We’re enjoying some spectacular weather here on the Central Coast, but would trade a day of it for one good soaking rain to help restore the water tables. If current conditions continue we’re looking at some good, vicious rationing in these parts before long.

Here are some midday treats from the holiday news/views pantry:

* Joe Lieberman back in the news with cheerful prediction of U.S. or Israeli attack on Iran in 2014.

* Conservatives freaking over New York Times story challenging whole premise of Benghazi!

* For sixth straight year, Obama heads up Gallup survey of “most admired” man, while HRC “most admired” woman for 12th straight year.

* At TNR, Mike Konczal explains why Congress and the administration didn’t cave to Wall Street in 2013 after all.

* At New York, Benjamin Wallace-Wells argues de Blasio’s “populist” message depends on Gotham’s unique challenge to affordable middle-class housing.

And in non-political news:

* ESPN’s Jesse Palmer may have saved booth partner Chris Fowler’s life with Heimlich Maneuver as they covered Pinstripe Bowl.

Seeing Benjamin Wallace-Wells’ byline on the article highlighted above reminds me to remind you that another support-worthy endeavor of the Washington Monthly is its long, long tradition of incubating great young journalists. If you want an idea of the kind of talent WaMo has produced–and the continuing pride successful journalists have in their association with the Monthly–check out our Contributing Editor list. It’s pretty impressive, and a sign that this magazine is worth a tax-deductible donation before the year ends.

Here’s Lefty Frizzell spelling it out as we break for lunch:

Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore is a political columnist for New York and managing editor at the Democratic Strategist website. He was a contributing writer at the Washington Monthly from January 2012 until November 2015, and was the principal contributor to the Political Animal blog.