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• ObamaCare architect: Voter ‘stupidity’ prompted cost concealing
• GOP works multi-fronts to blunt Obama immigration move
• It’s 2016 already: Mitt’s midterm momentum
• Conservatives coalesce around Cassidy
• Decades of dedication to duty
OBAMACARE ARCHITECT: VOTER ‘STUPIDITY’ PROMPTED COST CONCEALING
Just a few days before Americans get the pleasure of wading through the upgraded though still not completely debugged Healthcare.gov Website, another bombshell that paints a picture of public deception in pushing through the president’s unpopular health law has been dropped by ObamaCare’s chief architect. Forbes: “You’ve got to hand it to MIT economist Jonathan Gruber. The guy dubbed the ‘Obamacare architect’ is a viral YouTube sensation. A few months back, he was caught on tape admitting that Obamacare doesn’t provide subsidies for federally-run insurance exchanges; it’s now the topic of a new case before the Supreme Court. [Monday] a new video surfaced in which Gruber said that ‘the stupidity of the American voter’ made it important for him and Democrats to hide Obamacare’s true costs from the public. ‘That was really, really critical for the thing to pass,’ said Gruber. ‘But I’d rather have this law than not.’ In other words, the ends—imposing Obamacare upon the public—justified the means. The new Gruber comments come from a panel discussion that he joined on October 17, 2013 at the University of Pennsylvania’s Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics. He was joined on the panel by Penn health economist Mark Pauly. Patrick Howley of the Daily Caller was the first to flag Gruber’s remarks.
[No video here - Daily Caller reports the University of Pennsylvania has scrubbed the video of the Oct. 2013 event where Johnathan Gruber made his comments.]
Team Obama tamps down ObamaCare enrollment forecast – With ObamaCare’s second enrollment period opening this weekend, the administration is busy lowering enrollment expectations. AP: “A report released Monday by the Department of Health and Human Services estimated that 9 million to 9.9 million paying customers will enroll for subsidized private coverage in 2015. That's significantly lower than the 13 million the Congressional Budget Office had projected earlier this year.”
[Storm warning - “We will have things that won’t go right. We will have outages, we will have downtime… Something will happen. What we need to do is be transparent, be fast and get it fixed.” Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell, during an address Monday at the liberal Center for American Progress.]
Rubio and Ryan teeing up ObamaCare alternative - Tampa Bay Times: “Sen. Marco Rubio [R-Fla.] and Rep. Paul Ryan [R-Wis.] are preparing to release a health care alternative to Obamacare, a proposal that could get more traction under a Republican-controlled Congress but set up a confrontation with President Barack Obama… Rubio’s office indicated Monday that things were still coming together. (He’s broadly talked about other ideas.)”
GOP WORKS MULTI-FRONTS TO BLUNT OBAMA IMMIGRATION MOVE
Although Republicans are not in the majority yet, they are sending clear signals they are ready for a showdown with President Obama over executive action he’s said he’ll take on immigration. With the president recently doubling down on his threat to go-it-alone despite warnings from Republicans, GOP lawmakers are leveraging on fronts ranging from Congress’ power of the purse to consideration of Obama’s nominee for attorney general to head off Obama.
Unfund’em - National Review: “Conservative members in both chambers want to pass a continuing resolution to fund the whole government with language that expressly prohibits using federal funds to enable any executive action on immigration policy, blocking funding, for instance, of work-authorization documents for illegal immigrants. Congressmen will work this week on crafting a strategy to pass such a bill, and one working plan would have House Republicans include such language in a continuing resolution that’s needed to keep the government funded past mid-December… But getting to a bill, period, let alone a bipartisan one, won’t necessarily be easy. Republican leadership in the House may so fear a government shutdown that such legislation never reaches a vote.…Conservative sources say they think an amnesty-blocking CR could get support from Democratic senators Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, plus independent Senator Angus King of Maine. And if the bill is brought up before the new Congress is seated, sources say that Democratic senators Mark Begich [of Alaska] and Mary Landrieu [of Louisiana] might add their support, too.”
And nominee says? - Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, appeared on the “Kelly File” Monday to echo the sentiments of his Republican colleagues that are calling for the confirmation hearings for President Obama’s attorney general nominee, Loretta Lynch, to take place after the lame duck session. “What we are saying is she needs to be confirmed in the right way and right time,” Lee pointed out to host Megyn Kelly. “And we want to find out where she stands on this critical legal issue of whether or not she will defend the president of the United States in believing that he may extend amnesty to illegal immigrants in violation of the law.” According to reports, if the president uses executive action to offer amnesty to illegal immigrants, Republicans may use Lynch’s confirmation hearings as a vehicle to debate presidential overreach. Watch the full interview courtesy of the “Kelly File” here.
[Watch Fox: Chief Congressional Correspondent Mike Emanuel previews what is ahead in Congress’ lame duck session.]
OBAMA PLEASES LEFT WITH NET NEUTRALITY PUSH
WSJ: “President Barack Obama called on the Federal Communications Commission Monday to declare broadband Internet service a public utility, saying that it is essential to the economy and that the ‘strongest possible rules’ are needed to ensure that the Internet doesn’t become divided into fast and slow lanes. The president called for the FCC to expand its regulatory authority over the industry, a departure from the years of light regulation that the providers say has enabled them to flourish. The endorsement of a stronger regulatory approach contributed to a slide in broadband providers’ shares, raised new questions about a proposed merger between Comcast Corp. and Time Warner Cable Inc. and further hardened the political lines on ‘net neutrality’—the principle that all Internet traffic should be treated equally.”
Boehner, McConnell pan Obama push - The Hill: “Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) blasted President Obama’s call for stricter regulation to enforce open Internet rules on Monday. Boehner said House Republicans would continue their push to "stop misguided schemes to regulate the Internet.”
[“‘Net Neutrality’ is Obamacare for the Internet, The Internet should not operate at the speed of government,”—Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, in a Tweet Monday. More Republican reaction here.]
VA CHIEF OFFERS OVERHAUL OF EMBATTLED AGENCY
Fox News: “Veterans Affairs Secretary Bob McDonald on Monday announced a complete restructuring in the wake of the scandal over excessive wait times and poor care that critics blamed for patient deaths… The separate overhaul announced Monday, on the eve of Veterans Day, is designed to make it easier for veterans to access the sprawling department and its many websites. McDonald called the restructuring the largest in the department’s history and said it will bring a singular focus on customer service to an agency that serves 22 million veterans… As part of the restructuring the department will hire a chief customer service officer and create a single regional framework that will encompass all aspects of the agency, from health care to benefits, loan centers and even cemetery plots, McDonald said.”
[“We are pleased that he recognizes the need for increased accountability and a greater focus on customer service, but his actions have yet to match his words. The bottom line is that VA reform efforts will never succeed if the people who created the scandal are left in place to implement them” –Concerned Veterans of America Head, Pete Hegseth, in a statement.”]
WITH YOUR SECOND CUP OF COFFEE...
Not only have they served our country but now they are helping to build the economy. Close to 3 million veterans operate a business in the United States and nearly 19 percent of small businesses are owned by veterans. The Small Business administration estimates 250,000 veterans will transition into civilian life in the next year, translating to a significant economic boost from veteran owned businesses. One such company is Ranger Up, a military-themed T-shirt and apparel company which has a cult following among vets and their families and is fostering a new generations of “Vetrepreneurs.”
[Watch Fox: Correspondent Jonathan Serrie shares how veterans are turning to entrepreneurship as they return to civilian life.]
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Real Clear Politics Averages
Obama Job Approval: Approve – 42.2 percent//Disapprove – 53 percent
Direction of Country: Right Direction – 28 percent//Wrong Track – 66 percent
IT’S 2016 ALREADY: MITT’S MIDTERM MOMENTUM
Although 2012 Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney continues to state he is not inclined to attempt a third run for president, his efforts to boost Republicans in the midterms and beyond are piquing interest. WaPo: “According to several top Republicans, Romney made more than 80 phone calls to GOP candidates last Tuesday and Wednesday — including Senate candidates Joni Ernst of Iowa and Thom Tillis of North Carolina — to congratulate them on their victories…In the days after the elections, a group of Romney supporters began circulating a memo that compared the success of his midterm endorsements with those made by Hillary Rodham Clinton, the front-runner for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination. The documents, which were obtained by The Washington Post, concluded that two out of three Romney candidates won their elections, compared with one in three for Clinton. According to three Republicans who spoke on the condition of anonymity to be candid, Romney’s associates are convinced that, if former Florida governor Jeb Bush does not run, Romney could consider another White House bid.”
Ready for Warren staffs up with Obama alum - Ready for Warren has nabbed Kate Albright-Hanna to serve as its deputy campaign manager. The former video director for President Obama’s 2008 campaign will also take on duties as a media strategist for the liberal group that aims to draft progressive darling Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., for a 2016 presidential run, the Hill reports. Albright-Hanna most recently served as communications director for Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s, D-N.Y., liberal challenger. Zephyr Teachout.
Paul hits Hillary over campaign rigors - Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., took a none too subtle swipe at Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton’s age in a recent interview. “I think all the polls show if she does run, she’ll win the Democrat nomination,” Paul told Politico. The Republican Senator raised speculation that Clinton, who just turned 67, may not be up to the demands of a presidential campaign. “But I don’t think it’s for certain,” added Paul. “It’s a very taxing undertaking to go through. It’s a rigorous physical ordeal, I think, to be able to campaign for the presidency.”
[Name game - “Of course if [former Gov. Jeb Bush, R-Fla.] were to run against Hillary Clinton then I think the name issue would somewhat dissipate and then people would pick which one would be the leader.”—Former president George W. Bush in an interview with Reuters.]
Perry: Decision by summer - Gov. Rick Perry, R-Texas, told a gathering in Manchester, N.H., that he will make up his mind about a 2016 bid by next summer. “May or June would be my guess when I’ll made a decision on whether I’m going to go forward.” Perry noted he “learned some hard lessons” in 2011 and 2012, when his campaign failed early on in the primary process.
[New Today at Fox News Opinion: Dana Perino, Five Host and former White House Secretary under president George W. Bush, shares her thoughts on her former bosses’ biography of the 41st president, “A Portrait of My Father”: “Many other political families have been written about and fawned over, but the Bushes have kept to themselves and been more reticent than most. The only thing they are not humble about is the patriarch of their family — George H.W. Bush. And, because he’s a former president of the country, he’s someone we can all brag about. You’ll feel like doing it too, after reading this special book.”]
A-COUNTING VOTES IN ALASKA
Alaska’s state Division of Elections will begin counting nearly 50,000 outstanding ballots today. Sen. Mark Begich, D-Alaska, trails Republican Dan Sullivan by 8,000 votes and Sullivan’s lead is anticipated to expand. Juneau Empire: “Begich would have to receive more than 56 percent of the remaining votes. Sullivan would have to take less than 40 percent, more than inverting the Election Day figures…if absentee balloting follows the patterns set on Election night, Sullivan will increase his lead as more votes are counted, likely by more than 2,000 votes when tallying finishes.”
[WSJ has the latest on outstanding midterm races.]
CONSERVATIVES COALESCE AROUND CASSIDY
New Orleans [La.] Times Picayune: “Republicans of every stripe staged a united front to help Rep. Bill Cassidy in his quest to unseat Sen. Mary Landrieu [D-La.,], the last statewide elected Democrat, during a rally Monday…in downtown Baton Rouge. The rally was headlined by Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul and Rob Maness, a sign the far-right is ready to embrace Cassidy. Cassidy will need Maness' nearly 203,000 votes to seal the win against Landrieu. Tea Party supporters and others on the far-right gravitated toward Maness during the primary because they were unconvinced of Cassidy's conservative credentials. Even Paul said the choice between Maness and Cassidy was a tough one, but he and Maness left no doubt they preferred Cassidy over Landrieu.”
[Watch Fox: Senior National Correspondent John Roberts looks at how conservatives are uniting as they seek to unseat Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., in a Dec. 6 runoff.]
THE ELEVENTH HOUR OF THE ELEVENTH DAY OF THE ELEVENTH MONTH
On this day which honors those who have served and marks the armistice that ended the Great War, Vice President Joe Biden lays a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknowns. The tomb that reminds us of those fallen American service members “Known but to God” was dedicated in 1921, when an unidentified U.S. soldier killed in France in World War I was interred at the site in Arlington National Cemetery. Read more about the “War to End all Wars”, which began 100 years ago, here.
For the valiant - Washington’s National Mall will become center stage today for a huge Veteran’s Day celebration. The Concert for Valor honors U.S. veterans with a three-hour, free concert featuring performances by Brue Springsteen , Eminem, Dave Grohl,The Black Keys, Rihanna. The show will go from about 7 p.m. ET until 10 p.m. ET. A quarter million people are expected to attend the Mall festivities. One of the event’s sponsors, Starbuck’s CEO Howard Schultz, discussed his inspiration for the concert on “The Kelly File” Monday. Watch here.
[Passing the torch - By 2020 Gulf War era veterans will constitute the largest group of U.S. veterans, based upon U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs projections.]
THE MAN WHO KILLED BIN LADEN
9/11 was the deadliest terror attack on U.S soil, prompting the biggest manhunt in recent history. For the first time, Correspondent Peter Doocy takes you inside the mission and introduces you to the man who pulled the trigger, killing one of America’s most wanted terrorist. Don’t miss the first part of a two-night event, “The Man Who Killed Usama Bin Laden” airing tonight at 10 p.m. ET on Fox News Channel.
DECADES OF DEDICATION TO DUTY
At age 18, Bruce Emmons of Bristol, Vt., was in the army, joining Gen. George S. Patton’s 1944 ground campaign against the Nazis. Five years later, Emmons was in the fight again, in Korea, after enlisting in the Air Force. The 88-year old veteran continued his career flying 385 cargo missions over Vietnam, finally retiring in 1968. The Burlington [Vt.] Free Press shares his story: “[T]he soft-spoken man must be coaxed into showing his display of medals. Among the memorabilia: a Purple Heart, earned in 1966 when a .50 caliber shell punched a hole in the fuselage of his transport plane. What happened to the piece of shrapnel that he plucked from his left bicep? ‘I kept it for awhile,’ Emmons said with a shrug. ‘Now I don’t know where it is’…Emmons survived two forced landings in Vietnam with just bruises to show for the trouble. In the first mishap, his C-123 …belly-flopped in a rice paddy. Not long afterward, on a night mission, his plane developed engine trouble. The pilot scraped down on a remote, abandoned airfield. Crew Chief Emmons rolled up his sleeves and repaired a warped linkage using a long wrench and a roll of tape…Thus bandaged, the plane made it safely back to base. ‘Nothing to it,’ Emmons said. ‘They kept my wrench, though.’…Any advice for folks who might consider a long stint in the military? ‘Keep your head and your rear-end down,’ Emmons said.”
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