I looked at the news this morning and now have a giant kink in my neck from all the head-shaking.

The first bit of silliness has to do with yet another politician calling the opposing party a bunch of Nazis.

Rep. Steve Cohen is the Tennessee Democrat who recently compared Republicans criticizing the health care law to the work of famous Nazi propaganda Chief Joseph Goebbels.

So much for that new tone of civility in Washington.

Perhaps he was right when he said that he didn't technically call them Nazis, but he came close enough. It seems the past decade or so, when someone doesn't like what someone else is doing, that someone else is either a Nazi or a Stalinist/communist. And it's coming from both parties. I saw so many homemade signs depicting the Soviet hammer-and-sickle symbol denouncing Obama and Democrats in general, I started getting terribly confused. Wasn't he a Kenyan-born Muslim just a couple of months earlier?

Exaggerate much?

It's gotten so bad, my 2-year-old didn't think I cooked her dinner long enough the other night and called me "The Macaroni and Cheese Nazi."

I think that there should be a law that, if you call someone a Nazi or a communist, you need to be able to pass a test on the atrocities committed by Adolph Hitler and Joseph Stalin, then explain to a panel of survivors of the Holocaust or the Stalinist purges, depending on the name you use, how the acts of the person in question honestly compares to that. If they think it's an apt comparison, fire away. If not -- and they don't end up hitting you over the head with their walkers -- you have to shut up.


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Then there's Washington's West Coast counterpart in all things insanely myopic and lacking perspective: Hollywood, which has its collective drawers in a bunch over Ricky Gervais making a few jokes at last week's Golden Globes about people everyone already makes fun of.

Asking for it

Inviting Ricky Gervais to host your awards show, then getting upset because he makes fun of some actors, is like using a flamethrower to light a candle and then complaining when your house burns down.

Of course, one or two of his jokes were in bad taste and/or just weren't funny. But every time awards shows hire people who won't stir the pot, they get criticized for being boring and safe. So they go to the other extreme, shooting for edgy humor and something that will garner attention after the closing credits. Then, suddenly, people find themselves offended.

Celebrities, who have chosen fame and everything that comes with it, are the last people who should have hurt feelings over someone poking fun at them. Besides, Gervais gave Robert Downey Jr. a chance to fire back with the best line of the night, when Gervais introduced him by mentioning his stints in jail and rehab. "Aside from the fact that it's been hugely mean-spirited, with mildly sinister undertones, I'd say the vibe of the show is pretty good so far," Downey said. "Wouldn't you?"

Speaking of people who sought the spotlight. Jon Gosselin -- co-star of the late, not-so-great "Jon and Kate Plus 8" reality show -- went and got a job. And it made headlines.

Most of America can't find Iraq on a map, but know Jon Gosselin got a job.

Well, he did for a while, anyway. Life & Style magazine reported he took a marketing job at a place called Global Green Property Services in Pennsylvania. But he allegedly quit soon after, a source told the magazine, because he didn't want to spend so much time away from his children, whose mother does things like dragging them to Alaska to go camping with Sarah Palin.

Yes, I do know how insane that last sentence sounds. But I also know where Iraq is.

My favorite piece of head-shaking daily nuttiness comes from merry old England (which I can also find in a map -- it's next to Europe). The country's 28-year-old Premiere League soccer star Jermaine Pennant, who was paid $3.19 million to play as a 15-year-old, lost his Porsche six months ago. Only at some point, he forgot he had one.

Pennant told authorities in Spain he didn't remember owning a Porsche when they tracked down the owner of a car that was left in a train station parking lot for six months. It was apparent that, at some point, the soccer star knew the car was his, as the license plates read P33NNT. Of course, the keys were left on the passenger seat.

Say what you want about Pennant having a skewed perspective on valuables, but at least he's not calling anyone a Nazi.

Contact Tony Hicks at thicks@bayareanewsgroup.com. Read his blog, Insert Foot, at www.ibabuzz.com/insertfoot