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Happy August to You!

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of

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.

In our "Keep Your Enemies Close, but Keep Your Friends Closer" segment, this morning we turn to President Barack Obama who called in the biggest, baddest bus he could find so he could throw Charlie Rangel under it.

Obama said, in response to a question on CBS about Rangel's impending Ethics Committee trial after the August Work Period:

"I think Charlie Rangel served a very long time and served his constituents very well, but these allegations are very troubling, and, you know, he's somebody who is at the end of his career, 80 years old.

"I'm sure that what he wants is to be able to end his career with dignity, and my hope is that happens."

Thanks for the support, Bar.


Not to be outdone, Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell was seen signaling for a bus under which to throw Obama when said on MSNBC's "Morning Joe"

"that Mr. Obama could face a challenge from within his own party if he were to escalate U.S. involvement in Afghanistan."

That quote is from I couldn't find it on the MSNBC site.

A free subscription to MULLINGS for the first person who can use the same Scrabble tiles to spell both "Barack Obama" and "Lyndon Johnson."

Finally, Matt DeLong, writing in the Washington Post, gives Sarah Palin credit for her use of the word "cajones" (describing Obama's lack of, on immigration) for the first time by a high-profile American woman since U.N. Ambassador, then Secretary of State Madeleine Albright used it to similar depiction of Fidel Castro's deficiency when he ordered the "shooting down of planes flown by anti-Castro exiles" in 1996.

Madeline Albright, for those who may have forgotten, was appointed by President Bill Clinton.

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