I’m about to head off on a brief birthday-centered vacation this afternoon, but we have a very special Guest Blogger signed up to sub for me tomorrow, Friday and Monday. More about that later.

Here are some midday news/views tapas:

* After House GOP conference today, Boehner confirms House CR will include defund Obamacare language.

* Gallup reports Russia viewed as unfriendly country by plurality of Americans for first time since 1999. Better pull of that Syrian CW surrender, Vlad.

* Scott Gessler joins CO governor’s race as less deranged conservative GOP alternative to Tom Tancredo, gives big shout-out to “good corporate citizens.”

* Meanwhile, NH GOPer running against Sen. Jeanne Shaheen dealing with fallout from book in which he decried displacement of men in the economy by wimmin-folk.

* Tim Noah, who knows his inequality data, argues public sector policies inseparable from income distribution patterns.

And in non-political news:

* Fed decision on “tapering” due to be released any minute now; markets modestly up.

Back after a break; here’s another song about newspapers, from the great Loudon Wainwright III, who complains “They Spelled My Name Wrong Again” (warning, at least one non-family friendly, but quite funny, line):

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.