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The 2016 Obamacare States

There are many Democrats who believe that, in political terms, the joke will be on Republicans if the Supreme Court adopts the preposterous claim of the plaintiffs who say that Obamacare subsidies in states without state exchanges violate the law. This is because millions of middle- and lower middle-class people who had a benefit suddenly will have it taken away. I feel like I've been to this rodeo enough times to know Republicans have a really high capacity to stick with unpopular policies if doing otherwise would cut against key ideological priorities. In functional terms, the complaints of a few hundred thousand of what Sen. Johnson and his interviewer called "sad sacks" who lose their insurance cuts a lot less than the base's ideological commitment to opposing Obamacare by any means necessary. But the calculus may be different in some key states - states that did not set up exchanges but are generally blue or purple in presidential elections.

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Brittle and Awkward

There's a fascinating little piece in the Times today looking at Ted Cruz's life as college debate wunderkind as a foreshadowing of his presidential campaign and later public persona. Is past prologue? Believe it or not, yes!

Jason Horowitz finds a young ideologue who was extremely bright when it comes to logical reasoning and brain puzzles but awkwardly short on what psychologists now call emotional intelligence - with the latter often undermining the former in his quest for ultimate debate glory.

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Doomed Migrant Ship Rammed Rescuer

Horrific. From AP ...

A ship with experience plucking migrants from unseaworthy smuggler's boats had arrived soon after the distress call went out. But then the fishing trawler's navigator made a maneuver that would seal the fate of the 850 people crammed inside: Instead of easing up alongside the merchant ship, he rammed it.

Relief gave way to panic. Terrified migrants rushed to one side, the trawler seized and capsized. What might have been another rescue in a period of unprecedented migrant crossings instead turned into a horrifying statistic: The deadliest shipwreck ever in the Mediterranean Sea.

Read the rest here.

Read Part 3 of our Series on Renewable Energy

We just published part three of our five part longform series on the rapid growth of renewable energy sources: Harvesting the Sun in Los Angeles.

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