I managed to get through a couple of hundred pages of Perlstein’s The Invisible Bridge over the weekend, and it brought back a lot of strange memories: of the details of Watergate, of the cultural upheaval usually attributed to the 60s which actually rolled out a bit later in most of the country, and of the powerful symbolism of Vietnam POWs which Richard Nixon sought to manipulate to create the impression he had “won” the war via their honor. Amazing stuff.

Here are some more contemporary midday news/views snacks:

* Iraqi president asks leader of largest party in parliament to form new government; Maliki sure to resist, perhaps violently.

* Interesting Haberman piece at Politico on the “all-star” celebrity roster being deployed to lobby for Brooklyn in the competition for hosting the 2016 Democratic National Convention.

* Bernie Sanders again talking about possible presidential bid.

* In one of his famously measured posts, Erick Erickson calls demands for tolerance of LGBT folk “a modern age hell bent on ruthlessly stamping [Christianity] out.” As usual, non-homophobic Christians not worth mentioning.

* TPM’s Daniel Strauss offers a detailed update on endgame of HI Senate primary.

* Paul Krugman gives nice shout-out to our own D.R. Tucker on conservative war on climate scientist Michael Mann.

And in marginally non-political news:

* Chuck Todd said to be choice to succeed David Gregory as moderator of Meet the Press.

As we break for lunch, here’s birthday boy Joe Jackson performing “Hit Single”–an almost perfectly crafted pop song with lots of undertones–in Australia in 1991.

Ed Kilgore

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.