Since I’m mooching (sorry, Mitt!) my wife’s computer and need to let her do a little work, I’m taking a somewhat extended mid-day break today. Here’s some snacks to tide you over:

* New Q-Pac polls of LVs show Obama hitting 50% in VA and WI, and edging back ahead of Romney in CO.

* 98% of Chicago teachers union members vote to “suspend” strike pending vote on proposed new contract. Probably indicates approval of contract, too.

* Orszag argues that it’s Ryan’s Medicare proposal, not Obama’s “cuts,” that threaten provider participation in Medicare.

* Good catch by MoJo’s Adam Serwer, who noticed that Sheldon Adelson’s Israeli paper buried story of Mitt’s Boca Moment on page 23 as other media outlets in the country put it on front page.

* France closes 20 embassies across Greater Middle East after French weekly publishes cartoon showing Prophet Muhammad naked.

* Chick-fil-A reportedly backing off on donations to anti-LGBT groups. If so, this is really going to upset their fast friends in the Christian Right. Will they boycott now?

And in non-political news:

* 2013 Oscar nominations to be announced on January 10, competing for attention with Golden Globes; actual Oscars awarded on February 24.

Back in a while.

Ed Kilgore

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.