BATON ROUGE, La. -- I am winding my way down to the Louisiana Capitol basement, trying to find House Committee Room 6, which is as exciting as it sounds and not evident by the crowds gathering to hear me read.
Let's recap: If you like your insurance policy, you can keep it. No, wait. If you liked your policy, it was probably worthless anyway. Scratch that. If your junk policy was canceled and you still want it, you can keep it. Er, get it back.
ATLANTA -- In 1994, I borrowed the truck that hauled the loaner bed to the thinly disguised doublewide I was renting outside of Atlanta.
That's what it was called back in 1979, when Paul Tsongas, the freshman senator from Massachusetts, introduced a bill to amend Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to add sexual orientation to the list (which already included race, religion and sex) of things you couldn't (absent narrow exceptions) base employment decisions on.
Boys will be boys. Strip away the extraneous verbiage and that is what much of the defense of Richie Incognito boils down to. Incognito, a Miami Dolphins lineman, was booted from the team a few days ago -- perhaps permanently -- for abusive conduct, racist language and bullying behavior toward fellow lineman Jonathan Martin. Incognito's teammates are firmly on his side.
President Obama is no lip-biting, tear-streaked, chin-trembling apologist.
Among the many rules I grew up with, two stand out. The first was to never call someone a liar, which was considered the worst character indictment one could issue. The accuser had best be prepared to fight or be fleet of foot.
Every disaster has its moment of clarity. Physicist Richard Feynman dunks an O-ring into ice water and everyone understands instantly why the shuttle Challenger exploded. This week, the Obamacare O-ring froze for all the world to see: Hundreds of thousands of cancellation letters went out to people who had been assured a dozen times by the president that "If you like your health-care plan, you'll be able to keep your health-care plan. Period."
Let us now praise competence. The praise is overdue. Competence is like the dull, but reliable husband a woman spurns for some sexy stranger with a flashy car. Then she finds out her new fellow has the manners of a pig, the depth of a wading pool and absolutely no interest in helping her study for her real estate license. Suddenly, dull and reliable don't seem nearly so bad.
While the nation's attention has been riveted on the Keystone Congress, the executive branch was busy developing its own comedy routine. Picture the cast (you know the characters) shrugging their shoulders in unison: "Who, me?"
1. Kathleen Parker: The new SAT don't care 'bout no fancy words NATIONAL COLUMNS
2. Ask Rufus: Stand Fast Mississippians LOCAL COLUMNS
3. Birney Imes: On the road with Louie and Sprocket LOCAL COLUMNS
4. Roses and thorns: 3/9/14 ROSES & THORNS
5. Leonard Pitts: Laughter and grief belong together NATIONAL COLUMNS