Good morning — and happy Friday! Today is both National Pet Day and National Cheese Fondue Day. Warning: We don’t recommend giving your pet cheese fondue.
Sebelius out –> After five years shepherding the ACA forward, Health and Human Services boss Kathleen Sebelius stepped down yesterday. Rachel Maddow questioned the timing of the move, writes Arturo Garcia at The Raw Story.
HIV epidemic –> Sarah Stillman reports for The New Yorker that HIV has become a “plague” in the Deep South.
BENGHAZI!!!!! –> Donna Cassata reports for the AP that “Buck” McKeon, the Republican chair of the House Armed Services Committee, “is satisfied with how the military responded to the deadly attack.”
And the other one –> At ProPublica, Kim Barker and Theodoric Meyer survey newly released documents related to how the IRS processed applications from “social welfare organizations” for tax-exempt status. They show an agency ill-equipped to implement the vaguely worded provisions of the tax code, but no conspiracy to punish conservative groups.
What next? –> Miami County election officials responded to a query about whether the bathrooms at polling places were accessible to the handicapped by announcing that they will close all bathrooms on Election Day, reports Nicole Flatow for ThinkProgress. Residents of the city waited up to six hours to vote in 2012, and a study found that wait times for blacks and Latinos were almost twice as long as for those in predominantly white communities. ALSO: Karen Tumulty reports for The Washington Post that Bill Clinton is calling for photos to be added to Social Security cards in response to new voter-ID laws.
Getting covered –> Studies have pegged the number of previously uninsured Americans getting coverage through Obamacare at 9-10 million. But according to the Rand Corporation, another 7 million have been covered directly by their employers. Experts say that’s probably due to a combination of Obamacare and a gradually improving economy. Dylan Scott has the story at TPM.
Reported as good news –> Nelson Schwartz reports for The New York Times that with tax revenues up, “the budget gap last month was the smallest deficit recorded for the month of March since 2000, when economic growth was running at a much faster pace than it is today.”
Dodgy data –> The New Republic’s Danny Vinik dismantles a new “study” that purports to show that unemployment benefits hurt the labor market.
What happens in Vegas… –> Sin City is on the short list of potential locations for the next Republican National Convention, but Mother Jones’ Dana Liebelson reports that social conservatives are worried that there would be too many temptations.
Not happy –> Conservatives appear to have figured out that Stephen Colbert was laughing at them, and Salon’s Elias Isquith reports that some are expressing their displeasure with CBS’ decision to give him Letterman’s show.
Fair’s fair –> At In These Times, Moshe Marvit explains how the Paycheck Fairness Act filibustered this week by Senate Republicans would have helped all workers — men and women.
What they really want –> David Koch ran for president on the Libertarian ticket in 1980. Sen. Bernie Sanders unearthed a copy of the platform on which he ran, and it essentially calls for the repeal of … everything!
Does God have good credit? –> A Russian immigrant in New York City is taking the Equifax credit agency to court because they refuse to acknowledge that his real, legal first name is “God.” The man says he was named after his grandfather.