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August 26, 2005


What didn't happen this week: A wave of charges ranging from perjury to treason made in relation to the Plame case; an emergency session of Congress held because "we can't take vacation while our children are dying overseas"; Senate meanwhile lockjawed in filibuster over Court nominees; and John Bolton stays in the news as every member of the UN refuses to acknowledge he is present, childishly asking "Who's there? Did someone say something? It sounds like John Bolton, but I don't see him here. It must be my imagination!" when Bolton speaks and filling his office ceiling-high with crumpled paper when he is out at lunch.

Why would any of that happen with everyone away in August? And Bolton's more than making different news at the UN.

It wouldn't. But why is everyone away in August?

I'd love to take half the vacation time that the folks who run the country get. But then what I'm in charge of would unfortunately go to pieces as much as what they're in charge of has.

(that last sentence was recently named a convoluted grammar award nominee by the Swedish academy.)

But why is everyone away in August?

Congress is in recess because they do need to spend time in their home districts to represent them, though they also undoubtedly take advantage of traditions formed when travel was much slower take vacations the rest of us only dream of and to avoid Washington summer. However, Congress isn't intended to respond quickly to ongoing events, and frequently does worse when it tries to, so that's okay.

The executive branch is away in August because the President, as was amply demonstrated in the summer of 2001, thinks his vacations are more important than doing the job he was elected for, no matter how urgent the crisis. That's unconscionable.

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