How to Talk Nice to Voters, and Other Sunday Morning Reading

Good morning, Animals! Time to fetch that latte and brioche, and settle into a morning of liberal heaven: Sunday papers and shows full of people talking politics.

But before we get started, allow me to apologize for evaporating yesterday without so much as a by-your-leave, thanks to a technical problem with servers in a faraway land (someplace like New York or some such) that temporarily knocked down our hallowed little Web site. But, hey, we’re back.

There’s no dearth of fascinating reading this morning, beginning with G.O.P. pollster Frank Luntz’s advice to Republicans — tendered in the opinion pages of the Washington Post, no less — on suggestions for language alterations in they way they address voters. For instance, there’s this helpful bit:

[Republicans] need a new language to communicate their ideas effectively; it starts with abandoning ugly phrases such as “a hostage you might take a chance at shooting” to describe budget negotiations.

Actually, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell used that phrase to describe the full faith and credit of the United States during the last showdown over the debt ceiling.

(H/t reader MuddyLee.)

Other worthy reads include:

* Absent among possible solutions for the coming debt ceiling crisis will be the giant coin, the New York Times reports. Too bad. We could sure use a little high-minded whimsy right now.

* Other things we won’t be doing include the building of a death star, Politico reports, despite a citizen petition that calls for one. “The Administration does not support blowing up planets,” writes OMB official Paul Shawcross in response to the petition. However, Shawcross assures petitioners, the president “knows his way around a light saber and advanced (marshmallow) cannon.”

* The administration is ready to go forth with “an ambitious overhaul of the immigration system,” according to NYT’s Julia Preston.

* Today’s Washington Post also offers a history of how the National Rifle Association came to be the powerhouse of malevolence that it is today, as well as an outline of 13 proposed gun policies from the liberal Center for American Progress that Post headline writers describe as proposals for “sweeping new gun laws.”

* Slate is crowd-sourcing data on U.S. gun deaths that have occurred since the Sandy Hook school massacre in Newtown, Conn., on December 14. The tally so far: 734.

Back soon — with coffee.