I’ve been advised that YouTube videos could create site instability over the next few days when we are loading some massive new data, so I’m suspending new music videos for the time being. Sorry if this will disappoint readers; I’m disappointed, too, if only because I wanted to put up some more Sacred Steel videos later today. We’ll have our PA Music Service back up and running as soon as we can.

In the meantime, here are some mid-day news/views morsels:

* New Winston poll for GOP congressional leadership shows strong public opposition (23/71, and even 37/53 among Republicans) to government shutdown to force “defunding” of Obamacare. Expect huge right-wing fury over wording of poll and the release of results. “Very conservative” Republicans favored shutdown 63/27.

* Pew survey shows 47% of Americans think country has made “a lot” of progress on racial equality in last 50 years, with 36% reporting “some” progress and 15% “none.” Racial splits not as large as you might expect.

* DOJ files suit against Texas voter ID law.

* Fresh from receiving 35-year jail sentence, Bradley Manning announces via attorney he wants to live as a woman in statement signed “Chelsea Manning.”

* White House to appoint new panel to conduct “full review” of NSA surveillance programs, to be headed by former acting CIA director Michael Morrell.

And in non-political news:

* Wildfire near Yosemite “ballooning” in size and fury.

Back after a lunch 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.