March 2014

Mar 25, 2014

The Case for Hypothetical Questions

By John Dickerson, Slate Magazine

At the Nuclear Security Summit in The Hague on Monday, President Obama and other world leaders participated in a hypothetical exercise playing out what they would do if terrorists gained nuclear weapons. The event was secret because the leaders were developing actual protocols for this eventuality, but none of the leaders refused to participate on the grounds that it was a “hypothetical.”

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The Religious Right's Failed Gay-Marriage Backlash

By Molly Ball, The Atlantic

Frank Schubert tried to warn us. In 2012, after voters in four states took the side of gay marriage in ballot initiatives, Schubert, a consultant working for the National Organization for Marriage, was sure they would live to regret their choice.

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Supreme Court Takes Up Dispute Over Obamacare and Religion

By Pete Williams, NBC News

The Supreme Court on Tuesday takes up the most closely watched issue of its term: Does the Obamacare law violate the religious freedom of private employers by requiring them to provide insurance coverage for contraceptives?

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Mar 24, 2014

On Ukraine, Ted Cruz isn't as Reaganesque as he seems to think

By Doyle McManus, Los Angeles Times

In my Sunday column, I described the division among leading Republicans over what policy to prescribe on Russia and Ukraine, a three-way split among hawks, realists and libertarians.

Then there’s Ted Cruz, the firebrand tea-party senator from Texas. Where does he fit in?

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What lessons will the GOP take away for 2016 if they win this November?

By Dan Balz, The Washington Post

The biggest mistake political parties often make is learning the wrong lessons from victory or defeat, but particularly victory. Republicans face that possibility as they anticipate what they hope will be a successful midterm election in November.

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Supreme Court Takes Up Dispute Over Obamacare and Religion

By Pete Williams, NBC News

The Supreme Court on Tuesday takes up the most closely watched issue of its term: Does the Obamacare law violate the religious freedom of private employers by requiring them to provide insurance coverage for contraceptives?

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Behind the politics of this week’s Ukraine vote in Congress

By Ed O’Keefe, The Washington Post

Congress returns to Washington today after another week-long recess and is expected to spend part of their first week back debating a U.S. aid package to Ukraine.

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3 Presidents and a Riddle Named Putin

By Peter Baker, The New York Times

Bill Clinton found him to be cold and worrisome, but predicted he would be a tough and able leader. George W. Bush wanted to make him a friend and partner in the war on terror, but grew disillusioned over time.

Barack Obama tried working around him by building up his protégé in the Kremlin, an approach that worked for a time but steadily deteriorated to the point that relations between Russia and the United States are now at their worst point since the end of the Cold War.

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Mar 21, 2014

The Vanished Washington of Robert Strauss

By Todd Purdum, Politico

“Last of his kind” is an overused phrase, but in the case of Robert S. Strauss, who died Wednesday at 95, it is apt. For his like will not pass Washington’s way again, if only because the world that made him — and men like him — is also gone for good.

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South Carolina considers ending ban on Election Day alcohol sales

By Reid Wilson, The Washington Post

Imagine the anguish of a staffer working for a losing campaign once the polls close. All those hours, all that work, for naught. That staffer sure could use a drink. But in South Carolina, the drink will have to wait. The Palmetto State is the only state in the country that still bans alcohol sales on Election Day.

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In Book, Architect of Health Law Predicts a Shift Away From Employer Coverage

By John Harwood, The New York Times

Ezekiel J. Emanuel, who helped devise the Affordable Care Act, has a vision for how it will eventually work. Democrats hope it will not materialize anytime soon.

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Obama enlists help to push Affordable Care Act

By Christi Parsons, Los Angeles Times

President Obama teased Ellen DeGeneres about the selfie she took at the Oscars and confessed to leaving his socks and shoes lying around while the first lady is out of town, but before the end of his Thursday appearance on her talk show, he got DeGeneres to put in a plug for the Affordable Care Act.

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