Happy Birthday to Gina Torres, 45.

It’s a holiday here in San Antonio -- schools are closed, the whole nine yards -- but can’t stop the good stuff:

1. Caution about the evidence of congressional polarization from John Patty: Don’t rely too heavily on recorded votes. Fair enough -– but polarization is institutionalized in many ways that we don’t need roll call votes to demonstrate.

2. Adam Bonica and Jenny Shen on the consequences of the McCutcheon Supreme Court campaign-finance decision.

3. Digby makes an excellent point about Erick Erickson.

4. Dahlia Lithwick on Sotomayor, Roberts, and how the justices talk when talking about race.

5. The latest on lead and crime, from Mark Kleiman.

6. I missed this last week, but it's too good not to share: Jordan Ragusa on new research about the effects of college classroom bias.

7. And, okay, one on Cliven Bundy: “We'll know the conservative movement is regaining its vigor when its everyday heroes are people who obey the law, respect others and advance the common good. It's not an especially high standard for a hero. But it beats inchoate rage.” That’s Francis Wilkinson.

To contact the writer of this article: Jonathan Bernstein at Jbernstein62@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this article: Max Berley at mberley@bloomberg.net.