In the wake of the Tucson shootings, people of good will have decided to tone down the political rhetoric in this country.
OK, I'm on board. I will no longer call you a fear-mongering wingnut if you refrain from referring to me as a dupe of the Marxist conspiracy.
Anything that cools the atmosphere of verbal extremism is to be embraced.
It will take a little restraint and discipline and it may make it harder for the Limbaughs and Olbermanns of the world to make a living. But that's a bonus.
Civility, it's what's for dinner.
Unfortunately, not everyone has received the message.
A spokesperson for the Governors Highway Safety Association, recently noting an uptick in pedestrian deaths in 2010, laid the blame at the feet of First Lady Michelle Obama.
In a bit of logic as tortured as any you will find, the spokesperson pointed out that the increase coincided with the First Lady's anti-obesity campaign, which encouraged people to get out and walk.
Michelle Obama is "trying to get us to walk to work and exercise a little bit more. While that's good, it also increases our exposure to risk," said GHSA's Jonathan Adkins.
Someone from the GHSA later said the agency was "misquoted." Of course. It's difficult to understand someone who has his foot in their mouth.
At least Mrs. Obama didn't get blamed for global warming. Yet.
In a related development, a story in the New York Post disclosed
that ratings for the Food Network, once one of the hottest destinations for cable TV watchers, have taken a major hit.
The network posted a 10.3 percent drop among viewers ages 25 to 54, considered a key category for advertisers. What's more, the network's quarterly declines worsened throughout the year, falling 3.3 percent in the second quarter and 4.5 percent in the third quarter, according to Nielsen figures
The blame here can clearly be laid at the feet of the Tournament of Roses. After all, the Rose Parade folks have been trolling the Food Network the last few years in search of grand marshals.
First, there was Emeril Legase, whose show was canceled faster than you can say "bam" even as he rode down Colorado Boulevard.
Next was Paula Deen, whose Southern-style fare can best be described as deep-fried cardiac arrest. Her recipes were once described as demonstrably more dangerous to America than a nuclear-armed North Korea.
Apparently, riding at the head of a parade whose television ratings are also declining is the career equivalent of a flat souffle.
Maybe next year the Tournament can solicit from a show with better ratings, like "America's Biggest Loser."
Unrelated to any of the above, the Chicago Bears and the Green Pay Packers will meet in the NFC championship game today in what is a special treat for lovers of old-time football. Really old-time football.
The two teams first met in 1921 and have butted heads and other body parts 181 times over the years.
Just to set the proper tone for the rivalry, the Bears and Packers are credited for the first-ever ejection of players for fighting during a game in 1924. The Bears' Frank Hanny and the Packers' Walter Voss were ejected before the end of the first half as verbal exchanges led to punches being thrown.
The teams will be dressed in their traditional uniforms, none of this fancified Nike stuff, which sometimes looks like it was designed by Jackson Pollock.
They will play on a rock-hard field in the bitter cold. No domed stadium for these guys.
And just for the record, President Obama likes Chicago by three points. Bet accordingly.