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• Gruber was ‘some adviser,’ indeed
• GOP weighs nuclear counter-strike on amnesty
• Clintonfest continues in Arkansas
• Christie faces tough choice on gas tax hike
• Not afraid to let his ears flap for a friend
GRUBER WAS ‘SOME ADVISER,’ INDEED
President Obama on Sunday called Jonathan Gruber “some adviser who never worked on our staff.” Obama told Chief White House Correspondent Ed Henry that he had “just heard about” the multiple times Gruber was caught on camera bragging about helping the White House exploit “the stupidity of the American voter” to pass the health law. But that sure doesn’t gibe with new details about the time when Obama summoned Gruber to the Oval Office for an emergency meeting with a handful of top advisers to salvage passage of ObamaCare amid a 2009 breakdown in the Democrat-controlled Congress. Given the president’s hugely crummy reputation for being forthcoming about his signature law, it seems that blowing off questions about what appears to be evidence of an intentional lie in the crafting of the law would be a bad idea.
Prof was a campaign prop - President Obama’s re-election campaign featured the now-infamous MIT economist Jonathan Gruber in a video, in which Team Obama highlighted Gruber’s role in crafting ObamaCare to attack claims made by former Massachusetts Governor and 2012 Republican Presidential nominee Mitt Romney. Watch here.
First in Fox News First: Poll shows health care top issue with voters - The YG Network, the non-profit group that grew out of House Republicans’ Young Guns program, is out with a new poll today which shows health care as the most important issue to voters across the board with 80 percent of voters, including 90 percent of Democrats, 77 percent of Republicans, and 73 percent of independents. A majority of those polled (54 percent) also said they would rather repeal Obamacare in its entirety versus keeping it. The poll continued with questions on education, taxes, unemployment, poverty and excessive government regulation. Pollsters did not include the issue of immigration when presenting respondents their choices.
GOP WEIGHS NUCLEAR COUNTER-STRIKE ON AMNESTY
Reuters: “A vocal group of conservatives in the House of Representatives is pressing to use government funding as leverage to prevent any White House moves that would allow millions of undocumented immigrants to stay and work in the United States. Several Republicans, including some in leadership, have said they were trying to find alternatives that would stop short of directly threatening a government shutdown, and Republican lawmakers on Sunday talk shows acknowledged that the shutdown threat was a less than ideal approach…[President Obama] is expected to announce a series of executive actions on immigration issues before the end of the year, Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson said on Saturday…Democratic Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin of Illinois said House Speaker John Boehner could move on the immigration bill already passed by the Senate, whose control Republicans gain next year as a result of this month's elections. ‘The message of the last election was, solve problems, don't just go to a political standoff, do something,’ Durbin said on CNN's "State of the Union. If the Republicans fail to do it, then the president will act and I will support it’.”
Defense procedures - National Journal: “The House could attach a rider prohibiting enforcement of Obama’s order, or it could not provide money to departments that would respond to executive action….[or] insert language into any spending bill prohibiting the use of appropriated money for executive action that would create additional work permits or green cards. Essentially, Congress’s power of the purse would be Obama’s punishment.”
“I know the House leaders are talking about it. The Senate leaders are talking about it, but the fact of the matter is the president would be well served not to go down this path because he is putting at risk and in peril a real opportunity here to do things for the country.” -- Senator John Thune (R-SD) on “Fox News Sunday” Watch here.
[Twigging off Peter Baker’s comment on CNN that the debate over the legality of executive action on immigration is “between President Obama and President Obama,” Hotair cites a timeline of past remarks by the president arguing against executive overreach.]
Not so popular - AP: “The fate of a little-noticed ballot measure in strongly Democratic Oregon serves as a warning to President Barack Obama and his party about the political perils of immigration policy. Even as Oregon voters were legalizing recreational marijuana and expanding Democratic majorities in state government, they decided by a margin of 66-34 to cancel a new state law that would have provided driver’s licenses to people who are in the United States illegally.”
KEYSTONE VOTE WILL SET TONE FOR LAME DUCK
National Journal: “With Congress’s turkey-week break just days away, the Senate enters this second week of a lame-duck session set to decide on bringing the Keystone XL pipeline closer to reality…After the House passed a measure authorizing completion of the Keystone XL pipeline on Friday with 31 Democrats and all but one Republican signing on, the Senate will take up the legislation Tuesday. Some drama exists over whether it will pass…Meanwhile, for Keystone to pass in the Senate, proponents will need to attract 15 Democrats to their side (all 45 Senate Republicans have pledged to support the measure). And they appear to be close. The 14 Democrats have indicated that they will support the Keystone bill. And Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., who is leading her conference's efforts to pass the measure, said Thursday that she was sure they would have the votes. If the bill does not pass on Tuesday, the new Republican majority expects to take it up early next year, when far fewer Democratic crossovers will be needed and passage appears likely.”
“I think the new Republican majority has long despised and denigrated this president. And if they can roll him, I think they would like to. And I think it’s important for him to set the stage early on this, particularly when the stakes are so high for climate, for the environment, for the damage that the pipeline will do.” -- Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) on “Fox News Sunday” Watch here.
YOU’D HATE TO SEE WHAT A BAD WEEK LOOKS LIKE
On his way home from a weeklong foreign trip, President Obama was briefed on the murder of American Peter Kassig, a former Army Ranger from Indiana who became an aid worker in Syria after leaving the military, at the hands of Islamist militants. Obama issued a statement condemning the killing of the third American by the group ISIS, calling the victim “Abdul-Rahman,” the name Kassig adopted after his purported conversion to Islam during captivity. Prior to takeoff, though, Obama was crowing about his success on international affairs, citing global warming and cooperation on Ebola. “I’d say that’s a pretty good week,” Obama said of his trip. But even before Kassig’s murder was made public, the week had not exactly been a banner one on Ukraine, Obama’s breakneck bid for a nuclear deal with Iran, administration efforts to hold back further troop commitments to Iraq and the spread of Ebola.
NEWS CYCLE DISRUPTION ALERT: FERGUSON GRAND JURY DECISION SOON
St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that a grand jury decision about whether to indict Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson in the August 9 fatal shooting of Michael Brown is expected to come down any day. Following violent protests in the immediate aftermath of the shooting, the town is once again gearing up for additional protests with organizers providing “rules for engagement” when dealing with police according to the NYT.
WITH YOUR SECOND CUP OF COFFEE...
The impending Thanksgiving holiday and all of the preparation and cooking that many Americans are facing can be a daunting task. But imagine the possibility of your turkey, stuffing and all the trimmings coming not from the oven in your kitchen, but instead a printer in your office. Scientists can use 3D printers as an alternative food source according to Kernel Magazine. The technology has been used to replicate a wide variety of objects including castles, warheads and prosthetic limbs among others. Tackling the food supply and sustainability is a driving force behind the idea. The United Nations Environment Program states that, “roughly one third of the food produced in the world for human consumption every year, approximately 1.3 billion tons, gets lost or wasted.” At the 2014 Agricultural Biotechnology International Conference, David Irvin, director of research at Systems & Materials Research Corporation, said that 3D printing might present a solution for dealing with food waste, saying, “If just half of that waste could be dried, transported, and processed via 3D printing, it would result in three times the amount of food production required to feed the population of sub-Saharan Africa.” And that’s some food for thought.
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Real Clear Politics Averages
Obama Job Approval: Approve – 41.7 percent//Disapprove – 53.7 percent
Direction of Country: Right Direction – 27.0 percent//Wrong Track – 65.8 percent
CLINTONFEST CONTINUES IN ARKANSAS
Democratic 2016 frontrunner Hillary Clinton and her husband, former President Bill Clinton, are in the midst of a four-day event at the Arkansas museum and library built in their honor a decade ago. The celebration has so far included much of the Clintons’ vast political operation, even the man whose remarkable forgetfulness, as Byron York observed, saved their presidency. The gathering, which seems to be serving as a campaign team-building exercise, was also a demonstration of how the official and unofficial facets of the Clinton campaign can work together. The family’s foundation, which is considered a tax-exempt charity, hosted an event that conspicuously reinforced one of the candidate’s slogans about the “highest, hardest glass ceiling,” a phrase for the invisible sexism to which she ascribes her 2008 defeat.
[Politico, which actually hosted one of the events at the Clinton celebration, described the Democratic frontrunner in its coverage as “ebullient.”]
MCCONNELL’S NEXT JOB: 2016 TRAFFIC COP
The Hill: “Incoming Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) should be prepared to play role of traffic cop ahead of 2016. As colleagues with White House hopes jockey for their legislative priorities, it could create tension in the GOP caucus if there’s any whiff of favoritism. Within McConnell’s conference, Sens. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and Ted Cruz (R-Texas) are weighing presidential runs most aggressively, followed by Sens. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Rob Portman (R-Ohio), who both represent pivotal presidential battleground states. Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), who’s slated to become chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, isn’t ruling out a bid either. Senate Republican Conference Chairman John Thune (S.D.), who has $9.4 million in his campaign account, is another potential White House contender…”
Rand to head up fundraiser in Ole Miss
Potential 2016 GOP contender Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., will headline a fundraiser for the Mississippi Republican Party in Jackson on Dec. 8. Governor Phil Bryant, R-Miss., will also attend the event.
CHRISTIE FACES TOUGH CHOICE ON GAS TAX HIKE
New Jersey Star Ledger: “As the Republican governor of a blue state who has presidential aspirations, Chris Christie has spent much of the past five years carefully considering whether what plays in New Jersey will also play in more conservative states like South Carolina. That balancing act is about to get a lot tougher as calls to raise the state’s gas tax grow louder. New Jersey’s Transportation Trust Fund — which pays for major transportation projects — is almost broke. And Democrats who control the Legislature say that after years of fiscal maneuvers and borrowing for road projects, more revenue is needed. The question becomes how Christie — who is widely expected to seek the nomination for the White House in a Republican Party that loathes raising taxes — signs such a measure into law without mortally damaging his presidential campaign before it even begins.”
BUT IT HELPS…
Mediaite: “‘I’m not going to run just because of the pundits or anything else like that,’ [Wisconsin Republican Gov. Scott Walker’s] response began. ‘The closer you get to something like that the more you realize — and I say this only half jokingly — that you have to be crazy to want to be president.’”
ALL TOGETHER NOW: PALIN MAKES PEACE IN LOUISIANA
[New Orleans] Times Picayune: “The Republican unity tour with former rivals Rep. Bill Cassidy and Rob Maness continued Saturday afternoon with a rally featuring the two of them, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin and ‘Duck Dynasty’ star Phil Robertson. Maness drew 14 percent of the vote in the primary, and Cassidy needs that to defeat Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu.”
Bolton still spending - The John Bolton PAC announces additional support of $5,000 to Rep. Bill Cassidy’s campaign for the U.S. Senate seat from Louisiana as well as another $5,000 for the recount effort of Republican Martha McSally, who is perched atop a 161-vote margin in a Tucson, Ariz. House district.
[Jill Lawrence observes that Democrats’ worst losses on Nov. 4 came at the state level: “First, to recap the damage: Republicans took over 11 state legislative chambers that had been held by Democrats. They now control 23 states entirely – governor and both legislative chambers –versus seven for Democrats. They netted three new governors for a total of 31, versus 18 for Democrats. They gained more than 300 legislators and now hold the most state legislative seats since 1920.”]
NOT AFRAID TO LET HIS EARS FLAP FOR A FRIEND
The San Angelo [Texas] Standard Times – “When Mason County EMS responded to a call recently, they never anticipated their emergency run would turn into an unforgettable account of a bond between a dog and its owner. ‘It was a crazy ordeal,’ said Tanner Brown, an emergency medical technician who has been with the county for a year. About 20 miles into the ambulance’s journey to a Fredericksburg hospital, a driver flagged them down and told them there was a dog on the side of the ambulance, Brown said. Buddy, a 35-pound Beagle mix, hitched a ride on the small side step of the ambulance to be with his owner, 85-year-old JR Nicholson, a Mason County rancher. ‘We didn’t have anything else to do but to load the dog up and put him in the ambulance and take him to the ER with us,’ Brown said…Nicholson said he likes dogs and got Buddy about four months ago from an animal shelter in Mason. ‘I had two dogs (before Buddy), but I had to put one of them down,’ Nicholson said. ‘He came along at just the right time. He’s now a member of the family.’”
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 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.