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Politics Watchdogs

Obama signs law to bar Iran diplomat from serving in U.N. post

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama signed a law on Friday that effectively bars an Iranian diplomat from serving as an envoy at the United Nations because of suspicions he was involved in the 1979-81 Tehran hostage crisis.

The Party Decides, Unless It Can’t

Ross Douthat, New York Times
Right now, the most striking thing about the public polling on the 2016 Republican nomination isnÂ’t just the absence of a clear frontrunner: ItÂ’s the absence of a clear pair or trio or even a quartet of frontrunners.

Keystone Delay Puts Red-State Dems in a Bind

Caitlin Huey-Burns, RealClearPolitics
The administration’s announcement Friday that it will extend its Keystone XL pipeline review, further postponing a final decision on the controversial project, has drawn bipartisan outrage from Capitol Hill lawmakers.
The apparent stalling over whether to approve the crude oil conduit — which supporters say would create jobs and boost the country as an energy leader, and opponents say would harm the environment — figures to be a feature in this year’s midterms, as states eager to exploit their energy resources also happen to be hosting Senate races that could help determine the…

Obama argues healthcare law is working, rejects Republican criticism

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama mounted a vigorous effort on Thursday to show his signature healthcare law is working and dismissed Republican critics who are using flaws in Obamacare to campaign for ousting Democrats from the U.S. Congress in November.

President Obama Trolls the GOP

John Dickerson, Slate
This is trolling. I’ve decided against it, but the White House has not. CBS’s Major Garrett writes in National Journal about a new version of the “stray voltage” theory of communication in which the president purposefully overstates his case knowing that it will create controversy. Garrett describes it this way: “Controversy sparks attention, attention provokes conversation, and conversation embeds previously unknown or marginalized ideas in the public consciousness.”

Obama: Dems Should Defend ACA as Sign-ups Hit 8M

Alexis Simendinger, RealClearPolitics
President Obama offered no predictions Thursday about when Americans in larger numbers might embrace the Affordable Care Act, and he urged Democratic candidates to defend the law, even as he said they should heed public calls to focus on other economic issues facing the nation.
“My point is that we’ve been having a political fight about this for five years. We need to move on to something else,” the president told reporters during a 32-minute press conference in the White House briefing room.
“Democrats should forcefully defend and be proud of the fact that millions of…