Wonkbook: So far, Obama’s Europe trip is almost all about Russia

March 25

Welcome to Wonkbook, Wonkblog’s morning policy news primer by Puneet Kollipara. To subscribe by e-mail, click here. Send comments, criticism or ideas to Wonkbook at Washpost dot com. To read more by the Wonkblog team, click here.


(Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

Wonkbook’s Number of the Day: 32 million. That's the number of Americans who have health insurance but are underinsured, according to a new report.

Wonkbook’s Chart of the Day: These charts show how most uninsured Americans aren't well-informed about Obamacare.

Wonkbook's Top 5 Stories: (1) Obama's Europe trip; (2) an end to NSA's bulk-phone collection?; (3) another important Obamacare case; (4) the politics of education; and (5) mad rush to the Obamacare finish.

1. Top story: On Obama's Europe trip, the West goes after Russia further

Obama, allies agree to boycott Group of Eight meeting in Russia, isolating Vladi­mir Putin. "The world’s major industrial nations on Monday effectively suspended Russia indefinitely from the Group of Eight and warned that they would impose stronger economic sanctions against Moscow if President Vladi­mir Putin expands his military intervention in Ukraine. The decision followed a push by President Obama for a united stand by wealthy nations against what he has called Russia’s violation of international law with the annexation of Crimea this month. Obama and the leaders of six allied nations — Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and Britain — agreed Monday to boycott a planned G-8 summit meeting in Sochi, Russia, in June, effectively isolating Putin. Instead, they said they would convene as the Group of Seven in Brussels during the same time frame....But Russia dismissed the move as unimportant." Carol Morello and Scott Wilson in The Washington Post.

Senate advances Ukraine aid bill after GOP drops resistance to IMF reforms. "A stalled US aid package for Ukraine finally began to emerge from Congress on Monday night after the Senate temporarily put partisan bickering aside to vote overwhelmingly in favour of $1bn worth of economic assistance measures. A majority of Republicans dropped their previous resistance to the bill, which includes controversial reforms to the International Monetary Fund added at the request of the White House, and it cleared a key procedural hurdle by 78 votes to 17....But the wider Ukraine package, which also includes further sanctions against Russia, still faces an uphill struggle in the House of Representatives where its version of the bill does not contain the IMF reforms demanded by Democrats." Dan Roberts in The Guardian.

What is the squabble over IMF reforms about? "Key to the objections from Cruz, Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), and others is a provision in the Senate version sought by the White House to expand the loan-making authority of the International Monetary Fund. Critics say the extra loans are unnecessary, and the conservative group Heritage Action urged a no vote. The IMF approved the changes several years ago as part of a plan to bolster participation in the fund from countries with emerging economies. Ukraine's ability to borrow from the fund would almost double to $14.5 billion, officials said. The U.S. is the last IMF member country to approve the changes, and White House officials said Monday that the additional loan authority would be key to Kiev's ability to stabilize its economy. Other Republicans have said they do not necessarily oppose the IMF changes, but want something in return for approving an administration priority." Lisa Mascaro in the Los Angeles Times.

Billionaire sought by U.S. could be key to lawmakers seeking tougher Russia sanctions. "A detained billionaire who made a fortune as a middleman in Russia’s murky gas trade with Ukraine may hold the key for U.S. lawmakers seeking harsher sanctions against President Vladimir Putin’s inner circle. Ukrainian Dmitry Firtash, arrested in Vienna this month on an American warrant for bribery and other charges, may hand over a treasure trove of information about deals involving Russian state gas exporter OAO Gazprom (GAZP) that the U.S. would consider corrupt, said Mikhail Korchemkin, a former analyst for the Soviet Union’s Gas Ministry in Moscow and founder of Malvern, Pennsylvania-based East European Gas Analysis." Irina Reznik and Henry Meyer in Bloomberg.

Explainer: A primer on the sanctions against Russia. Krishnadev Calamur in NPR.

Quotable: "The fight over control and influence in Ukraine should not be seen as a Cold War-era battle, President Obama said in an interview released Monday....'The United States does not view Europe as a battleground between East and West, nor do we see the situation in Ukraine as a zero-sum game,' Obama told the Dutch newspaper de Volkskrant in an interview published as he landed in Amsterdam. 'That’s the kind of thinking that should have ended with the Cold War. The Ukrainian people do not have to choose between East and West.'" Kathleen Hennessey in the Los Angeles Times.

And while Obama is on the trip, the U.S. also works out a nuclear deal with Japan. "Japan will turn over hundreds of kilograms (pounds) of sensitive nuclear material of potential use in bombs to the United States to be downgraded and disposed of, the two countries' leaders said as a nuclear security summit began on Monday." Jeff Mason and Fredrik Dahl in Reuters.

Other foreign policy reads:

U.S. confirms troops hunting Joseph Kony will be used across Central Africa. Dan Roberts in The Guardian.

U.S. takes first steps against Uganda's anti-gay law. Eric Brown in International Business Times.

IAN BRZEZINSKI: 3 ways NATO can boost Ukraine's security. "NATO’s response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has drawn a red line, but it is one that leaves Ukraine militarily isolated, fending for itself. If the West’s economic and diplomatic sanctions are to deter Moscow from further military aggression, they must be complemented by a robust defensive strategy to reinforce Ukraine’s armed forces....NATO’s response to this crisis is critical to both Ukraine’s security and the alliance’s long-term future. A NATO summit planned for September is to focus on the alliance’s way forward in a new world. But what it does to assist Ukraine today and in the coming weeks will have a far more profound influence on its future and transatlantic security." Ian J. Brzezinski in The Washington Post.

PIFER: George W. Bush was tough on Russia? Give me a break. "As the Obama administration copes with Russia’s annexation of Crimea and continuing pressure on Ukraine, its actions invariably invite comparison to the Bush administration’s response to the 2008 Georgian-Russian war. But as the Obama White House readies potentially more potent economic sanctions against Russia, former Bush administration officials are bandying a revisionist history of the Georgia conflict that suggests a far more robust American response than there actually was. Neither White House had good options for influencing Russian President Vladimir Putin. And this time, the fast-moving developments on the ground in Ukraine confront the United States with tough choices. Because the West will not go to war over Crimea, U.S. and European officials must rely on political, diplomatic and financial measures to punish Moscow, while seeking to launch negotiations involving Russia in order to de-escalate and ultimately stabilize the Ukraine situation. They are not having an easy time of it. Neither did the Bush administration during the 2008 Georgia-Russia war." Steven Pifer in Politico Magazine.

STEPHENS: Apologies for Vladimir. "Our new Kremlinogists now tell us that Mr. Putin's gambits need to be understood in the context of Russia's historic foreign policy objectives. True up to a point. But Mr. Putin is also pursuing his own interests as ringleader in a corrupt oligarchy sitting on the economic time bomb that is a commodities-based economy. The best U.S. policy will seek to light the shortest fuse on that bomb, strengthen our allies, and contain the fallout." Bret Stephens in The Wall Street Journal.

DICKERSON: President's stop at nuclear summit highlights the case for hypothetical questions. "We are in the middle of a renewed conversation about American foreign policy. Whether a president's perceived strength or weakness invites aggression from other countries is open for debate again in a way that it hasn't been since the Iraq invasion. As we evaluate the candidates hoping to succeed the president in 2017, the NSS exercise offers an excellent model for actually learning about how a candidate thinks and acts. In fact, American politics would be much better off if hypothetical, role-playing scenarios replaced rhetorical claims about strength and weakness. Candidates hate hypothetical questions, which is why we know that more hypotheticals would improve politics." John Dickerson in Slate.

Top opinion

PONNURU: Yellen's other problem. "Some of Yellen's critics fault her for being too forthright and specific. The Fed often gets knocked for being unclear, they say, but opacity has its virtues. This critique seems off the mark. If the Fed really does intend to tighten monetary policy six months after QE ends — or roughly next spring, if present trends continue — the market will have to adjust to that event soon enough. In that case, specificity would be no sin. But Yellen's other remarks at the news conference suggest that the Fed doesn't desire to be ruled by the calendar. Economic conditions will guide its decisions. It expects those conditions to justify tightening early next year, but it isn't committed to tightening if conditions develop in some unexpected way. To the extent Yellen's remarks were problematic, then, it was not because they made the Fed more transparent but because they made it less so. They may have been misleading about the central bank's intentions, making it seem as though the Fed were more eager to tighten money than it is." Ramesh Ponnuru in Bloomberg View.

COHN: Obamacare's help for the underinsured is big but gets little attention. "Obamacare’s goal isn’t simply helping the uninsured. It’s also supposed to help the 'underinsured' —people with policies that are so expensive to maintain, or leave such large gaps in coverage, that paying for health care is still a devastating burden. This problem hasn’t gotten nearly the attention it deserves. A new report, just out from the Commonwealth Fund, seeks to change that....Conservatives tend to support higher out-of-pocket spending, because they believe it discourages wasteful spending and improves market competition. As such, many would probably argue the Fund’s definition of under-insurance makes the problem seem a lot worse than it is. That's a totally fair argument, at least for those who hold the conservative point of view. Liberals see things differently. One of their biggest complaints about the Affordable Care Act is that it doesn't do enough to help the underinsured....As a result, lots of people will remain underinsured, even once all of the law's new regulations, subsidies, and programs are fully in place. But there’s no question that, overall, many fewer people will be underinsured because of the Affordable Care Act." Jonathan Cohn in The New Republic.

KONCZAL: The conservative myth of a social safety net built on charity. "Ideology is as much about understanding the past as shaping the future. And conservatives tell themselves a story, a fairy tale really, about the past, about the way the world was and can be again under Republican policies. This story is about the way people were able to insure themselves against the risks inherent in modern life. Back before the Great Society, before the New Deal, and even before the Progressive Era, things were better. Before government took on the role of providing social insurance, individuals and private charity did everything needed to insure people against the hardships of life; given the chance, they could do it again....But this conservative vision of social insurance is wrong. It’s incorrect as a matter of history; it ignores the complex interaction between public and private social insurance that has always existed in the United States. It completely misses why the old system collapsed and why a new one was put in its place. It fails to understand how the Great Recession displayed the welfare state at its most necessary and that a voluntary system would have failed under the same circumstances. Most importantly, it points us in the wrong direction." Mike Konczal in The Atlantic.

WOODSON: We need a more serious poverty debate. "This is a time of great promise — and great peril — for low-income Americans. On the 50th anniversary of the War on Poverty, we are once again engaged in a debate about sources of and solutions to poverty. But we are still mired in the same slogans and slurs that have prevented that debate from being anything other than an opportunity for cheap point-scoring against the political opposition. The latest example of this is the exchange between Representative Paul Ryan and the Congressional Black Caucus. In response to Ryan’s poorly framed and easily misunderstood account of the reasons for low employment in the inner city, the CBC let loose the cries of “racism!” and summoned the congressman to appear before them to atone for his sins." Robert L. Woodson in National Review.

GORDON AND MEAD: How Head Start could do better. "Congressman Paul Ryan declared in his recent report on poverty that Head Start is 'failing to prepare children for school' — an assessment that the program’s critics share and would use to cut its funding. But such criticisms misstate what the evidence reveals. The critics focus on the most recent major evaluation, a randomized control trial in which Head Start participants made solid initial gains that faded by third grade. This was indeed a troubling result. But studies with older data, using less air-tight but widely accepted methods, found that Head Start graduates were better off even into their twenties. Although the critics don’t acknowledge it, Head Start looks comparatively less strong today partly because high quality preschool programs now benefit many more children outside Head Start. But this much is true: Head Start could do better." Robert Gordon and Sara Mead in The New Republic.

MARCOTTE: Your health care, your choices — amen to that. "Conservatives in the media would like you to believe this grotesque power grab by Hobby Lobby and other employers is about religion and accommodating people with sincere religious convictions. But this is, on its surface, a laughable claim, since Hobby Lobby is angling to deprive women of their religious liberty to use their own health care plans as they see fit. The blunt truth of the matter is the right’s motivating factor on this issue is not “religious liberty,” but hostility to contraception. Religion is just the fig leaf draped over what is really an attempt to open up the war on reproductive rights to attacks on contraception access, starting with making what used to be non-controversial—the idea that health insurance should cover common contraception medications—seem like it’s a big controversy. Once that idea is planted, the next move is to start disparaging contraception directly, building up more political support to find new and innovative ways to make it harder for women to get, just as the right made abortion harder to get." Amanda Marcotte in The Daily Beast.

PUZDER: Obama's overtime-pay boomerang. "Increasingly, Americans don't have the career opportunities most took for granted a decade ago. Many are withdrawing from the labor force, frustrated because they're unable to find a job and lured to depend on government rather than on themselves. Rewarding time spent rather than time well spent won't help address this problem. Workers who aspire to climb the management ladder strive for the opportunity to move from hourly-wage, crew-level positions to salaried management positions with performance-based incentives. What they lose in overtime pay they gain in the stature and sense of accomplishment that comes from being a salaried manager. This is hardly oppressive. To the contrary, it can be very lucrative for those willing to invest the time and energy, which explains why so many crew employees aspire to be managers." Andy Puzder in The Wall Street Journal.

RAMPELL: When long-term unemployment becomes self-perpetuating. "It’s unclear why unemployment becomes increasingly self-perpetuating. Perhaps it is merely selection bias — that is, the most desirable jobless workers get picked off early, leaving the less desirable workers behind to rack up more and more weeks of unemployment. But the Princeton researchers had difficulty detecting obvious differences between the short-term unemployed and the long-term unemployed. These two groups are about equally spread around the economy by sector, occupation and educational attainment, and for the most part are similar demographically (though the long-term unemployed skew older). Such demographic similarities suggest that something about the experience of joblessness tarnishes workers’ marketability." Catherine Rampell in The Washington Post.

Magic interlude: Watch these dogs get confused by magic tricks.

2. President Obama is taking steps to end NSA's bulk collection of phone records

Obama to call for end to NSA's bulk data collection. "The Obama administration is preparing to unveil a legislative proposal for a far-reaching overhaul of the National Security Agency’s once-secret bulk phone records program in a way that — if approved by Congress — would end the aspect that has most alarmed privacy advocates since its existence was leaked last year, according to senior administration officials. Under the proposal, they said, N.S.A. would end its systematic collection of data about Americans’ calling habits. The records would stay in the hands of phone companies, which would not be required to retain the data for any longer than they normally would. And the N.S.A. could obtain specific records only with permission from a judge, using a new kind of court order." Charlie Savage in The New York Times.

House circulating bill to end NSA bulk phone collection. "With Barack Obama's self-imposed deadline on revamping the National Security Agency's collection of bulk domestic phone data set to expire on Friday, the House intelligence committee is circulating a draft bill that would permit the government to acquire the phone or email records of an 'individual or facility' inside the US for up to a year. The move by the House intelligence committee's leadership, the Republican chairman Michael Rogers of Michigan and Democrat Dutch Ruppersberger of Maryland, would significantly prohibit mass surveillance of all Americans' phone data, a shift in position by two of the most stalwart congressional defenders of the practice." Spencer Ackerman in The Guardian.

But the bipartisan legislation has a key difference that privacy advocates will dislike. "Their measure, to be introduced Tuesday, would also keep the records at the phone companies. But some privacy advocates are already expressing opposition to their proposal. The House bill would reform the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act to make clear that the government can no longer collect any form of electronic communication in bulk....The bill, according to congressional aides, would bar the mass collection of different types of information, including phone call records and records of Internet activity. It also covers location information, aides said. It, too, would not require telecommunication companies to retain data for longer than they do now. And it would require that the government serve a directive on a company that is being asked for data. But unlike other pending legislation, it does not call for judicial approval of a specific phone number before a request for data is submitted to a company. The Rogers-Ruppersberger legislation would have the court make that determination 'promptly' after the FBI submits a number to a phone company. If the court did not approve the number as being linked to an agent of a foreign power, including terrorist groups, the data collected would be expunged." Ellen Nakashima in The Washington Post.

Still, Obama is defending NSA's surveillance activities more generally. "President Obama on Monday defended U.S. surveillance programs as serving national security rather than commercial interests, in a wide-ranging meeting with his Chinese counterpart on the sidelines of a nuclear summit. In the private session with Chinese President Xi Jinping, Obama defended the National Security Agency’s espionage tactics days after news broke that the U.S. spy agency had tapped into Chinese telecommunication giant Huawei’s computer system. The revelation, stemming from documents leaked by NSA contractor Edward Snowden, appeared to undermine Obama’s regular complaint that Chinese companies conduct corporate espionage and intellectual property theft." Kathleen Hennessey in the Los Angeles Times.

Video explainer: The five biggest NSA bombshells from Snowden. Bloomberg.

Ouch, that's gotta hurt: Obama spy chief wins anti-transparency award. Julian Hattem in The Hill.

Other national security reads:

U.S. notified 3,000 companies in 2013 about cyberattacks. Ellen Nakashima in The Washington Post.

5.1 million Americans have security clearances. That’s more than the entire population of Norway. Brian Fung in The Washington Post.

Art interlude: Man amazes with a rake on a beach.

3. Another Obamacare case that's a big deal

The contraception case is big, but another case could really hurt Obamacare. "The case getting the most attention is tomorrow's Supreme Court challenge to the health care law’s requirement for employers to provide birth control to their workers. At the same time Tuesday morning, the District of Columbia’s Circuit Court of Appeals will consider whether Obamacare allows premium subsidies to flow through federal-run health insurance exchanges. That case has been called 'the greatest existential threat' to the survival of the health care law by one of Obamcare’s staunchest supporters....Opponents to the law are challenging the IRS interpretation that Congress authorized individuals in states with federal-run exchanges to access premium subsidies....According to latest monthly enrollment report from HHS, 85 percent of those signing up for health plans in federal exchange states have received federal subsidies. Without those subsidies, coverage would be less affordable for many, and therefore a much less attractive option to those who consider themselves healthy. That would mean the mix of people participating in the program would be sicker, which would drive up insurance costs and threaten Obamacare's future." Jason Millman in The Washington Post.

It could all come down to a missing number in the statute. "The missing number, 1321, refers to a section of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act that directs the federal government to establish an insurance marketplace in states that decline to create the exchanges, where low- and moderate-income people can buy health insurance and get subsidies for it. Key passages of the law, including who’s eligible for a subsidy, are missing that reference. That’s provided an opening for Obamacare opponents to argue today to the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington that millions of otherwise qualified people in the 36 states that haven’t set up marketplaces are ineligible to receive the subsidies." Andrew Zajac in Bloomberg.

Obamacare goes back to Supreme Court for contraception mandate case. "Obamacare goes back before the Supreme Court on Tuesday, in a closely watched challenge that mixes controversies over the health care law, contraception and religious freedom. The justices will hear two related cases seeking to overturn the Affordable Care Act’s requirement that nearly all companies with more than 50 employees provide various forms of birth control in their employee health plans at no charge. The outcome won’t topple the whole health care law, but it could become a political thorn in the side of both parties before the November midterm elections." Jennifer Haberkorn in Politico.

Explainers:

Here's what you need to know about the Hobby Lobby contraception mandate case. Jaime Fuller in The Washington Post.

Ruling could have reach beyond issue of contraception. Adam Liptak in The New York Times.

Can liberals count on John Roberts again in Hobby Lobby case? "Just two years ago, Roberts cast the deciding vote to largely uphold the Affordable Care Act. While the country remains divided over whether he acted like a traitor or a statesman, all would have to agree that, given the level of public scrutiny on the Court and the case’s overall importance (both substantively and to the President’s legacy), Roberts’s ACA vote was the defining moment of his tenure thus far. In a bold move, he broke ranks with his conservative colleagues, joined with the Court’s progressive wing, and preserved the President’s signature achievement. In Hobby Lobby, Roberts meets the ACA yet again, and the stakes for his reputation — and that of his Court — couldn’t be higher." Tom Donnelly in The New Republic.

Kevin Bacon interlude: His epic "Footloose" performance entrance.

4. The politics of what we teach our children

Indiana becomes first state to back out of Common Core standards. "Indiana's governor on Monday signed legislation withdrawing the state from the Common Core, making it the first to officially dump math and reading standards that have been adopted by nearly all the states. The law directs the state board of education to create its own learning goals before July 1....Supporters of the new Indiana law cite an effort to maintain local control, with some also arguing the Common Core is weaker than Indiana's old standards. The Common Core's proponents played down the move, saying Indiana still could keep large sections of those standards in place. But others said Mr. Pence's move could embolden other governors, especially given that Indiana was among the first to adopt the standards, in 2010....The Common Core has come under attack recently in at least a dozen states by an unlikely coalition of conservatives, who see them as an intrusion into local control, and teachers-union leaders, who say their implementation has been botched." Stephanie Banchero in The Wall Street Journal.

Already the standards were paused, which was giving some teachers headaches. Here's why. "Even before Governor Mike Pence signed today's repeal, Indiana lawmakers had already voted to pause Common Core implementation. And that left teachers like Shank feeling confused, because those new standards to replace the Core, they haven't been written yet. And she wondered, does a pause mean she shouldn't follow the Core in the meantime?...And today, that pause became a full stop. What that means for the rest of this school year is unclear. State education officials have until July to adopt new expectations for students." Elle Moxley in NPR.

Republicans are also experiencing a different kind of headache over Common Core. "More than five years after U.S. governors began a bipartisan effort to set new standards in American schools, the Common Core initiative has morphed into a political tempest fueling division among Republicans. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce leads establishment voices — such as possible presidential contender Jeb Bush — who hail the standards as a way to improve student performance and, over the long term, competitiveness of American workers. Many archconservatives — tea party heroes Rand Paul and Ted Cruz among them — decry the system as a top-down takeover of local schools....To a lesser extent, Democrats must deal with some teachers — their unions hold strong influence within the party — who are upset about implementation details. But it's the internal GOP debate that's on display in statehouses, across 2014 campaigns and among 2016 presidential contenders." Bill Barrow in the Associated Press.

Long read: Taxpayers subsidize private schools that teach creationism. "Public debate about science education tends to center on bills like one in Missouri, which would allow public school parents to pull their kids from science class whenever the topic of evolution comes up. But the more striking shift in public policy has flown largely under the radar, as a well-funded political campaign has pushed to open the spigot for tax dollars to flow to private schools. Among them are Bible-based schools that train students to reject and rebut the cornerstones of modern science. Decades of litigation have established that public schools cannot teach creationism or intelligent design. But private schools receiving public subsidies can — and do....Many of these faith-based schools go beyond teaching the biblical story of the six days of creation as literal fact. Their course materials nurture disdain of the secular world, distrust of momentous discoveries and hostility toward mainstream scientists. They often distort basic facts about the scientific method — teaching, for instance, that theories such as evolution are by definition highly speculative because they haven’t been elevated to the status of 'scientific law.' And this approach isn’t confined to high school biology class; it is typically threaded through all grades and all subjects." Stephanie Simon in Politico.

Explainer: Science lessons from the Bible. Politico Pro Staff.

Musically inclined animal interlude: This dog has perfect pitch.

5. The mad rush for Obamacare winds down and some challenges remain

What insurance companies are doing in the last week of open enrollment. "Many are concentrating on hard-to-reach groups, sponsoring community events to attract people who had trouble enrolling on their own or need a nudge to take the time to sign up. Some are offering policies inside highly trafficked venues like drugstores or local Y’s; Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield even had sign-up stations in Goodwill stores....Insurers have had to pivot during this first year, adapting to abrupt regulatory shifts from the Obama administration and making a series of midcourse corrections. “You really have to be nimble to make this work,” said Daniel J. Hilferty, the chief executive of Independence Blue. Many insurers have invested heavily in the first year, although Obama administration officials seem willing to be lenient on the law’s requirement that they cap their profits. Federal officials are contemplating changing the way the plans calculate their costs so they include some of the higher expenses that resulted from the difficult start." Reed Abelson and Katie Thomas in The New York Times.

A problem: A lot of uninsured Americans still don't know a lot about Obamacare or health insurance more generally. Olga Khazan in The Atlantic.

The incredible shrinking individual mandate? "The individual mandate may be the most despised part of Obamacare, but the reality is that it’s much smaller than people think. It’s riddled with exemptions, hardships and other loopholes that allow millions of people off the hook for enrollment by March 31....The White House needs the mandate to make its policies work, as it creates new insurance markets operating under new rules. It needs the exemptions to make the politics work — or at least to take the edge off some of the sharpest political backlash, like the outcry over the canceled plans that people had been told they could keep." Brett Norman in Politico.

There's also some leeway on the coverage deadline for those who encounter problems. Jennifer Corbett Dooren in The Wall Street Journal.

Other health care reads:

Latinos being left behind in health care overhaul. Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar in the Associated Press.

Californians who used health marketplaces receive voter registration forms. Sandhya Somashekhar in The Washington Post.

Explainer: 3 red states where Obamacare is working well. Ryan Teague Beckwith in Digital First Media.

High-flying video interlude: Superman with a GoPro.

Wonkblog roundup

Sick of the winter chill? New research shows why the planet is still heating up. Puneet Kollipara.

What happens when the government tries to help poor people move to better neighborhoods? Emily Badger.

Millennials aren’t abandoning brick-and-mortar banks. Christopher Ingraham.

Do e-cigarettes help people quit smoking? New study raises doubts. Jason Millman.

Why Abenomics just might not be enough to save Japan. Max Ehrenfreund.

Wal-Mart wants to help you find a better deal, even if it’s from another retailer. Amrita Jayakumar.

What women want on the dance floor, according to science. Christopher Ingraham.

The contraception case is big, but another challenge could really hurt Obamacare. Jason Millman.

Economists: Rising interest rates are the biggest threat to recovery. Ylan Q. Mui.

A Yellen ally at the Fed thinks markets should calm down about rate hikes. Ylan Q. Mui.

Et Cetera

Factory activity growth slows slightly. Reuters.

Climate report: Warming is big risk for people. Seth Borenstein in the Associated Press.

Obama deportation review crucial to holding Latino support. Michael C. Bender in Bloomberg.

Deepwater Horizon oil left tuna, other species with heart defects likely to prove fatal. Darryl Fears in The Washington Post.

Could Congress have changed the outcome of two high profile cases of military sexual assault? Maybe. Ed O'Keefe in The Washington Post.

Long read: Employers can fire you for using medical marijuana. One case could change that. Matt Ferner in The Huffington Post.

House Democrats press for immigration vote. Seung Min Kim in Politico.

Got tips, additions, or comments? E-mail us.

Wonkbook is produced with help from Michelle Williams.

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UGC FROM ARTICLE: !!!

FINAL commentConfig: {includereply=true, canvas_permalink_id=washpost.com/8bvh5zpd9k, allow_comments=true, commentmaxlength=2000, includeshare=true, display_comments=true, canvas_permalink_app_instance=m6yzjj840m, display_more=true, moderationrequired=false, includefeaturenotification=true, defaultsort=reverseChronological, canvas_allcomments_id=washpost.com/km4ey0dajm, comments_period=14, includevoteofftopic=false, allow_videos=false, childrenitemsperpage=3, markerdisplay=post_commenter:Post Commenter|staff:Post Writer|top_commenter:Post Forum|top_local:Washingtologist|top_sports:SuperFan|fact_checker:Fact Checker|post_recommended:Post Recommended|world_watcher:World Watcher|cultuer_connoisseur:Culture Connoisseur|weather_watcher:Capital Weather Watcher|post_contributor:Post Contributor, includesorts=true, includeheader=true, defaulttab=all, includeverifiedcommenters=true, includerecommend=true, maxitemstop=2, includereport=true, source=washpost.com, allow_photos=false, maxitems=7, display_ugc_photos=false, includepause=true, canvas_allcomments_app_instance=6634zxcgfd, includepermalink=false}!!
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Max Ehrenfreund · March 25