Lunch Buffet

So the “First Four” games of NCAA men’s basketball tourney begin today, even as many bracket-managers give pool participants until Thursday to turn in their picks. What happens if a “First Four” team goes on a run? Kinda hope that happens.

In any event, here are some mid-day treats or at least belly-fillers:

* Quiet talks with Netanyahu “closing the gap” between U.S. and Israel on Iran’s nuclear program will be major focus of Obama’s Middle East trip, says Mark Landler of the New York Times.

* Speaking of the Times, Paul Broun enters the belly of the beast with an op-ed attacking Paul Ryan’s budget as all sissypants.

* Milbank notes that in Press Club speech yesterday, Reince Priebus refused to discuss his “autopsy report’s” notes on immigration and same-sex marriage. Guess he was focused on putting out fires on the Right.

* At HuffPost, Jon Ward documents conservative regrets about Iraq War, but it’s mostly journalists and consultants, not electeds.

* As Congress drifts towards deal on continuing resolution, Catholic bishops demand that House Republicans include repeal of Obamacare contraception coverage mandate, which would of course blow everything up.

And in non-political news:

* Sale of wood from 500-year-old redwood tree felled by storm could save Big Sur’s Henry Miller Library. Talk about manna from heaven!

Back after an actual meal break.

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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.