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First Read Flash: Nuclear fallout

A weekend historic deal to temporarily halt Iran's nuclear program isn't drawing praise from everyone and leaves many questions still unanswered.
/ Source: MSNBC TV

A weekend historic deal to temporarily halt Iran's nuclear program isn't drawing praise from everyone and leaves many questions still unanswered.

New York Times: “ For President Obama, whose popularity and second-term agenda have been ravaged by the chaotic rollout of thehealth care law, the preliminary nuclear deal reached with Iran on Sunday is more than a welcome change of subject. It is also a seminal moment — one that thrusts foreign policy to the forefront in a White House preoccupied by domestic woes, and one that presents Mr. Obama with the chance to chart a new American course in the Middle East for the first time in more than three decades.”

Washington Post: “The euphoria over the signing of a historic nuclear agreement with Iran gave way to sober reality Sunday as the parties clashed over a key element of the deal and congressional skeptics threatened to thwart it. The Obama administration moved quickly to sell the agreement to nervous U.S. allies, particularly Israel, and to persuade lawmakers not to push ahead with new economic sanctions that could prompt Iran to abandon the six-month freeze on its nuclear program set under the accord. In interviews, Secretary of State John F. Kerry defended the deal, saying that the United States and its allies believe that the agreement ensures Iran will either abide by the terms or face the reinstatement of measures that have crippled the country’s economy.”

NBC News: “Leading members of Congress cautiously greeted the news of the six-month nuclear deal with Iran announced Saturday night as even Republicans critical of President Barack Obama’s approach signaled a resigned acceptance of the accord.”

Roll Call: “Two top Democrats said Sunday they expected the Senate would still move forward with enhanced sanctions against Iran, despite news out of Geneva of an interim agreement regarding the Iranian nuclear program.”

National Journal: “With the administration’s deadline to fix the Obamacare website less than a week away, one question is bound to weigh heavily on the debate over the system: How well does it have to operate to be considered “fixed”? The truth is, the system is getting stronger as it recovers from its disastrous launch, but experts say it still has a long way to go. The problems that continue to plague it could continue the torrent of criticism, making it tougher for the administration to rehabilitate the image of its signature law.”

Politico: “Democratic leaders claim the bungled launch of Obamacare is just the latest news sensation — a media-stirred tempest that looks in the heat of the moment like it could upend the midterm election, but ends up fizzling well before voters head to the polls. Some party strategists say they’re in denial. And that perceived gap between party spin and facts on the ground is fueling worries that the White House and Democratic higher-ups aren’t taking the possible electoral blowback seriously enough or doing enough to shield their candidates. Democratic contenders in the toughest races are distinctly less convinced that Obamacare will fade as an election-year issue — and they can’t afford to just cross their fingers that things get ironed out or that Republicans revert to political hara-kiri.”

The Hill: “President Obama has to get healthcare working smoothly if he is to have any chance of breathing life into his second term, according to Democratic strategists and other observers. The Democrats were speaking before the announcement of an interim deal on Iran’s nuclear program over the weekend, and they also acknowledged that Obama cannot ignore the rest of his agenda, including climate change, immigration reform and efforts to improve the economy. But, once the initial flurry of coverage over the Geneva accord subsides, it remains likely that healthcare will overshadow everything once again.”

Washington Post: “The success of the Affordable Care Act could ultimately turn on the performance of an agency that has so far eluded the public spotlight amid the program’s tumultuous rollout. Whether the new law can be enforced will be up to the Internal Revenue Service, an already beleaguered agency charged under the act with carrying out nearly four dozen new tasks in what represents the biggest increase in its responsibilities in decades. None is more crucial than enforcing the requirement that all citizens secure health insurance or pay a penalty.”

USA Today: “President Obama continues his West Coast trip Monday, traveling to San Francisco to raise campaign money and talk about immigration. Obama, who headlined a pair of fundraisers Sunday night in Seattle, flies to San Francisco in the morning and visits the Betty Ann Ong Chinese Recreation Center to discuss immigration.”

New York Times: “A consistent and solid majority of Americans — 63 percent — crossing party and religious lines favors legislation to create a pathway to citizenship for immigrants living in the United States illegally, while only 14 percent support legal residency with no option for citizenship, according a report published Monday by the nonpartisan Public Religion Research Institute.”

CNN: “Only four out of 10 Americans believe President Barack Obama can manage the federal government effectively, according to a new national poll. And a CNN/ORC International survey released Monday morning also indicates that 53% of Americans now believe that Obama is not honest and trustworthy, the first time that a clear majority in CNN polling has felt that way.”

FLORIDA: National Journal’s Beth Reinhard: “As the Republican governor of Florida, Charlie Crist paid dearly for putting his arms around President Obama at a town hall touting the Democrats’ economic-stimulus plan in February 2009. The governor’s chief rival for the U.S. Senate, Marco Rubio, replayed footage of the embrace over and over, savaging Crist’s conservative credentials. Now running as a Democrat for his old job, Crist may find that his continued embrace of an increasingly unpopular president–and his controversial health care law–could thwart him once again.”

VIRGINIA: AP: “The closest statewide race in modern Virginia political history is unlikely to end Monday when the State Board of Elections certifies the votes for attorney general. Of the 2.2 million ballots cast Nov. 5, the two candidates are a mere 165 votes apart. Republican Mark Obenshain has signaled he will seek a recount in his razor-thin race with Democrat Mark Herring, though he hasn’t directly said so. Obenshain could press the issue to the General Assembly if he wants to take it to the limits of the law.”

WYOMING: Politico: “Liz Cheney is ending the roughest week of her political career by reserving nearly $40,000 more in TV time in Wyoming, a significant buy nine months before the Senate primary. Sources tracking the air war tell POLITICO that the floundering candidate has reserved $31,540 for broadcast and $7,092 for cable ads to run from next Monday through Sunday.”