Soon it will be May, and actual voters will be voting. Love it.

Here are some midday news/views treats.

* At the American Conservative, Rod Drefer amps up Mollie Hemingway’s criticism of Palin’s waterboarding-as-baptism-for-terrorists a few notches, calling her “sacrilegious.”

* At the Plum Line, Paul Waldman criticizes both parties for perpetuating idea U.S. can seriously influence Russia’s actions towards Ukraine.

* Krugman calls people like Cliven Bundy “welfare queens of the purple sage.”

* Rep. Michael Grimm (R-NY) hit with 20-count indictment for criminal fraud.

* Rand Paul handily wins Maine State Republican Convention straw poll for ’16 preferences. Cruz is second; Christie fifth; Bush sixth. Rubio tenth.

And in non-political news:

* Fascinating profile of bestselling historical fiction writer Hillary Mantel.

As we break for lunch, here’s some more boogie-woogie from Roosevelt Sykes, with “Tall Heavy Mama.”

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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.