There’s a variety of dumb stories I’m avoiding today. But here are some more substantial midday news/views items you might want to sample:

* Grover Norquist gives okay to his subjects to support legalization and then taxation of pot.

* In other right-wing commissar news, Erick Erickson says Republicans should not “lift even half a finger” to help fix Obamacare.

* Ted Cruz hates avocados, loves “anything with cheese on it.” Maybe he thinks he’s going to Wisconsin tonight rather than Iowa.

* TAP’s Paul Waldman looks sadly at the “scandal” that threatens to immolate the political career of Maryland AG Doug Gansler.

* At The Atlantic, Marin Cogan has a fascinating meditation on “the cycle of anointment and repudiation” that has afflicted GOP leaders who can’t succeed without torching each other.

And in non-political news:

* At TNR, Lionel Shriver rages at the “rancid smell of 21st century literary success.”

Thinking more generally about the Granada adventure (Newt Gingrich spent weeks trying to get state and local officials and even schools to devote time to “Lessons of Granada” discussions), here’s some music from Brian Eno about Western military folly. The song is “Back in Judy’s Jungle.” Listen for the cool rendition of the Colonel Bogey March whistled in the background.

YouTube video

Back in a bit.

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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.