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Obama to Reid: ‘You and Mitch work it out’

President Obama speaks in the James Brady Press Briefing Room in the White House in Washington and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid talks to reporters in his Reno, Nev. office on Monday, Aug. 18, 2014.

President Obama speaks in the James Brady Press Briefing Room in the White House in Washington and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid talks to reporters in his Reno, Nev. office on Monday, Aug. 18, 2014.  (AP)

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Buzz Cut:
• ‘You and Mitch work it out’
• Baier Tracks: The world is watching
• Pelosi provides plums for Steyer
• Campaign stop, Alaska style
• He was ready for prime time, even when they weren’t

Democrats are not happy. They’re divided over the ongoing military intervention in Iraq, a dispute made more difficult by the fact that Americans increasingly see the U.S. as obliged to subdue the Islamist militants there. And on the home front, the party is tearing at itself over the unrest in Ferguson, Mo. where local and state Democratic leaders are dropping the hammer on increasingly violent protests to the outrage of liberal activists. And what does the Democratic president say about all of this? Well, it’s complicated. President Obama, in Washington for a two-day vacation from his vacation, took essentially the same attitude to both current crises, saying that the individuals involved needed to work things out on their own and that the federal government would be judicious in its involvement. Got it. That equivocal attitude got Obama a broadside today in the NYT for being disengaged and aloof from his own party. That’s nothing new, especially coming from moderate Democrats like Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va. But what about Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid?

[The cabinet, ranked in scatological magnetism - According to Politico, President Obama refers to his confidante and point man on the Missouri unrest, Attorney General Eric Holder, as his administration’s designated “s***t magnet.”]

‘Reid seethed quietly’ - From NYT: “The meeting in the Oval Office in late June was called to give President Obama and the four top members of Congress a chance to discuss the unraveling situation in Iraq. But Harry Reid, the Senate majority leader, wanted to press another point. With Mitch McConnell, the Republican leader, sitting a few feet away, Mr. Reid complained that Senate Republicans were spitefully blocking the confirmation of dozens of Mr. Obama’s nominees to serve as ambassadors. He expected that the president would back him up and urge Mr. McConnell to relent. Mr. Obama quickly dismissed the matter. “You and Mitch work it out,” Mr. Obama said coolly, cutting off any discussion. Mr. Reid seethed quietly for the rest of the meeting, according to four separate accounts provided by people who spoke with him about it. After his return to the Capitol that afternoon, Mr. Reid told other senators and his staff members that he was astonished by how disengaged the president seemed.

[Not almost heaven - “Asked to characterize his relationship with the president, Mr. Manchin, a centrist Democrat who has often been a bridge builder in the Senate, said: ‘It’s fairly nonexistent. There’s not much of a relationship.’”]

“The media is focused like a laser on the unrest in Ferguson, Mo. And as is often the case, the news frenzy feeds itself once ratings surge or the number of clicks increase. That’s certainly not to say that the story doesn’t merit full and extensive reporting, but the wall-to-wall coverage given to such stories encourages Americans to see individual stories as passing events rather than part of a larger narrative about our world and our lives. The media tendency is to focus on one chapter of our American story and then turn the page, moving on and forgetting about the passions of the previous moment. We see the chapters, but we don’t always read the book.

It’s also been interesting to note the extensive, sometimes gleeful, foreign press coverage. Russian and Chinese outlets are hammering the U.S. for civil rights abuses and Reuters reports that Egypt’s foreign ministry is warning against harsh treatment of protesters, even echoing the language used in U.S. statements to the government in Cairo urging “security forces to exercise maximum restraint and caution” during the 2013 crackdown on protestors backing Egypt’s deposed Islamist government. My how things have changed from the Arab Spring to the Ferguson Summer.” – Bret Baier

Fox News: “The White House has rejected a request to publicly disclose documents relating to the kinds of security software and computer systems behind the federal health care exchange website on the grounds that the information could "potentially" be used by hackers. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services denied a Freedom of Information Act request made late last year by the Associated Press amid concerns that Republicans raised about the security of the website, which had technical glitches that prevented millions of people from signing up for insurance under ObamaCare. In denying access to the documents, including what's known as a site security plan, Medicare told the AP that disclosing them could violate health-privacy laws because it might give hackers enough information to break into the service. ‘We concluded that releasing this information would potentially cause an unwarranted risk to consumers' private information,’ CMS spokesman Aaron Albright said in a statement.”

ObamaCare batters businesses - Daily Caller: “Obamacare is increasing the cost of providing health insurance to workers, according to a report released Monday by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. A majority of businesses surveyed by the New York Fed expect the health-care law to increase the cost of their coverage, and the median respondent estimates a boost by 10 percent in 2015…”

What is the perfect cup of coffee worth? According to the design mind behind the latest entrant into the world of ultra-premium coffee machines, the Blossom One Brewer, a perfectly brewed cuppa might cost you $11. Fast Company introduces us to Jeremy Kuempel, the MIT-trained engineer who left the world of high-tech in a bid to move Americans away from the espresso-milk coffee drinks and back into the delights of brewed coffee, rendered unappetizing by automatic drip machines and the plastic coffee sarcophagi made common by automatic one-cup pod brewers. “Echoing the sentiments of many third-wave coffee purists, Kuempel also believes it won’t be long until coffee will be appreciated and subsequently sold like wine. Not just $3 or $4 a cup, but why not $11 for a rare, delicious single origin from a nano-lot?”

Got a TIP from the RIGHT or LEFT? Email FoxNewsFirst@FOXNEWS.COM

Real Clear Politics Averages
Obama Job Approval
: Approve – 41.6 percent//Disapprove – 52.4 percent
Direction of Country: Right Direction – 27.2 percent//Wrong Track – 64.5 percent
Generic Congressional Ballot:  Democrats – 41.2 percent// Republicans – 39.8 percent

You know you’re on the frontier when a Senate candidate traveling the open road, pulls his campaign RV over and exercises his inner first-responder on the day before the primary. Republican primary frontrunner Dan Sullivan and campaign staffer, retired Air Force Col. Otto Feather, did just that on Monday. The two were among the first on the scene of an accident after a semi-truck rear-ended a Princess Tours bus on a remote stretch of the George Parks Highway, near Hurricane Gulch, Alaska. According to Sullivan’s campaign, the candidate and the colonel “assessed the scene, notified Mat-Su Valley Emergency Services, and assisted in removing passengers from the tour bus. In addition, Colonel Feather directed the landing of the first responders’ helicopter on the Highway.” State troopers reported only minor injuries in the accident according to Anchorage Dispatch News. Two events on Sullivan’s RV campaign tour had to be cancelled due to the encounter.  Sullivan is one of a trio of candidates facing off today in Alaska’s Senate GOP primary. The winner will be gunning for vulnerable Democratic Sen. Mark Begich, in a key race in the Republican quest for control of the Senate this fall. The other two GOP contenders are Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell, whose Alaskan political pedigree reaches back to the late 70s, and Tea Party favorite and 2010 Senate candidate Joe Miller.

[Real Clear Politics offers five things to watch for in Alaska’s GOP Senate primary. RCP aggregation of the latest Alaska polling is here.]

A surge for Miller? - WSJ: “Miller is trying to replicate the 2010 surge that won him the surprise GOP Senate nomination. Mr. Miller, who has drawn tea-party support, has spent the summer campaigning not just against his GOP opponents—former state attorney general Dan Sullivan and current Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell —but against Sen. Lisa Murkowski, [R-Alaska,] whom he beat in the 2010 GOP Senate primary only to lose to her when she ran a write-in campaign for the general election…”

[Polls Close in Alaska at 12 am ET. For results: The Alaska Division of Elections]

AP: “Two strong incumbents, U.S. Sen. Mike Enzi and U.S. Rep. Cynthia Lummis, face perhaps their biggest challenges this election year as they compete with lesser-known challengers in Wyoming’s Republican primary Tuesday. Retired U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Bryan Miller, of Sheridan, is contesting Enzi’s bid for a fourth term….Enzi’s most serious challenger had been Liz Cheney, the elder daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney. But Liz Cheney had difficulty getting mainstream Republicans to back her candidacy and, citing family health issues, dropped out of the race in January….Lummis, who is seeking a fourth term, faces Jason Senteney, 36, a corrections officer and volunteer firefighter from Torrington who said he wants to speak for the working class. Lummis, 59, said she needs to return to Washington so she can continue to protect Wyoming’s interests against what she calls federal overreach on issues like endangered species and water.” Neither incumbent is likely to fail in November in the increasingly red state.

[Polls in Wyoming close at 9 pm ET. For Results: Wyoming Secretary of State.]

Des Moines Register: “Hillary and Bill Clinton will return to Iowa next month as headliners for the 37th Harkin Steak Fry, The Des Moines Register has learned. It will mark Hillary Clinton’s first public appearance in Iowa since losing the state’s first-in-the-nation caucuses in early 2008, and will undoubtedly spark a national political firestorm, as she is widely expected to run again in 2016. The Harkin Steak Fry, hosted annually by U.S. Sen. Tom Harkin [D-Iowa], frequently attracts the top names in Democratic politics…With Harkin’s coming retirement from the Senate, this year’s Steak Fry will be his last…Hillary Clinton has had a rocky relationship with Iowa. Then a U.S. senator from New York, she entered the lead-up to the 2008 Iowa Democratic caucuses as the front-runner, only to finish a disappointing third behind the surging Barack Obama and John Edwards in second.”

Hillary gearing up to pitch for Dems - The Hill: “Hillary Clinton is heading to San Francisco in October for a fundraiser with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) focused on House Democratic women candidates…A Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee aide said the former secretary of State will join Pelosi in her home district this fall as part of Clinton’s midterm campaign tour. She’s also expected to headline fundraisers for the rest of the party’s major campaign committees…Though Clinton is one of Democrats’ most coveted campaign surrogates, she’s largely stayed away from electoral politics thus far this cycle, only hosting a fundraiser for a Pennsylvania Democratic House candidate who ultimately lost her primary bid.”

Billionaire Tom Steyer, a Democratic mega-donor, seems to get what he wants. As Washington Examiner’s Tim Carney details: “…[W]hy did the federal government give $10 million in taxpayer money to develop [San Fran Cisco’s Mission Bay] transit? House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi cheerfully announced in 2012 that the federal government would shell out eight figures in stimulus funds for ‘street additions, highway off-ramps, bike lanes, pedestrian walkways, and transit additions.’ Why are the bike lanes for the millionaires of Mission Bay the responsibility of taxpayers in Green Bay? As always, follow the money — and the lobbying. And no surprise, the trail leads you to the West Coast mansion of liberal Billionaire Tom Steyer, the Democrats’ top funder in the 2014 elections…Steyer raised money for President Obama and donated to Pelosi while Pelosi pushed for the federal money that profited Steyer — and that Steyer’s fund, Farallon Capital, lobbied on.”

[A new report from the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University’s School of Law is predicting outside spending this midterm cycle will exceed the $97 million that those groups spent on 37 Senate races in 2010.]

-- 77 days until Nov. 4 --

A review conducted by Politico finds Allison Lundergan Grimes’s campaign vehicle could place her add odds with federal election laws. According to the review Grimes’ father, Jerry Lundergan, a former Blue Grass State Democratic Party chairman and state lawmaker, is renting a campaign bus to the campaign far below market value. Lundergan who was forced from office in 1989 for accepting a no-bid contract for catering an event in violation of a state law. Grimes campaign is refuting the claims saying it has gone above and beyond to ensure that its payments reflect comparable prices of similar vehicles.

[[Lexington Ky.,] Courier-Journal: “Sen. Mitch McConnell [R-Ky.] and [Democratic] Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes will debate one another on Kentucky Educational Television less than one month before the Nov. 4 election.”]

With polls tightening and more attention being drawn to Iowa’s Senate race, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee is unleashing on Republican candidate Joni Ernst with a new ad tying her to former Gov. Sarah Palin, R-Alaska. From the ad: “Joni Ernst would be another Tea Party vote in the Senate. Ernst would privatize Social Security. She’d cut taxes for millionaires and eliminate the national minimum wage.” The ad concludes with a narrator saying, “Palin. Ernst. Too extreme for Iowa.”

[The National Republican Senatorial Committee debuts today a new bio video on Ernst highlighting her farm roots and military service, more significant given Ernst’s recent revelation that she was sexually harassed in the Army.]

In his latest ad, North Carolina Republican candidate Thom Tillis pitches to working-class voters saying the Senate should have “more people who had to sweat for a living.” Tillis appears on camera at a diner lamenting that, “Washington has completely lost touch with working Americans.” The Tar Heel State House Speaker adds, “I came up in the real world. I’ve been a paperboy, short-order cook, a warehouse clerk, and eventually, a partner at IBM.”

WXIA: “With two months to go until early voting begins, an exclusive scientific poll shows Georgia Republicans lead in races for Governor [and] U.S. Senator….The poll was conducted by SurveyUSA August 14-17.…48% of likely voters said current Republican Governor Nathan Deal, 39% said Democrat Jason Carter….In the race to fill Saxby Chambliss's seat, Republican David Perdue defeats Democrat Michelle Nunn 50% to 41%.”

The stakes are high for Democrats come November as they need to limit Republican gains in the Senate to five or fewer in order to retain control of the upper chamber. If the GOP can flip six seats from blue to red this year, the dynamics in Washington will change in a big way. Fox News First wants to know which six Democratic-held seats are most vulnerable. The current consensus among readers: Arkansas (13.6%), Montana (12.1%), Louisiana (11.7%), West Virginia (11.3%), South Dakota (10.8%) and North Carolina (9.5%).  Reader Rich Fitzmorris feels Sen. Al Franken D-Minn., “will be defeated by Minnesota voters” because of his support of ObamaCare and President Obama’s use of executive actions.

Share your top six picks. Email them – just your top six, please – to FOXNEWSFIRST@FOXNEWS.COM or tweet @cstirewalt.

Suggesting House Republicans are pushing to impeach President Obama has proved profitable for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, netting $7 million in donations online donations to raise a record $11.5 million in July. The Hill: “The $7 million raised by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee online in July is just $1 million less than the total raised from all sources by its GOP counterpart. The DCCC now has $56.7 million cash on hand to the National Republican Congressional Committee’s $48 million, a cash advantage the Democratic committee has used to reserve more fall airtime than the NRCC and to ramp up its ground operation earlier than ever before.”

The Hill: “Crossroads GPS is targeting Rep. Nick Rahall (D-W.Va.) in a new ad over President Obama’s carbon pollution regulations on power plants…‘The issue here in West Virginia: Obama’s war on coal,’ the 30-second ad buy released on Monday states. ‘Congressman Nick Rahall endorsed Obama and voted for a carbon tax.’’’

New Today at Fox News Opinion: Fox News political analyst Dough Schoen has the nutmeg on what promises to be a rough and tumble rematch in Connecticut’s gubernatorial election. The latest Fox News write up on the race can be found here.

Don Pardo
, who told America “Live from New York, it’s Saturday Night…” for more than four decades, died Monday at his home in Arizona at the age of 96. Pardo was one of the original voice talents for the game show “Jeopardy.” Pardo’s booming voice was one of the first to tell the nation of the death of President John F. Kennedy. SNL Producer Lorne Michaels said he wanted Pardo to be voice of authority for the newly launched sketch show. Pardo did that but also proved to be game for comedy bits and self-parody. Along the way, Pardo’s voice became known to five generations of Americans and, no matter how flat the season of the long-running sketch show, the sound of hope that the next Eddie Murphy or Phil Hartman was waiting in the wings to be discovered. Watch Pardo deal with more verbose copy and watch a flashback to 2008 when Pardo celebrated his 90th birthday on air featuring guest host, then-Gov. Mike Huckabee, R-Ark.

“What [President Obama] should be saying is that [rioting is] wrong. We’re a democratic society you don’t do that. And I’d like to hear him say that ringingly rather than, saying “on the one hand and on the other hand.” We really have the law on the one hand. We have rioters on the other. It isn’t a hard choice between them.” –Charles Krauthammer, “On Special Report with Bret Baier.” Watch here.

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 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 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.