Pardon me folks, while I scarf down a quick meal. It’s been a good year here at the Monthly, and I hope you’ll consider a tax-deductible donation before year’s end.

1. Nick Baumann has an astonishing story about an FBI agent who filed a secret interrogation manual in a very strange place.

2. Another reminder of how Utah conservatism is very, very different from Deep South conservatism: they started giving free housing to the homeless, and ended up cutting homelessness by 74 percent and saving money to boot.

3. Insane chart from Matt O’Brien detailing the sharp cutbacks in the number of federal employees. We’ve fired more government employees during a depression than in any previous recession. As Matt says, “The greatest trick austerians ever pulled was convincing people that it was stimulus that had failed.”

4. Chait has a very cynical take on Sam Youngman’s DC-is-the-worst piece: “I am certain he will return, having absorbed the authenticity Kentucky can bestow upon him. And he will flourish.”

5. Conor reports from the front lines of the War on Christmas.

Yesterday was John Oliver’s last day on the Daily Show. He’ll be missed:

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Ryan Cooper

Follow Ryan on Twitter @ryanlcooper. Ryan Cooper is a national correspondent at The Week. His work has appeared in The Washington Post, The New Republic, and The Nation.