Wiretap: Insurance commissioner ruins perfectly good Mark Udall non-scandal

Marguerite Salazar, confirmed by the Senate in Denver Monday as state insurance commissioner, threw cold water on the state Republican outrage machine. During her confirmation hearing, she said the messages staffers for Democratic U.S. Sen. Mark Udall sent to her office pushing back on the number of Obamacare-related health insurance policy cancelations was routine communication and in fact bolstered the work of her staff. Udall is up for re-election and there are at least four Republican candidates now battling for the opportunity to unseat him.

Salazar: Sorry Representative Cory Gardner. Sorry Dick Wadhams. There was no “abuse of power!” There is no “worse scandal than ‘Bridgegate’!” The Durango Herald:

[blockquote]”Salazar said the emails were no big deal.
    “I characterize this as a heated discussion between two staff people that happens all the time,” she said.
    Udall’s research helped her agency figure out what was going on in the state’s insurance market, she said.
    “Those kind of inquiries make us stronger, I believe,” Salazar said.[/blockquote]

A first lesson in climate change: Poudre School District responds to new-normal boiling hot Augusts by proposing to run half-days during the first weeks of the school year.

Obamacare update: It seems to be on its way. The computers are working. The “back end” problem – getting the data to insurers — seems to be improving. The number of enrollees is way up. Except for this: Are the wrong people signing up? Are there enough young, healthy people to keep it sustainable. That’s the next argument.

So far, older people have been more likely to sign up. Via New York Times.

Two views on Robert Gates’ book. Cass Sunstein says it was dishonorable. Dan Zak says he’s still a man at war.

Ana Marie Cox says the West Virginia spill is a bigger scandal than Bridgegate. Via the Guardian.

George Packer says of Christie: Politicians usually get the scandal they deserve. Via the New Yorker.

Note to Paul Ryan: It’s expensive to be poor. Via Barbara Ehrenreich at the Atlantic.

Roger Ailes’ critics need to stop worrying about him and worry more about his audience. Via the New Yorker.

Fey and Poehler’s smart (and funny) Golden Globes jokes. Via Washington Post.


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