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March 27, 2014
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With ObamaCare in need of fixing, Yahoo News' Matt Bai hearkens back to a 2009 conversation he had with then-Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, who warned that Democrats "could ram through a health-care overhaul on a partisan vote. But you wouldn't be able to sustain it."

"Baucus turned out to be prescient," Bai concedes, echoing Baucus' contention that "this kind of sprawling social legislation... doesn't end with a single vote."

True enough. Unfortunately, Bai then advances the conventional, if revisionist, wisdom that "Democrats didn't have a whole lot of choice."

But they did. As the AP reported in 2009, a "middle-of-the-road measure fashioned by the committee under Baucus' leadership" had won over the support of GOP Sen. Olympia Snowe. President Obama even praised this development as "a critical milestone."

A few days later, however, Harry Reid scuttled the deal, insisting on a public option. As CNN reported:

Snowe issued a statement Monday saying she was "deeply disappointed" with Reid's decision on the public option. She argued that a decision in favor of a trigger "could have been the road toward achieving a broader bipartisan consensus in the Senate."

Democrats chose to eschew a bipartisan health-care compromise, guaranteeing there would be zero Republican skin in the game. The consequence being that Democrats now solely "own" it. Matt K. Lewis

11:55 a.m. ET

If you saw Deadpool this weekend, you're not alone. Marvel's X-Men spinoff has brought in an estimated $135 million at the box office since its Thursday night release, The Wall Street Journal reports.

This was by no means a guaranteed hit — Fox budgeted the Ryan Reynolds flick at just $58 million, which is less than a third of what most other superhero movies cost.

The previous President's Day weekend box office record belonged to Fifty Shades of Grey, at $93 million in 2015. By weekend's end, Deadpool will likely surpass $150 million. Julie Kliegman

11:41 a.m. ET

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) vowed Sunday on ABC's This Week to filibuster any nominee President Obama puts forth to replace Antonin Scalia on the Supreme Court bench.

"This is a 5-4 court — the next election needs to be a referendum on the court," Cruz said. "People need to decide."

Other Republicans in the Senate have made similar calls, including Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. Meanwhile, Obama said Saturday he'll name a nominee soon, and Democrats like Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid and Sen. Elizabeth Warren are urging their colleagues to approve him or her before Obama leaves office.

"I don't think the American people want a court that will strip our religious liberties," Cruz said. "I don't think the American people want a court that will mandate unlimited abortions on demand, partial birth abortion with taxpayer funding and no parental notification, and I don't think the American people want a court that will write the Second Amendment out of the Constitution."

Watch Cruz's interview here. Julie Kliegman

11:03 a.m. ET

Saturday night's Republican presidential debate in South Carolina may have been the rowdiest yet, and not just on the part of the candidates. Here are some of the people and things the crowd deemed worthy of booing:

Facts: When Ted Cruz falsely claimed no Supreme Court justices have been appointed during election years in the last 80 years, moderator John Dickerson pointed out Anthony Kennedy. "I just want to get the facts straight for the audience," Dickerson said.

Donald Trump: In another tiff with Bush, Trump criticized his brother, former President George W. Bush, saying "How did he keep us safe? The World Trade Center came down."

Donald Trump, again: In a tiff with Bush (surprise, surprise), Trump said he was wrong about the billionaire's close ties to Russia.

Donald Trump, for a change: In the same exchange, Trump responded to the booing by claiming the jeers came from lobbyists supporting Bush.

Viewers were understandably a little perplexed by all of the booing.

If you missed out, here's a nice supercut of the most memorable sound from Saturday night. Julie Kliegman

10:01 a.m. ET

Minnesota Timberwolves guard Zach LaVine topped the Orlando Magic's Aaron Gordon in Saturday's Verizon Slam Dunk Contest. It's the second year in a row LaVine has won the All-Star weekend event, a feat only three other players in history — including Michael Jordan — have managed.

"There was some stuff that's never been done before. I don't want to get into the greats — Mike, they're in a different breath," LaVine said. "If you really look at it as a whole, we were doing dunks that professional dunkers take four or five tries to do, and we were doing it on the first try. It was ridiculous, man."

In the second tiebreaker, LaVine sealed his victory with a between-the-legs dunk from the free-throw line. Watch below. Julie Kliegman

9:25 a.m. ET

After years of delay, Twitter feuds, and technical difficulties, Kanye West has finally bestowed upon us his seventh album, The Life of Pablo. You can stream it through Tidal, buy it from his website, or just watch a couple of his Saturday Night Live performances below. Here's "Highlights":

And this is "Ultralight Beam." Enjoy. Julie Kliegman

8:07 a.m. ET
Ronaldo Schemidt/AFP/Getty Images

In his first full day in Mexico, Pope Francis spoke directly to the issues facing the nation Saturday, the Los Angeles Times reports.

"I beg that you not underestimate the moral and antisocial challenge which the drug trade represents for Mexican society as a whole, as well as for the church," he told church leaders at a Mexico City cathedral.

The pope also delivered a speech to politicians alongside President Enrique Peña Nieto. Francis stressed the need to care about the common good, not just those who are privileged.

"Each time we seek the path of privileges or benefits for a few, to the detriment of the good of all, the life of society becomes a fertile soil for corruption, drug trade, exclusion of different cultures, violence, and also human trafficking, kidnapping, and death, bringing suffering and slowing down development," Francis said. Julie Kliegman

7:39 a.m. ET
Noorullah Shirzada/AFP/Getty Images

In 2015, 3,545 civilians were killed due to war in Afghanistan, while 7,457 were injured, the United Nations said in a report released Sunday, The Associated Press reports.

That's a 4-percent decrease in deaths, but a 9-percent increase in injuries. The majority of the violence can be attributed to civilians caught in the ongoing crossfire between the Afghan government and the Taliban. Julie Kliegman

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