(J. Scott Applewhite/Associated Press) (J. Scott Applewhite/Associated Press)

That’s real money. “Nearly half a billion dollars in federal money has been spent developing four state Obamacare exchanges that are now in shambles — and the final price tag for salvaging them may go sharply higher. Each of the states — Massachusetts, Oregon, Nevada and Maryland — embraced Obamacare, and each underperformed. All have come under scathing criticism and now face months of uncertainty as they rush to rebuild their systems or transition to the federal exchange.”

A real divide within the Democratic coalition. “Senators are hearing from the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers in an appeal for approval of the Keystone XL pipeline project. The IBEW is the latest of the growing number of traditional blue-collar unions taking an aggressive pro-Keystone position opposed in large part by Big Green environmentalists and their Democratic supporters in the Obama administration.”

Republicans on offense on Medicare is a real change from the norm. “Republicans are redoubling their effort to halt future cuts to private Medicare plans under the Affordable Care Act, arguing the reductions would harm vulnerable seniors. In a letter Monday, GOP members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee urged the Obama administration not to implement further Medicare Advantage cuts ordered by the healthcare law.”

It’s a real problem on the right. “When you think about some of the leading figures on the right today, words like ‘steadiness’ and ‘serenity,’ ‘grace’ and ‘calm quiet humor’ are not ones that immediately come to mind. Instead the tone and approach we often hear can best be described as apocalyptic, brittle, angry, and embittered. . . . I’m all for cursing the darkness when necessary, and have done a bit of it myself now and then. But that cast of mind, without any leavening agent, can lead to despair and radicalism.” Not to mention electoral defeat.

It’s a real sign of his decline that his dishonest rhetoric gets routinely called out. “Obama says Congress should pass bills that have majority support. Except Keystone XL. And things he opposes.”

The real differences between these candidates are microscopic and the seat will remain Republican, but people sure are spending a lot of money. “Outside groups spent nearly $3 million on the Republican Senate primary in Nebraska by May 9. That was about a third of all spending in the race by the top candidates who include former state treasurer Shane Osborn, attorney Bart McLeay, Midland University president Ben Sasse, and Pinnacle Bank chairman Sid Dinsdale.”

Here’s a real issue for the GOP to seize. Jim Pethokoukis explains “how crony capitalism is hurting American business dynamism. In particular, regulation makes it harder for new firms to enter a market and gives an edge to large incumbent firms who can lobby for favorable new rules. . . . The anti-growth formula: More regulation = less competitive intensity = less innovation and productivity.” In other words, the Obama economy.