I was thinking of making this a budget-free collection of links, because my guess is that we’re all just about ready for a good, long break from it. But maybe you’re not. If so, I’ll highly recommend Austin Frakt’s discussion of how to actually save money on Medicare and Fred Kaplan on the defense budget. And if you really want to rehash the deal, I’d start with a good post by Steve Benen, an argument from Nate Silver and a post over at the Monkey Cage by James Fearon (and don’t miss the comments, which are very good) making the case that President Obama had little bargaining power. As I’ve said, my general sense is that liberals who believe that Obama got rolled are underestimating just how far to the right the GOP’s actual ideal point was. My guess is that the mistakes made by Obama and the Democrats on this were made during the 111th Congress, mostly pre-election, and not over the last few weeks. And that’s all about the budget for today.

Now, for the rest of the good stuff:

1. Suzy Khimm surveys economists to get ideas for actually creating jobs.

2. Could the U.S. have “the stupidest [expletive] investors on the planet”? Kevin Drum is on it.

3. Adam Serwer on birthrate panic.

4. Dylan Matthews has a primer on the FAA mess; for the latest reporting, here’s Felicia Sonmez.

5. Really good post from Ta-Nehisi Coates, who explains why he is “ill-suited to radical activism.” Highly recommended.

6. An excellent profile of Gabby Giffords, Arizona native, from Jason Dick. (Full disclosure: I was born and raised in the Grand Canyon State and proud of it. When possible).

7. Gotta love any story that includes “Many of its previous leads had come from psychics. . .

8. And, just for summer, E.D. Kain and the fate of lemonade stands.

What did I miss?