It’s great to be back home and no closer to airplanes than the occasional distant hum of engines. Let’s get to some mid-day news-and-views items:

* In an important follow-on to the Black Friday labor actions at Wal-Mart, non-unionized fast-food workers strike in New York City to seek recognition of their bad pay, possibly generating a union organizing effort.

* Syrian government shuts down internet access.

* Romney meets with Ryan immediately prior to lunch with Obama. Pep talk, sealed instructions, or just symbolism?

* Speaking of Ryan, TNR’s Alec MacGillis notes the Randian Thomist’s apparent promotion to the status of “Global Thinker.”

* Scott Brown revving engines for another Senate special election bid if Kerry appointed to Obama cabinet. He’ll need new message other than opponent’s Native American self-identification, though.

And in non-political news:

* Most lucrative job in America today? Fired college football coach!

Back after mid-morning ablutions.

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.