This week, Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf died, Vladimir Putin signed a bill banning the adoption of Russian children by Americans, and our economy continued to speed towards the fiscal cliff, with Harry Reid accusing John Boehner of waiting until he is reelected as Speaker before seriously negotiating a deal, and the president demanding an up-or-down vote on a stop-gap measure. The poor beached whale that died in Queens, New York midweek seems a fitting metaphor for our political system. On a more positive note, a gun buyback event in Los Angeles was so successful the police ran out of the gift cards that were being exchanged for the turned-in weapons (including 75 assault weapons -- and a pair of rocket launchers). Many of those giving up their guns said they were doing so as the result of the Newtown massacre. Here's hoping that's a trend that extends into the new year.