One scattered but interesting week, to be followed by, well, who knows? I hope to begin writing a bit more about non-presidential political contests as polling and other information becomes more readily available.

For now, here are some final news items before I prepare for a visit by my father, step-mother and brother tomorrow:

* Early, in-person voting began today in Virginia, South Dakota and Idaho, with ten other states beginning to accept absentee ballots. So from here on out, polls won’t be entirely hypothetical.

* Gerson column a lot more serious “friendly” critique of Romney and GOP than Noonan’s: he blasts “libertarian nonsense” on poor that Republicans have adopted.

* Ryan fans fret Romney campaign has reduced him to “mini-Mitt.” Did they expect Mitt to become “maxi-Paul?”

* At Ten Miles Square, Larry Bartels discusses research showing undecideds beginning to break to Obama.

* At College Guide, Daniel Luzer notes real college graduation rates–including part-time as well as “traditional” students–a lot lower than we realize.

And in non-political news:

* Host Jimmy Kimmel promises “genuinely weird stuff” at Sunday’s Emmy Awards.

That’s all from me, folks! Tomorrow Kathleen Geier returns for Weekend Blogging, so you can expect her usual outside-the-box perspective.

I hope to have my family members picked up at SFO and back home in time for the Georgia/Vanderbilt kickoff.

Here’s a video that includes a brief clip of James Brown performing at Sanford Stadium way back in the day; I was actually there. Sigh.


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.