Kinda wish Dave Weigel had saved his classic “it’s been a long and stupid week” line for this one. Here are some mid-day starchy treats:

* At the New Yorker, Jane Meyer notes Ted Cruz has another similar habit to Joe McCarthy’s aside from bullying witnesses: commie-counting.

* Ann Coulter and John Stossel have their own personal insult-laden struggle for the soul of the conservative movement (between libertarian and non-libertarian extremists, of course).

* TPM’s Kahil Shapur provides good quick history of Voting Rights Act.

* New data shows significant slowdown in inflation on individual health insurance policy premiums, beginning when Obamacare enacted.

* York suggests Navy just messing with conservatives’ heads by threatening to delay deployment of carrier to Persian Gulf if sequester goes through.

And in non-political news:

* Nate Silver makes his Oscar predictions, with a new and better methodology!

Back after dealing with some domestic business.

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.