I loved Nils Lofgren’s eponymous album in 1975 and some of his earlier stuff with Grin (I didn’t realize he was a member of Crazy Horse even earlier). But then I lost touch with his career and–not being a big Springsteen fan–had no idea he had become a mainstay of the E Street Band. At some point in the late nineties or early aughts a Boss-worshiping work colleague told me she had gotten close enough to the stage at a concert to touch Nils Lofgren’s amp. “Nils Lofgren!?!” I responded. “I wouldn’t walk across the street to see Bruce Springsteen, but I’d love to see Lofgren!” Needless to say, this did not go over well. I’ve since come to appreciate the Boss a lot more, but I still think of him as the leader of Nils Lofgren’s band.

Here are some less musical midday news/views treats:

* A rather optimistic vision of the very different electoral battleground map Hillary Clinton might produce in 2016.

* A chilling tale from Jeffrey Goldberg about the sudden shift in strategy among terrorist groups from trying to persuade and use western journalists to cutting off their heads.

* Seems congressional Republicans may be too busy fighting with Obama to get around to blocking legalized pot in DC, approved by voters.

* TNR’s Jonathan Cohn says Republican decision on new chair of CBO will tell us a lot about their interest–or lack thereof–in nonpartisan data.

* At the Prospect, Paul Waldman suggests internal GOP debate over whether or not to threaten government shutdown is quite literally internal–inside most Republicans, whose minds and emotions are at war.

And in non-political news:

* Brangelina make first red carpet appearance as married couple. Apparently big moment for a lot of people.

As we break for lunch, here’s Nils Lofgren & Grin performing “You’re the Weight” in 1973. Nils does one of his patented back-flips towards the end.

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.