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The Edge

Congress Expands Entitlements… for Chimps—THE EDGE Brought to You by America’s Natural Gas

November 15, 2013

TODAY IN TWO PARAGRAPHS: The House passed legislation today that would allow insurance companies to continue selling plans that don't meet the law's standards. The bill, Republicans' answer to the "if you like your plan you can keep it" promise, passed 261-157, with 39 Democrats breaking rank to support it. Attention moves to the Senate, where Harry Reid will be tasked with maintaining Democrats' unity against efforts to use the issue as a conduit for rolling back larger portions of the law. Elsewhere, officials in the Philippines are backing off early typhoon death toll estimates of 10,000. The official count now sits at 3,621, but that tally will likely rise as more bodies are found.

In happier news, the country was captivated by the adventures of "Batkid", a 5-year-old leukemia patient is living out his superhero dream thanks to a mass-staging effort by the Make-A-Wish Foundation.


WITH SUPPORT OF DOZENS OF DEMS, HOUSE PASSES UPTON INSURANCE BILL: A terrible week for Obama comes to an end with 39 Democrats joining with Republicans to pass Fred Upton's bill that allows health insurance companies to renew insurance policies and continue selling similar policies to new customers new year, even if those plans don't fulfill minimum Obamacare standards. (Pear/Parker, NYT)


WHO WERE THE 39? They were largely Dems in vulnerable districts. 8 of the 9 Democrats representing Romney territory voted for the bill. NJ has the full list: (Bland/McGill, NJ)

DEATH TOLL FROM TYPHOON HAIYAN RISES: A week after one of the strongest storms on record cut through the midsection of the Philippines, official numbers put the dead at 3,621. Thousands more are still struggling to find food and shelter as international aid (Larano/Hookway, WSJ)

THE WEEKEND IN ONE PARAGRAPH: Nancy Pelosi will talk about Obamacare on Meet The Press. Face the Nation looks back on the Kennedy Assassination from the 6th Floor Museum in Dallas, Texas.


A GREAT DAY FOR CHIMPS: This week, in a moment of sober bipartisan agreement, the House and Senate voted to extend retirement benefits for the nation's research chimpanzees. (Brian Resnick, NJ)

SO FAR FROM HOME: We want to love you Homeland, but you make it so hard. (David Thomson, TNR)

OBAMA'S TURNING POINT: This really is the most important moment in Obama's presidency. We mean it this time. (Philip Bump, Atlantic Wire)

QUIT YOUR YELLEN: Janet Yellen proves to be a triple threat: trained economist, good communicator, and politically savvy. (John Cassidy, New Yorker)

DREAMS COME TRUE: San Francisco transforms into Gotham City to make a real-life superboy's dream come true. (Vivian Ho, SF Gate)

DO NOT FORGET YOUR DYING KING: Americans give JFK the highest marks--by far--of any modern president. (Dugan/Newport, Gallup)


THE NEXT BIN LADEN: Abu Musab al-Suri is al-Qaida's new strategic mastermind, and there's reason to fear him. A teaser: "I think al-Qaida's capabilities for a strike into the United States are more dangerous and more numerous than before 9/11," Mike Rogers said. (Michael Hirsh, NJ)

WEAR THE SAME SUIT EVERY DAY? GENIUS. WEAR THE SAME DRESS? PUNCHLINE: A Thursday Roll Call story strained to point out that Janet Yellen frequently avors a "black-on-black ensemble." The consensus was that such an article would never have been written about a man. Actually it's worse than that. (Lucia Graves, NJ)


LAST NIGHT'S LATE-NIGHT FUNNIES IN UNDER 3 MINUTES: Obama couldn't be more sorry, but that doesn't make the Obamacare site any easier to get into--even for hackers. (Reena Flores, NJ)

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