I’m not that shocked by the news that Roger Clemens and Barbara Walters had a secret affair. The way they never showed up together at nightclubs was the tipoff. Neither is it any big surprise that Hannah Montana is the love child of a former black U.S. senator – whose name I forget but I’m guessing Carol Moseley Braun. The news comes so hot and heavy you can’t catch it all, but I know there’s someone Northwestern U. disinvited to graduation, and nobody messed up that badly lately but Paula Abdul.

But what gets me is that everyone is so totally unrepentant. Nobody repents. Nobody even pents in the first place. Why are Americans so unpentable? Why build penthouses if nobody uses them? Is it because they’re so hard to get to? Is the trouble with this country that before you can pent you have to take an elevator? Sometimes the doorman won’t even let you on it.  Back in the 50s so much was written about pent-up Americans that everyone figured the problem was high priority and by now we’d all be penting our hearts away down at street level. Wasn’t there a huge government building just outside Washington dedicated to the problem? What a waste of tax dollars!

I want a president who says that if we’re going to have all this grab-ass at least people need to say they’re sorry. No more excuses unless they’re sorry excuses. My wife says that if I want a sorry excuse for a president it’s no wonder I bounce out of bed each morning whistling a happy tune. But that’s not it. I can’t wait to read the papers. Sure, the news is all online, but nobody confesses like a good old fashioned newspaper. Newspapers pent and repent and then they pent some more. Especially on Sundays.

The New York Times sets the standard for coming clean. This Sunday they had so much to admit to that at the end of the their usual list of corrections on page four the Times went on: “Corrections in other sections: Arts & Leisure, Page 4; Week in Review, Page 2; Travel, Page 3; Book Review, Page 5; Sunday Styles, Page 23.” By the time I’d tracked down all the corrections I’d read the entire paper!