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chart of trust by generation (millennials are least trusting)
A big new report on millennials was released today by the Pew Research Center, covering a lot of the same stuff we’re always hearing about this oft-discussed generation. Millennials are diverse, they’re not making a lot of money and they’re really into this Internet I keep hearing so much about.
Still, there were some interesting takeaways! Here are four things that caught my attention.
(Take note: The report focuses on people between ages 18 and 33, leaving out the teenagers who still technically count as millennials.)
Dana Milbank:
Paul Ryan, addressing the Conservative Political Action Conference this week, disputed the notion that “the Republican Party is in this big, massive civil war.”

“I don’t see this great divide in our party,” the GOP’s 2012 vice presidential nominee said.

Ryan had a point. The notion of “civil war,” often used to describe the clash between the Republican establishment and the tea party, implies a conflict with identifiable sides. In reality, the GOP condition is more of a free-for-all.

The annual CPAC gathering, conservatism’s trade show, provides a snapshot of the anarchy:

The group’s much-celebrated straw poll of presidential candidates listed no fewer than 26 prospective contenders on the ballot this year — a sign of just how fractured the party is in advance of 2016.

In Memoriam: Terry 'BartCop' Coppage

More politics and policy below the fold.

If CPAC crowd gets nomination for one of their preferred candidates, GOP will be buried in 2016.
Newtown Bee:
Gun violence touches all ethnicities and socioeconomic group. The push for more sensible gun safety legislation has helped to unify communities that would appear to have little in common. On Saturday, March 8, at 8 am, a group of cyclists known as Team 26 will embark on a 400-mile journey — the 2nd Annual Sandy Hook Ride On Washington (SHROW) — departing from Edmond Town Hall to show how diverse communities across the nation have one common goal: make streets safer and put an end to the gun-violence epidemic.

Originally scheduled to take place at Reed Intermediate School, the kick-off rally has been moved to the front steps and courtyard at 45 Main Street.

The four-day “rolling rally” will include events in Ridgefield and Greenwich, Harlem, N.Y., Doylestown, Penn., Baltimore and College Park, Md., and Washington National Cathedral in Washington, D.C., before ending at the steps of the US Capitol Building.

I'm not available for comment until later; I'm seeing Monte Frank and Team 26 off.

Michael Hiltzik:

Two experts at the Urban Institute have crunched the best numbers we have, and their conclusion is that 2.6 million policies were canceled because of noncompliance with the ACA -- but that more than half the policyholders were eligible for subsidized, low-cost replacement insurance. In other words, slightly more than 1 million individuals or families had their insurance canceled and had to pay the full premium to replace it. But that's not the same as saying they were cut off from insurance -- most of them almost certainly did replace it, often with more comprehensive benefits.

Is 1 million a lot? It depends on where you stand, and perhaps more if you're one of the 1 million. But it must be measured against the 30 million Americans whose access to health insurance will be eased by the ACA.

George E Condon Jr:
President Obama is not the first American president to be confronted by provocations and military actions from Moscow. All 12 presidents since World War II have faced such challenges. But Obama is one of the first to have a broad range of potentially biting nonmilitary responses to employ—a measure of how much Russia has been integrated into the world's financial system since the fall of the Berlin Wall and the end of the Cold War.

It is why American policymakers are so convinced that Russian President Vladimir Putin has miscalculated by dispatching troops to Crimea. And why you hear over and over again from the White House and State Department that Putin does not seem to understand the interconnectedness of the 21st-century world.

"What we see here are distinctly 19th- and 20th-century decisions made by President Putin to address problems, deploying military forces rather than negotiating," says a senior administration official, speaking on background. "But what he needs to understand is that in terms of his economy, he lives in the 21st-century world, an interdependent world."

The official added pointedly: "You may have noticed his economy is not in the greatest of shape. The ruble has taken a significant hit.... He depends on good trade relations with all of us, notably with Europe. And it is going to be very difficult for him to maintain those good relations with the outside world while he is using his military forces to threaten and intimidate a neighbor." Another senior administration official, noting that the ruble has fallen 8.3 percent so far this year, calls the Russian economy "really quite vulnerable" because of its integration in global markets.

That vulnerability is a relatively new state of affairs for Moscow. "The Soviet Union was economically isolated. It did not participate in global trade to any significant degree," says Jeffrey Mankoff, a former adviser to the State Department on Russia and now deputy director of the Russia and Eurasia Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. "It had an unconvertible currency. And certainly the level of trade and investment flows between the Soviet Union and the West was extremely limited. Today, that is obviously different."

Business groups are pushing to ensure that any economic sanctions imposed on Russia by the United States are joined by as much of the rest of the world as possible, warning Congress and the Obama administration that unilateral U.S. action would put tens of billions of dollars of American investment and trade at risk of retaliation.

Company officials say they are caught between fast-moving U.S. foreign policy and their interests in a market many have been courting — both in the key energy sector and beyond.

Charles Ornstein:
Twice this week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has pointed to the harm caused by aberrant and inappropriate prescribing by physicians.

First, the CDC reported Monday that doctors are a primary source of narcotic painkillers for chronic abusers at the highest risk of overdoses.  Physicians edged out even family, friends and drug dealers. More than 16,000 people died of narcotic overdoses in 2010, the most recent year for which data is available, the CDC has reported.

On Tuesday, the public health agency said that it found vast differences in the use of antibiotics among different hospitals’ medical/surgical wards. Doctors in some hospitals prescribed three times as many antibiotics as those in other hospitals. The CDC also said that in about one-third of cases, prescriptions for the antibiotic vancomycin included a potential error – either it was prescribed without proper tests or evaluation, or given for too long.

John Harwood:
“If we don’t pass immigration reform this year, we will not win the White House back in 2016, 2020 or 2024,” John Feehery, once a top aide to former Speaker J. Dennis Hastert, wrote recently. Even if that prediction proves hyperbolic, recent history gives Republicans ample reason to take the danger seriously. Democrats have long wooed racial and ethnic minorities more vigorously than the Republicans have. Their presidential candidates have won a majority of black and Hispanic votes in every election since exit polls began.
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