Online opinion outpost: Nov. 12


The Online Opinion Outpost features opinions and commentary on the latest hot topics from national news sources. As much as you love hearing from The Universe, we thought you might like to hear from journalists around the nation.

To read the op-eds in full, visit


USA Today

Obamacare is starting to resemble a patient bleeding from self-inflicted wounds.

A month after launch, the online health exchanges where individuals are supposed to shop for insurance remain slow or unusable, except in states that opted to run their own marketplaces and did a more competent job than the administration.

As if that weren’t trouble enough, critics are justifiably mocking President Obama for his repeated, untrue promise that if people liked their health plans, they could keep them. Oops.


The Obamacare website might still not be working, but journalists are. All across the country, as Republicans try to highlight tragic tales of Americans losing their current health insurance and allegedly stuck with more expensive options, journalists are coming to the rescue. In case after case, journalists investigated these stories and called the policyholders and combed the insurance exchange websites to bring actual facts to bear in our public debate about Obamacare.



The Washington Post

As the Obama administration moves into a decisive stage of nuclear negotiations with Iran, officials are considering a two-step process that would begin with a freeze and modest rollback of Iranian enrichment of uranium, matched by a limited easing of U.S.-led economic sanctions on Tehran.

Officials hope this first phase would be followed later by a comprehensive agreement that would lift all sanctions in return for a verifiable halt in Iranian nuclear weapons capability. This second phase is many months down the road, but the shape of a possible initial phase has likely already been discussed with U.S. negotiating partners in the “P5+1” group (Britain, France, Russia, China and Germany) and may be shared with the Iranians on Thursday in Geneva.


GOP Struggles


Results for Republican candidates in the most high-profile 2013 races this year — a resounding re-election win by Gov. Chris Christie in New Jersey and losses for Virginia governor and New York mayor — stand as a reminder to party leaders that the civil war in their ranks remains a toxic turnoff to voters.

A pattern has emerged: GOP candidates who wade into the hottest ideological fights — such as the government shutdown or the attempt to defund Obamacare — enjoy a burst of publicity and cheers from right-wing think tanks, conservative donors and media celebrities.

But the same rowdy, combative style that delights audiences at tea party rallies tarnishes the party label among independent voters. That makes life politically difficult for middle-of-the-road Republicans.

USA Today

Despite all the election night punditry, Tuesday’s results probably don’t portend much about the 2014 elections, much less 2016. But the results do hold important lessons for the GOP if it wants to field competitive candidates in national and statewide elections.


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