It was good to have a few days away from the blog, but I’m back and ready to go.

I want to thank the always-terrific Ed Kilgore for his fantastic work in my absence — I clearly left Political Animal in capable hands — and I encourage readers to check out his work wherever it appears. You can find Ed at The Democratic Strategist, where he’s the managing editor, as well as The New Republic and Salon, where he contributes regularly.

In terms of housekeeping, it’s obviously a holiday weekend, and at this point, I’m largely inclined to play it by ear when it comes to scheduling. That said, I plan to treat today like a normal Saturday — I’ll probably have a half-dozen or so posts, including “This Week in God” — and will have additional content tomorrow.

And with that, let’s get back to the news.

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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.