The big news of the week, of course, was the announcement on Tuesday that Madison water is safe for nasal washing with neti pots. At least it won't kill you as it did two people in Louisiana.
Perhaps because he didn't practice safe nasal hygiene, North Korean leader Kim Jong-il turned out to be more ill than anybody knew and passed away unexpectedly. Kim was known for his cruelty to his people, his efforts to obtain nuclear weapons and his insistence on being called "Dear Leader."
I tried to get the Dear Leader thing going around here when I was mayor, but it never caught on. Yet for eight years I led a city where not a single person died from using Madison water in their nasal washing ritual, and I never once tried to get city engineering to build me a nuclear weapon despite ominous threats coming from Fitchburg. Life is not fair.
Speaking of Supreme Leaders, Newt Gingrich reassured everybody this week that he wasn't really a madman by saying that if he got elected president, he might abolish federal courts that issued rulings he disagreed with. Now, you have to admit, that's real leadership that a guy like the late Kim Jong-il could relate to.
Also on the always entertaining Republican presidential campaign trail, Michelle Bachman's husband said that when he becomes first spouse, he's not going to mess around with goofy non-issues like childhood obesity that make this the first generation of Americans expected to have shorter life spans than their parents. No sir. He's going to attack the really big issues by expanding his current work, which is all about convincing gays and lesbians that they're really straight. This is important work that should be expanded. For example, he could work on convincing blacks that they're really white people. He could solve the problem of poverty by making poor folks understand that they're rich. He could convince the Kardashians that they have some kind of talent that justifies all the attention they get.
With Gingrich now becoming last week's flavor of the week, it's time for Rep. Ron Paul's 15 days of fame. Paul is the latest winner in the "Please, Anybody But Mitt!" sweepstakes. But with his rapid rise in the polls comes more scrutiny. In fact, some leftist rag called The Weekly Standard dug out old quotes along the lines of this: "Order was only restored in L.A. when it became time for blacks to pick up their welfare checks." But Ron Paul strongly disavows ever approving such a statement, and why would anyone suspect that he had? Just because it appeared in something called the "Ron Paul Political Report"?
But with the inevitable heaviness of Mitt Romney starting to loom, Republicans can take heart that there could be more fun on the way. Sarah Palin says it's not too late for her!
Now we turn to the sports page where this week the Green Bay Packers lost their first game of the season and fell to 131. The players and coaches reacted to the loss of their perfect season with the poise and maturity you'd expect from world champions.
However, as a team owner since 1998, I am frustrated and bitter. See here, McCarthy, a team record 19 straight wins, a Super Bowl victory last season when half your team was in casts, and a perfect record through better than three quarters of this season just isn't good enough! Next year I expect you guys to win one more game than is actually on the schedule. That's what giving 110% is all about!
Actually, the Packers sudden rash of injuries in their offensive line will be affecting my own family's holiday celebrations, as my 82-year-old mother has been tapped by McCarthy to play right tackle on Christmas Day. McCarthy believes she can do a better job against the Bears than Marshall Newhouse. Of course, that's hard to argue with, but hey be careful out there, Mom!
And in state news, Rep. Fred Clark of Baraboo wants to take away the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding kindergartners. That's right, Clark, a Democrat of course, thinks it's a bad idea to allow guns in kindergartens, as the recently adopted concealed carry law would allow in at least 16 cases. Clark wants you to believe that this was just an unintended glitch in the law, but the National Rifle Association is expected to come to the defense of defenseless four-year-olds. Look, people, the government will get the guns of toddlers only when they pry them from their tiny little hands during nap time.
The week drew to a close with a good holiday feeling as a pro-mining group urged their members to sign Walker recall petitions with the name "Adolf Hitler." Nothing brands a movement better than to promote an association in the public mind with Adolf Hitler. So much better than if they used the tired "Santa Claus," which doesn't have nearly the same impact.
That's all I've got for now. Have a Merry Christmas, kids.