We can do something about this, you know. But we won't. Almost certainly we won't -- not if history is any guide.

You saw the latest Associated Press/GfK poll. Congress' approval rating has slid into the deer-ticks-and-poison-ivy zone. At this point, just 5 percent of Americans approve of the job the House and the Senate are doing. Eighty-three percent emphatically do not. And while 62 percent slap Republicans with "a lot" or "almost all" of the blame for the shutdown, Dems can't be high-fiving either.

But year after year, the same Americans who positively loathe the legislative branch keep delivering its hated members back to Washington. In last year's election, with tea party fervor already at a boil, 90 percent of House incumbents won their re-election bids. That was up 5 points from 2010. The Senate 2012 re-election rate was 91 percent.

Someone might recall this irrational dichotomy -- hatred, reward, hatred, reward -- the next time Ted Cruz or the next Ted Cruz takes the floor of the Senate and all hell breaks loose again.

Someone might recall and learn from it but probably not.

Not if history is any guide.

ASKED AND UNANSWERED: Should the LIRR's new Oyster Bay-to-Mineola Scoot Train be renamed? How 'bout the Won't Get a Seat in Mineola Train? . . . Has Brentwood now invented a new rule for Rock-Paper-Scissors? It was "Machete Beats Gun" when a man with a silver .22 tried to hold up the Stop-N-Shop Deli on Crooked Hill Road . . . Is Shaggy really coming to Sequoya Middle School in Holtsville to rescue the Sachem marching band from budget cuts? Party 105's Vic Latino swears it's true, and the "Boombastic" hip-hop star is a trained U.S. Marine . . . "Port Washington School Bans Balls At Recess"? That headline was a joke, right? It wasn't? Jittery administrators are also cracking down on tag and cartwheels at Weber Middle School . . . Is this Long Island or Louisiana? A 2-foot American alligator in Miller Place is the SPCA's 19th LI gator since last October . . . Did Christian Ranieri have to be stopped in midsentence as he addressed the Northport-East Northport school board? Do "privacy rules" really prohibit a 14-year-old boy with autism from voicing concerns about his two-day suspension? How does board president Stephen Waldenburg feel about that? . . . Mike Fleming will soon be covering Hollywood from Hollywood? For years, the Deadline Hollywood writer has been grabbing huge movie-biz scoops from his comfy LI couch . . . Westbury wants residents to apply for a "temporary hardship" parking permit for their overnight guests? So what if Uncle Roscoe decides at 2 a.m. he's too drunk to drive safely home? Should he call Mayor Cavallaro's cellphone?

THE NEWS IN SONG: Nature has a way of getting even: Shari Ulrich asks, "Why Can't We Get Along?" tinyurl.com/cantweget

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