I realize I say this a lot, but I'm more frightened by the state of the nation than ever before. American politics have always been brutish and ugly, but the bottom has completely fallen out. Republican extremists are running the country like a James Bond villain threatening nuclear war if he doesn't get his ransom, but there's no 007 to save the day. Obama throws up his hands. Beltway pundits blame "Washington." The hypocritcal lack of concern about deficits under Bush goes unmentioned.
This is not politics-as-usual. As Joe Nocera described it in the NYT: "Our enemies could not have designed a better plan to weaken the American economy than this debt-ceiling deal." And now they're onto the FAA. I don't see how this situation gets any better.