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• The president’s 'fix' gets a big nix
• ObamaCare abortion coverage
• McAuliffe pick packs baggage
• Paul proposes fried Twinkies for Christie
• Can I get on the friends and family plan?
THE PRESIDENT’S 'FIX' GETS A BIG NIX - State insurance commissioners were polite but pretty clearly not moved by President Obama’s bid to put them on the hook for reinstating insurance plans he ordered banned as part of ObamaCare. Obama met with representatives from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners who expressed their uncertainties over his reversal of his regulation, saying trying a rush effort to reinstate the plans could lead to higher premiums and would cause confusion and delay.
[An independent analysis by the conservative American Enterprise Institute, predicting a second wave of 50-to-100 million cancellations, is not doing much to allay those concerns.]
Cancellations continue - Headlines like this one from the Montgomery Advertiser: “Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alabama won't reinstate canceled insurance policies” are piling up as state officials and insurers plow ahead rather than join President Obama’s belated effort to honor his “if you like it” pledge. While the president feels the political pain of his decision to deceive voters, insurers and commissioner are mostly thinking about bottom lines and keeping risk pools stable. From the Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Alabama statement to the Advertiser: “The temporary reinstatement of policies that are non-ACA compliant would create dual classes of policyholders and destabilize the state’s insurance market and the risk pools associated with these health plans,” the statement said. “The ultimate impact would be higher healthcare costs for all of our customers, now and in the near future.”
[Listen to Fox: Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., joins Kilmeade and Friends in the 9 a.m. ET hour]
AFRAID OF FAILURE, BUT APPARENTLY NOT ENOUGH -An email thread among top ObamaCare officials just days before the crash landing of ObamaCare shows top Obama aides were scrambling to think of ways to spin expected technical failures. One prophetic line from the exchanges provided to Fox News: “I am picturing in my mind all the major print and online publications taking screenshots of what is below and just ramping up the hyperbole about hc.gov not [being] functional.” Quite so. The question now is that with these warnings circulating at high levels of the Obama administration, how plausible is the president’s claim that he was kept in the dark about the impending crash? Aides brushed away a briefing for the president in March warning of dire technical problems, saying the findings were too preliminary. But how about five days before the launch?
[Watch Fox: Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H., discuses ObamaCare in the 9 a.m. ET hour]
OBAMA AND EXECUTIVE POWER: THEN AND NOW - Shot - “I’m going to choose to interpret it this way or that way. That’s not part of his power. This is part of the theory of George Bush, that he can make laws as he goes along. I disagree with that. I taught the Constitution for 10 years. I believe in the Constitution. I will obey the Constitution of the United States.” – Then-Sen. Barack Obama, campaigning in Billings, Mont., May 19, 2008
Chaser - “He's changed his tune now… he rewrote the employer mandate in July. He changed the date of the statute. It was very clear. And then with this grandfather issue, he said, I'm going to extend the grandfather clause to some of these plans that where people got after 2010. Well, he can't do that by executive order… My hope is that some of my friends in the other party will put the constitutional duties they have above their partisan self interest and join with me to tell the president that he can't rewrite laws.” – Rep. Ron DeSantis, R-Fla., on “The Kelly File” Wednesday announcing his proposed resolution of congressional disapproval for President Obama’s moves to makes changes to ObamaCare. The measure would express a congressional finding that the moves are unconstitutional.
[Watch Fox: Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, discusses the president’s meeting with state insurance commissioners in the 9 a.m. ET hour]
DOCTORS, HOSPITALS BRACE FOR OBAMACARE DISRUPTION - From WaPo, “As Americans have begun shopping for health plans on the insurance exchanges, they are discovering that insurers are restricting their choice of doctors and hospitals in order to keep costs low, and that many of the plans exclude top-rated hospitals.”
OBAMACARE ABORTION COVERAGE - Despite assurances from the administration that taxpayer dollars will not fund abortion, Fox News has obtained a report that says the claim is not only false, but that the scope is enormous. Chief Congressional Correspondent Mike Emanuel reveals today how the Obama administration is pursuing avenues to make public abortion subsidies available to thousands of women.
[Secretary of State John Kerry will testify before the Senate Armed Services Committee about the United Nations Disability Treaty that calls for a system of global accommodations for those with disabilities. The treat’s detractors say it threatens U.S. sovereignty and pro-life advocates view it as a potential abortion mandate. Roll Call has more.]
COSTLY COST CUTTING MEASURES - The Department of Health and Human Services announced Wednesday it is offering up contract of up to $7 billion for ways to reduce spending under ObamaCare, Medicare, Medicaid, and the Children’s Health Insurance Program.
Insurer sells policies with ObamaCare failure funnies - Wellmark Blue Cross Blue Shield of South Dakota is using the failures of healthcare.gov to promote private insurance. In a trio of ads that are set to run in Iowa and South Dakota, the insurer hits ObamaCare’s Web site saying, “Things don't always work like they're supposed to do. Good thing the government exchange isn't the only place to buy health insurance… Just visit Wellmark.com/simple or call today. Not only does the website have the word ‘simple’ in its address, it actually works.” The ads are actually funny, too. View the ads courtesy of AdvertisingAge.
A hotbed of ObamaCare support - With poll after poll showing the public souring on ObamaCare, President Obama can at least count on support from some of Nevada’s “working girls.” Taylor Lee who plies her trade at the Moonlight Bunny Ranch brothel was one of the sex workers who told KRNV they were on board for ObamaCare. “Having this profession, we aren't exactly offered group health insurance,” Lee said. “It’s hard because I do have a pre-existing condition so I really support ObamaCare. I'm excited.”
The Judges’ ruling - Judge Andrew Napolitano contrasts the partial government shutdown and the rollout of ObamaCare for Fox News Opinion: “Here is a quick pop quiz. Which presented more harm to human life and personal freedom: the four-week partial shutdown of the federal government last month or the rollout of ObamaCare this month?”
YOU HAVE A SEAT ON THE PANEL: OBAMACARE EXPECTATIONS - ObamaCare was never going to work – that was the sentiment viewers shared with the Daily Caller’s Tucker Carlson during the All-Star Panel on “Special Report with Bret Baier.” Bing Pulse also found consensus among all parties and with both men and women when Carlson voiced his suspicion that doctors would bear the brunt of ObamaCare’s failures. Viewers across the spectrum agreed with Juan Williams when he said the health law’s rollout is an “unmitigated disaster” for the president and Democrats.
Viewer engagement surged when the panel discussed early warnings the administration received prior to ObamaCare’s rollout. Viewer voters from all parties and both men and women showed strong agreement when Bret said that top White House aides were nervous about the rollout of ObamaCare. Williams drew wide disagreement when he said it is unclear how many people in the White House were aware of problems with the Web site prior to its launch.
Intensity skyrocketed to 50,000 viewer votes per minute when Judge Andrew Napolitano said the Constitution does not give the federal government power to regulate health care. Bing Pulse tracked 320,000 viewer votes. See the full results by taking a deeper data dive. There is always room for you to take your seat on the panel.
AGREEMENT REACHED ON AFGHAN SECURITY PACT - Secretary of State John Kerry announced Wednesday that the U.S. and Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai have reached an agreement over a post-war security pact governing the presence of U.S. troops beyond 2014. President Obama is calling for a withdrawal from Afghanistan by the end of next year. AP has more. –Watch Fox: National Security Correspondent Jennifer Griffin considers the costs of the war in Afghanistan, monetarily, politically and, particularly, in scarifies made by troops and their families.
YOUR BUS, COMRADE - NSA leaker Edward Snowden may be in Russia, but his image will soon be seen rolling through the streets of the nation’s capital. “Starting next week, Washington, D.C., Metrobuses will carry ads reading ‘Thank you, Edward Snowden,’ featuring a photo of the bespectacled former government contractor that has riled international relations with his release of secret intelligence files,” WashingtonExaminer reports. The Partnership for Civil Justice Fund, a group that supports Snowden’s cause, is funding the ads. A look at how the group envisions the “bus wrap,” here.
Nyet - WaPo reports a new Washington Post/ABC News poll shows: 60 percent of Americans say Snowden’s actions harmed U.S. security, and 53 percent disapprove of President Obama’s handling of the NSA’s surveillance activity, 35 percent approve.
[Watch Fox: Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., discusses Iran sanctions in the noon ET hour]
YELLEN: ALL OVER BUT THE SHOUTING - The Senate Banking Committee is expected to advance today President Obama’s nomination of Janet Yellen to lead the Federal Reserve. Yellen, the current co-chairwoman of the central bank, is expected to be confirmed by the full Senate to replace current Chairman Ben Bernanke, whose term ends in January. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., who has pledged to block the nomination over concerns about the bank’s secretive practices and $85 billion monthly stimulus measures, admitted to Reuters that Yellen will most likely be confirmed.
TEAM OBAMA EYES NEW GUN REGS - The Obama administration is eyeing new gun control measures targeting stolen guns. While the draft regulation drawn up by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms is under review, The White House asserts it would be focused at cases where guns go missing “in transit.” The Hill has the details.
WITH YOUR SECOND CUP OF COFFEE...Reason editor Nick Gillespie considers Why Youth Is Revolting Against Obama for Daily Beast, and contends it is not just over ObamaCare. “…[T]he fact is that the youth revolt against Obama started almost immediately after he moved into the White House. In 2008, Obama won 66 percent of votes cast by 18-29 year olds. In 2012, he racked up just 60 percent. More tellingly, the participation rate among younger voters dropped precipitously between those elections, with Obama pulling 2.4 million fewer votes from 18-29 year olds in 2012.….the Democrats’ decline in popularity is not automatically the Republicans’ gain (though get a load of this: Ken Cuccinelli won the 18-24 year-old vote against Terry McAuliffe in the Virginia governor’s race)…”
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POLL CHECK - Real Clear Politics Averages
Obama Job Approval: Approve – 40.3 percent//Disapprove – 55.3 percent
Direction of Country: Right Direction – 22.9 percent//Wrong Track – 68.0 percent
MCAULIFFE’S PICK FOR ETHICS POST BRINGS BAGGAGE - Governor-elect Terry McAuliffe, D-Va., has appointed a former executive from the scandal-soaked GreenTech electric car company to be in charge of vetting political appointments, overseeing lobbyists and reviewing possible conflicts of interest for government officials. As a former Democratic operative, Levar Stoney, admitted to covering up an incident in which Democrats slashed the tires of dozens of Republican vehicles in Wisconsin on Election Day, 2004. Stoney, a deputy manager for McAuliffe’s campaign, will now be Virginia’s secretary of the commonwealth. Washington Free Beacon has the story.
SCOTT GAINS GROUND IN FLORIDA -A Quinnipiac poll released this morning shows Republican-turned-independent-turned-Democrat Charlie Crist losing a little of his lead in his bid to recapture his old gig as Florida governor. In the head-to-head matchup with Gov. Rick Scott, R-Fla., in next year’s race, Crist leads Scott 47 percent to 40 percent. A similar poll taken in June showed Crist besting Scott by 10 points.
DEMS HIT THE ROCKS IN THE ROCKIES - A new Quinnipiac poll shows President Obama’s 36 percent approval rating in Colorado is hurting Democrats. With disapproval of ObamaCare at 56 percent, Republicans are seeing an opening in the Rockies. Gov. Chris Christie, R-N.J. beats former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton 46 percent-to-38 percent. Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., leads the former first lady 45 percent to 42 percent, Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., bests Clinton 47 percent to 44 percent and Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, ties at 44 percent.
GOP GOVERNORS EYE 2016 - Gov. Chris Christie, R-N.J., will take the reins of the Republican Governors Association when he is named its new chairman during their conference in Arizona this week. He will replace Gov. Bobby Jindal, R-La., who may be eyeing a 2016 bid along with Govs. Scott Walker, R-Wis., Rick Perry, R-Texas, John Kasich, R-Ohio, and Mike Pence, R-Ind. –Watch Fox: Campaign Carl Cameron is covering the event from Scottsdale, Ariz.
PAUL SUGGESTS FRIED TWINKIES FOR CHRISTIE MEET - During an interview with WHO, Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., was asked about doing a joint interview with Gov. Chris Christie, R-N.J. Paul said he would be happy to do it and has repeatedly offered to go out for a beer with the Garden State Governor adding, “if there’s a state fair we can go out for a fried Twinkie.” Listen to the interview courtesy of Breitbart.
TEAM OBAMA WITHOLDS DATA FROM DNC - The Democratic National Committee will soon become beneficiary to much of President Obama’s 2012 campaign voter data, but not all of it. The move comes after nearly a year of debate over the data, especially with the looming 2014 midterm elections at-hand. Obama’s permanent campaign arm is withholding its email list of 20 million volunteers, donors and activists. Politico has the details.
LEFT FEARS CLINTON CORONATION - Liberal activist Bill Scher considers Why the left is terrified of a Hillary Clinton coronation for The Week: “…Why does it seem like the left is anxious to recruit a challenger? We keep hearing rumblings about Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, Howard Dean, and Martin O'Malley…if Hillary becomes president by coronation, she doesn't owe anybody anything. And then, who knows what she might do?”
[Ed. note: The widely held belief among liberal Democrats that the 2016 general election is already in the bag ought to be the most worrisome thing of all for the House of Clinton.]
RADEL IN RECOVERY - Rep. Trey Radel, R-Fla., announced Wednesday he is taking a leave of absence following a guilty plea to a charge of misdemeanor cocaine possession. Radel plans on entering an in-patient treatment facility in Southwest Florida and will donate his Congressional paycheck to a charity until he returns. The first-term Congressman was arrested in Washington late last month as a result of an undercover sting operation. During a Wednesday night press conference Radel asked for forgiveness saying, “I’ve let down our country. I’ve let down our constituents. I’ve let down my wife, and even though he doesn’t know it, I’ve let down my 2-year-old son.” Fox News has more.
CONGRESSWOMAN MUGGED - Daily Caller: “New York Democratic Rep. Grace Meng was hit over the head and robbed Tuesday night while walking home from a restaurant in Washington, D.C. Meng was returning to Eastern Market, where she lives while in the District, when she was hit in the back of the head. The attacker took her purse as she was falling and ran away, according to Meng’s office…her injuries include a bruised chin. She had a CAT scan at George Washington University Hospital.”
AMERICAN CONSERVATIVE UNION NAMES NEW DIRECTOR - Dan Schneider, a former George W. Bush administration official and adviser to Sen. Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, has been named the new executive director of the American Conservative Union. The ACU is a grassroots, conservative political organization that scores the votes of Congress to issue rankings of their conservatism. The group also hosts the influential Conservative Political Action Conference, which features prominent conservatives and potential presidential contenders.
JFK’S FIVE-SENTENCE HARVARD APPLICATION ESSAY - Here’s the entirety of John F. Kennedy’s 1935 admissions essay to Harvard: “The reasons that I have for wishing to go to Harvard are several. I feel that Harvard can give me a better background and a better liberal education than any other university. I have always wanted to go there, as I have felt that it is not just another college, but is a university with something definite to offer. Then too, I would like to go to the same college as my father. To be a ‘Harvard man’ is an enviable distinction, and one that I sincerely hope I shall attain.” View the handwritten essay courtesy of the JFK presidential library.
CAN I GET ON THE FRIENDS AND FAMILY PLAN? - Bad news for the brother of the turkey scheduled to be pardoned by President Barack Obama this Thanksgiving. The Minnesota Turkey Growers Association tells UPI the brother of the chosen fowl “will meet with Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton along with another member of the ‘Presidential Flock,’ but “They will not be pardoned; they will be processed. We're in the business of feeding people.”
Chris Stirewalt joined Fox News Channel (FNC) in July of 2010 and serves as politics editor based in Washington, D.C. Additionally, he authors the daily Fox News Halftime Report political news note and co-hosts the hit podcast, Perino & Stirewalt: I'll Tell You What. He also is the host of Power Play, a feature video series on FoxNews.com. Stirewalt makes frequent appearances on network programs, including America’s Newsroom, Special Report with Bret Baier and Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace. He also provides expert political analysis for FNC’s coverage of state, congressional and presidential elections.