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Win for Wendy Davis, ACA & the 'Death Spiral'—THE EDGE Brought to you by America's Natural Gas Win for Wendy Davis, ACA & the 'Death Spiral'—THE EDGE Brought to yo...

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The Edge

Win for Wendy Davis, ACA & the 'Death Spiral'—THE EDGE Brought to you by America's Natural Gas

October 28, 2013

By Patrick Reis (@Patrick_C_Reis) and Dustin Volz (@dnvolz)

TODAY IN ONE PARAGRAPH: A federal judge has struck down Texas's new restrictions on abortion, blocking the law one day before it was set to take effect. The Texas attorney general is expected to appeal the judge's decision to block the law, which gained national attention following a high-profile filibuster from state Sen. Wendy Davis. Elsewhere, details continue to emerge about what went wrong in the run-up to the launch of And the law's proponents are growing increasingly concerned about how the website's problems could torpedo larger, more important aspects of the law. The House is expected to vote around 6:30 p.m. on two or three suspension bills, including a possible vote on the Vulnerable Veterans Housing Reform Act of 2013, according to the House Press Gallery.


FRAGMENTATION AT ROOT OF OBAMACARE SITE WOES: From the start, the effort to develop lacked coordination, as separate teams in Bethesda, Baltimore and Washington worked without anyone overseing coordination. According to administration officials, "Divergent agency cultures, political directives that clashed with operational deadlines, a compressed timeline, and dispersed geography led to the federal site's technical failures." (Weaver/Radnofsky, WSJ)


BUT THE WEBSITE IS JUST THE BEGINNING: Obamacare is more than a website, and the problems with it appear to extend beyond the virtual-registration portal. And if the young don't end up enrolling en masse, the law could be severely undercut. (Sam Baker, NJ)

FEDERAL JUDGE BLOCKS TEXAS ABORTION RESTRICTIONS: The recent spate of controversial laws restricting access to abortion clinics was ruled unconstitutional by a federal judge ahead of their scheduled implementation Tuesday. (Chris Tomlinson, AP)

DEATH TOLL IN IRAQ ROCKETS TO HIGHEST LEVEL SINCE 2008: Two years removed from U.S. troop withdrawal, Iraq is "in the midst of a deepening security crisis" thanks to an al-Qaida affiliate's wave of recent attacks. (Ben Van Heuvelen, WaPo)

TOMORROW IN TWO PARAGRAPHS: The Senate is also in session. Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner, R-Wis., plans to introduce the Freedom Act, aimed at curbing NSA bulk data collection. The House Select Intelligence Committee will hold a hearing to consider changes to FISA. Politics and Prose will hold a book discussion on Days of Fire: Bush and Cheney in the White House at 7 p.m. with author Peter Baker.

And Tuesday is coal day on Capitol Hill, as dozens of lawmakers plan to join a morning rally in protest of the EPA's new regulations for greenhouse-gas emissions from power plants. Later in the day, a House subcommittee will hold a hearing highlighting the economic hardships presented by the proposed standards. This follows Monday's legislation unveiled by Rep. Ed Whitfield, R-Ky., that would check the agency's ability to regulate.


PENN STATE: The university said it will pay almost $60 million to 26 young men on claims of sexual abuse on the part of former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky. (Mark Scolforo, AP)

LOU REED: The rocker passed away over the weekend at 71, but the mark he left on music is indelible. Here, the author writes about how his work inspired an unforgettable marriage proposal. (Sasha Frere-Jones, New Yorker) (BONUS: Neil Gaiman on why he named his daughter after a Lou Reed song.)

JACKSON'S DOCTOR: Conrad Murray, Michael Jackson's doctor, has been released from prison after serving almost two years of a four-year sentence. Murray was convicted in 2011 of causing Jackson's death. (AP)

WHY YOU'RE BAD AT MATH: It's not entirely your fault, and you can change your number troubles. (Kimball/Smith, Quartz)


STATES STRUGGLE FOR NEW WAYS TO KILL: When Florida executed William Happ on Oct. 15 with a never-before-used lethal-injection cocktail, something went wrong. Happ sat in a drug-induced paralysis for 14 minutes—twice as long as it normally takes—before dying. Due to bans by foreign manufacturers, states are quickly exhausting their supply of lethal drugs, leaving the future of capital punishment in the U.S. in doubt. (NJ)

IS BILL DE BLASIO REALLY A MAN OF THE PEOPLE? His populist crusade has taken off in New York City, but he's promised a lot, even for a mayoral hopeful. What does self-professed progressive really stand for? (Chris Smith, NYMag)


LAST NIGHT'S LATE-NIGHT FUNNIES IN UNDER 3 MINUTES: Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius speaks from beneath the bus that Obama threw her under. It's not pretty down there. (Reena Flores, NJ)

THE 20TH CENTURY'S GREATEST HITS, REWRITTEN FOR CLICKS: The Titanic sank before Twitter and listicles were a thing, but how would the news have been covered on the Web today? The highlights: "This Year's Assassinations Ranked From Most to Least Tragic" for 1968 and "You Won't Believe What These People Did to the Berlin Wall!" for 1989. (XKCD)

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