As noted earlier, I’m headed back to Georgia for two weeks tomorrow, which means EDT blogging and a front-row seat to Tuesday’s GOP runoffs. I sure am going to miss midsummer Central California weather, though.

Here are some cool midday news/views treats:

* Our friend Blue Girl struggles with an execution in Missouri.

* A report on the more than a hundred passengers on MH17 who were en route to a big AIDS conference in Australia.

* TPM’s Dylan Scott profiles Igor Strelkov, the separatist leader who seems to have been boasting of the attack on MH17 (which he thought to be a Ukrainian military plane) on social media.

* TNR’s Brian Beutler examines conservative attacks on Obama yesterday based on false rumors of “23 Americans” on MH17.

* At the Prospect, Paul Waldman argues Hamas’ behavior provides no moral justification for Israel’s vastly more lethal violence.

And in non-political news:

* “Super-typhoon,” which killed 64 people in the Philippines, hits China.

As we break for lunch, here’s Mark Ross singing another Joe Hill song: “Casey Jones the Union Scab.”

YouTube video

Our ideas can save democracy... But we need your help! Donate Now!

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.