Summer Slide


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Expert Perspective by Grahall’s OmniMedia Editorial Board

expert perspective telescopeA May 26, 2009 article posted by Nancy Twigg in discusses an alarming problem that summer heralds: The Summer Slide. She says: “Although it sounds like some kind of toy, educators use the phrase to describe the dangerous loss in skills that occurs during the months of summer vacation.” 

Let’s see, besides students and educators, who else goes on an extended vacation in the summer?  You got it – CONGRESS!   We worry that our elected officials may also suffer from summer slide.  And this summer looms as one of the most important in many years.  When our relaxed and hopefully minimally less skilled legislators return to Capital Hill in the fall, two major issues will be staring them in the face: legislation pertaining to executive compensation and the need for legislation pertaining to Health Care reform. 

In an attempt to limit the summer slide phenomena for older school kids, educators these days recommend a summer reading list of at least 5 books. Not clear how much reading the educators require of themselves, but as a breakfast ball to Congress, let’s stick with that older-kids minimum of five, which we suggest could be the following:

1. Economics For Dummies by Sean Masaki Flynn
2. The Audacity of Hope: Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream by Barack Obama 
3. Democracy in America by Alexis de Tocqueville, translated by Harvey C. Mansfield and, Delba Winthrop
4. The Prince by Niccolo Machiavelli
5. The Constitution of the United States

We might also suggest an optional short list of as-yet-unpublished works by as-yet-unknown authors, which, no matter where they stand, clearly promise enlightenment in addition to the important documents above:

1. The 5 People You Meet in Leavenworth
2. Profiles in Avarice
3. Tuesdays with Madoff

Have fun this summer, Congressional Reps and Senators.  But as the song goes “We’ll see you in September, we’ll see you when the summer’s through” with your reading assignment completed.   There will be a test.

Email Grahall’s Editorial Director at

Dear Readers:  What books do you think Congress should read this summer?  Comment on our blog below.  Thanks! EK


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  • Don’t forget about Paradise Lost. Let’s round out their cultural education by having them study art. We can start with Edvard Munch’s Silent Scream.
    by Mary Robinson on August 11, 2009 at 7:00 am
  • All they need is a little incentive. I suggest a box of crayons with each book.
  • Since Congressional Representatives and Senators slide with more than just their intellectual skills, I would like to add a not-so popular book to their summer reading list. The title of the book is called "How Not To Cheat" by the Unknown Wives Club. Should be a very interesting read!
    by Terasa Gipson on August 11, 2009 at 9:28 am
  • This summer my 9 year is required to read "Wayside School Is Falling Down" by Louis Sachar. A quick twist of the title to "US Congress is Falling Down" and you got yourself a non- fictional read.
    by Mary Merigold on August 13, 2009 at 5:55 am
  • Republicans Are From Mars, Democrats Are From Venus
    by Robert Cirkiel on August 16, 2009 at 3:48 pm
  • [...] it, and make tele-legislation arrangements just in case. b. Complete Grahall’s recommended Summer Reading List for Congress c. Check in frequently with Robert Cirkiel’s Health Care Reform page on [...]

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