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• ObamaCare online: This turkey’s not done yet
• Fifth pivot to jobs this year
• Libs to Hillary: Move left, or else
• Gorgeous givers
• Thankful she wasn’t born on tax day
THIS TURKEY’S NOT DONE YET - ObamaCare’s online home will not be fixed by Saturday’s deadline, set by President Obama when the signup site for his signature entitlement crashed last month. But an administration spokeswoman boasted that “it will work much better than it did in October,” the Hill reports. Still, visitors could face intermittent problems and periods of “sub-optimal” performance. NYT says administration officials acknowledge that measures to safeguard users’ identities are still behind schedule. Data threats, poor performance and sliding expectations will not help the president as he tries to prevent a delay in enrollment deadlines. Even liberal Democrats are opening the door to delaying the fines for uninsured Americans who fail to purchase ObamaCare. Fox News has more.
[Washington Examiner’s Byron York: “…[T]he unavoidable truth is that Obamacare will hurt millions of Americans… The problem is, President Obama and his Democratic allies neglected to tell the public… It's taking a toll on the president's ratings… But much more importantly, it has entirely changed the way people view Obamacare..”]
Micromanager - From Bloomberg’s onpass of White House talking points about the president being intently focused on the ObamaCare Web site: “In the weekly Thursday update meetings, Obama peppered his aides with queries at a level of detail that surprised some of them. He’d ask questions like ‘did they get Wave A and Wave B in?’ referring to the title that developers gave a typical round of fixes -- each with some 30 different components. He also brought his community organizer’s mindset to the sessions. At a Nov. 14 meeting… Obama wanted to distinguish between technical problems and other issues. If people weren’t completing applications, he wanted to know what beyond website errors could be preventing that. Were people confused, was it that the form is too complicated, were there too many options, did someone need to follow up with a phone call?”
[A new CNN poll shows Republicans edging out Democrats in a generic ballot, 49 percent to 47 percent. A similar poll in October should Democrats with an 8-point lead. A year before the 2010 GOP tsunami, Democrats held a six-point advantage in the poll.]
Hard pivot, indeed - Five, that’s the number of times this year alone President Obama has sought to shift attention to the economy when facing a political crisis. Following criticism over an overly ambitious State of The Union Address, foreign policy failures, and domestic spying, the President has repeatedly used this tactic. The Hill tallied “at least five times the White House has sought to pivot to the economy this year by reviewing news accounts. Republicans, citing their own statistics, argue that President Obama has circled back to the economy at least 14 times since 2011.”
Product placement - President Obama will tout the role of employers like DreamWorks studios in remarks today calling for increased federal spending to revive the sputtering economy. The studio is led by one of Obama’s top political patrons, Jeffrey Katzenberg, who poured millions into pro-Obama efforts. The White House is downplaying the ties, saying the address is intended to highlight the economic growth of the film industry. WaPo has more.
[Watch Fox: Rep. Phil Gingrey, R-Ga., discusses the House Oversight Committee’s field hearings on ObamaCare, in the 9 a.m. ET hour]
REAL PEOPLE, REAL STORIES: ‘MORE THAN THE MORTGAGE’ - More and more Americans are suffering sticker shock as they sign up for ObamaCare. Kate Joy and her husband told Megyn Kelly they saw their premiums increase nearly 150 percent under the health law. The California couple supports their two sons, who are in college and work part time. The Joys were paying $499 a month but saw that policy cancelled. Their new policy costs $1, 252. “That’s actually a little bit more than the mortgage on my home. So you can imagine you have to start thinking about where is that extra money coming to pay for that policy,” Kate Joy told “The Kelly File.” The Joys have been forced to rework their budget, making painful cuts from a number of areas to make it balance. Watch the full story from “The Kelly File” here.
[Americans like their own plans - Gallup’s latest survey finds 69 percent of respondents consider their current health plans to be excellent or good, with another 59 percent satisfied with its current cost.]
Let him call you sweetheart - Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., is hammering the administration over a 255-page regulatory filing which he claims amounts to an exemption for union health plans being hit by a new tax burden under ObamaCare. The Hill hasmore.
SUPREMES MAY TAKE THE PILL TODAY - Sources tell correspondent Shannon Bream that the Supreme Court could decide as soon as today whether or not to hear a case challenging ObamaCare’s requirement that employers pay for birth control. Hobby Lobby, a family-owned chain of craft stores protested the ObamaCare mandate on the grounds that the owners’ faith prohibits the use of contraception. AP has the details.
Their own petard - The 1993 Religious Freedom Act, promoted by Democrats and the ACLU, could spell trouble for the left as the Supreme Court considers whether or not it will hear a case challenging ObamaCare’s contraception mandate. From the LAT: “…[T]he Religious Freedom Restoration Act became law 20 years ago this month. It declared that the government may not ‘substantially burden a person's exercise of religion’ unless it had a ‘compelling’ reason to do so.”
OBAMA DEFENDS IRAN NUKE DEAL - President Obama defended his plan to permit Iran to develop a nuclear program, telling donors in San Francisco that the much-criticized agreement, places the “first real constraints in a decade,” on Iran’s nuclear program. Obama warned against “tough talk and bluster” as the deal’s leading detractor, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, dispatched his top national security adviser, Yossi Cohen, to Washington. Fox News has more.
[Watch Fox: Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., discuses how Congress is weighing future sanctions against Iran in the 10 a.m. ET hour]
Fatalistic - Sixty-four percent of Americans support the idea of easing sanctions on Iran, but 61 percent of respondents doubt the move will prevent the regime from acquiring a nuclear weapon, according to a WaPo/ABC News poll.
CIA STILL CARRYING OUT MOST DRONE STRIKES - WaPo reports that six months after President Obama said he would give the military the lead role in his drone-based targeted killing program, the majority of strikes are still being carried out by the CIA. As top intelligence and defense officials continue to discuss how the Pentagon will take over the job, the administrations vision remains a distant goal.
[Afghan President Hamid Karzai told National Security Adviser Susan Rice that the U.S. must end raids on Afghan homes before he would agree to terms governing the status of remaining troops after most American forces have withdrawn next year. WSJ has more.]
DATA TAPPERS - Recent revelations that the National Security Administration eavesdropped on Google and Yahoo without hacking into the companies data centers has the companies asking how they did it without their knowledge. NYT reports: “People knowledgeable about Google and Yahoo’s infrastructure say they believe that government spies bypassed the big Internet companies and hit them at a weak spot — the fiber-optic cables that connect data centers around the world that are owned by companies like Verizon Communications, the BT Group, the Vodafone Group and Level 3 Communications. In particular, fingers have been pointed at Level 3, the world’s largest so-called Internet backbone provider, whose cables are used by Google and Yahoo.”
WITH YOUR SECOND CUP OF COFFEE...Chris Edwards of the conservative Cato Institute points to the Transportation Security Administration’s failed behavioral profiling program to argue for privatization. New at Fox News Opinion: “Private airport screening is the successful approach used by many other high-income nations. Indeed, all main airports in Canada use private screening firms, as do more than 80 percent of Europe’s main airports. That practice creates a more efficient security structure and allows governments to focus on aviation intelligence and oversight.”
Got a TIP from the RIGHT or LEFT? Email FoxNewsFirst@FOXNEWS.COM
POLL CHECK - Real Clear Politics Averages
Obama Job Approval: Approve – 40.8 percent//Disapprove – 55.0 percent
Direction of Country: Right Direction – 23.5 percent//Wrong Track – 67.9 percent
LIBS TO HILLARY: MOVE LEFT, OR ELSE - The liberal group Progressive Change Campaign Committee is trying to disrupt the Clinton campaign to consolidate left-wing groups behind Democratic 2016 frontrunner Hillary Clinton. The group’s co-founder, Adam Green, told BuzzFeed that the effort is already underway to make Clinton pay an ideological ransom to obtain the Democratic nomination. Either Clinton will articulate left-wing positions on bank regulations and fiscal issues or she will face a stampede of support for ultra-liberal Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass. “We want to make it a prerequisite that Clinton take a stance on [those issues],” Green said.
VIRGINIA VOTE CERTIFIED ‘WITH QUESTION’ - The battle continues in the Virginia Attorney General’s race. With a 165 vote lead, elections officials certified the contest for Democrat Mark Herring. However, the vote was certified “with question” over repeated shifting vote totals in Fairfax County. The drama is expected to intensify as Republican Mark Obenshain has ten days to request a recount. WaPo has the details.
DEEDS BLAMES AGENCY FOR SON’S SUICIDE - Virginia Democratic State Sen. Creigh Deeds told the Recorder of Monterey, Va.: “I am alive for a reason.” Deeds made his first comments to press following a domestic incident that claimed the life of his son, Gus, and left Deeds recovering from multiple stab wounds. Deeds faults the local community mental health service for its treatment of his son. “I will work for change,” he said, “I owe that to my precious son.”
NO WONDER - Hmmmm… - “The chairman of the Republican Party of Florida on Monday called for U.S. Rep. Trey Radel to step down following his recent cocaine conviction. Chairman Lenny Curry joined a growing number of Republican leaders from Radel's district demanding his resignation… Radel spokeswoman Amanda Nunez did not return a telephone phone call Monday night seeking comment…” More from AP.
Ah! - “Endeavor Strategic Communications, LLC, a public relations firm that specializes in brand development, image management, crisis communications, rapid response and digital-social media, announced today the additions of Amanda Nunez as its Director of Strategic and Political Communications, and Caitlin Rush [another member of Rep. Radel’s staff] as Director of Social and Digital Engagement.” Release from Endeavor boss Kurt Bardella.
YOU HAVE A SEAT ON THE PANEL: BREAKING BAD - Western nations are encouraging Iran’s bad behavior. That was the consensus among viewers voting via Bing Pulse during the All Star Panel on “Special Report with Bret Baier.” The Weekly Standard’s Stephen Hayes drew widespread agreement across the political spectrum when he expressed frustration that human rights abuses and political oppression were not considered in the crafting of the Iran deal. Viewer voting intensity rose sharply when Charles Krauthammer made his case that the agreement was “the West blessing Iran as a threshold nuclear state.”
Viewers were highly engaged during the panel’s discussion of ObamaCare’s failures in the midst of President Obama’s West Coast Democratic fundraising swing. Men and women agreed with Hayes’ assertion that Obama launched the campaign because he doesn’t know what else to do while his “his policies are collapsing around him.” Viewer votes surged when Krauthammer stated the president knew about the failures of his health law before they took place. Bing Pulse tallied 300,000 votes from viewers who took their seat on the panel. View the full resultshere. There is always room for you on the panel – make your voice heard.
HALF OF HIV INFECTIONS IN GREECE SELF-INFLICTED - Fox Business News details the alarming findings of a recent U.N. World Health Organization report on the effects of Europe’s economic crisis: “…some Greek citizens are infecting themselves with HIV in order to receive 700 euros in government benefits.” Greece, devastated by a boom and bust cycle in government debt, suffers under a 27 percent unemployment rate. The U.N. report cites a study that noted ‘the well-founded suspicion’ that as many as half of new HIV cases were ‘intentionally infected… because of the benefit.’”
[Watch Fox Business: Former Federal Reserve head Alan Greenspan appears in the 10 a.m. ET hour to discuss his thoughts on President Obama’s nominee Janet Yellen, quantitative easing, and his new book “The Map and the Territory: Risk, Human Nature, and the Future of Forecasting.”]
TRACKING THE AMERICAN DREAM - In September, Fox News First introduced you to the American Dream Index, Xavier University’s forecast of measures that make up Americans’ sense of economic well-being. Greg Smith, an associate professor at Xavier, shared some of the latest findings from the index with Fox Business’ “Market Now.” According to Smith, the index reveals that the American Dream includes more than just economic dimensions. According to the latest findings, the economy does worse when the government is involved and causes individuals to become more complacent in economic matters.
GORGEOUS GIVERS - Arthur Brooks of the conservative American Enterprise Institute makes the case in a WSJ OpEd that those who give generously are not only healthier and happier, they are better looking too! “Charitable giving is even good for our looks. In 2009, Dutch and British researchers showed female college students one of three videos featuring the same handsome actor. In the first, he gives generously to a beggar on the street; in the second, he hands over just a little money; and in the third, the man gives nothing. The more he gave, the more handsome he appeared to the women in the study…This no doubt explains why men loosen their wallets when trying to impress women.”
CELESTIAL CHRISTMAS LIGHTS - Thanksgiving could bring one of the most spectacular cosmic displays of the century as Comet ISON makes a trip around the sun. Should the comet survive its solar circuit, it will remain visible to the naked eye through much of December. Astronomers will anxiously have their eyes on the sky late Thursday into the early hours of Friday morning to see if the sun’s harsh radiation destroys ISON completely, or if it will illuminate the skies in a stunning display. WaPo has more.
THANKFUL SHE WASN’T BORN ON TAX DAY - One doctor from Minneapolis, Minn. is bound to hear her name repeatedly Thursday. Happy Thanksgiving Reynolds was born on Thanksgiving nearly 44 years ago. Reynolds told the St. Paul Pioneer Press her “hippy” parents wanted her first and middle names to reflect the day of her birth. The name has been an “unintentional gift” for Reynolds, landing her job interviews with employers eager to put a face to her name.
AND NOW A WORD FROM CHARLES…“It's really hard to watch the president and the secretary of state and not think how they cannot be embarrassed by this deal. Think about this. Half-a-dozen times, the Security Council has passed resolutions which said Iran has to stop all enrichment otherwise there will be no change in sanctions, no relief. Which means six times China and Russia -- not exactly hardliners on Iran -- have signed on to this…This is a sham from beginning to end.”—Charles Krauthammer on “Special Report with Bret Baier.” Watch here.
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.