Had a debilitating stomach bug last night which destroyed my leisure time, but the devil that planted it clearly wants me to work.

Here are some mid-day news/views treats that are pre-tested for digestibility:

* Ad wars in Montana appear to be based on assumption that Max Baucus could switch his vote on background checks now that he’s retiring. How cynical.

* Obama administration’s two-year reduction in the minimum age for OTC purchases of Plan B not going over real well among reproductive rights advocates.

* Matt Yglesias looks at the “401(k) world” and finds it very depressing, as do I.

* MoDo keeps up her savaging of Obama for alleged leadership failures. Charles Pierce goes entertainingly wild.

* It didn’t just start in 2000: At TNR, Linda Hirshman discovers 1988 letter from Justice Sandra Day O’Conner to Barry Goldwater cheerleading for Poppy Bush’s election.

And in non-political news:

* Interesting debate in blogosphere over identifying “most average city in America.”

Back after a cautious bite.

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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.