Good morning, fellow political junkies.
It's Veteran's Day 2013. Our deepest thanks to those who've worn the nation's uniform both home and abroad and made countless sacrifices to serve it with courage and integrity.
The House returns this week from a recess. Its Republican leaders will waste little time placing Democrats on the defensive and positioning the GOP as coming to the rescue of those beleaguered individuals who have received notices that their health plans were cancelled. The GOP-controlled House plans to vote this week on the Keep Your Health Plan Act of 2013.
Congressional budget negotiations also resume this week. The negotiators appear to be focusing on replacing some of the across-the-board sequester cuts with more thoughtful spending cuts. They have a Dec. 13 deadline to reach an agreement.
With that, here are some of the more interesting recent pieces of news or analysis with political implications that caught my eye this morning.
House Republican leaders have distributed a playbook to their members on how to best exploit the Affordable Care Act's troubles, particularly President Obama's by now infamous "You can keep it" pledge, reports Roll Call's Matt Fuller. Meanwhile, House Democratic staffers will meet with White House aides in an effort to find administrative fixes for the law, writes Emma Dumain of the same publication.
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie did 80 percent of a full Ginsburg, doing four of five of the Sunday news shows. While Christie professed to be focused on his job as the newly re-elected Republican governor of a traditionally blue New Jersey, Christie, and the journalists interviewing him, all knew that the 2016 presidential race, was why he was Sunday's top attraction. The Star-Ledger's Brent Johnson and Tom Wright-Piersanti report on his appearances.
Dozens of veterans programs have been trimmed under the sequestration budget cuts with more reductions expected and feared by veterans' advocates, reports David Francis for the Fiscal Times.
Phillip Carter and David Barno write that the military could help veterans by seizing opportunities to close the military/civilian divide. Some possibilities: allowing more civilians on bases and placing some bases closer to large population centers.
A video of the physical transformation of homeless veteran James Wolf has gone viral and for good reason. It's riveting.
Is the reason the U.S. government so dysfunctional because the Constitution is outmoded and needs a complete rewrite? That's the conversation National Journal's Alex Seitz-Wald's hopes start with his recent, thought-provoking piece.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren continues to be touted by some Democrats as the anti-Hillary Clinton 2016 candidate, writes Noam Scheiber in the New Republic. Some Democrats say she more accurately reflects the party's core ideology than Clinton. And that's despite Warren signing the letter from women Democratic senators urging the former secretary of state to run.
A conservative white Republican left the impression in his campaign literature that he was African American, thereby won enough black votes to land a seat on the Houston Community College System board long held by black member, reports Doug Miller of KHOU 11 News. It's a tactic long used by relatively obscure candidates of racial or ethnic backgrounds different than their would-be constituents.