Went out to dinner last night, and missed most of the Oscars for about the 50th consecutive time. Hope those of you into the event enjoyed the ten-hour spectacle. At least I’ll have a better idea which movies I will actually watch.

Here are some mid-day morsels for a rancorous pre-sequester Monday:

* Roll Call‘s Niels Lesniewski reports Senate negotiators nowhere close to deal on gun background checks.

* More signs of that new, “reformed” conservative movement: Rick Perry and Newt Gingrich join speaker’s list at CPAC 2013.

* Glenn Reynolds suggests GOP go after youth vote by pushing for lowering of drinking age back to 18.

* Ben Domench excommunicates Rick Scott from ranks of those brave GOP governors and puts Bob McDonnell on probation.

* At TNR, Robert Draper profiles Chris Van Hollen as potential future House Speaker.

And in non-political news:

* Nate Silver’s predictions missed one of major the Oscar awards (Best Supporting Actor), but he sure wasn’t surprised by Argo’s Best Picture win over Lincoln.

Back after some chores.

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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.