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By Anthony Castrovince | Archive10/20/2013 1:51 A.M. ET
The St. Louis Cardinals won 97 games this season, surviving a division battle that included two other postseason teams. They were, according to the raw records resulting from the 162-game grind, the best team in the National League.
The Boston Red Sox won 97 games, surviving a division battle that included one other postseason team and two additional clubs with winning records. They were, according to the raw math of 162, the best team in the American League.
This sort of thing never seems to happen anymore.
In fact, in the Wild Card era, dating back to 1995, there have been only been two times in which the teams with each league’s best record met in October — 1995 (Braves and Indians) and ’99 (Yankees and Braves). In that sense, what we’re about to witness, beginning Wednesday night at Fenway Park (8:07 p.m. ET first pitch, 7:30 air time on FOX), is something of a throwback, and the fact that it involves two storied franchises with such extensive October history makes it all the better.
But because unbalanced schedules will always lend themselves to varying interpretations of “best,” perhaps we ought to just view this World Series for what it really is: a celebration of two of the most expertly operated organizations in baseball.
By Kristen Welker and Daniel Arkin, NBC News
As the Obama administration scrambles to rectify the rocky rollout of the online health care marketplace, the Health Department said Sunday that it has enlisted the “best and brightest” to help fix the website’s torrent of technical glitches and bugs as the president prepares to address the problems at the White House on Monday.
“Our team is bringing in some of the best and brightest from both inside and outside government to scrub in with the team and help improve HealthCare.gov,” the Department of Health and Human Services said in a blog post published Sunday.
The blog post also says technology officials have been working “around the clock” to ensure that individuals can create accounts and apply for health care coverage without any digital roadblocks.
“We’re proud of these quick improvements, but we know there’s still more work to be done,” the post says. “We will continue to conduct regular maintenance nearly every night to improve the experience.”
“I think there’s no one more frustrated than the president at the difficulty in the website,” Lew said on NBC’s “Meet the Press” Sunday morning.
“Fifty-four percent say it’s a bad thing that the GOP controls the House of Representatives, up 11 points from last December, according to a new CNN/ORC International poll conducted after the end of the 16-day partial government shutdown — the first time since the Republicans won back control of the House in the 2010 elections that a majority say their control of the chamber is bad for the country.
The poll also found that 63% of Americans think that Speaker of the House John Boehner should be replaced, a view shared by roughly half of all Republicans.
By a 44%-31% margin, people say they have more confidence in President Barack Obama rather than the GOP in Congress to deal with the major issues facing the country today. But 21% say they don’t have confidence in either side.
I delight to do Your will, O my God, And Your law is within my heart.
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Updated Sunday, Oct. 20, 2:42 p.m.
The Obama Administration announced Sunday it had recruited experts from the private and government tech sectors to update the code on the HealthCare.gov website, Politico reports.
About 476,000 applications for health insurance have been filed under the new system of state and federally run exchanges, according to unnamed Administration officials, the Associated Press reports.
Those are the first figures available about participation in the new system of health care coverage under the Affordable Care Act, the push for which dominated President Barack Obama’s first term and resulted in his most far-reaching piece of domestic legislation. In the first few weeks the exchanges have been live, however, they have been marred by spotty website access, frustrating an Administration that had hoped to enroll half a million people in the insurance markets during the first month, according to an internal AP memo.
Next month, the…
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Fareed Zakaria has a very sharp op-ed in the Washington Post this week dissecting conservatism’s longtime “diet of despair” and how conservatism’s traditional rhetoric of “decay, despair and decline” has created an anti-American mentality among the set that very self-consciously claims to love the country more than everyone else.
But one section in particular crystalized something that has been nagging me over the last few weeks, especially when tea party conservatives denounce compromise and deal-making as if they are bad things, when the smug Ted Cruz goes on about waging a “multi-stage, extended battle” to change Washington or, as Zakaria notes, John Boehner utters with exasperation that “the federal government has spent more than what it has brought in in 55 of the last 60 years!”
Zakaria’s reply is spot on:
But what has been the result over these past 60 years? The United States has grown mightily…
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Marsha Shapiro and Louise Walpin married each other for the third time early Monday. But this time, it was especially memorable: They were among the first to tie the knot after same-sex marriage became legal in New Jersey.
A rabbi first “married” the couple in 1992 in a Jewish ceremony. They married a second time in New York in August 2012 after same-sex marriage became legal there.
The third time was just after midnight Thursday in the Garden State. The couple helped pave the way there through a 2011 lawsuit that brought about the change. New Jersey now becomes the 14th state to recognize gay marriages.