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New poll: Majority believes race relations worse under Obama

In this Friday, Dec. 5, 2014 photo President Barack Obama speaks during a meeting in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington.

In this Friday, Dec. 5, 2014 photo President Barack Obama speaks during a meeting in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington.  (AP)

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Buzz Cut:
New poll: Majority believes race relations worse under Obama
• Trillion dollar spending plan debuts today
• Power Play: Dems fight over past, future of ObamaCare
• Five signs Jeb is really running
• Hey, wait a second…

Bloomberg: “President Barack Obama had hoped his historic election would ease race relations, yet a majority of Americans, 53 percent, say the interactions between the white and black communities have deteriorated since he took office, according to a new Bloomberg Politics poll. Those divisions are laid bare in the split reactions to the decisions by two grand juries not to indict white police officers who killed unarmed black men in Ferguson, Mo., and Staten Island, N.Y. Both times, protesters responded with outrage and politicians called for federal investigations. Yet Americans don't think of the cases as a matched set of injustices, the poll found. A majority agreed with the Ferguson decision, while most objected to the conclusion in the Staten Island death, which was captured on video. The divergent opinions-52 percent agreed on Ferguson compared with 25 percent who approved of the Staten Island outcome.” 

“You know when you're dealing with something as deeply rooted as racism or bias in any society, you got to have vigilance; you have to recognize that it's going to take some time and you just have to be steady so that you don’t give up when we don't get all the way there.” President Obama, BET Network interview airing tonight.

Holder cracks down on ‘racial profiling,’ including for national security cases - WaPo: “Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. has expanded Justice Department rules for racial profiling to prevent FBI agents from considering gender, national origin, religion, sexual orientation and gender identity, in addition to race and ethnicity, when opening cases. The department also will ban racial profiling from national security cases for the first time.”

The Hill: “Lawmakers are racing to pass a spending bill and avoid a government shutdown with only days left in the lame-duck session. On Monday, appropriators plan to unveil their ‘cromnibus’ spending package. The package includes 11 long-term spending bills that will fund much of the government and a separate short-term bill that funds the Department of Homeland Security. The unorthodox bill is Republicans’ response to President Obama’s executive actions on immigration, and only funds those relevant agencies through early next year. Congress needs to pass the package before Dec. 12 to keep the government open.”

[National Journal tracks all of the procedural maneuvering to watch this week as lawmakers try to push through the massive spending measure.]

Waiting for re-enforcements - David Drucker says shutdown worries are fading: “Chastened by last year’s government shutdown and wanting to confront President Obama on better political footing, House Republicans are poised to approve legislation that would fund most government agencies through September and avoid another risky showdown.”

Fox News: “U.S. personnel overseas have been advised to reassess their safety and security measures ahead of the expected release of a Senate report examining the alleged use of torture by the CIA. The State Department and an intelligence official confirmed to Fox News early Monday that the advisory had been sent. The message directs all overseas postings, including those used by CIA personnel to ‘review their security posture’ for a ‘range of reactions that might occur.’ A similar statement is being sent to military combatant commands to assess their readiness.”

“…there are countries out there who have cooperated with us in the war on terror at some political risk who were relying on American discretion. I can't imagine anyone out there going forward in the future who would be willing to do anything with us that even smacks of political danger.” –Former CIA Director Michael Hayden, on CBS’s “Face the Nation.”

Where’s the latest tech boom taking place? Venture Beat reports that you might be better off looking in an Illinois prairie than the San Jose Valley. A record $269 million was invested in agriculture related startups in the third quarter of this year. With a need to feed an ever expanding population, investors are finding farming to be a great environment for “Internet of Things” innovation and large-scale adoption, improving efficiency and productivity and increasing profit. Topcon Precision Agriculture use GPS and other wireless systems to maximize crop yields. The desire for organic food has grown in recent years and with it an increased interest in pesticides alternatives. Semios monitors and detects pest populations and disrupts mating patterns, thus lowering pesticide usage. Water conservation has been an ongoing challenge for farmers. Smart Watering Systems and Observant monitor and manage moisture levels, leaks and energy usage. John Deere was among the first to use this technology to allow farmers to analyze data in real time to make better use of their equipment and increase productivity.

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Real Clear Politics Averages
Obama Job Approval: Approve – 42.7 percent//Disapprove – 53 percent
Direction of Country: Right Direction – 26.2 percent//Wrong Track – 67.3 percent 

Washington Examiner Senior Correspondent David Drucker and Washington Times Columnist Charles Hurt join Chris Stirewalt in a two part panel discussion for today’s Power Play. First, Democrats are increasingly divided on not just how to proceed on ObamaCare, but whether the law was good idea in the first place – and the recriminations  will have serious consequences. WATCH IT HERE. Then, there’s never been a frontunner like Hillary Clinton, so when will she make her candidacy official? Or, as Hurt argues, abandon her hopes for a comeback? WATCH IT HERE.

Oppo dumping - One of the biggest nodes in the Clinton network, American Bridge, disgorges its initial takedown of nearly every potential 2016 GOP candidate.

[Oral arguments will be heard today in in the Little Sisters of the Poor lawsuit against ObamaCare regulations.]

Half who voted for ObamaCare now gone from Senate - WashEx: “On Dec. 24, 2009, the Democratic-controlled Senate passed President Obama’s healthcare law with a filibuster-proof 60-vote majority, triggering a massive backlash that propelled Republicans to control of the House the following year. On the Senate side, going into this year's midterm elections, 25 senators who voted for Obamacare were already out or not going be part of the new Senate being sworn in next month. After Democratic losses on Nov. 4 and Saturday's defeat of Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., the number has risen to 30. In other words, half of the Senators who voted for Obamacare will not be part of the new Senate.”

“The American people do not like the agenda that Barack Obama has staked out for our country, nor do they like the effects of these policies…We were the exclamation mark on a message all of America has sent.”--Sen.-elect Bill Cassidy (R-LA) on “Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace” Watch here.

Later, y’all - Time: “With the fall of three-term Sen. Mary Landrieu Saturday, Louisiana will not have a Democratic statewide elected official for the first time since 1876. And the Republican Party will control, as the Associated Press noted, every Senate seat, governor’s mansion and legislative chamber from the Carolinas to Texas.”

Called up - The Republican candidate recruitment team at GOPAC has a new leader. President David Avella is getting bumped up to chairman, replacing outgoing Frank Donatelli

After long refusing to entertain questions about a possible challenge to Sen. Harry Reid, Nevada’s Republican governor is opening up about the prospect. WaPo: “The man who represents the single biggest threat to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s career says he’s too busy to decide whether to run against the Nevada Democrat. Gov. Brian Sandoval (R) said in an interview Sunday that he has not set a timeline for deciding whether to challenge Reid in 2016. Sandoval, who won reelection to a second term by a 46-point margin last month, said he’s focused instead on the upcoming legislative session. “I’m focused on my job. I really am. No, there’s too much at stake this session to be distracted,” Sandoval said when asked whether he had a timeline in place. “I’ve got the inaugural coming up, and even before that the budget.” Reid will be one of the most vulnerable — if not the most vulnerable — Democrats up for reelection in 2016. Republicans hoping to hold their 54-seat Senate majority see defeating Reid as a critical cushion.” 

From inveterate Jeb Bush watcher Marc Caputo at the Miami Herald: “Here are the five signs that, contrary to what people like me once thought, make Bush appear more likely to run than not: NO MORE MEDIA MOSH PITThe guy who once bragged that he could tell the truth because he’s “not running for anything” has dispensed with that boast. FIGHTING WEIGHT One source said he has a new personal trainer and has lost 15 pounds in recent weeks. RHETORIC IS THE REALITY Bush’s back-to-back speeches in Washington on Monday and Coral Gables Tuesday were just the latest signs of how serious he is about running for president…On Monday, he ticked off five domestic policy issues…On Tuesday, Bush pivoted to foreign policy. SHADOW CAMPAIGN MEETINGS …his longtime confidante Sally Bradshaw had presidential talks with Rob Collins and Liesl Hickey, the respective executive directors of the National Republican Senatorial Committee and National Republican Congressional Committee… and former presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s finance director Spencer Zwick.  NO RETREATAnother factor to consider: Stubbornness. Rather than spook Bush, the criticisms over his immigration and education positions could perversely inspire him to run.” 

"Yeah, and I think he'd beat her." – Former President George W. Bush, on CNN’s “State of the Union” when asked wether his brother Jeb could run against 2016 Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton

“An Asbury Park Press review of [New Jersey Lottery] claims submitted since 2009 found that half of the 20 most frequent prizewinners are either licensed lottery retailers or family members of store operators. … The state's most prolific prizewinner since 2009… whose son operates two liquor stores in Ocean County that sell lottery tickets … has claimed 134 prizes totaling more than $275,000. … To produce such a high number of wins, a winner … would have had to have spent approximately $1.2 million on lottery games, or about $300 per day over the course of nearly 11 years…”

[Speaking of low expectations - For those wondering how the portable potty rocketeers we told you about on Tuesday fared in their efforts, the Lansing [Mich.] State Journal reports that the launch was a success.]

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.