Those lazy, hazy summer days of relaxing and thinking about traveling to far-off destinations is but a distant memory this year as we have been shocked back to brutal reality by the theatre of the absurd being played out in the debt ceiling fight in our nation's capitol.
With the economy teetering on collapse with the new debt deal, music fans can prepare for the mournful times ahead by listening to the sad, evocative songs of Gillian Welch, whose sound is steeped in Depression-era bluegrass but updated for today's hard times.
Obama now needs to take advantage of his street cred as a compromiser, a grownup, a deficit cutter, and explain, as he did Tuesday, that while he understands the need to live within our means, we can't start cutting too soon.
Neither party has ever dared to use the deficit ceiling to blackmail the entire nation -- until now. And for that, the GOP is the party clearly at fault. But it is also true that it was Barack Obama who folded.
Now that President Obama has signed the new debt ceiling into law and subscribed his party to an austerity program that assumes a state of permanent economic emergency, the question what made him do it? becomes more pressing than ever.
What precisely will Obama fight for now that the debt deal has tied his hands? He says he wants to extend tax cuts for middle class families and make sure the jobless get unemployment benefits. Fine, but the new deal won't let him.
In this age of austerity, all the politicians are talking about the need for spending cuts. But when it comes to shared burdens and slashed budgets, don't expect the Pentagon to start holding bake sales anytime soon.
Come one, come all, and celebrate the debt ceiling deal! Sure, we've no way of knowing if steep spending cuts will imperil the government's ability to regulate the sale of poisonous toys from China, but that's not journalism's job to worry about.