Onto day nine of second cycle of eleven-day diets; everything takes like sludge. What I get for letting go for so long.

At any rate, though “lunch” is not an appealing prospect, here are some mid-day goodies for your own consumption:

* Per WaPo’s Greg Sargent, very good sign for Obama’s gun agenda: Joe Manchin endorses universal background checks.

* Brent Budowsky says Rand Paul’s “I’d fire you” comment to HRC was like “a little league coach suggesting he would have fired Babe Ruth.”

* Former federal prosecutor Mary Jo White nominated to head up Securities & Exchange Commission.

* Al Gore’s net worth estimated at $300 million. Who knew?

* Weigel reports Tom Harkin damning filibuster deal with the faintest of praise.

And in non-political news:

* Voice of Charlie Brown on Peanuts TV specials arrested for stalking ex-girlfriend, threatening injury to dog (profoundly hope he’s not named “Snoopy”).

Back after a reasonably short break.

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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.