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Ignore polling on Christie - not meaningful what public thinks of him today - meaningful how scandal affects public opinion in fall 2015
@DavMicRot yes and no. Nice to have inevitable, juggernaut, bipartisan sheen. Gone now, irreplaceable. But nothing written in stone.
Real question for GOP '16 is who's going to emerge from the establishment "bracket"? Looked like Christie. Now opening for Rubio, Ryan, Jeb.
Benghazi widens lead over Fort Lee #killmenow
I have to go back and see how Benghazi did against Aqua Buddha and Kenneth the page.

The Onion:

Nation Recalls Simpler Time When Health Care System Was Broken Beyond Repair
because it is any sillier than what conservatives write about ACA?

Brian Beutler:

Desperate, last-ditch effort for Obamacare haters fails

A federal judge's ruling suggests Obamacare foes are either dishonest or unable to read

More politics and policy below the fold.

Josh Kraushaar:

With Christie politically wounded, many now dismiss the idea that Christie was ever a top-tier candidate for the presidential nomination. But Republicans have regularly shown a willingness to nominate candidates who deviate from conservative orthodoxy, from Mitt Romney (2012) and John McCain (2008) to George H.W. Bush (1988). Even George W. Bush campaigned on a compassionate conservatism message as a subtle rebuke to the more-conservative forces in Congress at the time.

Christie's path to the presidency was running as a straight-talking outsider who accomplished a number of conservative reforms in a blue state. He still may have a shot. But in his zeal to raise his national profile, he lost what propelled him into the spotlight in the first place. It's becoming harder to imagine Republican voters will be eager to trade in Washington wheelers-and-dealers for the Trenton variety in 2016.

Matt Yglesias:
I've seen two lines of skepticism about the idea that bridgegate is really all that damaging to Chris Christie's 2016 ambitions, and I think they're both wrong. One line of argument notes, correctly, that scandals are eminently survivable when they hit otherwise-popular politicians with otherwise-unpopular antagonists. The other line of argument notes, also correctly, that voters tend to be fairly myopic and there's no real reason to think the 2016 electorate will care much about something that happened in 2014.

Both true, but fundamentally wrong. The relevant things about the 2016 primary are that it's happening right now and that it's really hard to win.

Charlie Cook:
Having said that, I also have a problem with the recent story line: “The front-runner for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination is hit with a scandal.” Christie, the front-runner? Again—really? Christie indeed sat at the top of some of the polls that lay out a long laundry list of every imaginable contender (as well as some who are harder to imagine), but does that make him the front-runner? I think not.

Think for a moment who makes up the Republican Party, and most specifically the part of the GOP base that dominates the presidential nomination process. Think about the people they seriously considered for their party’s presidential nomination last time around. Think Michele Bachmann, Herman Cain, Rick Santorum, Rick Perry, and Newt Gingrich. Now, quickly, think Christie. Now think Sesame Street: “One of these things is not like the others; one of these things just doesn’t belong.” It’s laughable that the party that has previously seriously considered some fairly inconceivable candidates as worthy of the GOP nomination would suddenly reverse course and head over to a center-right candidate such as Christie.

Greg Sargent:
Harry Reid and Senate Dem leadership aides have been telling reporters that there are no plans for a vote on a new bill to impose sanctions on Iran — a vote the White House fears could derail diplomacy and make war more likely.

Yet it may actually be even worse than this for proponents of the bill. Even Senators who support the measure are no longer pushing for any vote, and have no plans to do so for the foreseeable future, a Democratic Senator who favors the bill tells me.

chart of who uses the internet to read about personal health stories
Pew Research Center:
The online health community and the media lit up this week in a debate over whether it’s tasteful, appropriate or even beneficial to discuss one’s health problems with the world on social media.

While there’s been some discussion of the topic before, the news this week involved two prominent journalists who raised questions about one woman’s public approach to her battle with stage IV breast cancer. Lisa Bonchek Adams, a 44-year-old mother of three, has lived with cancer for six years and developed a following among others diagnosed with cancer as well as clinicians, journalists and people who simply appreciate her perspectives.

Her tweets and blog posts address topics such as her approach to talking to her kids about her illness, her medical treatments and thoughts about facing the end of life. The Guardian’s Emma Keller wrote a column stating that “Adams was dying out loud.” A few days later, The New York Times’ Bill Keller (who is Emma’s husband) wrote a column relating his father-in-law’s “calm death” from cancer and asked whether Adams’ public updates about her health are the right approach.

We’ll leave the taste debate aside and instead look at the data about how many Americans gather and share health information online and whether there are any known benefits to doing so.

For more on the topic see yesterday's Abbreviated Pundit Round-up: Mr. and Mrs. Cancer explain to us how we should die.

Jonathan Bernstein:

Yesterday, Senate Republicans killed the unemployment insurance extension bill by filibuster. But you wouldn’t know that if you read the generally bad news coverage.

Take this story in the New York Times.

WASHINGTON — Unemployment benefits for 1.3 million of the long-term unemployed — and millions more in the future — were imperiled on Tuesday after Senate efforts to reach accord on legislation to revive them collapsed in partisan finger-pointing.
“Partisan finger-pointing”? That tells us nothing. It certainly doesn’t tell us that most Republicans simply opposed any extension, and mounted a filibuster to defeat it.
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