duck" was first applied on the London Stock Exchange in the 18th century to brokers who could not pay their debts. Beginning in 19th-century America, "lame duck" was used to describe a Congressional representative who had failed to hornswoggle the voters into re- electing him in November, but who was not due, under the Constitution, to actually be booted out until the following March. Thus freed of even the pretense of accountability to the voters, such "lame ducks" usually voted themselves a scandalous jackpot of perks, until a stop was put to the practice by the "Lame Duck Amendment" of 1934. Today, new Congresspeople take office in January, their defeated opponents no longer have an opportunity to loot and pillage on their way out, and thus Congress has become a temple of honesty. And you thought the duck story was ridiculous.