Didn’t realize until this morning we are already into the ten-day countdown until Xmas. Sneaks up on me every year. All I want for Christmas is another day of life, the company of my dear wife, happiness for family and friends, and a good annual fundraising total for the Washington Monthly, to which you can contribute right here. Thank you so very much!

Here are some midday seasonal news/views snacks:

* Death toll in horrifying Taliban slaughter of kids and staff at school for children of high military officials in Pakistan reaches 145.

* Robert Kuttner labels the Cromnibus the “Great Budget Sellout of 2014.”

* Cromnibus does, however, codify federal non-prosecution policy on medical marijuana.

* Danny Vinik figures Marco Rubio–whose 2016 donor base just went (at least temporarily) elsewhere–is having a really bad day.

* Vatican report on American women religious–a.k.a. nuns–more conciliatory than expected when Benedict launched it.

And in non-political news:

* 2015 class at Rock and Roll Hall of fame will include Lou Reed, Green Day, Bill Withers, Joan Jett & Blackhearts, Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double Trouble, and the Paul Buttersfield Blues Band.

As we break for lunch, let’s stay with advent music from Cambridge, with “Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence” as performed by the Cambridge Singers.

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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.