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• Dems reveal 2014 strategy: Smash and grab
• More states just say ‘no’
• Real People, Real Stories: Forced into Medicaid
• Dean: Hillary’s time may have passed
• Biden comes up short
DEMS REVEAL 2014 STRATEGY: SMASH AND GRAB - The Obama administration will delay by one month next year’s ObamaCare enrollment period, pushing what promises to be broader and even more painful disruptions to existing policies past midterm elections. With Democrats poised to lose control of the Senate, this could be a very big deal. With new regulations set to ban more policies and the prospect of millions of Americans being dumped from their employer-based health insurance, next fall promises to be a painful season for ObamaCare implementation. But by delaying the start of the enrollment season, the White House may be able to push some of the outrage past Election Day and perhaps spare vulnerable Democrats. With massive disruptions and exploding premiums for existing policy holders expected, a Nov. 1 start date will come just four days ahead of voting and long after many citizens have gone to the polls to cast early ballots. Fox News has more.Bloomberg broke the story and has details.
[“The death of this law would be for health insurance companies to price policies for 2015 in a way that premiums skyrocket.” – Ana Gupte, a health-industry analyst, talking to Bloomberg.]
Nuke it - The move by Senate Democrats to dump nearly 225 years of precedent and end the 60-vote threshold for presidential appointments for every post other than Supreme Court justice will give President Obama a historic opportunity to ram through his nominees. Aside from lifetime federal judgeships, Obama now has the chance to replace troubled cabinet officials (Kathleen Sebelius, you have a call on line one) or install nominees previously rejected as ideologically extreme or ethically challenged. He can do it all without worrying about Republicans and can even lose as many as five moderate Democrats.
Ramming speed - It would seem to be a rather unfortunate time for Democrats in Washington to make a naked power grab. Americans already don’t trust them with the powers they have amid the ObamaCare crash and nobody likes to see politicians do anything naked. At all. Fire up the base, prepare for months of terrible turmoil and know that if you lose the Senate, at least you will have left a legacy of a liberal judiciary and new regulations enacted by swiftly-confirmed appointees. These are not the actions of people who expect things to improve anytime soon. Read more from the Power Play column.
Editorial sound off - WaPo: “The impact of changing the rules in this way may be even more far-reaching. The Democratic action sets a precedent that a future Republican majority will use to change procedures when it gets into a political jam, rather than negotiate with Democrats.”//WSJ: “The next GOP President should line up Federalist Society alumni for judicial nominations like planes waiting to take off at O'Hare International Airport. Imagine two or three more Clarence Thomases on the High Court confirmed with 51 Senate votes. Planned Parenthood can send its regrets to Harry Reid.”
[New Today at Fox News Opinion: Pat Caddell, America has gone from government of laws to semi-political banana republic]
TOP TWEETS - @laurenashburn’s top tweet pick for this morning, National Journal’s @ron_fournier: “Hypocrisy on both sides over filibuster fight is mind boggling, even for DC. The nuke option not cause of polarization. It's a symptom.”
Lauren Ashburnof “#MEDIABUZZ” tracks the Twitterverse every day in Top Twitter Talk.]
MORE STATES JUST SAY ‘NO’ - California and West Virginia are some of the latest states to reject President Obama’s fix for those that have lost their insurance under his entitlement program. West Virginia Metro news reports the state’s insurance commissioner announced the decision Thursday citing the risk of increased rates and the potential for market instability. California officials offered similar concerns, saying the proposal hinders its efforts to attract young people. Susan Kennedy, a board member for the state exchange, bluntly told the Tribune of San Luis Obispo, “There is no way to make the federal law work without this transition to (compliant) plans.” Indiana’s commissioner Stephen Robertson recently offered a scathing rejection of the plan in a press release, saying it “would seriously destabilize Indiana's insurance market and create logistical chaos.” The states join New York, Washington, Rhode Island, Vermont, Massachusetts, and Minnesota in their rejections of the president’s plan.
Spread the wealth around - National Journal’s James Oliphant tackles the taboo topic in the current health law debate with Love It or Hate It, Obamacare Redistributes Americans' Wealth: “Obamacare, in fact, has flipped the entitlement narrative on its head: The losers traditionally have been the anonymous taxpayers whose incremental contributions help keep those more visible winners afloat. But with the ACA, the losers are angry, loud, and have been given a powerful platform—one that threatens to make hell for the president and his party alike. Meanwhile, the
winners are harder to find, largely because many of them are struggling to purchase insurance on the federal exchange.”
[Watch Fox: Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, discusses ObamaCare in the 11 a.m. ET hour]
REAL PEOPLE, REAL STORIES: FORCED INTO MEDICAID - A Washington state woman says she feel like a “second-class citizen” after ObamaCare forced her into Medicaid, the welfare program that provides taxpayer-funded health insurance. Nicole Hopkins told Megyn Kelly that after her Hopkins’ mother, Charlene, received a cancellation notice because of ObamaCare regulations, the two sat down to check out enrollment options under the health law. But Charlene was shocked when the Web site didn’t give her any choice other than Medicaid. The site didn’t give her the option to cancel or opt out either, saying “congratulations you have been enrolled [in Medicaid].” Charlene knew before ObamaCare that she could enroll in Medicaid, but didn’t want to do it. “I had actually hoped for, you know, to keep my policy like we had been told all the time,” she told Kelly. Nicole wrote an OpEd in the WSJ Thursday about her mom’s experience. Watch the full interview from “The Kelly File.”
HILL AIDES HOWL OVER RATE SHOCK - Veteran Democratic House aides are furious about what they’re finding as they enroll in ObamaCare. Older staff members are seeing their costs go up three to four times under ObamaCare, even with a government contribution. Politico reports that Minh Ta, chief of staff to Rep. Gwen Moore, D-Wis., called the increases “simply unacceptable” in an email to other chiefs of staffs and warned some staff may leave their jobs over changes to their insurance.
[House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, is now enrolled in ObamaCare, but it wasn’t easy. Boehner’s office blogged about the ordeal. After 4 hours, several attempts and a call to the help desk, “[t]he Speaker got a confirmation email about 45 minutes after that blog-post went out. Quite a coincidence,” his office said.]
SHOUTING AMID THE CHAOS - Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton, R-Mich., says newly released emails between top Obama administration tech officials are more evidence that the administration went “out of its way” to cover up the chaos behind the scenes at Healthcare.gov. E-mails sent by project manager Henry Chao just three days before the Web site’s launch reveal a bleak report. His all-caps tirade, though, wasn’t enough to deter officials from launching. “I DO NOT WANT A REPEAT OF WHAT HAPPENED NEAR THE END OF DECEMBER 2005 WHERE MEDICARE.GOV HAD A MELTDOWN (THIS IS TO GET YOUR ATTENTION IF I DIDN’T HAVE IT ALREADY),” Chao wrote. Fox News has more.
NRSC HITS VULNERABLE DEMS OVER OBAMACARE FAVORS - The National Republican Senatorial Committee will hit nine vulnerable Democrats and opponents in competitive Senate races for a measure that would provides ObamaCare waivers for union insurance plans. The attack criticizes the members for taking large sums of union money as consumer health costs continue to rise.
Boeing bails after union vote - Boeing will move part of its production line out of the Seattle area in the wake of a local union’s rejection of a contract offer that would have saved the company $8 billion. The union turned down a proposal to increase retirement contributions by $2,400 per year if employees accept 401(k)-style plans, rather than the traditional retirement package. Boeing’s departure from the Evergreen State could cost up to 20,000 jobs and puts the state’s credit rating at risk. Washington Free Beacon has the details.
CRUZ CONSIDERING ANOTHER ‘DE-FUND’ EFFORT? - Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, may be considering using January’s looming fiscal cliff to try again on forcing a shutdown standoff over ObamaCare. In an interview with Bloomberg News, Cruz was asked about the next steps. “What we need to do is repeal [ObamaCare] in its entirety,” he said. When pressed if this would be accomplished during January’s funding debate, Cruz stated, “I don’t know. I hope so.”
[Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, will meet with Donald Trump today. A spokeswoman told Politicio, “Mr. Trump is a friend and the senator had some down time in NYC.”]
WITH YOUR SECOND CUP OF COFFEE...Jonah Goldberg the Bipartisan Branding Problem: “In the aftermath of Iraq and Afghanistan, many Republicans are growing more skeptical about the national-security state and foreign interventions. If Obamacare continues to unravel, it will be interesting to see if Democrats undergo a similar readjustment and stop overpromising and underdelivering. But the far more important development will be when Americans start to downgrade their expectations of what government can do.”
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POLL CHECK - Real Clear Politics Averages
Obama Job Approval: Approve – 40.4 percent//Disapprove – 55.4 percent
Direction of Country: Right Direction – 23.5 percent//Wrong Track – 67.9 percent
DEAN: HILLARY’S TIME MAY HAVE PASSED - Former Gov. Howard Dean, D-Vt., isn’t ready for Hillary Clinton. While telling BuzzFeed he wasn’t about to announce his own candidacy, the onetime 2004 Democratic frontrunner said that the time for the former first lady may have passed. “My own view is that you rarely go back a generation,” he said. “We’ve passed that generation onto [President Obama’s] generation.” Dean said he’s met with Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley, also considering a 2016 run. Dean called him a “serious guy.” What about the doyenne of the left, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass.? “I think she’d be terrific,” Dean said. Whether it’s Warren, O’Malley or someone else, former Democratic National Committee Chairman Dean said Clinton would face opposition: “She’s definitely going to have a primary. Who’s going to let an open seat pass by?”
ELECTION PROTECTION FOR COMMUNISTS, NOT TEA PARTY - The Federal Elections Commission decided Thursday to force the Tea Party Leadership Fund to publicize information about its donors having recently extended the disclosure exemption for Socialist Workers Party. An investigation into the targeting of conservative groups by IRS officials revealed collusion with FEC officials. The Cleveland Plain Dealer has the details.
WHITE HOUSE PROPGANDA OUTFIT? - National Journal’s Ron Fournier details how the White House is shaping the president’s image at your expense. “Unlike media photographers, official White House photographers are paid by taxpayers and report to the president. Their job is to make Obama look good. They are propagandists – in the purest sense of the word…Journalists understand that the president's family and national security events must be off-limits at times. Journalists also don't object to the White House using social media; those are platforms as legitimate as televisions and print. The problem is that the Obama White House is simultaneously restricting access of independent media while flooding the public with state-run media.”
CHRISTIE: 2014 IS THE SITUATION - Gov. Chris Christie, R-N.J., said his focus as the new chairman of the Republican Governors Association is the 2014 midterm cycle, warning his peers that they shouldn’t be thinking yet about 2016. Past chairman have included former Gov. Mitt Romney, R-Mass., Gov. Rick Perry, R-Texas and even President Reagan. AP has more.
[Gov. Christie’s first act as new RGA head was organizing a surprise visit to the group’s Arizona gathering from former president George. W. Bush. Washington Examiner has more.]
OSWALD’S OTHER VICTIM - Police in Dallas will today remember J.D. Tippit, the officer killed by Lee Harvey Oswald during the manhunt that followed the assassination of President John F. Kennedy 50 years ago today in that city. Oswald killed Tippit just before sneaking into the Texas Theater, where he was later apprehended by Tippit’s fellow officers. The department will hold a candlelight vigil for Tippit tonight, including remarks from his widow. WFAA has more.
[Watch Fox: Chief Washington Correspondent James Rosen considers what still secret-CIA documents may one day reveal about the assassination of President John F. Kennedy and the agency’s activities.]
D’OH, A DEER - Here’s a tail for the tree stand this deer season, just be aware that it may cause laughter. A hunter posted a video of his unusual encounter with his prey and you’ll want to see what happens when he approaches his quarry. Watch, via Mediaite. Warning: Don’t play it around the little guys. The hunter’s language is saltier than a deer lick.
[Courtney Love left her phone in a New York City cab, and who should find it but New York Times columnist Frank Bruni. So what do famous people do in a case like that? Talk about it on the Internet, of course. Read all the Twitter chirping at The Atlantic.]
BIDEN COMES UP SHORT - Vice President Joe Biden was among the first customers to visit the new Washington location of Capriotti’s Subs, the sandwich staple of Biden’s hometown of Wilmington, Del. There to tout the Italian-style hoagies and pick up lunch for himself and President Obama, Biden refused an offer from the restaurant’s owners for a free lunch. But when the bill came due, the vice president was running a deficit. From Roll Call: “The crowd erupted in laughter after Capriotti’s CEO Ashley Morris recited back the charge ($56.25), at which point Biden, who discovered he only had $50 on him, called back to staff to loan him a few bucks.”
AND NOW A WORD FROM CHARLES…“I think it's very short sighted. I mean, this is a victory that will last a day and a half in the news. But the cancellation of the policies of ObamaCare, the sticker shock when people see the premiums, the breakdown of the system of enrolling people is a daily story that keeps getting larger. It's an avalanche and this is not going to protect them from the avalanche. It's a tent that will last about a day and a half.”–Charles Krauthammeron “Special Report with Bret Baier”