Not sure my health can survive too much more time in Louisiana with its wonderful food. And I haven’t even made it to Nawlins yet! Being a “food populist,” you won’t find me at the pricey foodie places. The best thing about the Crescent City is how well you can eat on the cheap.

Here are some marginally more nutritious midday news/views treats:

* Gallup reports record-high level (42%) of Americans self-identifying as independents. Guess it’s time for another mass tutorial on real versus fake indies, eh?

* Erick Erickson first prominent conservative to join pillorying of Chris Christie. It will be most interesting to see how many follow, and how quickly.

* Please tell me I don’t have to read Robert Gates’ memoir. I’ll eschew any judgement on his criticisms of Obama and his administration if I just don’t have to read it, okay?

* Maine Gov. Paul LePage, who often seems determined to lose his re-election bid, comes out loudly for child labor.

* Obamacare nullification movement breaks out again in West Virginia. We know how the Hero of New Orleans would have dealt with that.

And in non-political news:

* Kraft announces imminent shortage of Velveeta.

As we break for a Velveeta-free lunch, here’s another tribute to The Hero, from the musical (which I somehow missed) Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson: “Populism Yea Yea!”

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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.