Good to be back home in central Cali, blogging from the dining room table and watching the late-summer tourists walk by. It’s been a reasonably abundant morning of political talk, so here are some palate-pleasers:

* If you had any doubts about Paul Ryan’s negative feelings towards his state’s progressive tradition, The Nation‘s John Nichols decisively lays them to rest.

* At HuffPost, Michael McDonald supplies a reliable overview of early voting in 2012.

* ProPublica’s Kim Barker reports that 501(c)(4)’s like Crossroads GPS and Americans for Prosperity, which don’t disclose donors, are actually outspending SuperPACs in this cycle so far.

* RCP’s Caitlin Huey-Burns notes Tommy Thompson Senate campaign hastily cut ad featuring shout-out from Paul Ryan.

* Palin announces she is not speaking at GOP convention. Another grievous slap-in-the-face from the Establishment!

And in non-political news:

Bad week for Chad Johnson (formerly Ochocinco) gets worse: after arrest for domestic battery and dismissal from Dolphins, VH1 cancels planned reality show.

Back after an actual lunch.

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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.