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• Impasse likely on border bill
• Roberts, Wolf in sidewalk showdown
• Pick Six: Be like Beckel
• Secretary of Skate? Hill helped Bill rake in $48 mill
• Don’t drop the tongs
IMPASSE LIKELY ON BORDER BILL
The chances are dwindling for House Republicans to come across with a spending plan in answer to President Obama’s demand for nearly $4 billion to handle a surge of minors across the southern border. While members are finding ways to deal with veterans’ issues and highway funding, the issue of immigration and Democratic refusals to alter existing laws and executive orders in response to the crisis mean the border funding bill faces long odds.
[Watch Fox: Chief Congressional Correspondent Mike Emanuel will follow the progress of the border bill.]
GOP seeks to block executive amnesty - AP: “Republican leaders say the House will vote to block President Barack Obama from extending relief from deportation to any more immigrants here illegally. The move is aimed at winning over skeptical conservatives to support an emergency spending bill for the immigration crisis on the border. To get conservative votes for that legislation, House Republican leaders have agreed to a second vote on a measure to keep Obama from expanding an existing program granting work permits to immigrants brought here illegally as children.”
Cruz: It’s about executive power - WaPo: “The fate of a Republican proposal to address a brewing immigration crisis along the U.S.-Mexico border was cast into doubt Wednesday after a tea party senator lobbied against it to House members. The effort by Sen. Ted Cruz (Tex.), who made his pitch to a group of House Republicans in a closed-door evening meeting, marked another direct shot at attempts by Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) to deal with the influx of illegal immigrants arriving from Central America…’The only way to stop the border crisis is to stop Obama’s amnesty,’ Cruz said in a statement. ‘It is disappointing the border security legislation unveiled today does not include language to end Obama’s amnesty. Congress cannot hope to solve this problem without addressing the fundamental cause of it.’”
[Sixty-eight percent of voters disapprove of how President Obama is handling immigration, an 8 point jump since May, according to an AP poll.]
THE PARTY OF IMPEACHMENT
“You bet we're going to run on a Congress that is just obsessed with lawsuits, suing the President, talking about impeaching him, instead of solutions for the middle class, talking about jobs and infrastructure. You bet that we're going to ask people to support us based on that contrast.” – DCCC Chairman Rep. Steve Israel, D-N.Y. told CNN Wednesday
To wit - Washington Examiner: “Just as House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., stepped onto the House floor to blast the lawsuit as ‘another Republican effort to pander to the most radical right-wing voters at taxpayer expense,’ the House fundraising arm sent out an email from Pelosi asking for donations ranging from $5 to $250 or more, to ‘support the president.’”
Ummmm… - Daily Caller: “In a speech on the floor of the House Wednesday, Texas U.S. Rep. Sheila Jackson-Lee claimed that Democrats never sought to impeach President George W. Bush. Not only is that claim false, but Jackson-Lee actually co-sponsored a 2008 bill to do just that and spoke in at least one House committee hearing in support of the effort.”
The Judge’s ruling - Judge Andrew Napolitano offers a painful choice for liberty-loving Americans: “The choice is between two more years of government by decree or two years of prosecution. It is a choice the president has imposed upon us all.”
OBAMACARE CRASH CAME WITH $840 MILLION PRICE TAG
A House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee will delve into the new non-partisan Government Accountability Office report today concluding that Team Obama was to blame for the computer issues that plagued the Obamacare website and cost taxpayers $840 million. More
[Watch Fox: Correspondent Molly Henneberg will have the latest from the hearing.]
Bipartisan House support for bill that lets people keep plans cancelled under ObamaCare - The Hill: “The legislation, approved almost down a party-line 27-20 vote, is meant to respond to those who said their health plans were cancelled because of the new healthcare law, which required plans to meet minimum coverage standards. Reps. John Barrow (D-Ga.) and Jim Matheson (D-Utah), voted with their Republican colleagues. This isn't the first time the two Democrats voted against their own party. Recently, they sided with Republicans on a patent bill… [Rep. Bill Cassidy, R-La.,] is challenging Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) in a race that could decide the Senate’s majority. The congressman has used ObamaCare as a major weapon to attack Landrieu, who voted for the law.”
Mountaineer AG files suit over ObamaCare changes - Daily Caller: “West Virginia’s attorney general is now suing the administration for one of its last-minute changes to the law. Republican Attorney General Patrick Morrisey filed a complaint Tuesday against the Obama administration for its so-called ‘administrative fix’ issued last November, which punted the responsibility for millions of cancelled health insurance plans to states and private insurance companies.”
‘Not even a smidgen’ - Fox News: “House Republicans have dug up emails from Lois Lerner in which the former IRS official refers to some in the Republican Party as ‘---holes’ and ‘crazies’ – an exchange they say shows her ‘animus’ toward conservatives. The November 2012 emails were released Wednesday by House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp, R-Mich., as part of his renewed call for the Justice Department to appoint a special counsel to investigate. Lerner is the ex-IRS official who led the unit accused of targeting conservative groups seeking tax-exempt status for extra scrutiny.”
[Watch Fox: Sen. David Vitter, R-La., will appear in the 11 a.m. ET hour.]
WITH YOUR SECOND CUP OF COFFEE...
When the British set fire to the White House during the War of 1812, first lady Dolley Madison refused to leave without Gilbert Stuart’s iconic paining of George Washington which was hanging in the East Room. What she didn’t know is that it was not the original artwork and that “United States” is spelled wrong on one of the book spines depicted in the painting. As Tanya Basu of the Atlantic points out, “The misspelling of ‘United Sates’ was done on purpose: That’s what proves it’s a copy. The original, called the ‘Lansdowne Portrait,’ was named for the Marquise of Lansdowne, who, ironically, was the former British prime minister and the first owner of the portrait. The painting of the celebrity president was wildly popular, so Stuart painted several reproductions, one of which was bought by the U.S. government. Misspelling ‘the United States’ was Stuart’s way of differentiating the copies of the portrait, which today hang in locations like the Old State House in Hartford, Connecticut and the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts Museum. You can see the original Lansdowne Portrait—replete with a properly spelled ‘United States’ on the book binding for the spelling-anxious—at the Smithsonian Museum’s National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C.”
Got a TIP from the RIGHT or LEFT? Email FoxNewsFirst@FOXNEWS.COM
Real Clear Politics Averages
Obama Job Approval: Approve – 41.5 percent//Disapprove – 55 percent
Direction of Country: Right Direction – 26 percent//Wrong Track – 64.3 percent
Generic Congressional Ballot: Democrats – 43.7 percent// Republicans 41.2 percent
-- 96 DAYS UNTIL NOV. 4 --
ROBERTS, WOLF IN SIDEWALK SHOWDOWN
Lawrence (Kansas) Journal-World: “ Tea Party challenger Milton Wolf tried again Wednesday to debate Republican U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts[, R-Kansas,] in advance of Tuesday’s primary election, this time confronting the three-term incumbent on a public sidewalk in downtown Emporia. But Roberts again declined the challenge. ‘This is not the time. We have a regular scheduled event,’ Roberts said. Wolf continued to press, asking, ‘When would be the appropriate time? Because I’ll go anywhere you like.’ But Roberts walked away. Roberts was in Emporia for a scheduled campaign stop …After learning that Roberts planned to be there, Wolf said he rearranged his own schedule to meet Roberts there and challenge him to debate… Roberts’ campaign staff shrugged off the challenge. Speaking with reporters after the confrontation, Roberts said he is confident he’ll win the Aug. 5 primary. ‘I am the only candidate in this race, in this primary, that can win in November, so I think people are getting that.’”
ALEXANDER OUTSPENDS RIVAL 10-TO-1
Chattanooga (Tenn.) Times Free Press: “Republican Joe Carr spent about $100,000 on television advertising from July 1-18, but the tea party favorite's buy was exceeded 11-fold by his GOP primary target, U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander, disclosures show. According to Carr's Senate financial disclosure, posted on the Federal Election Commission's website today, the state representative from Lascassas raised $70,340 during the 18-day pre-primary period. He spent $178,523 and had $169,219 in cash on hand for the Aug. 7 primary election.”
[Listen to Fox - FOX News Radio's Tonya Powers follows Gov. Chris Christie’s moves as he hits the campaign trail to support his GOP brethren in this week’s Balance of Power podcast.]
STEYER PAC HITS ERNST ON TAX PLEDGE
Washington Examiner: “Billionaire climate activist Tom Steyer's NextGen Climate Action PAC is targeting Iowa GOP Senate candidate Joni Ernst in a $2.6 million TV ad campaign. The ad rolled out Wednesday is the first in a series of spots against Ernst, who is trying to best Democratic Rep. Bruce Braley for the state's open seat… The first commercial slams Ernst for signing the Americans for Tax Reform pledge to refuse raising taxes. The group said signing ‘The Pledge,’ as it’s known, amounts to ‘eliminat[ing] support for nearly 80,000 renewable energy jobs in Iowa,’ a reference to expired wind and biodiesel industry tax credits that Democrats and some Republicans are seeking to revive. Other ads, which will run over five weeks in Des Moines, Cedar Rapids and the Quad Cities, will seek to tie Ernst to the oil industry and the conservative billionaire [brothers, David and Charles Koch], said Suzanne Henkels, a spokeswoman with NextGen Climate.”
[Washington Free Beacon: “The 92-page report [from Republicans on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee] details how those individuals and organizations [dubbed the ‘Billionaire’s Club’] have disbursed tens of millions of dollars, often shielded from public scrutiny, to sway elections and public policy toward environmentalist goals.”]
UNDERPERFOMING WITH WOMEN, GRIMES GOES BACK ON ATTACK
The (Ashland, Ky.) Independent: “Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes is out with a third television ad posing questions from Grimes’ supporters to Republican incumbent U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell. This time the ad focuses on women’s issues — two days after release of the Bluegrass Poll which showed Grimes leading McConnell among women by only one point. The ad follows the same folksy format as two earlier ones: Grimes is seated alongside of Ilene Woods of Lynch, Ky., in front of a house. Playing in the background is the same whimsical music used in the two previous ads.”
Clarifying Grimes - After conservatives pounced on Kentucky Democratic Senate nominee Alison Lundergan Grimes for saying that Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system was “a big reason why Israel has been able to withstand the terrorists that have tried to tunnel their way in,” the commonwealth’s secretary of state has clarified her remarks. “[The Iron Dome] has been why Israel has been able to withstand the missile attacks that Hamas has sent its way,” Grimes told WHAS. “But also allowing Israel to be able to focus its efforts on the ground game from Hamas trying to tunnel its way into Israel.”
ADMINISTRATION JUMPS INTO WALSH PLAGIARISM PROBE
LAT: “The Defense Department and the Department of the Army will be reviewing the plagiarism allegations against Sen. John Walsh of Montana, according to a spokeswoman for the U.S. Army War College, where Walsh allegedly used the work of other people in his 2007 thesis for a master’s degree. The school said that because Walsh is a member of Congress and a former military serviceman, the Defense Department's Office of the Inspector General has authority to review the investigation. ‘We have an obligation to send that package [with the relevant academic review board materials] to the DOD IG to perform its independent and objective responsibilities,’ Army War College spokeswoman Carol Kerr said. She added that it was ‘completely in line’ with existing policies for Defense Department and Department of the Army officials to conduct such a review. The Army War College will continue its own academic investigation. Defense Department officials and Walsh’s office did not respond to requests for comment.”
BEGICH’S REPUBLICAN BACKER NOT REALLY A REPUBLICAN
Alaska Dispatch News: “A man who says he’s a lifelong Republican in Democratic U.S. Sen. Mark Begich’s most recent campaign commercial is currently registered as undeclared with no party affiliation, according to state voting records. The man in the ad, Skip Nelson, also says he voted for Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski. But state records show Nelson did not vote in 2010, when Murkowski was most recently re-elected. Asked if he voted in 2010, Nelson said: ‘Frankly, I don’t remember.’ ‘I remember going to several fundraisers for her. I thought I did vote for her,’ he said in a phone interview Wednesday. ‘But I know I supported Lisa.’ Nelson did participate in the 2004 election, when Murkowski was first elected after being appointed to her Senate post in 2002 by her father, then-Gov. Frank Murkowski. Nelson said he probably voted for Murkowski then.”
POLL PUTS PERDUE OUT FRONT
Republican U.S. Senate candidate David Perdue leads his Democratic opponent Michelle Nunn, 49 percent to 40 percent according to a poll from Republican firm Vox Populi. Another poll released last week shows Nunn with a 4 point lead.
PICK SIX: BE LIKE BECKEL
“The Five” co-host Dana Perino talked Wednesday about the path to a Senate majority for Republicans and which six states might put the GOP over the top in November. She even got her co-host, Democratic strategist Bob Beckel, to make his list and Bob dropped a bomb. He said he forecasts Republicans will win the upper chamber with a 51-seat majority. What’s Bob’s predicted path? “I find it difficult to believe any of those states – Montana, South Dakota or West Virginia – will go anything but Republican,” he said. “I think you’ve got to assume there’s going to be – out of the people who are really in trouble in Arkansas, Louisiana and North Carolina – that you’re going to see two of the three of them get knocked off. Beckel’s wild card pile included Colorado, Oregon, Minnesota and Michigan.
Results so far - The current consensus among Fox News First readers, based on the number of times each state has been selected: Arkansas (13.6%), Louisiana (11.9%), Montana (11.9%), West Virginia (11.1%), South Dakota (10.4%) and North Carolina (10.1%).
Have your say - Fox News First reader Brandon Bullock from Maryland says he monitors campaign spending to help him make his predictions. His economic model tells him that Montana, South Dakota, West Virginia, Iowa, Louisiana and Arkansas are the most likely flip.
Share your top six picks. Email them – just your top six, please – to FOXNEWSFIRST@FOXNEWS.COM or tweet @cstirewalt.
[New Yorker’s John Cassidy asks “Can the G.O.P. take the Senate?” His answer: Yes. “But the problem for Democrats is that that might not be enough to save their majority. Even if [Sen. Kay Hagan, D-N.C.,] and [Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La.,] both win, the G.O.P. could snatch control by taking Alaska or Arkansas.”]
CHRISTIE KEEPS CLOSE TABS ON NEW HAMPSHIRE
Potential 2016 contender Chris Christie may not have declared yet, but he’s put down strategic roots in critical real estate on the primary highway to becoming the Republican nominee. The New Jersey Governor will be in New Hampshire today, his second trip to the Granite State in as many months and as WSJ reports, he’s likely to run into a familiar face. “He’s a 25-year-old political strategist known for his youthful appearance, calm demeanor and ability to manage campaigns from a futon while still a Rutgers University student. Now he runs the Republican Party in the first presidential primary state. Meet Matt Mowers, a former aide to New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie who recently became the executive director of the New Hampshire Republican State Committee….Mr. Christie’s aides played down the symbolism of having Mr. Mowers in New Hampshire as the governor weighs a presidential campaign. They said they routinely help former staffers secure jobs in states from Connecticut to Oregon.”
[Christie’s New Hampshire trifecta today has him stumping for gubernatorial candidate Walt Havenstein, headlining a Republican Governor’s Association fundraiser, and joining a fundraiser with Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H., and former Gov. John Sununu, R-N.H., at the AA-minor league home of the New Hampshire Fisher Cats, who by the way host the Reading [Penn.] Fightin Phils this evening…play ball!]
Meanwhile, out in Iowa - Boasting over a million visitors from around the world, the Iowa State Fair is less than a week away. But some of the attendees are not coming for the prize-winning sows or butter-sculpture cows. Des Moines Register: “Texas Gov. Rick Perry will be politicking at the state fairgrounds, a backyard barbecue, an ice cream social, a winery, a grocery store, a business association office and other classic Iowa summer political venues during a four-day swing here. Perry is one of six Republicans pondering a 2016 White House bid who will be in the presidential stomping grounds of Iowa next week. He’s here Aug. 9 through Tuesday, Aug. 12…. Perry, who was just here for two days of GOP fundraising and speeches on July 19-20, also seems to be working hard to dig deeper roots in Iowa, home of the lead-off vote in the presidential nominating contest.”
Conservatives converge - Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas will attend a fundraiser Saturday hosted by Iowa GOP donor Bruce Rastetter, and return to the state the following week. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., will make a three-day, ten-stop tour. Former Sen. Rick Santorum, R-Pa., former Gov. Mike Huckabee, R-Ark., and Gov. Bobby Jindal, R-La. will also make appearance in the Hawkeye State.
Big Win for Walker - The Wisconsin Supreme Court upheld the Gov. Scott Walker’s, R-Wis., 2011 signature law that ended union bargaining for most public workers that led to Walker’s recall election. The ruling ends a three-year legal battle over the union rights law, which stops public worker unions for collectively bargaining for anything besides inflationary wage increases.
SECRETARY OF SKATE? HILL HELPED BILL RAKE IN $48 MILL
Washington Examiner: “A joint investigation by the Washington Examiner and the nonprofit watchdog group Judicial Watch found that former President [Bill Clinton] gave 215 speeches and earned $48 million while his wife presided over U.S. foreign policy, raising questions about whether the Clintons fulfilled ethics agreements related to the Clinton Foundation during Hillary Clinton’s tenure as secretary of state. … State Department officials charged with reviewing Bill Clinton’s proposed speeches did not object to a single one. Some of the speeches were delivered in global hotspots and were paid for by entities with business or policy interests in the U.S. The documents also show that in June 2011, the State Department approved a consulting agreement between Bill Clinton and a controversial Clinton Foundation adviser, Doug Band. …The memos approving Mr. Clinton’s speeches were routinely copied to Cheryl Mills, Hillary Clinton’s senior counsel and chief of staff.”
Ahoy there - If President Obama is looking for summertime reading on his upcoming two-week vacation on Martha’s Vineyard, he might be able to pick up an autographed copy of a book by a former employee. Boston Globe: “President Obama and former secretary of state Hillary Clinton — are set to be there at the same time. Clinton, seen as her party’s top 2016 White House prospect, is scheduled to sign copies of Hard Choices at the Bunch of Grapes Bookstore in Vineyard Haven on Aug. 13 as part of her book tour, promoting the account of her time as the nation’s chief diplomat. Meanwhile, Obama is set to be on the Vineyard from Aug. 9-24.”
[Before he goes - President Obama meets with congressional leaders and the heads of key committees today to discuss foreign policy. The Gaza conflict, Ukraine, Russia, Iran nuclear talks and Afghanistan are reportedly on the docket.]
Endless summer - The Atlantic recaps the Hillary’s seemingly everlasting expedition to hawk her book in “The NeverEnding Book Tour: 52 Days of Hillary Clinton... And Counting”: “For the last 52 days HRC has been the lone competitor in her own Tour de France, peddling from book stores, to universities, to interviews, to book stores in England: Stage 1: Dianne Sawyer; Stage 2: A Costco in Virginia; Stage 3: Okay you get the idea. But unlike the actual Tour de France, this one doesn’t seem to have an end date. No, the Tour de Hillary, which started on June 10, is showing no signs of stopping, leaving many of us asking if the eventual sprint to the finish line could include a motorcade traveling down Pennsylvania Avenue during the 2016 Inaugural Parade.”
[Somewhere between Bush and Obama - George Will explores recent swings in the conduct of American foreign policy in a WaPo editorial: “Obama has given Americans a foreign policy congruent with their post-recoil preferences: America as spectator. Now, however, their sense of national diminishment, and of an increasingly ominous world, may be making them receptive to a middle course between a foreign policy of flaccidity (Obama) and grandiosity (his predecessor).”]
Ohio doesn’t <3 Obama - A new Quinnipiac University poll of Ohio voters gave President Obama a 36 percent job approval rating, close to his all-time low score in any of the nine states surveyed by Quinnipiac University.
[Dems bucks - President Obama will headline a DCCC fundraiser in Rhode Island at the end of August and a mid-September DSCC fundraiser in Baltimore, Md.]
DON’T DROP THE TONGS
You just spent 60 hours melting 800 pounds of rock in a 3 million-BTU bronze furnace to create a 7-minute flow of artificial lava. What do you do with it? Grill steak, of course! A pair of gonzo British chefs reached out to scientists at Syracuse University who have been experimenting with man-made lava. The best steakhouses have broilers that cook at temperatures of up to 1,600 degrees to quickly sear prime cuts without drying them out. But the artificial lava kicks out an amazing 2,700 degrees of grilling goodness. To harness the power of molten rock you will need some extra equipment, like a heat shield mask and protective clothing. But is it worth all the trouble. Chef Sam Bompas declared it to MailOnline “the best steak I’ve ever had in my life.”
AND NOW A WORD FROM CHARLES…
“I think Democrats will regret not having taken seriously the president’s overreach on domestic issues, which I think are unprecedented. … The president’s job is not, as the president says, to help people, in his interpretation of what he does. It’s to faithfully execute the laws that Congress has passed. That is as clear as day. That’s the definition of his job.” –Charles Krauthammer on “Special Report with Bret Baier”
Chris Stirewalt is digital politics editor for Fox News. Want FOX News First in your inbox every day? Sign up here.
Chris Stirewalt joined Fox News Channel (FNC) in July of 2010 and serves as digital politics editor based in Washington, D.C. Additionally, he authors the daily "Fox News First” political news note and hosts “Power Play,” a feature video series, on FoxNews.com. Stirewalt makes frequent appearances on the network, including "The Kelly File," "Special Report with Bret Baier," and "Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace.” He also provides expert political analysis for Fox News coverage of state, congressional and presidential elections.