I probably communicate more regularly with my work colleagues in Washington during our annual fundraising drive than at any other time of the year, and am grateful each time to have the pleasure of working with so many really nice people. And they stand in a line of predecessors who were almost universally admired in the magazine journalism world, even if they didn’t, as so many did, move on to bigger and higher-profile gigs. Believe me, I’ve worked in jobs where I’d hate it if I had to ask people to contribute money to the place. This is the big exception. So even if you don’t usually respond to fundraising appeals, I hope you will make an exception and donate what you can afford to keep this venerable operation going. Thanks!

Here are some remains of the day:

* Ted Cruz thinks GOP governors are actually less qualified than he is to run for president, because they haven’t postured as much as he has.

* At the Upshot, Derek Willis explains the many, many reasons FEC data is inadequate for comparing campaign spending in different elections.

* All but two Republicans vote against confirmation of previously non-controversial nominee to head ICE, who was nonetheless confirmed on a 55-39 vote.

* At Ten Miles Square, John Stoehr suggests immigration reform advocates stop worrying about the specious objections of GOP “Know-Nothing faction.”

* At College Guide, Jill Barshay discusses a new California study showing that students forced to repeat algebra classes don’t “get it” the second time, and may actually regress.

And in non-political news:

* Creator of Clifford, the Big Red Dog, dies at 86.

That’s it for Tuesday. Let’s close with the most iconic Advent song of them all: Schubert’s Ave Maria, as performed by Karyl Ryczek.


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.