Something about today’s chatter has me anticipating Happy Hour rather than thinking about food. As you munch these hors d’oeurvres, help me figure it out:

* Politico dives deep into the “Howard Kurtz saga.” Best quote from “source:” “He’s like the Dick Morris of media critics — just shoddy and out of the game.”

* Peggy Noonan drinks deeply from the bottomless cup of her Reagan elixir, blasting Obama for failing to work with GOPers like Ronnie worked with Tip.

* Weekly Standard‘s Stephen Hayes takes the full plunge into the latest intelligence on the infinitely important subject of the Obama administration’s “talking points” on Benghazi! Benghazi!

* Justice Clarence Thomas takes a Big Gulp of the “plantation” meme by arguing that Obama became president because “elites” decided he sounded like a black man ought to sound.

* New York Times‘ Binyamin Applebaum invites us to drown our sorrows in long-term data on job growth.

And in non-political news:

* People offers sage advice on choosing the right hat for tomorrow’s hoochaganza, the Kentucky Derby.

Back after a brief break, and no, I won’t imbibe until the sun is below the yardarm.

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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.