This is reality?

Tuesday - 9/4/2012, 2:00am EDT

If you were late for work this morning, had a fender bender or arrived at the office angry and exhausted, welcome to Washington after Labor Day. Schools are back in session and the roads are clogged with thousands of yellow buses, and many more parents dropping their offspring off to school.

The Pentagon parking lot filled up even earlier than usual. Roads like 270, Route 66 and the GW Parkway, which were speedy ways to get around in August have returned to their parking lot status.

The same sort of thing is happening all over. In Philadelphia, Austin, Seattle — in cities large and small. But Washington (and you already knew this) is different.

In the summertime, and especially in August, the D.C. area "loses" some of its most interesting residents. It is said that the beautiful people head for LA and the not-so-beautiful head east, specifically to D.C. Many who come here — politicians, lobbyists, journalists, lawyers and think tankers — were class presidents. They made it big and came here. The Type-A type is once again everywhere.

People who don't choose to (or can't afford to) leave D.C. in August are rewarded with minimal traffic, room in restaurants and often less aggressive drivers and driving. Tens of thousands of people associated with Capitol Hill — from members and their staffs to agency types who must work with them — make a difference when they leave. And when they get back.

So if you couldn't take a trendy August vacation to the Cape or the islands, chances are you had a pretty good time, in a pretty nice town over the last few weeks.

Now its back, sadly, to Washington-style reality. And its only 112 days till sequestraton!


NEARLY USELESS FACTOID

By Jack Moore

Did you know — September is National Chicken Month, according to EatChicken.com, which praises the "most versatile, cost- effective, tasty protein you can make." But be mindful of how you prepare it; September is also National Cholesterol Education Month.


MORE FROM FEDERAL NEWS RADIO

Exclusive: Conference investigation leaves some questioning GSA IG's aggressive tactics
The General Services Administration's inspector general found no evidence of extravagant expenses at the SmartPay Training Conference held last month in Nashville. But the preliminary investigation by GSA IG Brian Miller's staff is leaving some resentful of and objecting to their tactics.

ICE chief of staff resigns amid misconduct claims
Suzanne Barr, longtime aide to Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, resigned Saturday amid allegations of inappropriate sexual behavior lodged by at least three Immigration and Customs Enforcement employees. Barr had been accused in a lawsuit that was filed in May of fostering a "frat house" atmosphere at ICE. Barr had earlier left on leave pending the outcome of an inspector general investigation.

Order calls for interagency cooperation on veterans' mental health
President Obama signed an executive order Friday telling the Department of Veterans Affairs to add more personnel to respond to the mental health needs of veterans and telling other agencies to help, an effort to fight a rising tide of suicides in the military services.

Sequestration could spell $39B in cuts to civilian agency budgets
Civilian agencies may lose almost $40 billion in top-line funding if the automatic, across-the-board cuts known as sequestration go into effect on Jan. 2.