Hello devoted Political Animals! I’ll be your guest blogger for today, filling in for Mr. Kilgore who is taking unexpected leave due to a medical issue in his family. Send your thoughts and/or prayers his way.

Let me tell you a bit about myself before I get started. I’m from the Southwest originally, Utah and then Colorado. I went to Reed College, graduating in 2008 with a degree in chemistry. I served in the Peace Corps in South Africa from 2009-2011, and wrote an article about the experience which was published in the March-April issue of this magazine. After my service, I took an internship here, eventually coming on as part of the business staff. You may already be familiar with me if you follow the Monthly Twitter account (@washmonthly), as I do many of those tweets. I keep my own blog here, and you can follow me on Twitter as well (@RyanLouisCooper).

Pleasure to meet everyone, and I’m honored to be following in the footsteps of Kevin Drum, Steve Benen, and the Mighty Kilgore. First, let’s have some music.

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Ryan Cooper

Follow Ryan on Twitter @ryanlcooper. Ryan Cooper is a national correspondent at The Week. His work has appeared in The Washington Post, The New Republic, and The Nation.