Whatever happened to the slow political summer? A budget deal may be near, court rulings on the Obamacare lawsuits are imminent, and the presidential campaign is already well underway. It's not an ideal time to be leaving the country, but that's exactly what I'm doing. I'm bound for Asia and won't return until after July 4.

I've recruited a few guest bloggers, some familiar and some new, plus I've asked our crack team of young interns to post daily news roundups on the issues this blog typically covers. (Health care, the budget, poverty, more health care...)

Depending on the quality of my internet access, I'll probably have a thing or two to say, as well, though it may not be as timely as usual.