FROM THE WEEKEND…. We covered quite a bit of ground over the weekend here at Political Animal. Here’s a recap of what we covered.

On Sunday, we talked about:

* U.S. military leaders and Republican leaders on the Hill are increasingly at odds over key defense-related policies, and GOP foot-dragging on New START ratification is making the differences even starker.

* President Obama has adopted a far-less contentious tone with Senate Republicans over national security than George W. Bush did in his second year in office.

* Former half-term Gov. Sarah Palin (R) insists she’s a voracious reader. That seems hard to believe, and the dubious claim is probably unnecessary anyway.

* Congressional Republicans fully intend to go after the Affordable Care Act, but intra-party differences remain over whether to pursue “full” or “partial” repeal.

* Sen. George Voinovich (R-Ohio) said he’d withhold support for New START unless it had the backing of our “allies throughout Europe.” Good news: Europe desperately wants to see the treaty ratified.

* Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) is convinced an individual health care mandate is “clearly unconstitutional.” This is the same Orrin Hatch who co-sponsored legislation to create an individual health care mandate.

* The presidential nominee’s wishes notwithstanding, the McCain-Lieberman ’08 ticket just wasn’t going to work out.

And on Saturday, we talked about:

* Krugman, Collender, and Yglesias have all argued congressional Republicans may try to keep the economy down on purpose to advance partisan goals. I argued it’s worthy of discussion (and you wouldn’t believe the hate-mail I received in response).

* Some moderate Republicans want their party to take global warming seriously. I’m afraid they’re a little late.

* In “This Week in God,” we covered quite a bit of ground, including Pope Benedict XVI making the case that governments have a moral responsibility to guarantee access to health care for all of their citizens.

* Mike Huckabee seems a little confused about separation of powers.

* Congress could privatize TSA screeners at airports, but it wouldn’t make any difference.

* On New START, Sen. Dick Lugar (R-Ind.) urges his Republican colleagues, “Do your duty for your country.” I don’t think they’re listening.

* A couple of unexpected GOP votes may be available on DADT repeal, but their support would come at a high lame-duck price.

Steve Benen

Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.