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"Given the involvement of individuals considered deities in some cultures (Thor, Loki), there is even the potential to classify the event as an 'Act of God', although that designation would be subject to strenuous theological and legal debate."

The high cost of thwarting alien invasion

05/11/12 07:38PM

The new Avengers movie may have been insufficiently realistic for the U.S. military to be willing to lend its resources but it's also apparently not so fantastic that it can't be subjected to real world damage assessment.The Hollywood Reporter enlisted a company called Kinetic Analysis Corporation to figure out the actual money cost of the damage done in the course of the Avengers defending Earth. read more

Ahead on the 5/11 Maddow Show

05/11/12 07:19PM

Tonight's guests:Ed Rendell, former Pennsylvania governor, former DNC chairman, current NBC News political analyst and cnbc contributorMichael Moore, Academy Award-winning filmmaker, writer, and Michigan residentHere's executive producer Bill Wolff with a look at what's on tonight's show. (And here's the mood.) read more

Friday's Mini-Report

05/11/12 05:30PM

Today's edition of quick hits:* The United States launched airstrikes in Yemen yesterday "that killed as many as seven militants, the second American missile attack in the country since the CIA and other spy agencies disrupted an al-Qaeda airline bomb plot."* Afghan officials are reporting that their own military commanders have "refused more than a dozen times within the past two months to act on U.S. intelligence regarding high-level insurgents," fearing civilian casualties.* U.S. read more

Happy Mother's Day, from Trayvon's mom

05/11/12 04:45PM

If you want to see strength and dignity in the face of devastating loss, check out the new ad from Trayvon Martin's mother, Sybrina Fulton:This will be my first Mother's Day without my son Trayvon. I know it will be hard, but my faith, family and friends will pull me through. On Sunday, I'm going to say a prayer for other mothers across America who share this unbearable pain. read more

Chronicling Mitt's Mendacity, Vol. XVII

Chronicling Mitt's Mendacity, Vol. XVII

05/11/12 03:49PM

As the 2012 presidential campaign advances, impatience with Mitt Romney's penchant for falsehoods grows. Jamelle Bouie this week reflected on the the fact that "the former Massachusetts governor has no use for honesty in his campaign.""Constant mendacity is the norm for Romney and his campaign, and odds are good that he won't suffer for it," Bouie wrote. read more

Terry Gross + Mike Birbiglia = LOL

05/11/12 03:14PM

The source of intermittent, choked giggles from inside our cubicle farm today? Is this 6:40 masterpiece starring comedian Mike Birbiglia and NPR's Terry Gross (h/t: All Things D):  read more

Proof of quiet compassion

05/11/12 02:22PM

As a matter of public policy, it's easy to characterize Mitt Romney's agenda as rather cruel towards struggling families: his platform calls for cutting food stamps, making it harder to afford college tuition, ending health care coverage for millions, etc.But this week, questions about Romney's personal cruelty have come to the fore. But the Republican's aides have proof that the former governor is a deeply compassionate man. read more

Rubio's DREAM Act conspiracy theory

Rubio's DREAM Act conspiracy theory

05/11/12 01:04PM

Ironically, as Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) makes more of an effort to raise his national profile, it's getting far more difficult to take him seriously. Comments like the ones he made yesterday are just clownish.Sen. read more

Pentagon: DADT repeal going 'very well'

Pentagon: DADT repeal going 'very well'

05/11/12 12:25PM

It's been a year and a half since Democrats cleared the way for eliminating "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," and nearly nine months since the policy was scrapped altogether. All the while, conservative Republicans, led by Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), warned of horrible consequences if gay and lesbian soldiers were permitted to serve openly.We all heard the arguments: ending DADT would hurt recruitment, undermine morale, weaken unit cohesion, and undercut readiness at a time of war. read more

Friday's campaign round-up

05/11/12 12:00PM

Today's installment of campaign-related news items that won't necessarily generate a post of their own, but may be of interest to political observers:* The Republican National Committee and Mitt Romney's campaign are pushing the line this morning that President Obama said he "forgot about the recession." That's not what he said.* Democratic party leaders said yesterday that their party platform will, in fact, include language in support of marriage equality (thanks to reader R.P. read more

Rolling back the clock on Wall Street

Rolling back the clock on Wall Street

05/11/12 11:11AM

In the financial world, the biggest story of the day is JPMorgan Chase. As Matt Yglesias explained, "Remember the 'Volcker Rule' that was supposed to stop systemically significant financial institutions from racking up huge losses on proprietary speculative bets? Well ... read more

Missouri Senate candidate Sarah Steelman (R).

No excuse for violent rhetoric

05/11/12 10:39AM

At a Tea Party Express rally in Missouri last week, a conservative activist named Scott Boston, referencing Sen. Claire McCaskill (D), told an assembled crowd, "We have to kill the Claire Bear." The comments were enough to get the attention of the FBI and the U.S. Capitol Police, which ordered some extra protection for the Democratic senator.Sarah Steelman, who's running against McCaskill, was on hand for the event, and seemed reluctant to denounce the activist's rhetoric. read more

Walker in Wisconsin: 'Divide and conquer'

05/11/12 10:00AM

In Wisconsin, Gov. Scott Walker (R) frequently talks about people "working together" to solve problems. As it turns out, it's a two-word phrase he may want to revise -- "working together" and "divide and conquer" are not complementary.The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports on the context of the newly-released video, recorded by a filmmaker who has supported Wisconsin Democrats.A filmmaker released a video Thursday that shows Gov. Scott Walker saying he would use "divide and conquer" as a strategy against unions. read more