Another glitch. The Obama administration has more explaining to do after a data center supporting the Obamacare insurance exchanges crashed over the weekend, halting enrollment in all 50 states. The crash came less than 24 hours after Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius praised it as one of the system’s successful elements. Ouch. This latest glitch is sure to come up later this week when Sebelius will appear before a House committee to explain the myriad problems besetting the site since its launch on Oct. 1. Although the administration likely will bear much of the brunt of the criticism for the weekend outage, data center owner Verizon shares some of the blame. A company spokesman said Sunday they would have the servers back up and running “as soon as possible.” The White House said it can have all the website problems fixed by early December, giving shoppers plenty of time to buy policies in time to have coverage by Jan. 1.
Power play. Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., took to Twitter this morning to threaten to block every one of President Barack Obama’s nominees to federal posts until survivors of the 2012 attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi, Libya, appear before Congress. The tweet said: “Where are the #Benghazi survivors? I’m going to block every appointment in the US Senate until they are made available to Congress.” Some of the nominations that could be affected include Janet Yellen for chair of the Federal Reserve and Jeh Johnson for secretary of the Department of Homeland Security.
Accident or attack? Chinese authorities are investigating what might have caused the driver of a Jeep to drive down a sidewalk, scattering and injuring pedestrians near Tiananmen Square, before crashing in front of the gates to the iconic Beijing landmark. Five people are believed dead: the driver, two passengers, and two tourists. Another 38 were injured. Because the driver spent so much time on the sidewalk before crashing, officials speculate the crash might have been part of a planned attack.
Technology limits. The American Academy of Pediatrics released a new directive today urging parents to set boundaries for their children’s media use. Lamenting the fact that few families have rules about how much time kids spend in front of the various screens that now fill our environment, the doctors suggest parents set mealtime and bedtime curfews for media devices. They also recommend kids’ bedrooms be screen-free. The recommendation reiterated the group’s suggestion to avoid all screen media exposure for children younger than 2 and to limit total screen time to two hours a day for older children.