If we want to throw this term around loosely, then yes, today's NY Times suggests, our nation currently may be in the grips of a recession. Lately there has been a lot to be said about our "are we, or aren't we" recession. But the discussion could end so easily and with a definitive answer. We learn in our most basic macro textbook that after two consecutive quarters of negative economic growth we then will find ourselves in an actual recession. I've heard the story of Ronald Reagan redefining "depression" and "recession" to help him win the election against Carter, but that was all just slick political posturing.
To be more accurate, what our national economy has recently suffered is merely slow growth, but "slow growth" is boring and doesn't get the same frenzied reaction as "recession". Certainly everywhere we look we see a gloomy picture with the housing, job, and stock markets dropping and oil prices, unemployment, and inflation rising, but luckily we can all take comfort in knowing that we are not, by its standard definition, in a recession.