A number of economic indicators are due out this week, including existing and new home sales, and 2nd quarter GDP figures ? all are expected to plummet. Charlie Herman, economics editor for The Takeaway and WNYC Radio, is describing this as a "slowdown" this week: "Right now, we're in the slow days of summer. The president is on vacation and Congress is in recess," he says. With the first anniversary of Ted Kennedy's death approaching this week, Time Magazine's Washington correspondent, Jay Newton-Small, sees government now failing without men like the late Senators Kennedy and Byrd, who came from a generation of legislators who knew how to get things done.

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