Feeling a bit better today, and did manage to catch a bit of NCAA basketball last night–notably Harvard’s improbable win over New Mexico. I gather the Crimson started the year by losing its co-captains in a cheating (academic, not athletic) scandal, and somehow won the Ivy League and then beat a Lobos team that some wizards had picked to make the Final Four. I guess it would be too much to wonder if Albany State could throw a scare into Duke today, eh?

Anyway, here are some mid-day news/views treats:

* Ezra Klein reports on important new research showing persistence of economic inequality.

* ABC’s Sushannah Walshe discusses various factions supporting Ashley Judd and Alison Lundergan Grimes as possible Dem challengers to Mitch McConnell. The Big Dog is said to be encouraging both.

* At TNR, Jonathan Cohn profile of Dr. Ben Carson digresses into valuable discussion of the political leanings of various types of physicians. At Salon, Jonathan Bernstein focuses on Carson’s racial symbolism.

* Cypriot government reported as close to deal to replace–or at least modify–the depositor tax proposal as part of response to EU demands.

* New GOP star Rand Paul offers budget amendment to kill all funding for United Nations. This should make his Bircher buddies feel all warm and cuddly inside.

And in non-political news:

* Nigerian novelist and poet Chinua Achebe dies at 82.

Back before you know it.

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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.