'Tis more blessed to give 

The jolly old souls here at News Hits, consumed as we are with the holiday spirit, opted to forgo the snide cynicism that we usually serve up and instead distribute a bounty of heartfelt gifts. We made a list, checked it twice, and decided who’s been naughty or nice or felonious. Ho, ho, ho!

For Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, Santa’s dropping off a custom-made Kevlar suit, size XXXXXXL, because the guy’s way too thin-skinned when it comes to taking criticism from the media — or anyone else. Wear it with our love, big guy. Detroit’s first lady, Carlita Kilpatrick, can expect to find a gift-wrapped nanny neath her tree, thus freeing several of Detroit’s finest police officers from diaper duty. For mayoral spokesman Jamaine Dickens and city department heads, we’re digging deeply to provide each and every one with a brand-new cell phone, because our calls go unreturned so often we figure the ones they have now just aren’t working.

Lions coach Marty Mornhinweg is getting an updated résumé, because the way the past two seasons have gone it appears he’s soon going to be looking for a job.

Pistons boss Rick Carlisle will get the lead role in the sequel film Truman II, because he’s wacky, nutty, zany, cuckoo, and because Jim Carrey is too busy entertaining Pamela Anderson to do the role. (Sorry, Kid Rock; we’ll send you a primer-gray El Camino in case you need cheering up.) And for the Pistons themselves, even though they’re winning with regularity, we’re dropping a catalogue for classes at the Center for Creative Studies. While our pals from the Palace have the top defense in the league, they need to bring more innovation to their offensive game. Meanwhile, the Pistons’ public-address guy will get a big fat muzzle in his stocking. We know it’s not his fault, we know he gets a fat script that requires him to noisily and shamelessly pimp products during every break in action — but, damn, guy, chill a little.

Suspecting he may have been very naughty, News Hits is providing outgoing Wayne County Executive Ed McNamara a half-off coupon redeemable at the offices of any criminal attorney he chooses. With the county balking at picking up the legal tab facing Big Ed and his cronies, we’re sure it’s a gift that will come in handy. And, because we’re in a giving mood, we’re sending a similar coupon to one of McNamara’s protégés, Wayne County Prosecutor Michael Duggan. For incoming county executive Robert Ficano, Santa’s going to recycle the bound copy of the book Ethics in Government that he gave McNamara way back when. Believe us, Bob, it’s as good as new, because Big Ed never once cracked it open.

New Detroit Police Chief Jerry Oliver will be unwrapping a copy of Dale Carnegie’s classic book, How to Win Friends and Influence People. For the rest of the Police Department, Santa’s going to distribute a year’s supply of Prozac to the demoralized troops patrolling our streets. And our friends at the U.S. attorney’s office in Detroit will all be receiving nice new watches as a reminder that it’s way past time to deliver their report on problems at the Detroit PD.

Eminem gets a tanning booth. Jack and Meg White, a bass player and a drum machine.

To landlord Ernest Karr, whose companies have a nasty habit of renting desperately poor folks homes that lack some of the niceties most of us have come to expect (things like heat and working plumbing), we offer up an artificial heart to fill the vacant cavity that currently exists in his chest.

Reversing the usual order of things, we plan to dispatch several elves to the home of Councilwoman Kay Everett on Christmas Eve so that they can crawl down her chimney (we know that’s not an attractive image, but someone’s got to do it) and take all those ridiculous hats of hers, because that whole joke has gone on way too long. But we’re not going to leave her stocking empty. It’s going to be filled with a big ol’ clue, because she sorely needs to get one. The rest of the council will get copies of a new book, The Dummy’s Guide To Settling Disputes. The Kwamster is getting one as well. With the massive problems facing this city, y’all need to nix the turf battles and start working together. And for Gil Hill, the former council member and failed mayoral candidate who appears to be planning an attempted council comeback, we are providing an around-the-world cruise. If we’re lucky, he’ll run for the Khartoum council.

In Oakland County, beleaguered pol L. Brooks Patterson is getting an oversized Bible in order to help him better fend off attacks from the zealots on the religious right that forced him to step down as leader of the county’s Republican Party. And over in Macomb County we’re delivering a case of Handi-Wipes to U.S. Rep. David Bonior, who’s still scraping off all the mud tossed at him for having the guts to visit Iraq and question U.S. plans to attack that country.

Up in Lansing, governor-elect Jennifer Granholm will be getting a special calculator Santa has sprinkled with magic pixie dust, because that’s the only way she’ll be able to deal with the $1.5 billion deficit the outgoing Engler administration is dumping into her lap. Santa was also going to leave her one of those discount lawyer coupons he’s giving to her pals McNamara and Duggan, just in case; instead, we’ll just forward Geoffrey Fieger’s phone number.

To Michelle Engler, Santa’s dropping off an extra large strap-on dildo so that she can do the same thing to her hubby that he’s been doing to us the last 12 years. Bend over and enjoy it in good health, John. You deserve it.

Already loaded into the sleigh are several barrels of toxic waste the people of Midland all chipped in to buy for Department of Environmental Quality Director Russ Harding. They want Santa to dump the stuff in Harding’s back yard, so he can get some sense of how they all feel. In return, Santa’s giving all of Michigan’s environmentalists a great big bag of glee that they can open on Jan. 1, when Harding and crew will no longer be in power.

For the sake of the Detroit News and the Detroit Free Press, Santa’s going to do his best to make sure the Red Wings win another Stanley Cup next year. If not, reporters over at the two dailies are going to have to go out and find a lot more real news stories to fill the front-page holes so frequently occupied this past year by our Hockeytown heroes. Go Wings!

And to all the people of Detroit, we’re giving you a great big break, because with all the problems this city gets year in and out, Lord knows you deserve it. Merry Christmas!

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