Just Before Shutdown, State Department Blew Nearly 200K on Booze

b_250_0_16777215_00_images_obgrabber_2013-12_fe9538a00b.jpgRyan McVay/Thinkstock (WASHINGTON) -- As the government was readying a shutdown in part over disagreements about fiscal responsibility, the State Department apparently declared a very open bar. According to the Washington Times, the diplomatic department blew more than $180,000 on booze to re-stock its embassies and other facilities both in the U.S. and abroad before the shutdown took effect.

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States, Insurers Look to Bypass Healthcare Site

b_250_0_16777215_00_images_obgrabber_2013-12_50da9320e8.jpgBloomberg via Getty Images (WASHINGTON) -- Some states and insurers are seeking ways to bypass the troubled technology associated with the Affordable Care Act, despite recent announcements by the Obama administration that the online marketplace functions smoothly. Planned and unplanned outages on the healthcare site have created problems for several states, which are now looking to separate themselves from the federal infrastructed used to confirm applications, according to the Wall Street Journal.

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David Plouffe: Obamacare Will 'Work Really Well' By 2017

b_250_0_16777215_00_images_obgrabber_2013-12_3576c9f9bf.jpgABC/Martin H. Simon (WASHINGTON) -- Former Obama senior adviser and ABC News contributor David Plouffe said on This Week Sunday that the Affordable Care Act will "work really well" when all states run their own health care exchanges and fully expand Medicaid – actions that may not be seen until President Obama is out of office in 2017. "This program was designed to be implemented by the states. And in most of the states that are running their exchanges it’s going quite well," Plouffe told ABC's George Stephanopoulos.

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Hamid Karzai's Refusal to Sign Security Deal Called 'Reckless'

b_250_0_16777215_00_images_obgrabber_2013-12_57f6f8aaf5.jpgMustafa Bag/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images (WASHINGTON) -- On This Week Sunday, former Obama National Security Adviser Tom Donilon called Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai's refusal to sign a long-term security agreement with the United States "reckless". "President Karzai should go ahead and sign the agreement. It has been approved by a very large assembly of leaders in Afghanistan," Donilon told George Stephanopoulos on This Week.

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White House Declares Obamacare Website Fixed, But Problems Persist

b_250_0_16777215_00_images_obgrabber_2013-12_69b55b5061.jpgAndrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images (WASHINGTON) -- Two months after the troubled launch of its signature health care initiative, the Obama administration on Sunday announced that its online insurance marketplace now functions smoothly for the "vast majority" of consumers seeking to shop for and enroll in coverage. "We've doubled the system's capacity and HealthCare.gov can now support its intended volume," said Jeff Zients, the administration official overseeing repairs to the system, on a conference call with reporters Sunday.

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