The Gabfest on the challenge to the Obamacare subsidies that’s headed to the Supreme Court, Obama’s public push for net neutrality, and the slew of criticisms against Valerie Jarrett.

Is Valerie Jarrett Obama’s Alter Ego?

Is Valerie Jarrett Obama’s Alter Ego?

Slate's weekly political roundtable.
Nov. 14 2014 11:57 AM

The “President Whisperer” Edition

Listen to Slate’s show about another challenge to Obamacare now headed to the Supreme Court, the battle over net neutrality, and the opposition to Obama adviser Valerie Jarrett.


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On this week’s Slate Political Gabfest, Emily Bazelon, John Dickerson, and David Plotz discuss the latest challenge to the Affordable Care Act that is headed to the Supreme Court, Obama’s net neutrality stance, and Valerie Jarrett’s controversial role in the Obama White House.

Here are some of the links and references mentioned during this week’s show:

  • The D.C. Circuit Court vacated one of the Burwell challenges to Obamacare, therefore eliminating the circuit split that would’ve sent the case the Supreme Court. They took it up anyway.
  • Abbe Gluck pointed out how Justice Scalia’s own writing on how the court should interpret legal text actually concurs with the government’s interpretation of the disputed section of Obamacare.
  • Recently uncovered statements from an architect of the Affordable Care Act are complicating the case that the Obama administration is making about the meaning of the disputed section of the law.
  • In an address earlier this week, Obama called for the FCC to reclassify Internet service to treat it as a utility, which would allow the agency to ensure equal access for everyone.
  • Some studies show that Europe has faster Internet upload and download speeds than the U.S., though there is actually some debate about this.
  • Noam Scheiber recently wrote a lengthy piece in the New Republic that detailed Valerie Jarrett’s rise to power within the Obama administration.
  • A few days before the New Republic published Scheiber’s in-depth piece, Carol Felthensal opined in Politico about Jarrett’s weakness and how she is responsible for some of Obama’s worst governing decisions.
  • Thomas “Mack” Mclarty played a similar role to Jarrett in the Clinton administration, serving as the president’s alter ego and sounding board.
  • Matt Yglesias argues that Washington insiders don’t like Jarrett because she wields an enormous amount of influence over the president without being a part of any party establishment.
  • The anger directed at Sen. Max Baucus’ health care legislation was misplaced—many of the goals of the bill were actually Obama’s.

Emily chatters about Beverly Gage’s piece on the FBI’s now un-redacted letter to Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

John chatters about recent tweets and Instagram posts exchanged between Bill Clinton and George W. Bush.

David Plotz chatters about Hanna Rosin’s piece on her former New Republic colleague Stephen Glass.

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Podcast production by Mike Vuolo. Links compiled by Maxwell Tani.