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#GETCOVERED?

Inside Obamacare’s 11th Hour

David Goldman/AP

The numbers looked good and the people kept enrolling hours before the deadline Monday night, but the jury’s still out on whether Obama’s legislation will define his presidency.

Monday marked the end of the 2014 enrollment period for Obamacare. Four years after the Affordable Care Act passed Congress and six months after the tumultuous enrollment period began, it was at least nominally the last opportunity for consumers to get covered—or, as the Obama administration would put it, #getcovered.But the final countdown to sign up for the ACA featured some of the tech glitches and extended deadlines that were familiar from the past few months.

Chutzpah

Will Obama Surrender Israeli Spy?

Baz Ratner/Reuters

For years President Obama has resisted Israeli requests to free Jonathan Pollard. Now with its peace process on the verge of collapse the White House is taking a second look at releasing Israel's most notorious spy.

The Obama administration, struggling for ways to keep the Israeli-Palestinian peace talks going, is considering doing something it swore it would never do: release convicted Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard.An administration official confirmed to The Daily Beast that the possible release of Pollard, although not likely, is now on the list of items being discussed between Secretary of State John Kerry and Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu as part of a formula whereby he and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas would both agree to extend peace talks past their April 29 deadline.

Who, Me?

Top Spy Targeted for Benghazi Spin

Jonathan Ernst/The New York Times, Redux

One of the most celebrated members of America’s intelligence community is under fire for his alleged role.

Since the attacks on the CIA station and U.S. diplomatic outpost in Benghazi, Republicans have fixed blame for the attack on Hillary Clinton, Susan Rice and Barack Obama, among many others. On Wednesday, the GOP will be focusing on a new target: one of the most celebrated and trusted people in the American intelligence community.Michael Morell, who at the time of the Benghazi attack was the deputy CIA director, is scheduled to testify before the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence on April 2 to discuss in open testimony something he only talked about with the committee in classified sessions before.

Gaffe

He Was Right About Palestinians

Ethan Miller/Getty

The Republican accurately described the West Bank as “occupied territories” and then immediately took it back. The people living there know he was right the first time.

Chris Christie is a guy who prides himself on telling it the way it is, even if you don’t like what he has to say. That is unless you happen to be billionaire Sheldon Adelson. Then Christie will apparently say exactly what you want to hear.We saw this on Saturday after Christie made a big “blunder” in the eyes of Adelson at the Republican Jewish Coalition with the statement: “I took a helicopter ride from the occupied territories across and just felt personally how extraordinary that was to understand, the military risk that Israel faces every day.

Gamechanger

Obama Endorses Schatz In HI-Sen

ltgov.hawaii.gov

Barack Obama weighed in the competitive Democratic primary for U.S. Senate in his home state of Hawaii on Monday, backing incumbent Brian Schatz.

Barack Obama jumped into the contested Democratic primary for U.S Senate on Monday endorsing incumbent Brian Schatz, who is facing a spirited challenge from Rep. Colleen Hanabusa. Schatz, the Aloha State's 41-year-old former Lieutenant Governor was appointed to the Senate by Governor Neil Abercrombie in December 2012 after the death of Daniel Inouye, who had held the seat for 49 years. The appointment was controversial. Inouye had long groomed Hanabusa to replace him and it was his dying request that she be appointed.

OFFICE SPACE

Gray Shadows in DC Primary

Marvin Joseph/Getty

Party affiliation and race are factors in Tuesday’s primary for D.C. mayor, but the biggest issue for voters is whether to support incumbent Vincent Gray in light of his shady “shadow campaign” investigation or to put their trust in an overly cautious Muriel Bowser.

As a longtime resident of the District of Columbia, where 76 percent of registered voters are Democrats, I’m accustomed to the Democratic primary deciding local elections. But this Tuesday’s primary will be different. The Democrat that emerges with a plurality of the vote from a crowded field will likely face opposition in November from Independent Council member David Catania, an education reform activist and former Republican who has won four citywide elections as an at-large councilman.

ENROLL WITH IT

Obamacare Crosses the Finish Line

BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/Getty

As the final figures roll in, the conventional wisdom still calls it a disaster. Yet far more people say they can live with the law than back repeal. How dare they!

Brace yourself, friends, for the new hate-and-snicker-fest on the right about the Obamacare numbers. It started over the weekend—actually, it’s been more or less ongoing since last fall—but it’s going to crescendo now that the enrollment deadline has been reached. Six million, eh? Bah. A million below expectations, they’ll say, and in any case a fake number. That’s what Wyoming Senator John Barrasso said Sunday on Fox; the administration is “cooking the books.

CAPTAINS OF AMERICA

Why Progressives Govern Best

© Lucy Nicholson / Reuters

The sign-up deadline for the Affordable Care Act has arrived, and in looking back at the last century of presidential power actions on both party sides Robert Shrum has reached a bigger conclusion: the progressive truly trump the conservative.

The sign-up deadline for the Affordable Care Act has triggered a predictable series of jeremiads from the right. Perhaps the most remarkable appeared (no surprise) on the editorial page of the Wall Street Journal with Daniel Henninger’s portentous, supposedly comprehensive indictment: “The political left can win elections, but it’s unable to govern.” Henninger’s ambition here vastly exceeds his actual argument.He assails health reform with a politically shopworn cliche about a “one grand scheme fits all compulsion… out of sync with individualization” in this age of technology.

Fringe Factor

Convicted Killer Runs for CA Gov.

Stephen Lam/Reuters

A registered sex offender and convicted killer is running for governor of California. An Alaska state Senator wants to give away pregnancy tests, but not birth control, in bars. And the knife rights movement is decriminalizing switchblades one state at a time.

Registered Sex Offender, Convicted Killer Running for California Governor California gubernatorial candidate Glenn Champ may not have a lot of experience in politics, but he believes his extensive criminal history makes him more than equipped to deal with politicians. Champ is a registered sex offender who spent more than 10 years in state prison, convicted of assault with intent to commit rape and voluntary manslaughter. Among the other crimes on his lengthy rap sheet are carrying a concealed firearm and loitering to solicit a prostitute.

Faux Discrimination

Christians, You’re Not Victims

Robert Galbraith/Reuters

Sure, it feels bad when the world you took for granted seems to have turned against you overnight. But Christians complaining about “discrimination” should realize what real victimization looks like.

From what I read and hear, conservative evangelical Christians are feeling victimized by developments in American culture and in the ways they are being treated under new anti-discrimination laws. In ever greater numbers, they are appealing to the courts to grant them “relief” from regulations that they feel violates their freedom of religion.  “Religious liberty” has become the rallying cry for a legal “remedy” to the violation of what they see as their freedom to practice their religion.

The Kids Are Alright

Why Kids Are Making Us Crazy

Silvia Boratti/Getty

Once again, it all comes down to politics—or, more specifically democratization itself. But if only we could think less selfishly about the present and more about the far future then we may just save our sanity.

While it may possible that Americans today have not developed an unhealthy obsession with their own children, there’s certainly a strong case for infatuation—on television, in books and on Facebook courtesy of status updates alerting us to yet another kid’s three-month birthday.Children today seem like an unsolvable problem—an evil trick played on adults by nature itself. Helpless creatures, sucking at our resources, who could die or be injured at any minute? Eventually turning against us? Creatures we can either neglect, to our endless guilt and horror, or maniacally promote, driving us into debt and an early grave?Children ruin us.

My Brief Amicus Brief Infamy

Larry Downing/Reuters

Mom is finally proud! I filed a brief in a Supreme Court case—a “Brief of Amici Curiae” in a case contesting an Ohio law against knowingly or recklessly lying about a political candidate or ballot initiative. (Let me add, as a native Ohioan, that every Ohio political candidate has escaped from a lunatic asylum and all Ohio ballot initiatives are the work of Satan.)As I was saying, I filed a brief of Amici Curiae. And never mind that, as far as I recall from my D+ in high school Latin, amici curiae means “affably disease-free.

Capitalist Tyranny

Market Leninism vs. the West

Alexander Demianchuk/Reuter

The biggest threat to Western governance promises prosperity at the expense of individual freedom – while dismissing democracy as ineffective.

So much for the end of history. Twenty-five years after the fall of the Berlin Wall gave rise to the idea that liberal capitalist democracy would carry the human race inexorably toward broad sunlit uplands, we are confronted with the ugly fact that culture outlasts politics. The ideology of communism may have ended up on the ash heap of history like Nazism before it, but now Market Leninism is taking its place as a challenge to liberty in the 21st Century.

Comeback

Is 2016 Perry’s Second Chance?

Justin Sullivan/Getty

After a disastrous presidential campaign in 2012, can Texas Governor Rick Perry mount a credible bid for the White House in 2016?

Texas Governor Rick Perry is currently on a media tour touting the theme that America is a great place for second chances, specifically second chances for Texas governors with national ambitions.Perry is trying to erase the memory of his disastrous 2012 GOP presidential campaign which included “brain-farts” and “oops” debate moments with his folksy, charming, and uniquely American manner.Curious about Perry’s comeback strategy, I asked Texan and GOP presidential media guru, Mark McKinnon and he said, “His second act is looking really good.

Sarah Palin's School of Rock

Reuters

They're like Creed, with a little more Constitution.

The theme song for Sarah Palin’s new television show Amazing America caught the Internet’s attention on Thursday. Palin, the former reality star on TLC, is launching her new show in April on the Sportsman Channel. Madison Rising, a self-described “constitutional pro-patriotic rock band” performing the theme song—also titled “Amazing America.”The song came about after the wife of the Madison Rising's lead singer, David Bray, connected the band with an executive at the Sportsman Channel.

'Clinton Vs. Bush? Count Me In'

A Hillary Clinton-Jeb Bush presidential faceoff would be great for America. So says Daily Beast contributor Mark McKinnon, who joined 'Morning Joe' to explain why the U.S. needs this.

  1. President Obama, Guided by Faith Play

    President Obama, Guided by Faith

  2. Behind the Benghazi Witchhunt Play

    Behind the Benghazi Witchhunt

  3. Obamacare's Full Court Press Play

    Obamacare's Full Court Press

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