I’m writing this from an intensive care unit where my stepfather is slowly recovering from surgery, so I may not be at the top of my game. And I greatly appreciate Ryan Cooper’s emergency guest blogging on Friday along with Adele Stan’s typically excellent weekend stint.

But aside from the distractions, it’s also Memorial Day, where most Americans commemorate the horrific sacrifices associated with the country’s wars by engaging in activities as remote from the inspiration of the holiday as possible. That’s okay; to use the ultimate cliche, it’s freedom from violence and even from a sense of political urgency that warriors (if not always those who send them into wars or lead then once they are there) often hope to preserve.

So here are some light Memorial Day BBQ treats:

* E.J. Dionne celebrates the combative tone of the president’s re-election campaign.

* TNR’s Tim Noah explains some of the top conservative catch-phrases.

* McCain shrugs off Bain record as reflecting sad but necessary cruelties of modern capitalism. Geez, senator, couldn’t you use a code word like “creative destruction?”

* Kicking ’em when they’re down: Alex Pareene adds his fine two cents to the demolition of Kevin Williamson’s revisionist take on the GOP and civil rights.

And in non-political news:

* Need something to wash down that Doritos Locos Taco? One franchise offering Mountain Dew A.M. Cocktail! Only in America.

Back shortly for more langorous Memorial Day blogging.

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Ed Kilgore is a political columnist for New York and managing editor at the Democratic Strategist website. He was a contributing writer at the Washington Monthly from January 2012 until November 2015, and was the principal contributor to the Political Animal blog.