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Friday is the last day to enroll in a health insurance plan through the federal government's insurance exchange, HealthCare.gov.

And in a little office park in Northern Virginia, Brima Bob Deen is dealing with the rush.

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In Washington and around the country, Democrats and Republicans are trying to make sense of Doug Jones' stunning upset in the Alabama Senate race.

Jones' victory in a state that hadn't sent a Democrat to Washington in almost 30 years was even more shocking than when Republican Scott Brown won the late Ted Kennedy's seat in a Massachusetts special election in 2010.

Here are 5 takeaways from Tuesday's political earthquake:

1. The blue wave looks real

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Alabama: Now What?

3 hours ago

All politics are local … until they aren’t.

The nomination of Brett Talley, the Justice Department official in line for a lifetime judicial appointment, "will not be moving forward," a Trump administration official told NPR on Wednesday.

Talley had been rated "unanimously unqualified" for the post by the American Bar Association this year after an evaluation that questioned his experience. Talley had never argued a case, or even a motion, in federal court, he testified.

Updated at 3:20 p.m. ET

Omarosa Manigault Newman, the former Apprentice and Celebrity Apprentice contestant turned White House aide, is stepping down from her post. In a terse statement Wednesday, the White House said she "resigned yesterday to pursue other opportunities. Her departure will not be effective until January 20, 2018. We wish her the best in future endeavors and are grateful for her service."

Updated at 1:33 p.m. ET

Republicans pummeled the FBI and Justice Department on Wednesday as they continued painting its special counsel, Robert Mueller, as the boss of a partisan fishing expedition rife with Democratic sympathizers that is out to get President Trump.

But Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein resisted the fishing expedition narrative and told the House Judiciary Committee that Mueller is not off inside a locked room hidden from his view, but instead is consulting with him about the directions his team wants to travel.

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STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Alabama's election result caught even the winner, Democrat Doug Jones, off guard.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

DOUG JONES: I got to tell you...

(CHEERING)

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RACHEL MARTIN, BYLINE: Yeah, so one of the themes of Republican Roy Moore's campaign has been that he's never going to stop fighting, right? He's said that time and again. Now he says he is not going to concede.

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DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Last night, I guess we can say Alabama politics, but also national politics, shifted a bit.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Yeah, you bet. Democrat Doug Jones won a vacant Senate seat in deep-red Alabama.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

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STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Let's Ask Cokie about the history of the United States' relations with the city that's all about its history.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

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DAVID GREENE, HOST:

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DAVID GREENE, HOST:

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RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Updated at 12:44 a.m. ET

Democrat Doug Jones has won the Alabama Senate special election, a victory that was a stunning upset in a deeply red state that voted overwhelmingly for President Trump. The president, who had backed Republican Roy Moore despite multiple accusations of sexual misconduct and assault, congratulated Jones on Twitter.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson says the U.S. would negotiate with North Korea without demanding that the country first agree to nuclear disarmament. This marks a significant change in a approach for Tillerson, who has spent much of this year working on the pressure campaign to cut off financial resources for the North Korean nuclear program.

Updated at 7:55 p.m. ET

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Tuesday the U.S. would be willing to enter negotiations with North Korea without requiring that it agree beforehand to give up its nuclear weapons program. The willingness to engage in talks without that understanding is a significant change in the U.S. approach.

With a single 8 a.m. tweet, a classic Trumpian feud has erupted between the president of the United States and the junior senator from his home state, a high-profile female Democrat who called his tweet "a sexist smear."

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., was attending a bipartisan Senate prayer meeting Tuesday morning when she got a phone call. President Trump had tweeted about her.

This appears to have been a response to Gillibrand's call on Monday for Trump to resign.

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