Friday, December 09, 2005

Making a List, Checking it Twice
It's been quite a spectacle the way Wisconsin's Repug legislators have been running down their wish list as they race to get out of town for the holidays. Concealed carry of handguns legalized Tuesday, same-sex marriage ban amendment passed the Senate Wednesday, death penalty debate held yesterday. (I bet it's tax cuts today--you watch.)

Wisconsin hasn't had the death penalty since 1853--five years after we became a state--but State Senator Alan Lasee of DePere has been pushing for its reinstatement for nearly as long. (This is Lasee's pet issue, which seems a bit unhealthy to me.) At least he's talking about putting it to a referendum this time, which is more than he's done in the past. The last time Lasee got into a lather about this, I sent him an e-mail in which I suggested that I would support the death penalty in Wisconsin only if A) hangings would take place off the balcony of the Capitol on Farmer's Market Saturdays and B) Lasee would pledge to perform them himself.

Elsewhere in the Capitol, there's a controversy over--wait for it!--whether the annual display of a magnificent, decorated tree in the Capitol rotunda should be called a holiday tree, as it has been since the mid 80s, or a Christmas tree. "It's another instance of Christmas under attack," said a Repug legislator.

Well, of course he did. It's like those talking dolls from the 1970s: pull the string on their backs and words come out.

(The war on Christmas hype was sparked this year by a book written by scary-haired Fox News anchor John Gibson. As a consumer of newsprint, pixels, and bandwidth, the war has been a success, but the book's a flop.)

Recommended Reading: The legendary New York columnist Jimmy Breslin got the same piece of mail from Hillary Clinton that I got--only he read his; I just tossed mine.

And also, check this, which is the weirdest damn story I've seen all week. Repeat after me: Do not go looking for naked pictures on your work computer. Do not go looking for naked pictures on your work computer. Especially if you work in a place that's known for being opposed to naked pictures. But if you do go looking for naked pictures, at least show some good taste, fer chrissakes.

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