It’s not often that we have two such very different “dominant” news stories: the resignation of a Pope, and a State of the Union Address. Having the obligation of trying to do twelve posts a day, I have plenty of space to cover both at my leisure, but it will be interesting to see what less prolific writers choose to emphasize (aside from those pushing some other story like Benghazi! Benghazi! or Hagel the Anti-Semite! regardless of its currency).

Here are some mid-day new/views items for your delectation:

* Charles Pierce says farewell to Benedict XVI as a “caretaker” for an “an institution that had moved so far from the message of the gospels that it might as well have been worshipping Ba’al.”

* Brother Benen notes that Obama really is getting out of Washington to make most of his speeches lately.

* TAP’s Paul Waldman predicts SOTU will be just like nearly all the others from presidents representing both parties–yet GOPers will whine it’s “too partisan.”

* WaPo’s Greg Sargent suggests reports of Senate GOPer revival of the “cut, cap, balance” insanity a sign they are hunkering down to accept sequester.

* Rove will get high-profile forum for his new self-appointed role as conservative “establishment” enforcer, as main speaker at March California GOP convention.

And in non-political news:

* Big event of the weekend: not the Grammys, but BaconFest!

Back in a bacon bit.

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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.