As most of you over the age of 30 and under the age of 55 recall, before 9/11 the most frequently cited “Where were you when…” moment for Americans was probably the Challenger explosion. I have no trouble remembering the moment, because I happened to be sitting across a conference table from Bill Clinton at the time (not as impressive as it might sound, since I was at a meeting of the Commission on the Future of the South, which Clinton happened to be chairing as governor of Arkansas). Someone brought in a TV, and we watched footage of the explosion like everybody else.

Here are some midday news/views items, before we begin our pre-SOTU blogging hiatus:

* At US News, Robert Schlesinger has quite a trove of SOTU trivia.

* Danny Vinik looks at the new Republican Senate health plan, and to his own surprise adjudges it as not all that bad. More about that later, maybe tomorrow.

* Yglesias also writes about the new GOP proposal, and wonders if it’s the end of the “repeal but don’t replace” strategy.

* House and Senate negotiators unveil new farm bill compromise. SNAP cuts come in at $8 billion over ten years, which could be too much for Senate and not enough for House.

* Another bad national poll for Chris Christie.

And in sorta non-political news:

* Charles Pierce pens first of what will be many eloquent tributes to Pete Seeger.

Speaking of Pete, as we break for lunch (and perhaps til SOTU, depending on what news breaks in the meantime), here he is in 1964 performing “What Did You Learn In School Today?”

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.