Sorry for the somewhat late start this morning, which I’ll blame on allergy medications and the insane desire for seven hours of sleep. But we’re definitely rolling along now.

Here are some mid-day new/views items for your noshing purposes:

* At WaPo, Brad Plumer offers some valuable background on the safety risks associated with fertilizer production and distribution (the Texas site of the current disaster was a retail distribution center).

* Max Read of Gawker unravels the latest dubious N.Y. Post “story” on Arab “suspects” in Boston bombings.

* Gabby Giffords calls down “shame” on senators voting to kill Manchin-Toomey bill in New York Times op-ed.

* TIME assigns Sarah Palin to do the write-up on Rand Paul in the mag’s latest “100 Most Influential people in the world” feature.

* At FiveThirtyEight, Derek Wills tracks colleagues’ campaign donations to identify vulnerable House members.

* Will Folks hints that additional leaks from Mark/Jenny Sanfords’ divorce files could administer coup de grace to former governor’s congressional campaign.

And in non-political news:

* Sopranos cast members showing up on “kids mob show” movie at Nickelodeon.

Back within an hour.

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.