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?"
The amazing story of Pei-Shen Qian has given the art world pause. A struggling Chinese immigrant, Qian painted fake works attributed to the stars of abstract expressionism -- Jackson Pollock, Barnett Newman, Robert Motherwell.
Most Americans of a certain age grew up hearing the adage: "Behind every great man is a great woman," or some variation thereof. The meaning is clear, though its origin less so.
California has found a formula for ending the partisan warfare that once paralyzed its government: Get rid of one of the parties, in this case, the Republican. The state's famously dysfunctional government now hums with calm efficiency.
Two things are often said in this town: "A day is a year in politics." And, "It's all about 2014." Combined, the two statements mean that much can happen between now and the midterm elections next year, when Republicans hope to hold the House and gain the Senate -- and Democrats intend to hold the Senate and recover the House.
Last week, hours before a historic default, Congress finally stopped playing chicken with the world's largest economy and ended the government shutdown. So . . . hurray, right?
If Tuesday's argument before the Supreme Court is any indication, a Michigan law prohibiting "preferential treatment" is on its way to being upheld by the United States Supreme Court. The law was held unconstitutional last year by a panel of judges on the United States Court of Appeals because, in their view, the primarily white electorate was taking away from minorities the benefits of an admissions policy that supported racial diversity in the state college and university system.
For all the hyped indignation over GOP "anarchism," there has been remarkable media reticence about the president's intransigence. He has refused to negotiate anything unless the Republicans fully fund the government and raise the debt ceiling - unconditionally.
The thing might be funny, except that somebody died. That part isn't funny at all. But the rest of it, the moments before Justin Valdez was killed, read like some twisted skit on "Saturday Night Live."
His prized possessions were a Stetson hat, a portrait print signed by Kentucky's Col. Harlan Sanders and a putter shaped like a hot dog and autographed by Bear Bryant, though three of his children had graduated from Auburn and he never played golf.
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