One of the unusual things about Political Animal is that we don’t “go dark” on weekends, and we’ve found some great talent to chip in and provide a change of pace on Saturdays and Sundays, meanwhile allowing me the down-time necessary to avoid a physical and mental breakdown. We’ll have an announcement directly about how we’ll handle Weekend Blogging in 2014, but in the meantime, I hope it’s another reason you might consider making a tax-deductible donation during our fundraising season. Thank you!

Here’s some midday news/views trail mix for your noshing needs:

* Republican AG candidate in VA, Mark Obenshain, expected to concede race tomorrow as recounts keep adding votes to his opponent’s margin.

* That jeweler’s eye for excellence, Peggy Noonan, fears Obama will blow up the world because his staff’s incompetent. Seriously.

* Chris Cillizza points to ad based on PolitiFact “lie of the year” rating for Obama’s health care “promise” as ur-model for 2014.

* U.S. Cardinal Raymond Burke basically says Roman Curia will outlive Pope Francis.

* Harris Interactive poll on generational trends in belief systems finds over-68s bullish on God but sharply less likely to believe in ghosts, witches or reincarnation.

And in non-political news:

* Elite football coaches almost standing in line to deny interest in University of Texas gig. A lot of them are getting raises for being “mentioned,” of course.

As we break for a late lunch, here’s Ry Cooder in 1976 performing “Jesus on the Mainline.” I saw him do this song in a pouring rain at JazzFest in the early 1990s, and there was much dancing in the mud.

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.