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• Sources say Feds probing Clinton payola claims
• Hillary calls for taxpayer funding of abortions
• GOP Power Index: Hand it to Kasich
• Power Play: Iowa intricacies
• It’s in the self-help section
SOURCES SAY FEDS PROBING CLINTON PAYOLA CLAIMS
Fox News: “The FBI investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of private email as secretary of state has expanded to look at whether the possible ‘intersection’ of Clinton Foundation work and State Department business may have violated public corruption laws, three intelligence sources not authorized to speak on the record told Fox News. This track is in addition to the focus on classified material found on Clinton’s personal server. ‘The agents are investigating the possible intersection of Clinton Foundation donations, the dispensation of State Department contracts and whether regular processes were followed,’ one source said.”
Wait. What? - WSJ: “In [a recently released] 2011 email exchange about faxing a talking points document, the former secretary of state instructed aide Jake Sullivan to take a secure fax and ‘turn [it] into nonpaper with no identifying heading and send nonsecure’ if technical difficulties with the secure fax system persisted…‘I was looking for a secure fax that could give me the whole picture,’ the Democratic presidential candidate said Sunday on CBS. ‘But, oftentimes, there’s a lot of information that isn’t at all classified. So, whatever information can appropriately be transmitted unclassified often was...’ Mrs. Clinton said Sunday that the request to her staffer didn’t amount to an order to violate laws on handling classified material, and said the email was never sent in any case.”
Hillary calls for taxpayer funding of abortions - At a Planned Parenthood endorsement rally for Hillary Clinton, the presumptive Democratic nominee called for an end to the 40-year-old ban on taxpayer funds for abortion. The so-called Hyde Amendment, passed in 1976, is the long-standing compromise between pro-life and pro-choice lawmakers that restricts federally funded abortion cases only to those of rape, incest and life of the mother. Over time, this has grown to include government health programs like Medicaid and Obamacare. At the rally, Clinton said she believes Planned Parenthood, America’s largest abortion provider, should be “fully funded” citing that the measure discriminates against low-income women. The group took in over $500 million from taxpayers in 2014 for non-abortion activities.
Sanders strengthens in Iowa, N.H. - WSJ: “ Democrats Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders are deadlocked in both Iowa and New Hampshire three weeks before voting begins in the 2016 presidential race, a new Wall Street Journal/NBC News/Marist poll finds. The Republican primary contest also remains tight in Iowa. Mrs. Clinton holds a slim, 48%-to-45% lead over the Vermont senator among likely Democratic caucusgoers in Iowa, the survey found. Mr. Sanders edges the former secretary of state among likely primary voters in New Hampshire, 50% to 46%. Both leads are within the polling margins of error.”
KOCH GROUP UNVEILS OBAMACARE RATE TRACKER
Freedom Partners is releasing a 2016 Obamacare Premium Increase Tracker today, ahead of President Obama’s State of the Union speech. The tracker shows the average health care premium increases in each state on the individual marketplace for 2016. Freedom Partners’ policy team calculates that premiums on the individual marketplace increased in 49 out of 50 states. In most states, costs went up by double-digits. Seventeen states will see premium increases of 20 percent of more, the group says.
[Brackets Obama - Rather than giving her old boss a clear media lane for his last big speech as president, Hillary Clinton is doing a sit-down interview with CNN that’s set to air Tuesday, just ahead of President Obama’s final State of the Union Address.]
WITH YOUR SECOND CUP OF COFFEE…
Saying you liked the music of David Bowie would be like saying you liked Chinese food. There are so many kinds and so many variations within the kinds that there is something for everyone. Glam, rock, Motown-style soul, dancehall, the deep dark depths of Berlin, electronica, pure pop, proto-punk, funk, epic poetry and even the coveted goblin disco king demographic. That means that there is room enough for everyone to have their own favorite song. As music lovers of all kinds mourn Bowie’s passing, his remarkable catalogue is a reminder of perhaps one thing above all others: The real luxury of career success is the chance to take risks. RIP.
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Real Clear Politics Averages
Republican Nomination – Trump 34 percent; Cruz 20.7 percent; Rubio 11.7 percent; Carson 10 percent
General Election: Clinton vs. Trump – Clinton +2 points
Generic Congressional Vote: Republicans +0.5
GOP POWER INDEX: HAND IT TO KASICH
Unlike another presidential contender, the name of John Kasich’s book would never be “Gifted Hands.” But with a signature karate chop or his patented Frankenstein, the Ohio governor is slashing his way into contention in New Hampshire.
Running as high as second in some new polling, Kasich seems to be really making his stand. Is he probably just Huntsmaning? Yes. Would that be consequential? Yes.
State and national polling shows that the third coming of Chris Christie is not upon us. After weeks of media speculation that the long-dormant chances of the New Jersey governor were going erupt in a riot of electoral possibilities, there’s no evidence of it.
Same goes for Jeb Bush, whose remaining loyalists say is now eying South Carolina as his real last stand. Bless his heart.
The name of the game for Kasich, Christie and Bush is to beat Marco Rubio. Anywhere. Anyhow. He runs best against Hillary Clinton in head-to-head matchups and, booties or not, seems to be starting to solidify his place.
New Hampshire, with a primary open to Democrats and independents, and an electorate more liberal and secular than the rest of the early voting-states presents the best chance to knock down Rubio.
Aside from an iron-clad consistency that Christie seems to lack and an energy that Bush cannot bring, Kasich is also the kind of Republican that attracts Democrats. Like Trump, he has true crossover appeal.
While Rubio has been sparring with Christie and Bush, he may fight his last round in New Hampshire with Kasich.
1) Ted Cruz; 2) Marco Rubio; 3) Donald Trump; 4) Jeb Bush [+1]; 5) Chris Christie [-1]; 6) John Kasich [previously unranked]
On the radar - Carly Fiorina, Ben Carson and Rand Paul
[Watch Fox: Chris Stirewalt joins “The Real Story with Gretchen Carlson” in the 2 p.m. ET hour with the latest on who’s up and who’s down in the 2016 Power Index.]
What would you say? - Give us your take on the 2016 Power Index. We will share the best and brightest with the whole class. Send your thoughts to FOXNEWSFIRST@FOXNEWS.COM
Cruz rejects Trump’s ‘deportation force’ - CNN: “Texas Sen. Ted Cruz does not plan to authorize a special force to deport the undocumented immigrants currently in the country, he told CNN’s Jake Tapper, setting up a policy contrast with Donald Trump. … Cruz, who over the past few weeks has specifically endorsed deportations after months of resisting, said in an interview that aired Sunday on ‘State of the Union’ that the U.S. should catch those who came here illegally under normal law enforcement practices, not through round-ups of the estimated 11 million undocumented people living in the U.S. ‘No, I don’t intend to send jackboots to knock on your door and every door in America. That’s not how we enforce the law for any crime,’ Cruz [said.]”
Trump’s new birther gusto - WaPo: “After days of coyly raising questions about Ted Cruz’s eligibility to be president, given that he was born in Canada to an American mother and a Cuban father, Donald Trump let his audience weigh in at a rally Sunday afternoon. ‘Is he a natural-born citizen?’ the Republican White House hopeful asked several thousand gathered in a Reno ballroom. Members of the crowd shouted back, ‘No!’ ‘I don’t know,’ Trump said. ‘Honestly, we don’t know. Who the hell knows.’ Cruz was Trump’s No. 1 target during the 65-minute event, revealing just how much of a threat the Republican senator from Texas has become to the front-runner. Before the rally started, Bruce Springsteen's ‘Born in the U.S.A.’ blared, a new edition to Trump’s playlist.”
Trump signs Huntsman group’s pledge - AP: “No Labels, formed after the 2010 midterm elections, is asking candidates to embrace four broad goals related to job creation, the federal budget, energy independence and entitlements, promote them in the campaign and promise to work with a bipartisan group in Congress on at least one of them within 30 days of taking office…On Monday, the group’s leaders are announcing the six who stepped up: Democrat Martin O'Malley, and Republicans Ben Carson, Chris Christie, John Kasich, Rand Paul and Donald Trump.”
ABC drops debate partner at Trump’s behest - WFXT: “Donald Trump announced Sunday that he had the New Hampshire Union Leader removed from the upcoming debate on Feb. 6. Politico reports that ABC cut their partnership with the paper, the largest newspaper in New Hampshire, a source citing a strained relationship, caused by the front page editorials about Donald Trump. Trump is taking credit for the end of the relationship, saying the paper’s behavior has been ‘highly unethical’ and it has endorsed a candidate who can’t win. On Nov. 28, the paper endorsed Gov. Chris Christie.”
Rubio makes major ad push in Iowa - DMR: “Marco Rubio is poised to dominate Iowa’s television airwaves with about 7,000 ads scheduled to run from Jan. 1 until caucus day — an effort that accounts for more than one-third of all political ads slated to air during that time. The purchases on Rubio's behalf make up more than half of the $9.4 million in total spending for ads that are scheduled to air across the state during the final month of the caucus campaign.”
Despite past quotes, Christie denies Planned Parenthood donations - WSJ: “New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie denied Sunday that he has given money to Planned Parenthood, hitting back at a claim by Florida Sen. Marco Rubio. ‘I never donated to Planned Parenthood,’ Mr. Christie told CBS on Face the Nation…On Fox Business last week, Mr. Rubio highlighted positions that he said aligned Mr. Christie with President Barack Obama [including Planned Parenthood donations]…A 2012 book on the governor – ‘Chris Christie: The Inside Story of His Rise to Power’ — recalls an incident in the mid-90s where Mr. Christie opposed county funding for Planned Parenthood on financial grounds, even though he said he supported it ideologically. ‘I support Planned Parenthood privately with my personal contribution,’ he said, according to the book. When asked about the apparent conflict with the statement from decades ago, a Christie spokeswoman said: ‘The governor didn’t donate to Planned Parenthood.’”
POWER PLAY: IOWA INTRICACIES
As Donald Trump continues to dig into Ted Cruz, the competition for Iowa is kicking into high gear. But a caucus is a lot more involved than going to the polling booth and checking a ballot. Will the attacks incentivize Trump supporters to caucus for him? DMR’s Brianne Pfannenstiel is covering Trump in the state and gives Chris Stirewalt her take. WATCH HERE.
IT’S IN THE SELF-HELP SECTION
Independent: “Among the documents and publications held at the UN’s main library in New York is a book called ‘Immunity of Heads of State and State Officials for International Crimes.’ Published in 2014 and written by Ramona Pedretti, a Swiss legal expert, the book turned out to be the most popular among UN diplomats last year…”
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.