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Meteor, anyone?

Robert Draper:
They walked me through a series of slides showing the wide discrepancies between the two campaigns. “And just to make them feel really bad,” Jacobson said as he punched another image onto the overhead screen. “We say, ‘Just wait — this is the most important slide.’ And this is what kills them, because conservatives always look at young voters like the hot girl they could never date.” He read aloud from the text: “1.25 million more young people supported Obama in 2012 over 2008.”
Must read.

EJ Dionne:

In giving up the papacy, Pope Benedict XVI was brave and bold. He did the unexpected for the good of the Catholic Church. And when it selects a new pope next month, the College of Cardinals should be equally brave and bold. It is time to elect a nun as the next pontiff.

Now, I know this hope of mine is the longest of long shots. I have great faith in the Holy Spirit to move papal conclaves, but I would concede that I may be running ahead of the Spirit on this one. Women, after all, are not yet able to become priests, and it is unlikely that traditionalists in the church will suddenly upend the all-male, celibate priesthood, let alone name a woman as the bishop of Rome.

The point isn't that it'll happen, it's to contrast this with what actually will happen.

Eugene Robinson:

In his bid to be remembered as a transformational leader, President Obama is following the playbook of an ideological opposite, Margaret Thatcher. First you win the argument, she used to say, then you win the vote.

Obama is gradually winning the argument about what government can and should do. His State of the Union address was an announcement of that fact — and a warning to conservatives that, to remain relevant, they will have to move beyond the premise that government is always the problem and never the solution.

There's a reason Gene won a Pulitzer.

Beth Reinhard:

Can Marco Rubio Live Up to the Hype?

He's the GOP's Barack Obama, a fresh-faced politician with an immigrant name, a playlist full of rap, and a collection of fawning press clips. The challenge: He's selling the same old party message.


Top 10% of American's now take 46.5% of nation's income, highest level since 1917.  Bottom 90% have 53.5%.http://t.co/... #labor
@greenhousenyt via TweetDeck

Some more videos of the meteor in Russia. Some are loud.

First Read:

President Barack Obama took his push for stricter gun laws to his adoptive hometown of Chicago, as that city endures an epidemic of high-profile shooting deaths.

Speaking near his family home on the south side of Chicago, the president renewed his call for Congress to allow for a vote on his various gun measures. And Obama pointed to recent incidences of violence, including the murder of Hadiya Pendleton, the Chicago teenager who was gunned down shortly after performing with classmates in Obama’s second inaugural parade.

Frank Bruni:
When a Vesuvius like John McCain tells you that you belch too much smoke and spew too much fire, you know you’ve got a problem.

And Ted Cruz, a Republican freshman in the Senate who has been front and center in his party’s effort to squash Chuck Hagel’s nomination as secretary of defense, has a problem. He’s an ornery, swaggering piece of work. Just six weeks since his arrival on Capitol Hill, he’s already known for his naysaying, his nit-picking and his itch to upbraid lawmakers who are vastly senior to him, who have sacrificed more than he has and who deserve a measure of respect, or at least an iota of courtesy. Courtesy isn’t Cruz’s métier. Grandstanding and browbeating are.

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