Wiretap: Productive or no? Mike Coffman pokes at new VA head, who pokes back

Colorado Congressman Mike Coffman goes head to head with VA Secretary Robert McDonald in a heated exchange. In the Washington Post‘s telling, McDonald comes out ahead. McDonald to Coffman: “I ran a large company, sir. What have you done?”

You might say that the true nature of the opposition to the Affordable Care Act is revealed in this fact: The lawyers bringing the latest case against the law are struggling to find people who were harmed when the government gave them a subsidy to help them buy health insurance. Without someone who can convincingly persuade the Supreme Court that they were somehow harmed by receiving money to pay for health insurance, there is no case. Via the Wall Street Journal.

Slate on the digital-media-era dynamic that informs the Jon Stewart-Brian Williams story: “In recent days, some commenters have dismissed Williams’s comic moonlighting as the work of a guy who couldn’t stand not to have a camera trained on him, or of a newsman who actually just wanted to be an entertainer. A more charitable view would be that he was an anchor trying to remain relevant in a news environment that, thanks in part to Stewart, was turning him into a dinosaur in a bespoke suit. That’s not to forgive his journalistic sins—far from it. It’s to appreciate the degree to which Stewart, however unwittingly, hastened the demise of the man he shares the media pages with today.”

#muslimlivesmatter. Were the murders of three Muslim students hate crimes or were murders yet another example of someone wielding a gun (another “good guy” until he wasn’t?) who kills three people, this time in an argument over a parking space? Via the New York Times.

Obama asks Congress for permission to continue war against ISIS. We know the war isn’t going to stop. The question is whether Congress is actually ready to take on the debate. Via the New Yorker.

National Journal‘s Daniel Newhauser says Congress probably prefers to keep the status quo on Obama vs. ISIS. The idea is to let Obama continue to make the decisions and keep open the option to complain about them.

The last thing the Republican 2016 field wants to deal with is the latest Alabama problem – this time on gay marriage. Via Politico.

Byron York writes in the D.C. Examiner that Alabama hasn’t returned to the 1960s. What he didn’t mention was that it’s not surprising if anyone is confused.

The questioning begins in picking a jury for the Aurora theater case — much of it focusing on the death penalty. This is just the beginning of what will be a long, long process. Via the New York Times.

Is locking up more people the reason for the drop in the crime rate? Not according to the latest report, which says our lockup rate might just be counterproductive. Via the Atlantic.