It’s a really herky-jerky news day, with nothing much going on this morning but then all hell breaking loose right now.

Here are some midday news/views items, with the top two qualifying as breaking news:

* It’s official and crazy fast: Russia signs “treaty” annexing Crimea.

* Ukraine rejects Crimea secession, but also promises not to join NATO.

* At FiveThirtyEight, Dorothy Kronick makes the statistical case for Venezuela’s opposition.

* Despite GOP hype, PPP survey shows both Udall and Hickenlooper still in the lead in Colorado.

* At the Prospect Scott Lemieux takes another whack at Adolph Reed’s stunted take on Obama’s record.

And in non-political news:

* Seattle local news helicopter crashes, killing two.

As we break for lunch, here’s probably my favorite Western song of all time: Marty Robbins performing “El Paso” at the Opry in 1960. Brings back fond memories of a 1970s Atlanta watering hole and music venue called “Rose’s Cantina.”

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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.