In case you missed it earlier today, Phillip Longman is doing a series of posts pushing back against the “VA Health Care Has Been Discredited” meme. He’s the best writer in America to take on this essential chore.

Here are some midday new/views treats:

* The Jackson Clarion-Ledger is live-blogging the Mississippi primary today and tonight. Check it out; there are already ruminations on weather and history.

* If you missed it over the weekend, Ted Cruz won the presidential straw poll at the southern regional-based Republican Leadership Conference’s annual confab, with Dr. Ben Carson close behind and Rand Paul finishing a very distant third. Bush, Rubio and Christie pulled a combined 9%.

* Remember Ric Grenell, the guy bounced from his gig as a Romney foreign policy spox because he was gay? He’s the one who’s been rounding up soldiers to call Bowe Bergdahl a deserter.

* Alabama Republican Party offers $1,000 reward for info leading to a conviction for voter fraud. Guess that’s what it would take to make a single case.

* Seattle City Council formally approves $15/hr. minimum wage.

And in non-political news:

* Brazilians hoping for World Cup final against Argentina.

As we break for lunch, here’s some more Sunnyland Slim, with “The Devil Is a Busy Man.”

YouTube video

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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.