“Steven Brill has done it again,” wrote Peter Nelson of Sterling, Va., in response to TIME’s March 10 cover story on the tech wizards who fixed the Obamacare site after a botched rollout. “He has succinctly captured the complexities of the gargantuan rescue effort … by a team of self-effacing, dedicated and patriotic Americans.” And he did it colorfully, said coder Jim Ray on Twitter: “Best part of this is the White House CTO driving around a van, assembling folks A-team style, to fix HealthCare.gov.” Many suggested Brill’s story–a hot topic among pundits from Charlie Rose to Wolf Blitzer–as a manual for politicians. “More rewarding than what they accomplished technically is how a group of strangers worked together, efficiently, selflessly, and without drama or ego. For that to happen in Washington, D.C., may just be a historical first,” wrote Judy Neiberg of Holt, Mich.
TURMOIL IN UKRAINE
A story by Michael Crowley and Simon Shuster on the conflict was widely shared and commented on by jittery observers. Among them: Alexander Kugushev, a resident of Menlo Park, Calif., and a self-described ethnic Russian from Kiev, who wrote of his “reluctant” support of Ukraine: “It took three generations of communism to make Russia what it is now and what these Ukrainians are rejecting. It will take three more generations to turn Russia onto a more enlightened road. Meanwhile, let’s not flinch.”
THE MINIMUM WAGE
Eliza Gray’s story on brash former lobbyist and wage-hike opponent Richard Berman sparked comments from readers like Debbie Riga of Astoria, N.Y., who argued that since people were quickly losing jobs to technology, the wage debate was “irrelevant.” She added that “whenever an industry can replace a human with a machine, it will happen [regardless of the wage], so might as well give the ones still working a decent wage.” Retired teacher Marge Deibel of Mount Pleasant, Mich., disagreed, warning, “Raise the minimum wage and everything else will increase accordingly.”
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This appears in the March 17, 2014 issue of TIME.