Adam Serwer and I both tackled the question of politics and the horror in Aurora, with similar results: As he said, “National tragedies are political. They're too important not to be.” Read his, for sure; here’s mine.

We really need some good stuff today:

1. Some news: George W. Bush will be a no-show in Tampa for the Republican National Convention.

2. The Bush news via Political Wire, where Taegan Goddard calls it a “classic Friday news dump.”

3. And I hope this one doesn’t get lost in the rush to the weekend: Spencer Ackerman breaks news of government surveillance malfeasance.

4. If it’s Friday, it must be Steve Benen’s “Chronicling Mitt’s Mendacity.”

5. Speaking of which, Jed Lewison makes the point about the question of Romney at Bane: “By the way, isn't it absurd that Mitt Romney's definition of losing the Bain battle ... is for people to believe that he worked there?”

6. Good Andrew Sullivan comments on the state of (many) conservative intellectuals.

7. Via the Monkey Cage, the research on gun violence.

8. Mark Blumenthal reviews public opinion on gun control.

9. Ezra Klein on an alternate-universe Mitt Romney, and why we don’t get to see him.

10. “[I]ncluding sub-national taxes does not alter the conclusion that by any reasonable measure, Americans are not overtaxed.” Jared Bernstein looks at the numbers.

11. Andrew Sprung (@xpostfactoid1) responds: “@econjared euphemism! Americans are mad under-taxed.”

12. Aaron Carroll makes the argument for the Affordable Care Act as the most serious deficit-reducer out there.

13. One more on Aurora: Garance Franke-Ruta knows “the template of our grief.”

14. And let’s end it with something from earlier this week that you may have missed: a great piece on Nats manager Davey Johnson, from Tyler Kepner. If you ask me, Johnson has been the greatest manager of his generation of managers — better than Cox, better than LaRussa, better than Torre, certainly better than Piniella.