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• New poll shows risks in Obama’s debt play
• Dem hardliners keeping Biden out of talks
• ObamaCare dump proposed in Chicagoland
• Republican spats letting Booker skate?
• Honey, about my kidnapping…
NEW POLL SHOWS RISKS IN OBAMA’S DEBT PLAY - Democrats are continuing a full-scale assault today aimed at getting Republicans to unconditionally increase the federal government’s borrowing limit. House and Senate Democrats are trying to force votes on a debt lift without any offsetting cuts or changes. But a Fox News poll out this morning finds 58 percent of respondents would vote against raising the government’s debt limit if they were in Congress, while just 37 percent would vote for it. Seventy-eight percent of Republicans, 88 percent of members of the tea party movement, 57 percent of independents and 38 percent of Democrats would vote against raising the debt ceiling. Sixty-two percent of all respondents, including a plurality of Democrats, said they would favor a debt-ceiling increase only if tied to major cuts in government spending. Only 27 percent of those surveyed said the limit should be raised unconditionally, as President Obama has demanded.
[Voters like the spending caps, known as “sequestration,” imposed by the previous debt-limit deal in 2011. Forty-eight percent in the latest Fox News poll approved, compared to 39 percent who disapproved.]
Remember when? - There’s a reason that Democrats so vocally opposed raising the debt limit during the Bush administration: It is very good politics. The blue team may have flip-flopped on the subject since then-Sen. Barack Obama denounced an increase sought by a Republican president in 2006 as “a failure of leadership,” but that doesn’t mean that moderate voters have come to agree. Democrats are feeling the squeeze as Republicans challenge a Senate blockade of smaller spending bills to reopen popular programs during the ongoing partial government shutdown, and are trying to return fire with a procedural gambit to force a House vote on hiking the debt. But if voters don’t agree, where is the pressure? If there is a debt disaster, it might get Republicans on the record ahead of time, but that’s slim solace for vulnerable Democrats who would have to cast another painful vote for more borrowing without any preconditions.
[Equal pressure - “[A survey] by the Pew Research Center… finds 44% say Republican leaders should give ground on their demand that any budget deal include cuts or delays to the 2010 health care law. Nearly as many (42%) say it is Obama who should give ground, by agreeing to changes in the health care law.”]
PRIME TIME PUSH - “The only year that was good for Republicans was 2010 when we painted in bold colors, not in pale pastels. We stood for principle” – Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, on “The Kelly File”
“Compromise exists, but the president has to say: ‘The country is going bankrupt and I will have to restrain on spending.’ That is all we are asking: restraint on spending.” – Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., on“Hannity”
DEM HARDLINERS KEEPING BIDEN OUT OF TALKS - Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has bowed to liberal members of his party and barred Vice President Joe Biden from any negotiations over the debt limit, Politico reports. Biden led budget pacts with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., in the summer of 2011 and New Year’s Eve 2013. Liberal members complained the deals were too generous to Republicans.
[The National Republican Congressional Committee is hitting Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., for not taking up piecemeal legislation passed in the Republican-controlled House in a new Web ad.]
EASTBOUND AND DOWN: TRUCKERS PLAN TO BLOCK BELTWAY - A group of truckers are planning to clog Washington’s Beltway starting Friday, promising to bring enough big rigs to jam three lanes of the already congested Inner Loop during rush hour. Truckers for the Constitution is seeking “the arrest of everyone in government who has violated their oath of office,” according to an organizer who spoke to U.S. News & World Report. Earl Conlon claimed that more than 3,000 truckers have already signed up for the three-day convoy.
Immigration rally proceeds despite shutdown - Despite the partial government shutdown that has closed monuments and parks, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., Sen. Robert Menendez. D-N.J., Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart, R-Fla., and Washington D.C.’s Democratic Mayor Vincent Gray, will further their calls for comprehensive immigration legislation when they address thousands of Latino immigrants at a rally on the National Mall this afternoon.
YOUR VOICE WAS HEARD - Here are Monday’s panel results, as measured by Bing Pulse: Men and women both strongly disagreed with Obama economic advisor Gene Sperling’s admonition to not threaten a government default. Republicans, Democrats and independent viewers alike disagreed when NPR’s Mara Liasson said that the partial shutdown is going to go on for some time. Agreement among men and women shot up when House Speaker John Boehner accused President Obama of refusing to negotiate. All parties agreed with Charles Krauthammer when he said it’s in Obama’s interest politically to negotiate with Republicans over the debt limit.
The highest moment of viewer engagement came when Liasson asked whether “taxpayers are paying for a paid vacation” for federal workers. Reaction spiked to 20,000 votes per minute. Bing Pulse measured a total of 141,000 votes during the All-Star Panel. Add your voice to the panel. Get the full results here.
During the panel’s discussion of recent U.S. raids in Africa, viewers from all parties agreed with Krauthammer’s comment that drones kill off all the information that is available from the target of the attack. Members of all parties also agreed with Krauthammer’s conclusion that the operations in Libya and Somalia show a new realism in combating terrorism on the part of the president. There’s room for you on the panel, so take your seat.
OBAMACARE DUMP PROPOSED IN CHICAGOLAND - President Obama’s home county is proposing dumping 400 part-time workers from its health-insurance policy and into ObamaCare, where they would be eligible for subsidies from federal taxpayers. The Daily Caller reports on the proposed move in cash-strapped Cook County, Ill.
Report reveals cost conflict - President Obama promised ObamaCare would lower insurance costs for every family by $2,500 a year, but a new federal report says health spending will go up by $621 billion over the next decade. Chief National Correspondent Jim Angle considers if increasing access to care and including extra benefits is actually lowering health care costs.
Failed ObamaCare success story? - Chad Henderson, the 21-year-old student from Georgia cited in multiple articles as being one of the few to successfully sign up for ObamaCare may not really have. According to Reason, Henderson’s father, Bill, “contradicted virtually every major detail of the story the media can't get enough of.”
Sebelius: Nothing has been delayed - In an interview on Comedy Central, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius dodged questions on the number of enrollees in ObamaCare. When pressed about a delay for big businesses from the law’s requirement that they offer coverage to workers, Sebelius said, “…nothing that helps individuals get insurance has been delayed at all.”
BAIER TRACKS: MEANWHILE…“After a pretty rocky appearance by Secretary Kathleen Sebelius on “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart” about the new health-insurance exchanges, USA Today’s editorial board delivered another blow to the administration over the program’s extremely weak launch. An editorial board that was previously supportive of ObamaCare had a blistering take on the first week of the exchanges. Some Democrats think they escaped the worst of the PR fallout because of the coverage of the partial federal shutdown. But in reality, many papers’ editorial boards, TV news outlets and late-night hosts can walk and chew gum at the same time. The worst of the criticism is likely not over.” – Bret Baier
COBURN UNCOVERS MASSIVE DISABILITY FRAUD - Fox News: A two-year investigation by the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations has found widespread fraud in the Social Security Administration's Disability Program. A report conducted by Sen. Tom Coburn’s, R-Okla., office found fraud is so rampant, that the Social Security's Disability Trust Fund may run out of money in only 18 months.
WITH YOUR SECOND CUP OF COFFEE...How does the left and the press get Camelot wrong? Historians Michael Bishop and James Swanson contend at the Daily Beast that the media has misrepresented President John Kennedy’s legacy in The New New Left Is No New Frontier: “The current president is often depicted as similarly remote and cerebral, but his ideological lurches and maladroit handling of Congress have sunk him in a morass JFK might have hurdled. The narrowness of JFK’s 1960 victory over Richard Nixon stemmed in part from their similarity—voters perceived little ideological difference between them.”
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POLL CHECK - Real Clear Politics Averages
Obama Job Approval: Approve – 44.3 percent//Disapprove – 50.3 percent
Direction of Country: Right Direction – 27 percent//Wrong Track – 63.6 percent
OFF TO THE RACES - Campaign finance laws back at high court - The Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in a case today dealing with caps on direct contributions from individuals to candidates and political parties. Correspondent Shannon Bream will have the latest on the arguments.
You talking to me? - Gov. Chris Christie, R-N.J., and his Democratic challenger, state Sen. Barbara Buono, will face off in their first debate tonight. Polls show Christie widely favored to win re-election in November.
Amash to face primary challenge - Brian Ellis, a Kent County, Mich. school board member and local businessman, will challenge libertarian Rep. Justin Amash, R-Mich. In a statement announcing his run, Ellis slammed Amash saying he “turned his back on conservative principles.”
Walker draws Dem opponent - Gov. Scott Walker, R-Wis., has drawn his first big-name Democratic challenger for his re-election bid next year. Mary Burke, the daughter of the founder of Wisconsin’s Trek Bicycle Corp, announced Monday in a Web video.Republican spats letting Booker skate? - Former spokesman for the National Republican Senatorial Committee Brian Walsh observes the absence of Jim DeMint’s Senate Conservatives Fund from the Oct. 16 New Jersey special Senate election. Conservative Republican Steve Lonegan has gotten relatively little outside help in his campaign against Democrat Cory Booker despite showing some recent viability in the deep-blue state. Walsh argues in a U.S. News OpEd that donors to DeMint’s group might be surprised to see more being spent on attacking Republican incumbents than trying to block Booker.
MAYBE HE DIDN’T THINK THIS ONE ALL THE WAY THROUGH - Rogelio Andaverde, 34, of Edinburg, Texas is facing criminal charges for staging his own kidnapping. After police helicopters were enlisted in the search for Andaverde, he casually returned home and said the kidnappers showed mercy and had set him free. But he later confessed to investigators, that it was all a ruse so he could go out for a night on the town with his friends. Read more from the San Antonio Express-News
AND NOW, A WORD FROM CHARLES…“What [House Speaker John Boehner] has to do is articulate a list of specific demands precisely because they have been shifting their demands every 12 hours. He has to come up with something stronger than ‘I want to have a talk to the president’ because you have a president arguing what looks like on principle. If you argue ‘I just want to have a talk,’ it looks weak and indecisive. Unless Republicans can agree, they will lose on this...”– Charles Krauthammer on “Special Report with Bret Baier”