I’m going out for an actual lunch with my wife and a church friend in a while, so I’m trying to get ahead of the blogging quota a bit, so I can have a brief hiatus as you mid-Atlantic folk gaze at the snow of your Winter Carnival:

Here are some defrosted midday treats:

* Obama’s FY 2015 budget mostly a familiar list of spending measures (some offset by spending cuts the GOP will oppose) Republicans are sure to reject; EITC boost for childless low-income adults is a headliner.

* At TNR, at least one Middle East expert argues U.S. rhetoric over Ukraine is too heated, and that Western support for coup in Kiev contributed to a crisis they have no power to resolve.

* The Prospect‘s Abby Rapoport looks at what Texas Democrats expect to gain or lose from today’s low-profile primary.

* Greg Sargent reports House Dems are about to launch discharge petition on immigration reform, not expecting it to succeed but hoping it will add to pressure on Boehner to unfreeze the GOP’s own legislation.

* Yahoo’s Chris Moody profiles Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback and his still unquenched presidential ambitions, threatened now by risk to his re-election in November.

And in non-political news:

* Vulture‘s Anna Silman discusses the “creepy rural Mardi Gras” images on HBO’s True Detective.

As we break for lunch, here’s some non-creepy Carnaval music from Brazil: Gal Costa performing “E Luxo So” in 1981.

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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.