March 2014

Mar 31, 2014

Why did GM take so long to respond to deadly defect? Corporate culture may hold answer.

By Michael A. Fletcher and Steven Mufson, The Washington Post

The part costs less than $10 wholesale. The fix takes less than an hour. A mechanic removes a few screws and connectors, takes off a plastic shroud, pops in the new switch, and the customer is back on the road.

Read more

Senate Democrats struggle to define a message that can save their majority

By Karen Tumulty and Paul Kane, The Washington Post

Democrats are going into the 2014 midterm elections with their control of the Senate greatly imperiled and with the prospect of an Obama presidency completely hobbled in its final two years.

Read more

Hopes Frustrated, Many Latinos Reject the Ballot Box Altogether

By Jackie Calmes, The New York Times

As the weather warms, Lizeth Chacon is anticipating a new season of registering Latino voters — yet dreading experiences like one late last year, when she came upon a skate park full of older teenagers.

“I thought, ‘The perfect age! They’re turning 18,’ ” said Ms. Chacon, just 26 herself, born in Mexico and now the lead organizer at Rights for All People, a local immigrant organizing group. But among the roughly 50 people she approached in this increasingly diverse city east of Denver, “not a single person” was interested in her pitch, including those already old enough to vote: “They were like, ‘Why? Why would I bother to vote?’ ”

Read more

How Much Is Russian Incursion About Oil?

With Indira Lakshmanan, Bloomberg News

Barclays Head of North American Commodities Helima Croft and Bloomberg's Indira Lakshmanan discuss the crisis in Ukraine on Bloomberg Television's "In The Loop."

Watch more

Obamacare Enrollment Heading to 7 Million at Deadline

By Alex Wayne, Bloomberg News

The first yearly sign-up period for Obamacare closes today, with early returns suggesting the administration may near a projection of 7 million enrollees made before the U.S. health exchange struggled at its startup.

Read more

Mar 28, 2014

The Kids, They Know Things

By John Dickerson, Slate Magazine

For the first time in my life I have a secretary. If I were a branch manager or assistant V.P. of sales in an honest profession, I might have gotten one sooner. But I am a journalist and we work alone. Finally, though, I have someone who understands the latest iPhone updates, delights in Bluetooth pairing, and can disarm clamshell packaging. I have been sprung from Windows 8 jail because my new helper disabled its improvements and made it work just like Windows 7. If I need to know the name of the second largest river in South America or who started the Surrealist movement, I just ask.

Read more

Air Force Fires 9 Officers in Scandal Over Cheating on Proficiency Tests

By Helene Cooper, The New York Times

The Air Force said Thursday that it had fired nine officers and accepted the resignation of the commander at Malmstrom Air Force Base in Montana as it continued to deal with a widespread cheating scandal among the men and women entrusted with the launching of intercontinental ballistic missiles.

Read more

Unguarded comments, caught on tape, dog candidates

By Charles Babington, Associated Press

You might think this year's candidates had learned from Barack Obama's comments about bitter people who "cling to guns or religion." Or perhaps from Mitt Romney's apparent dismissal of the 47 percent of Americans who don't pay federal income taxes.

Read more

The ‘Sheldon Primary’ is one reason why Americans distrust the political system

By Dan Balz, The Washington Post

Several prospective Republican presidential candidates have gathered in Las Vegas for the opening round of what has been dubbed “the Sheldon Primary,” an event emblematic of how warped the system for financing presidential elections has become.

Read more

Congress advances Ukraine aid package

By Susan Davis, USA Today

Congress is working to send legislation to President Obama by the end of the week to reaffirm support for Ukraine, provide loan guarantees and impose further sanctions on Russia for its annexation of Crimea.

Read more

Obamacare’s 6 Million Target Hit as Exchange Visits Surge

By Alex Wayne, Bloomberg News

Six million Americans have signed up for private health plans under Obamacare, President Barack Obama said, a symbolic milestone for a government that has struggled to get the law off the ground.

Read more

Mar 27, 2014

Decoding The Democrats’ New 2014 Agenda

By Jeff Zeleny, ABC News

With their control of the Senate in jeopardy, Democrats unveiled a new agenda today in hopes of moving beyond the fierce Republican backlash of the health care law by trying to change the subject to a focus on pocketbook issues in the midterm elections.

Read more