Last week, I got a couple notices that Congressman Paul Ryan was having a conference call today dealing with the stimulus package passed by the Senate.  At first, I was somewhat honored that I was invited to participate.  But then, I quickly realized that technology has fooled me into a false sense of importance.  It used to be that back in the day, if you were on a conference call with CONGRESSMAN PAUL RYAN, you actually were SOMEBODY.  But these days, with 1,000 way calling, it just means you\’re one of a thousand people listening in.  Being on a conference call is meaningless – I could pick up the phone to order a Russian mail-order bride and accidentally end up on a Paul Ryan conference call.

It\’s like business cards back in the day.  Remember when someone whipped out a business card, and you were like \”WHOA – that guy must be important!  He has a business card!\”  These days, those idiots who fly toy helicopters around the mall probably have business cards.  It\’s meaningless.

This illustrated one of my fundamental rules of working in the Capitol: Any meeting to which I am invited probably isn\’t important enough for me to attend.

In any event, I misread the invite, and it was 1:00 PM EASTERN TIME, not Central.  So I completely whiffed.