While we are not out of the woods on Syria yet, until there is new news coming out of Geneva, the media is back to covering the circus on Capitol Hill.

Yes, Congress is finally back in session, refreshed from their long summer recess and ready to rumble. Until their next recess – which may have to be cancelled, with all that work they have to do, shutting down the government and all.

Republicans on the House Ways and Means Committee seems happy that all that war talk has been back burnered for now, but not for the same reason as you and I. They are going to pick things up right where they left off over the summer: Yet another investigation on that IRS “scandal” that isn’t a scandal. Meanwhile,

You remember how the farm bill couldn’t get passed? Now a bipartisan Senate energy bill is about to get hit with amendments that stop the scheduled implementation of Obamacare, as well as ones that would approve Keystone XL. It’s going to be a long autumn.

Meanwhile, Darrell Issa’s Committee on witch hunting Oversight and Government Reform is criticizing new SEC Commissioner Mary Jo White for not modernizing their systems (especially since it requires the corporations it regulates to do so). And you know something? We think he has a point. But we also wonder if the agency has been denied the funds it needs to bring their systems into the 21st Century. And who might actually be responsible for that in this age of sequestration?

The Obamas are in Ireland now, where they received some tough love/criticism about hypocrisy on Syria from an Irish lawmaker who also doles out criticism to her fellow lawmakers regarding Ireland’s tax sheltering of American corporate profits. Bracing critique, and part of the international response to the president’s recent speech on proposed missile strikes in Syria. A perspective most Americans would not hold but should consider as food for thought

The AFL-CIO held their quadrennial convention earlier this week, and among the speakers was award-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz, whose speech is a must-read. A sample:

Our economy is not working the way a well working economy should. We have vast unmet needs, but idle workers and machines. We have bridges that need repair, roads and schools that need to be built. We have students that need a twenty-first century education, but we are laying off teachers. We have empty homes and homeless people. We have rich banks that are not lending to our small businesses, but are instead using their wealth and ingenuity to manipulate markets, and exploit working people with predatory lending.

Yesterday was primary election day in New York City and our Run, Mama Run candidate Christine Quinn, did not fare well. In fact, the big winner was Bill deBlasio, a straight white man — which is leading the pundits to declare identity politics dead (in NYC, anyway). Others are pointing out that the key to understanding this race lies in demographics – and history, and concludes that we are embarking on the Age of a Rising New Left.

While we’re talking about the changing face of political parties: What’s the deal with all those Libertarians so prevalent in today’s GOP? Because when you look at their philosophy, you realize it doesn’t make sense.

In other news: Sales of electric and hybrid cars went through the roof in August, w00t! #suckit, petroBirchers (the Koch brothers)!!

And finally: Slate decided its web traffic needed a boost, so it declared patriarchy dead. Ha. But NYMag’s response is truer, snarkier, and funnier. Because patriarchy is the ZOMBIE THAT DOESN’T KNOW IT’S DEAD. We keep killing it and it keeps coming back, like a stubborn herpes infection.