Let's start with the sports pages, where there was bad news for the Milwaukee Bucks. Hopeful Bucks fans were praying that the entire season would be cancelled and the Bucks would go 82 games without a loss. As we all know, the NBA usually plays an 82-game season for the sole purpose of eliminating the Bucks from the playoffs. Everybody else makes it. While the strike-shortened-66-game season does present them with 16 less chances to lose a game, expect the same result.
The football Badgers, meanwhile, salvaged some of the disappointing 2011 campaign with a 45-7 drubbing of the Penn State Nittany Lions. Penn State is hoping that someday people will again start asking, "What's a Nittany?" as opposed to other more serious questions that are coming up these days. Meanwhile, no lucky students won an all expense paid trip to the Badger bowl game, because the student sections couldn't get through an entire game without doing a certain cheer.
I don't understand what the UW has against fitness. After all, one student section chants "Keep Fit!" while the other responds "Thank You!" What's the big deal here? Anyway, I started the season in the 90-degree heat watching Bucky bury UNLV and finished it in the cold rain watching them crush Penn State. If they hadn't let the other team say two Hail Mary's in unlucky road games, we'd be talking national championship around here. This did nothing to reestablish my Catholic faith.
Speaking of faith, the Christmas and/or Holiday tree went up in the Capitol Rotunda. There's also a menorah, a windy statement from the Freedom From Religion Foundation and an empty space for atheists. But we're still not all represented. The Unitarians should get a coffee maker and a circle of folding chairs. Given all the grievances that were aired in the Rotunda this spring, a Festivus Pole would most definitely be in order. And for my people -- fallen away cultural Catholics who believe that the honest answer to all ultimate questions is, "How the hell should I know?" -- I'd like to see a giant question mark made out of bingo cards.
That happy holiday collection is visible from the East Wing, where Governor Scott Walker just counts his money and waits to see who the Democrats will offer up to be ground into dust by his ridiculously well-funded political mulching machine. There's an old saying in politics that "you can't beat somebody with nobody," but the Democrats are trying. They're struggling to find a candidate to run against Walker once the recall petitions are signed, sealed and delivered come January.
Some have suggested they nominate some guy named Leonard Zelig, but nobody's ever heard of him and he doesn't stand out. Another option that is being tossed around in Dem circles is to just not nominate anybody. The Democratic column on the ballot would be a simple two-word statement: "We pass." Internal polling is showing that "We pass" leads any specific Democratic name by two to one and beats Scott Walker in a landslide.
In other state news, the Department of Justice has asked for an emergency $1.5 million and 14 new positions to help process the 44,000 applications they've received so far for concealed carry permits. Unless a Finance Committee member objects by mid December, it will go through. Imagine if the Department of Health & Family Services had asked for an emergency $1.5 million and 14 positions to help fight growing hunger and homelessness in our state. Somebody would object.
Actually, here's what they should do with the money. Since you'd have to be bat shit crazy to want to carry around a loaded gun under your jacket, we have a self-identified group of 44,000 people with significant mental health issues. The $1.5 million could go for social workers to reach out to these people and ask them if they're all right and if they need anything to make them feel less paranoid.
In still more state news (I'm sorry, it just gets better) Rep. Andre Jacque, surprisingly a Republican, has introduced legislation amending the state constitution to define life as beginning at conception. Look, if there's any group of people we can all agree is equipped to decide the deeply personal, fundamental and philosophical question of when life truly begins, it's the Wisconsin legislature and specifically Rep. Andre Jacque of Bellevue. Language similar to what Rep. Jacque proposes went down in a referendum, but that was in the progressive state of Mississippi, so the representative sees it as having a chance in Wisconsin. However, some feel that even his language doesn't go far enough. They believe that life should be defined as beginning when Jason asks Kimberly if she'd like to go back to his apartment to play his new video games.
Continuing with Catholic news, my church is messing with the Nicene Creed again. I know, for like the third time in a thousand years! I'll never understand why the Catholic Church is so eager to toss aside tradition and embrace the latest thinking on everything.
To me it's a step down both in terms of good literature and in terms of iteration. For example, a reflexive reaction of every Catholic today is to respond to the priest's greeting of "May the Lord be with you" with "And also with you." Nice. Succinct. To the point. Well, that wasn't good enough for the good old boys in Rome, no sir. Now, the response is supposed to be "And with your spirit." And with your spirit? What's that supposed to mean? May the Lord not be with you, Father Pat, but with the spirit of Father Pat? I don't know. Seems to make it all less personal.
And then instead of saying just before communion, "Lord, I am not worthy to receive you," the new line is, "Lord, I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof." How awkward is that? And anyway, if you believe in this stuff, then the Lord isn't coming to your house, he's being swallowed whole and processed in your bowels. If you want to be accurate about it, the line should go something like "Lord, I am not worthy that you should mix with my stomach acids."
Finally, the worst change of all: Jesus used to be described as "of one Being with the Father." But now he's "consubstantial with the Father." Sounds like the language of an insurance policy, not a profession of faith. Geez, what's this world (and the next one) coming to?
On the home front, the Edgewater saga just won't die. Millionaire Fred Mohs, who sued to stop the new hotel from blocking his view of the lake and got shown the door by both the circuit court and court of appeals, now plans to appeal to the Wisconsin Supreme Court where he hopes that he will find at least four people who have a barely tangential hold on reality. You gotta like his chances there.
And let's wrap up the week with my favorite GOP presidential candidate Rick Perry. Political analysts predict that even if Gov. Perry gets 100% of the vote of people over 21 (which Perry believes is the legal voting age) who show up to vote on November 12 (the day Perry thinks is election day), he'll still lose.
That's all I've got for now. Have a good weekend, kids.