On a rare rainy day here on the Central Coast, I’m warming myself by the iMAC and beginning to make summer vacation plans to go somewhere probably less fabulous than where I am. Can’t much complain.

Here are some mid-day news/views nuggets:

* High weekly jobless claims are beginning to build expectation that tomorrow’s Jobs Report for March may be seriously underwhelming.

* Another NY pol, a Bronx assemblyman, has been arrested in connection with the Malcolm Smith bribery scandal, and yet another legislator will soon resign as part of a plea deal.

* In better news from New York, fast food workers are staging lightning strike today for better wages and real chance to form unions.

* Gingrich warns practice of Christianity in danger of being outlawed, compared culture wars to ancient fights between Christians and pagans.

* Interesting Zvika Krieger piece at The Atlantic about battle for gay surrogacy rights in Israel.

And in non-political news:

* BOA begins installing “ATMs With Assist” machines that allow live chat with remote teller. Will she be named “Tillie?”

Back after a nutrition break.

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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.