USA Today says Iran could be a month away from developing a nuclear weapon.
USA Today: “European leaders meeting in Brussels Friday said that the recent allegations over U.S. spying may threaten the global fight against terrorism.”
USA Today’s editorial board: “The latest disclosures are harmful to America's standing in the world, and to its ability to form and lead coalitions on causes ranging from counterterrorism to fighting drug smuggling. As with domestic surveillance, just because U.S. intelligence agencies have the ability to do something doesn't mean they should. What's lacking is a good system for weighing the benefit of intelligence that might be gleaned from eavesdropping against the potential harm if it is exposed.”
HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius in Arizona yesterday: "Fixes are in place each and every day," Sebelius told reporters after touring the Wesley Community Center in South Phoenix. "We are working very hard to make sure the process is seamless and we won't stop until it is, until everyone who wants to apply on the website goes through."
And this from The Hill: “Federal health officials said Thursday that three-and-a-half years was not enough time to assemble and fully test ObamaCare's online enrollment portal. On a call with reporters, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) spokeswoman Julie Bataille said that a ‘compressed timeframe’ precluded sufficient end-to-end testing of the sign-up system.”
It’s very possible that the kinks to HealthCare.Gov get fixed, and it’s also true that the website and exchanges affect just a sliver of the American population. But the Cook Political Report’s Amy Walter notes the danger for the Obama administration and Democrats. “To be sure, the long-term success of Obamacare depends on getting the young and healthy into these health care exchanges. Getting the website – and the PR around it – fixed will be critical to ensuring that they do. That said, many worried consumers are watching the fumbling response to this website by the White House and are thinking, ‘These guys are going to somehow screw up my current health care. I’m either going to be paying more for less. Or getting less access to my doctors. Or worse.’”
Charlie Cook adds: “At just about every step, Obama has pushed ahead on health care reform, even when it would have been more practical to put it aside, waiting perhaps until the economy stabilized or until the public was more accepting of the law. He most recently chose to plow ahead when the apparatus to implement the ACA had huge problems. Warnings inside the administration were ignored. If perseverance were the only virtue, the president and congressional Democrats would be the most virtuous people around and assured a place in heaven. But sometimes balance and reality should intervene. They certainly did not here.”
Today, Obama will be in New York talking education at a school in Brooklyn and then raising money for the Democratic party. The Hill: “President Obama will argue Friday that the joint budget conference committee tasked with recommending a 2014 spending plan should prioritize schools that provide educational and vocational training.”
NBC's Carrie Dann: "President Barack Obama tried to refocus attention on the incomplete comprehensive immigration reform push Thursday, saying that 'this is the moment we should be able to finally get the job done.' 'Let’s not wait,' Obama said during a statement at the White House. 'It doesn't get easier to just put it off. Let’s do it now. Let’s not delay. Let’s get this done and let’s do it in a bipartisan fashion.'"