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Talk about good timing.  The August 6 issue of the New Yorker magazine featured Ryan Lizza's profile of Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan, appearing just before  Mitt Romney tapped him as his running mate. The story's standout paragraph:  "To envisage what the Republicans would do if they win in November, the person to understand is not necessarily Romney, who has been a policy cipher all his public life.  The person to understand is Paul Ryan."   Lizza is one of the best political writers on the scene.  Here's his piece, "Fussbudget: How Paul Ryan captured the G.O.P."

Also of interest on the subject of Ryan is The Buffalo News' Washington Bureau Chief Jerry Zremski's takeout from Sunday's paper on the link between the would-be veep and Jack Kemp, the late Republican Congressman from Hamburg.   That story was part of a two-fer front page for Zremski on Sunday.  His strong look at the Buffalo ties to Super PACs on both sides of the aisle -- in the form of Bill Burton and Carl Forti -- was in the works before the Ryan story broke this past weekend.

Meanwhile, on an absurd note, in the Washington Post's political blog, "The Fix," be sure to read what Paul Ryan and the word "shirtless" have in common in the wonderful world of Google.

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Unrelated to politics, but in the same issue of the New Yorker is one of the weirdest tales I've read in a while:  Mark Singer's "Marathon Man," the story of a Michigan dentist who apparently faked his way into blazing-fast running times in marathons all over the U.S., until the running blogosphere sniffed a rat. Here's a summary; you'll have to buy the print magazine or be a subscriber to see the full story.

It's a fascinating read, even if the only kind of marathon you're involved in is the metaphorical kind, like that described by Lewis Carroll's Alice: "Here, you see, it takes all the running you can do to keep in the same place."   I know the feeling.