I guess we are in the runup to the Memorial Day weekend, and for all I know readers may soon start checking out to clean their BBQ grills and/or make travel plans. But we’ll be right here plugging along, with a lighter Holiday Schedule Monday.

Here are some mid-day skewers of news/views chunks. You can imagine them mixed with some pineapple and peppers.

* President to renew Gitmo closing plea in major speech today.

* As California’s giant health insurance exchange forms, Kaiser Permanente, Anthem Blue Cross, and California Blue Shield are in; Aetna, UnitedHealth and Cigna out.

* Andrew Cuomo takes harsh shot at newly reminted mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner.

* Fascinating article by National Journal‘s Beth Reinhard on Ted Cruz’ journey from helping craft George W. Bush’s immigration stance in 2000, to his current position opposing comprehensive immigration reform in the Senate.

* CBO announces it will produce “dynamic scoring” estimate of costs and benefits of immigration reform, in order to rebut conservative cost claims.

And in sorta non-political (or at least non-US) news:

* Did you know a major Mexican drug cartel calls itself “Knights Templar?” I didn’t. This cartel is apparently in midst of extortion/arson campaign in the state of Michoacan that has spurred Mexican government to send in thousands of troops.

Back within the hour.

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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.