Alex Brandon, Associated Press
In this May 27, 2010 file photo, President Barack Obama looks over the bracket with coach Mike Krzyzewski of the NCAA basketball champion Duke Blue Devils in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, where he honored the team.

Casual observers may wonder whether Americans are being redundant by designating a specific month for madness.

First it was "fiscal cliff January," then "sequestration February" and now "March madness." I'm just hoping we're still around for the dog days of summer.

White House staffers reportedly had to convince the president he no longer needed to pick Ohio State or a Michigan school in his bracket in order to win votes.

Some people say the NCAA basketball tournament unites the nation as no other event can. This is true. Just look at how people united last week to hate the Harvard team for ruining everyone's brackets.

Tired of trying to work out a budget deal between Republicans and Democrats, President Obama decided to take on something simpler last week — peace between Israelis and Palestinians.

The president urged Israelis and Palestinians to return to negotiations with few, if any, pre-conditions, other than the standard one that the rich need to pay more.

Retired basketball star Dennis Rodman told a reporter last week that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has a daughter — something previously unknown and possibly a state secret. So much for the plans to develop a nuclear missile that would kill all Americans except Rodman.

Never trust a state secret to a guy who wears dresses and colors his hair before every game.

Rodman visited the brutal dictator last month. "I love him," he said. "The guy's really awesome." He probably says that about all the despots.

Word is the folks in Cyprus are trying to come up with a new cliche to replace, "You can bank on it."

Americans scoff at the Cypriot proposal to tax money held in bank savings accounts. In this country, as any politician knows, you grab the money before people have a chance to put it in the bank.

Experts warned that Cyprus' failed attempt to tax bank accounts might even keep Americans from depositing their hard-earned savings. Actually, microscopic interests rates have already accomplished that.

Scientists say they have found evidence to support the theory that the universe was once smaller than an atom, but that it exploded and expanded in an instant. Kind of makes you wary of sitting next to an atom, or something smaller, during dinner, doesn't it?

Scientists call this sudden big bang "inflation," because it's so similar to what will happen one day if the government keeps pumping billions a month into Treasuries and mortgage-backed securities.

Gov. Gary Herbert vetoed a bill that would have made it legal to carry a concealed weapon in Utah without a permit. Easy for him to do, he has armed guards.

All I can say is, if the Girl Scouts had been carrying concealed weapons last week, a thief never would have gotten away with stealing their money from a table outside a Wal-mart.

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