Rich Galen

In spite of my best efforts I find I am once again staring down the barrel of August; except for all of France, there is no place on Earth which takes August more seriously than Washington, DC. The House has already recessed, the Senate will be gone by the end of the week, and neither will be back until after Labor Day.

The days away from Your Nation's Capital used to be called "recesses." Then someone read "1984" and learned about that whole "newspeak" thing so now they are called "District Work Periods."

Do not, please, think ill of our most senior elected officials. Remember that it has been three full weeks since they took a week-long District Work Period to celebrate the Fourth of July, even though the rest of us did it on July 4th.

And, also, remember that instead of delivering the masterfully constructed speech to be delivered at the annual Independence Day Picnic, they had to answer questions about why President Barack Obama had chosen that very week to announce that he had ordered the Justice Department to challenge the Arizona immigration law in Federal court.

A significant number of House Members are not going to their districts to work during the August District Work Period, but to hide in their dens putting out "feelers" to their previous law firm to see if they can get their old job back after January.

Ok, this is not going to be the beginning of my novel about life on Capitol Hill: "The Gulag Appropriate-elego" (which should be available in time to give as a wonderful Christmas gift) it is to remind you that in August the normal Monday-Wednesday-Friday sequence of MULLINGS is slightly altered to Monday-Thursday.

Dear Mr. Mullings:

You could have told us that in Twitter by writing: "In August Mullings changes from three-days-per week to two-days-per week," and still have had 68 characters left over.


The Alexandria Brevity Society

Also, this is Shark Week on Discovery.

Ok. THAT we'll buy.

Former chairman of the Fed said on "Meet the Press" yesterday that "the slowing economic recovery in the U.S. feels like a 'quasi-recession,' and the economy might contract again if home prices decline."

According to, Greenspan said that:

"Our problem basically is that we have a very distorted economy. Any recovery has mostly been limited to large banks, large businesses and high-income individuals who have just had $800 billion added to their 401(k)s, and are spending it and are carrying what consumption there is."

I just looked at my 401(k) and it's a little shy of $800 billion. I've cancelled that appointment in the Hamptons with Hank-Med.

Rich Galen

Rich Galen has been a press secretary to Dan Quayle and Newt Gingrich. Rich Galen currently works as a journalist and writes at