I’m back on another serious diet (I attend one of the few churches where there are so many pot-luck dinners that it’s customary to gain weight during Lent), so may shake a bit while offering you a more robust platter of mid-day news/views treats:

* Ken Cuccinelli appeals ruling by three-judge Circuit Court panel overturning Virginia’s sodomy law. So much for “repositioning to the center.”

* For pure fun and rhetoric firepower, hard to beat Charles Pierce’s post on the North Carolina bill that would exempt the Tar Hill State from the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment.

* Kevin Drum draws attention to the New America Foundation’s proposal for an Expanded Social Security. More on that later.

* Fine Greg Sargent interview with gun violence expert about impact of expanded background check system on crime.

* Politico‘s Dylan Byers says “Twitter is aflame” with former Obama aides. Remind me to put on my asbestos gloves next time I go there.

And in non-political news:

Rolling Stone reader poll shows “Voodoo Chile (Slight Return)” from Electric Ladyland favorite Hendrix song of them all. Won’t get any argument from me, though the #2, “Little Wing,” is fabulous, too.

Back after a lunch of nuts and berries. Feel like a bear.

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.