As the year winds down, we have this consolation: paying for things by check is rapidly winding down, too, and with it the importance of remembering to date checks with 2015 beginning on Friday! Another bit of progress in this the greatest of all countries, right? Well, in any event, you don’t have to write a check to make a donation to the Washington Monthly in whatever amount you can afford. Thanks in advance!

Here are some midday new/views treats:

* Top 100 donors in 2014 gave nearly as much to campaigns ($324 million) as did the 4.75 people who gave $200 or less.

* Dibgy looks at NYPD slow-down strike or “work stoppage” as representing dangerous demand from police that they be immune from criticism.

* Paul Waldman finds single case that exemplifies real virtues and imaginary vices of Obamacare.

* TPM to announce Golden Duke awards for best scandal-ridden elected officials tomorrow.

* Looks like plastic bag-makers will get at least 16 more months to sell their wares in California by certifying 11/16 ballot initiative to overturn new plastic bag ban.

And in non-political news:

* Wreckage from vanished Air Asia flight found, along with remains of 40 passengers.

As we break for lunch, here’s another star celebrating a birthday today: Tracey Ullman performing her one wonderfully poppy hit, “They Don’t Know,” on Top of the Pops in 1983. Tracey is 55 today.

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.