HOUSEKEEPING NOTE…. A couple of things to note. First, Happy New Year. I haven’t quite figured out how much work I’ll be doing today, but I’ll probably have a few items on an otherwise slow day. I’ll also be around in case something dramatic and/or unexpected happens.

Second, a special thanks to all of you who contributed to the Monthly‘s annual fundraising drive. Your donations will make a big difference in 2010, on behalf of all of us here at the Monthly, we sincerely appreciate the support.

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Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.