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The last few days have brought welcome news of a potential end to the government shutdown. Whether you believe there can be a long-term, large-scale budget bargain or not, its important to look at where this Congress left off when they last considered funding the government in something like the "normal" way.

The federal government remains shut down. We are sorting out its effects on our astronomical sciences, and we're asking you for your stories, which we'll collect for a letter to Congressional leaders.

At the Golden Goose Awards Ceremony in Washington, DC, a cadre of researchers were recognized for seemingly obscure basic research that has reaped huge and wholly unexpected rewards in societal applications.

Josh Shiode, the AAS's incoming John N. Bahcall Public Policy Fellow, blogs about his somewhat meandering journey from research scientist to policy wonk.

The AAS needs members' help to convince Congress of the importance of astronomical research. Please get involved by signing up for our Communicating With Washington program. Deadline: 1 August 2013.

AST division director Jim Ulvestad provides updates on the FY 2013 budget, the FY 2014 budget request, the AAG and PAARE grant programs, the ALMA inauguration in Chile, and forthcoming management competitions for several NSF-funded national facilities.

Sign the petition to help protect federal funding for research and development. Together we can make a difference. Speak up today!

AAS President Debra Elmegreen wrote an op-ed piece entitled "A Return on America's Investment" that was published in this week's issue of Space News.

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