Jose Luis Magana, AP
Republican presidential candidate and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich is greeted by supporters after the mass at the Basilica of the National Shrine in Washington, Sunday, Jan. 22, 2012.

Just when you thought the race for the Republican presidential nomination was about to get down to earth, Newt Gingrich launched his plan last week to make the Moon the 51st state.

By the end of his second term, he said, the nation would have a permanent base on the Moon. Then when it got 13,000 people, the moon could apply for statehood. Perhaps next it could apply for federal funding to build a major league baseball stadium. Imagine how far the home runs would be!

California Gov. Jerry Brown once had the nickname "Governor Moonbeam." Come to think of it, California has a better chance of balancing its budget than Gingrich would have of shrinking the deficit, reforming entitlements and financing construction of a city on a hostile orbiting satellite with no atmosphere.

Mitt Romney released his income tax returns this week. People were shocked to discover he's rich.

They also were shocked to learn he paid the amount of tax the law required, rather than volunteering to pay much more.

Imagine the audacity of a successful person thinking he could be president! We want someone more like the average person — in a dead-end job with no savings, a mortgage, car payments he or she can't afford and about $10,000 in credit card bills.

Somewhere in the great beyond, Richard Nixon is wondering why he never thought to demand John F. Kennedy make his returns public in 1960.

It is a testament to the lack of education among TSA agents that, of all the members of Congress to pick on, they would choose Sen. Rand Paul.

The TSA said Paul, who refused to undergo a pat-down last week at the Nashville airport, was not being "detained" when he was placed in a cubicle for questioning. Yes, he was there against his will and could not leave unless police told him to, but he was not "detained." That would involve leg irons.

Meanwhile, many Americans are wondering what can be done to keep more politicians from going to Washington.

There are plenty of places where a FedEx driver might safely joke about a package maybe being a bomb — in his truck by himself with the radio turned up, in an empty elevator or while alone in the shower, perhaps. The entrance to Camp Williams, however, is apparently not one of them.

Kevin Coleman, the FedEx driver, was charged in 3rd District Court with threatening terrorism, a third-degree felony, for his alleged joke that a package might be a bomb. Apparently, his free speech ends where a military police sergeant's nose begins.

Jay Evensen is the associate editor of the Deseret News editorial page. Follow him on Twitter @jayevensen.