1) As we noted a day ago, the topic of childhood vaccines is definitely the political issue of the week, and a couple of prominent Republicans found themselves entangled in the debate in the last day or two. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie kicked off the furor when he said parents should decide whether vaccines were appropriate for their children; U.S. Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky also jumped in, citing "many tragic cases" of "normal children who wound up with profound mental disorders after vaccines." Both men later backtracked, but their waffling seemed especially pathetic in the face of a simple statement from Republican U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida: "Absolutely, all children in American should be vaccinated."
2) Hearings on the suit by Erik Arneson against Gov. Tom Wolf begin today. If you want a preview, take a spin through Karen Langley's detailed look at what the governor's legal team will argue.
3) Pennsylvania's original political Tom – former governor and the first secretary of the Department of Homeland Security Ridge – took advantage of an appearance on Larry King's web talk show "PoliticKING" to throw his support behind the not-quite-yet-announced presidential campaign of Jeb Bush.
4) David Axelrod, a former adviser to President Obama, is talking about his new memoir, "Believer: My 40 Years in Politics." Among the details he's discussing are the 2012 concession call between the president and Republican challenger Mitt Romney; Mr. Axelrod says Mr. Romney seemed to believe he lost the election because Mr. Obama's popularity with African American voters.
5) Republicans seem to have an uneasy relationship with science these days, what with some of the party's most notable members struggling with issues like climate change and immunizations. And North Carolina U.S. Sen. Thom Tillis sure didn't do his party any favors this week when he said restaurant owners shouldn't be forced to require employees to wash their hands after using the bathroom. Does anyone know if Mr. Tillis happens to own a restaurant back home? That's one we'd likely skip next time we visit North Carolina.