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September 17, 2013 2:15 PM Lunch Buffet

By Ed Kilgore

As the details trickle out about Aaron Alexis, the paradoxes continue to mount: a “calm” Buddhist who was rarely seen without a pistol in his belt; a “sweet guy” who had to be rebuked for regularly hitting on women customers in his job at a Thai restaurant run by his best friend; a “troubled” man with a history of gun violence and a questionable military record who had no trouble obtaining a gun license or a security clearance; and on and on. You’d think the guy would have had a red flashing sign displayed on every piece of data about him, but apparently not.

Here are some midday news/view morsels:

* New Census data shows that American family with median household income earns less than in 1989. And that’s without getting into depleted wealth assets.

* Krugman rebuts claims that austerity finally starting to work in Europe.

* Navy Yard shooter reported to have had history of mental illness dating back for more than a decade.

* Conservatives fear extra congressional work sessions created to deal with fiscal crisis could be trick to bring Gang of Eight immigration bill to House floor. As if.

* Salon’s Alex Pareene notes that the “defund Obamacare” campaign has been—surprise, surprise—a fundraising bonanza for the groups promoting it.

And in non-political news:

* Penthouse publisher files for bankruptcy. I thought only political magazines struggled to make ends meet.

As we break briefly for lunch, here’s another classic music performance from the Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour: Jefferson Airplane performing “White Rabbit” in 1967.

Ed Kilgore is a contributing writer to the Washington Monthly. He is managing editor for The Democratic Strategist and a senior fellow at the Progressive Policy Institute. Find him on Twitter: @ed_kilgore.

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