When Paul Glastris decided to commission Matt Connolly’s piece on college football coaching salaries, he didn’t know that a sneak preview would appear on the very eve of Jim Harbaugh’s return to Michigan for what is likely to be a record–perhaps $8 million–contract. But it’s not remarkable at all for WaMo to be a bit–or in some cases a lot–ahead of the curve. You can help keep yourself ahead of the curve with a tax-deductible donation in whatever amount you can afford. Thanks!

Here are some midday news/views items left over from the Xmas stockings:

* At TNR, Danny Vinik explains why Greek elections next month could reignite “Eurozone Crisis.”

* Fascinating bit of history: Winston Churchill may have considered converting to Islam.

* The permanent campaign back on: Politico profiles the top 16 Senate races of ’16.

* Few illusions of any non-tragic result to the AirAsia flight “mystery.”

* Krugman argues austerity or the lack thereof explains most of what you need to know about relative economic conditions of various countries at various times.

And in non-political news:

* The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies big Xmas box office winner.

As we break for lunch, here’s the anti-militaristic title track from Marianne Faithfull’s 1979 comeback album, Broken English.

YouTube video

Our ideas can save democracy... But we need your help! Donate Now!

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.