It’s the night before Christmas, and I really don’t have too much too say — aside from Merry Christmas, of course. I need to try to write about poem about my special friend as one of my gifts. (I’m not spoiling too much posting this on my Web page — it’s not like she ever comes here anyway).

A poem can’t be that hard to write, can it? Perhaps it is telling that I promised her that I would write this a year ago ….

Trent Lott finally made a statement that I feel is a true apology for his comments last week. He said the segregation and racism are immoral. There now Trent, that wasn’t too hard to say wasn’t it?

It really is a statement that he should have made on Monday or Tuesday, but better late than never. I think the statement will do a lot to blunt criticism from his side of the aisle (and from many non-political minded Americans), but I hope that this whole incident will be a swift kick in the Democrats’ donkey hide.

Interesting points about the Sen. Trent Lott debacle. Joshua Marshall has been doing a good job about staying on top of the whole controversy. It’s curious how the story slowly developed from Saturday into the modest maelstrom that it is today.

I think Lott was wrong to make the comments regarding retiring Sen. Strom Thurmond’s 1948 presidential run. Lott said ” I want to say this about my state: When Strom Thurmond ran for president we voted for him. We’re proud of it. And if the rest of the country had of followed our lead we wouldn’t of had all these problems over all these years, either.”

Of course, some Lott defenders (namely Kevin L. Martin, government and political affairs director of the African American Republican Leadership Council) said he was trying to be humorous. Lott’s comments were about as humorous as dressing up in blackface.

It has come out (thanks in large part to Marshall’s reporting) that Lott has made such comments in the past — also signing on to a case where Bob Jones University fought the IRS’ revoking their tax-exempt status because of discriminatory policies. It’s true Lott has tried to apologize in the past couple of days, but I still haven’t seen him say racial discrimination and segregation is wrong.

How big is this story? I don’t know for sure. I think it shouldn’t be a distraction to other larger stories — namely the Bush administration’s handling of the environment, the economy and the “war on terrorism.” It’s discontenting — more than 35 years after the Civil Rights Act was passed many politicians still wink and nod toward the racism of the past. It happens in both parties, but it appears the GOP came up the big winner in last month’s elections. The Georgia flag flap is a good example where many want to keep the Confederate symbol on the state flag and were willing to dump Gov. Barnes to do it.

Still, I think it’s appropriate that this story damage the Republican Party in some way. I’m still disgusted at how the Republicans over-hyped the political tinges at the memorial service of Sen. Paul Wellstone. If they can manipulate the service into poltical capital, I think Lott should be gently braised for these comments.

There’s nothing like giving in to temptation. After checking out a friend’s blog, my co-worker has decided to check out a personals Web site. It looks like a complete bear to get registered on the page (we went through The Onion) It’s been about 30 minutes and he still hasn’t seen all the “beautiful” women in a 25-mile radius of Houghton, Mich. It’s not like the instant (yet swiftly fleeing) gratification of a “judge-a-person-strictly-on-their-appearances” Web site.

Still, it’s a really clever use of supply and demand — people demand an online forum to meet others, these Web sites provide the resources _and_ require people to register to get access thus keeping the supply of potential dates plentiful.

Now he’s comparing himself to Doogie Howser. Guess I’m his Vinnie (without the overt Italian stereotypes). Shesh.

Nothing like spending two hours in a closed room with your best friends and the Gazette news staff. After battling it out, we came up with our Top Ten stories of the year. If you want to know what they are, tune in around Dec. 31 when we put out our end-of-the-year issue.

For now, here’s Ryan Olson’s Definitive Top Ten Copper Country Stories 2K2. This shows where my heart was (I’ve changed my mind on some). It isn’t the definitive list (not by a long shot). Coming soon, my writing that matches this list.

1. Spring floods wreak havoc on U.P. roads, lives prompting President Bush to declare a state of disaster.
2. House fire at Sigma Delta Chi claims life of student.
3. AmericaĆ­s first snowhouses open in Hancock and Houghton. 4. After a year of delays and roadblocks, Michigan Tech EnterPrise SmartZone moves forward.
5. Burial battle
6. First payment for 6,275 acres in Keweenaw County land deal; sets in motion one of the largest land deals of its kind in state history.
7. New diseases (Chronic Wasting Disease and West Nile Virus) threaten area.
8. Western U.P. Red Cross dissolved over allegations of mismanagement and embezzlement charges levied on former director.
9. Thousands gather near Ewen as part of national Rainbow Family Gathering.
10. Missing snowmobiler John Buccanero found dead after 17 years.

I’m at the radio station. Started the broadcast day after I found the door was locked and the station was powered down. It’s been a while since I’ve done that, but it helped wake me up.

I’ve been reading up on the Atlanta Journal Constitution because things have been going pretty well. There’s really a lot of sports going on. Mostly good — the Falcons and QB Michael Vick face a steep challenge in Tampa Bay. The Georgia Bulldogs easily won their first SEC Championship in football in 20 years.

However, it’s just so sad that the Braves let pitcher Tom Glavine go to the Mets. I mean, it’s the Mets for cripes’ sake. I think it would be like if Michael Jordan decided to sign with the Lakers in basketball or Wayne Gretsky in hockey signing with the … oh never mind.