This morning sure did race along. That’s usually a sign the afternoon (particularly in August) will be news-free, but we’ll see.

Here are some tasty midday news/views bites:

* Uh-Oh: Turns out “family obligation” Rand Paul cited in skipping Iowa FAMiLY Leadership Summit in Iowa was a celebrity-strewn library fundraiser in the Hamptons. You don’t diss Iowa, Rand.

* Speaking of Iowa, Yahoo’s Meredith Shiner examines Joni Ernst’s etch-a-sketch problem in dealing with extremist positions she took in the primary.

* In must-read reaction to Robin Williams’ suicide, Dave Weigel talks about his own experience with clinical depression.

* At TNR Oscar Martinez discusses the ferocity of gang violence in El Salvador that helped produce border refugee crisis.

* At the Prospect, Adele Stan examines Craig Shirley’s client list as a clue for why he’s smearing Rick Perlstein.

And in non-political news:

* Parts of Long Island received a “summer’s worth of rain” in a few hours in overnight downpour.

As we break for lunch, as suggested by commenter berkeleygirl, here’s Bruce Springsteen performing “Chimes of Freedom” in East Berlin in 1988, followed by an interview.

YouTube video

Feels odd posting Lou Reed and Bruce Springsteen videos back-to-back. I’ve harbored an entirely unfair prejudice against The Boss since that week in 1975 when both Time and Newsweek put him on their covers as the Next Big Thing, at a time I thought Reed was doing much more interesting work (I was working in a dead-end blue-collar job at the time, and took musical diversions very seriously). Funny how these incidents can stick with you for a ridiculous period of time.

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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.