I really, really appreciate the contributions made by weekend bloggers David Atkins and D.R. Tucker to the Washington Monthly‘s annual fundraising drive. They were just asked to say something and instead they said an awful lot, showing that this old magazine does mean a lot to a lot of people for a lot of different reasons. If you haven’t already, please contribute what you can afford today. Thanks!

* Soi-disant “sheik” with long record of sexual assault charges kills two hostages and was then killed by police in Sydney after chocolate-shop standoff.

* Kevin Drum notes the Ruble is now in free fall.

* New liberal group–State Innovation Exchange, or SIX–created to serve as counter-weight to ALEC. More about that later.

* Danny Vinik explains careful grammatical usage by Elizabeth Warren that is keeping alive hopes she will yet run for president.

* HHS signs off on Medicaid expansion waiver deal for Tennessee sought by Gov. Bill Haslam.

And in non-political news:

* Johnny Football’s debut as NFL starter more or less a dumpster fire.

As we break for lunch, let’s have some more Blind Connie Williams with “Trouble In Mind.”

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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.