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Congress returns to DC to begin the appropriations season, so we talk a bit about the different moving parts of the budget process and where appropriations fit in, as well as why certain appropriations bills always seem to move first. Greg Dworkin brings us his round-up, including: summer storm prep; "A Simple Way to Reduce Suicides"; Eugene Robinson's "The GOP is too juvenile to govern"; and in a surprise entry, Paul Krugman once again being right on the components and trajectory of the deficit (as was Greg), whereas Simpson & Bowles almost sorta-kinda once were, but went bonkers and ended up not. We also noted the breaking news of the death of Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ), and Armando joined in to remember him, to discuss all the attendant political questions his passing raises, and throw in a note about a "civility in politics" conference he happened to attend up in Vermont. Lastly, a look at a fascinating Washington Post story about one Pentagon advisor's so-far unsuccessful attempt to save taxpayers a billion dollars or more by reforming the military commissary system.

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