Behind the curve. “[Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary] Kathleen Sebelius is in the hot seat amid rising angst over the administration’s implementation of ObamaCare.. . . .If ObamaCare stumbles badly next year, Republicans could control both chambers of Congress in 2015. ObamaCare has always been controversial, routinely blasted by the GOP. But now, Sebelius is taking some friendly fire. A liberal lawmaker who requested anonymity said, ‘She’s been terribly defensive, terribly slow to react.'”

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius – Charles Dharapak / The Associated Press

Behind the scenes, growing awareness of how much trouble the White House is in. “Scandals, like other organisms, come with lives and taxonomies of their own. These days, the White House seems to be tangled in a growing web.”

Behind in the polls, still. “A CNN/ORC International poll released Monday finds that a majority of Americans still oppose the Affordable Care Act, President Barack Obama’s signature health care reform law. The poll shows that 54 percent of respondents oppose Obamacare, which the president signed into law in 2010. Of those who oppose it, 16 percent say they disapprove of the law because it is not liberal enough, while 35 percent say the measure is too liberal.”

Behind on the latest news about the Justice Department scandal? More of the same — lots of dissembling. “News Corporation said on Sunday that it had no record of being notified by the Justice Department nearly three years ago of a subpoena for the telephone records of a reporter at its Fox News cable channel. The company’s chief legal counsel at the time also said that he had never seen material from the government related to the subpoena.”

Behind the scenes, another investigation. “The House Energy and Commerce Committee is expanding its investigation into whether Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius broke the law when she asked health care executives to contribute to nonprofit groups that are helping to implement the Affordable Care Act. The committee has requested information from 15 companies and organizations that may have been approached by Sebelius.”

Behind the rhetoric is strategic confusion. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) on the president’s national security speech: “We showed this lack of resolve, talking about the war being over. What do you think the Iranians are thinking? At the end of the day, this is the most tone deaf president I ever could imagine. Making such a speech, at a time when our homeland is trying to be attacked literally every day. Changing the standards of when someone can be attacked with a drone. It has to be a continuing imminent threat to the American people with no chance of civilian casualties, virtually no chance of civilian casualties.”

Behind the lines. “Sen. John McCain (R., Ariz.), an outspoken critic of President Barack Obama’s cautious response to the Syrian civil war, made a surprise trip Monday to war-torn Syria, where he met with rebel leaders, his office said Monday. McCain spokesman Brian Rogers confirmed that the senator met with rebel leaders from the Supreme Military Council of the Free Syrian Army, including Gen. Salem Idris. They asked that Washington supply weapons for their fighters, conduct air strikes on Syrian government and Hezbollah positions, and establish a no-fly zone.”