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Josh Marshall: How the GOP Bet on Failure And Lost

(TPM) As I noted recently, GOP policy analysts are pretty clear now that Obamacare isn't collapsing, hopes of the politicals notwithstanding. And strategists have started to hint that flat opposition - repeal with no alternative that provides something like the same range of benefits - may no longer be viable from a political standpoint.

Of course, in the Obamacare gotterdammerung bubble, Obamacare is on its last legs and President Obama will soon resign and ask the country for mercy as he's hustled off by federal marshals to stand trial for Obamacare and socialism. Back on planet earth though reality-based opponents see the writing on the wall.

The Straight Story

Construction underway for 'USS Gabrielle Giffords'

(CBS 5) Construction of the "USS Gabrielle Giffords" is underway in Alabama. Gabrielle Giffords etched her initials into the keel of the combat ship being built for the U.S. Navy. It's the first naval vessel of its kind to be named after a living woman.


McAuliffe moves to restore voting rights

(MSNBC) Gov. Terry McAuliffe announced today that he will shrink the time violent felons must wait to seek reinstatement of their voting rights and will remove some offenses from that list.

The policy slated to take effect April 21 comes on top of years of work to streamline the process, and aims to make the system easier to understand and to allow more felons to petition the state more quickly.


Obama Blasts GOP Govs Turning Down Medicaid Expansion: 'That's Wrong'

(TPM) President Barack Obama was uncharacteristically blunt Thursday while addressing the Republican governors and state legislators who have turned down Obamacare's Medicaid expansion.

"That's wrong," Obama said from the White House briefing room after he announced that 8 million people had enrolled in private coverage under the law. The White House simultaneously released a fact sheet, which said 5.7 million people would be left uncovered in 2016 if the 24 states that have not expanded the program maintained their opposition.


REID Finally Says it: Bundy supporters are ‘domestic terrorists’

(The Hill) “They’re nothing more than domestic terrorists,” Reid said Thursday at an event hosted by the Las Vegas Review-Journal, according to the newspaper. “I repeat: what happened there was domestic terrorism.”


Obamacare Sign-Ups Hit 8 Million in Remarkable Turnaround

(HuffPo) In a remarkable rebound from the botched rollout of Obamacare, 8 million people signed up for private health insurance via the exchanges created by the Affordable Care Act since October, President Barack Obama announced during a press briefing at the White House Thursday.

March and April saw an uptick in the share of young people signing up for private plans using the exchanges. These people, who are presumably healthier, are needed to balance out the medical costs of older, sicker consumers. About 35 percent of people who signed up throughout the open enrollment period were under 35 years old, including children, Obama said. Twenty-eight percent were between the ages of 18 and 34, according to a White House fact sheet.


Paul Krugman: We live in the most unequal society ever, and it’s only getting worse

(Raw Story) The Nobel Prize winner said this troubling trend began around 1980, when President Ronald Reagan was elected and began implementing supply-side economic policies that promised more wealth for everyone if tax burdens were lifted for the rich.

“The fact of the matter is, since inequality began soaring, around 1980, the bottom half of America has pretty much been left behind,” Krugman said. “There has not been a rising tide that raised all boats.”


Oklahoma Will Charge Customers Who Install Their Own Solar Panels

(Think Progress) Oklahoma residents who produce their own energy through solar panels or small wind turbines on their property will now be charged an additional fee, the result of a new bill passed by the state legislature and expected to be signed into law by Gov. Mary Fallin (R).

On Monday, S.B. 1456 passed the state House 83-5 after no debate. The measure creates a new class of customers: those who install distributed power generation systems like solar panels or small wind turbines on their property and sell the excess energy back to the grid. While those with systems already installed won’t be affected, the new class of customers will now be charged a monthly fee — a shift that happened quickly and caught many in the state off guard.


TRUMKA Wants Elizabeth Warren to Be President: "In short," he wrote, "it don't get no better."

In a Reddit "Ask Me Anything" session, one user asked Trumka for his thoughts on Sen. Elizabeth Warren.

"I have met Elizabeth Warren on multiple occasions," Trumka responded. "In my opinion, she is the prototype of a person we would want to be president of the United States. She has a very well-defined set of values and unlike many politicians, she actually sticks by those values and fights to implement them."

"In short," he wrote, "it don't get no better."


The Harshest Abortion Ban In The Country Has Been Overturned

(Think Progress) A federal judge permanently struck down North Dakota’s six-week abortion ban on Wednesday. The so-called “fetal heartbeat” measure, which used to represent the harshest ban in the nation, had already been temporarily blocked from taking effect while the legal challenge against it proceeded. U.S. District Judge Daniel Hovland ruled that the law is “invalid and unconstitutional” and “cannot withstand a constitutional challenge,” pointing out that Roe v. Wade guarantees the right to abortion up until the point of viability.

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