Obama digs in, raising worries

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Buzz Cut:
• Obama digs in, raising worries
• Harry Reid: Media critic
• Amber Alert less important than union reps?
• Lew dodges on ObamaCare
• Never too late to make amends

TEN MORE DAYS OF CLIFF DIVING - President Obama is standing by his refusal to negotiate over the ongoing partial government shutdown and the looming debt-limit bust, so House Speaker John Boehner and Treasury Secretary Jack Lew took their talks on the fiscal crisis to the airwaves in dueling Sunday show appearances. The conclusions: The partial shutdown is bound to last for at least another 10 days and the stakes are growing by the hour as Americans come to believe Obama is serious about not budging. Boehner and House Republicans are unified behind a pressure play: They keep passing bills to provide funding for popular programs and Democrats’ sacred cows, particularly retroactive pay guarantees to government workers. If Obama remains aloof from the process, things are going to get very dicey on Wall Street and Main Street. To wit: Markets were already hitting the skids this morning.

[“The president has taken many steps over the last several years to show his willingness to negotiate. He’s done it with Democrats saying he’s too eager to negotiate!” – Treasury Secretary Jack Lew on “Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace” defending President Obama’s refusal to negotiate in the current fiscal impasse.]

Boehner’s ballet - Boehner went on ABC’s “This Week” to explain his position on the debt limit. Boehner didn’t dispute reports that he was adamant about not allowing a debt breach, which would block the government from borrowing the more than $3 billion a day it needs for regular functions and also likely send interest rates through the stratosphere. But that doesn’t mean he’s got nothing to bargain with. Boehner could allow a Democrat-led vote for an unconditional debt hike at the 11th hour and lift the limit for just a very short period. If Obama is looking for stability and a lasting bargain, he’ll have to deal. Boehner added “the votes are not in the House to pass a clean debt limit. And the president is risking default by not having a conversation with us.” And Boehner is right… so far. Democrats are feeling the squeeze on funding bills that fund vital services or are helpful to their party’s most important political patrons: unionized government workers.

[Watch Fox: Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, appears in the 9 a.m. ET hour]

October heat - The tacit admission from Boehner and Lew is that this partial shutdown will drag on until there’s a deal on the debt limit. Obama may be strengthening his hand by his refusals to negotiate, but the crisis is deepening as Americans begin to take the president seriously on his claim. And if the president’s really not bluffing this time? Washington’s problems will soon become the world’s problem.

HARRY REID: MEDIA CRITIC - “You and other journalists have a real shortcoming in that you are trying so hard to be fair that you are unfair ... Democrats have had almost nothing to do with the problems here. It’s all Republicans.” – Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid in an interview with Politico to tout his 2016 re-election bid. Reid would be 76 years old seeking a fifth term.

SELECTIVE SHUTDOWN - Amber Alert less important than union reps? - Washington Examiner says the national missing-child warning system, Amber Alert, has shut down its web site. This, despite only 17 percent of the government being shut down and the Obama administration’s move to allow union representatives for government workers to return to their posts. The Justice Department cites the shutdown in the online message directing people away from Amber Alert. Breitbart points out letsmove.org, the web site for first lady Michelle Obama’s initiative to combat childhood obesity is still fully functional.

Americans jump barricades to enter parks - The Daily Caller looks at how Americans are accessing national parks and monuments despite the partial government shutdown. Some officials are joining in the civil disobedience: “In Wisconsin, Gov. Scott Walker defied the federal edict, and cleared away barriers hindering Americans. The state ‘has clarified areas where the federal procedures are over-reaching,’ said an email from Cathy Stepp, secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.”

[Watch Fox: Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., head of the Senate Republican Policy Committee, discusses the partial government shutdown in the noon ET hour]

“Republicans now have what liberals are supposed to admire, which is diversity. Except liberals don't want diversity in thought, and that’s what the Republicans now have and it makes them rather interesting.” – George Will in his debut appearance on “Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace.  Watch Panel Plus here.

LEW DODGES ON OBAMACARE NUMBERS - On “Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace,” Treasury Secretary Jack Lew said “it’s the wrong question,” when asked how many people had signed up for ObamaCare’s exchanges. Wallace pressed Lew saying, “Do you not know how many people have signed up, which would seem to indicate another major software glitch, or is it that the number is embarrassingly small?” Lew dodged saying, “it’s obviously not my primary area of responsibility.” Watch the full interview here

ObamaCare web site “sloppy” - WSJ: “…[T]he federal government acknowledged for the first time Sunday it needed to fix design and software problems that have kept customers from applying online for coverage…Information technology experts who examined the healthcare.gov website at the request of The Wall Street Journal said the site appeared to be built on a sloppy software foundation..”

ObamaCare costing 66,000 jobs in Illinois - The Illinois Policy Institute, a free-market think tank, has found “Since 2011, Illinois has lost the equivalent of about 66,000 jobs…through reduced work hours – more than the number of jobs added,” due to ObamaCare. The Washington Free Beacon has the story.

KERRY DEFENDS WEEKEND RAID - Fox News - Secretary of State John Kerry defended the capture of an Al Qaeda leader in Libya long wanted in connection with the 1998 bombings of two U.S. embassies in East Africa and subsequent activities. Kerry told reporters that Abu Anas al-Libi was a “legal and appropriate target” for the U.S. military and will face trial. The Libyan government called the raid by the U.S. Army's Delta Force a “kidnapping.” National Security Correspondent Jennifer Griffin is reporting the latest on the manhunt and what’s next for al-Libi.

[WSJ: “The raids are a tacit admission that Mr. Obama has been overselling victory [over al-Qaeda], but we're nonetheless glad to see the U.S. going back on offense.”]

BAIER TRACKS: TWO SIDES OF THE SAME COIN…“Two stories on the front page of the Wall Street Journal depict the two sides of executive branch decision making: One that can plan and then make things happen with precision, the other that despite time and repeated warnings cannot seem to prepare for reality when the moment hits.

First this story about the raids in Somalia and Libya over the weekend by U.S. Special Operations commandos - Navy Seals in Somalia and Delta Force in Libya. They managed to kill and capture two bigwigs in the terrorist line-up. (Maybe Delta Force can hang around Libya and also get the head of Ansar al Sharia who is said to have been behind the Benghazi attack and who has been talking to reporters there ad nauseum). This shows that despite significant risk, with planning, and precision execution, the U.S. is unstoppable.

The other story is this one: After three years and billions of dollars, the ObamaCare website is not ‘structurally designed’ to handle the people who want to sign up – ‘Such a hastily constructed website may not have been able to withstand the online demand last week, they said.’

The difference in the two stories couldn’t be starker, showing the best of executive branch decision making – firm, decisive action executed with precision – and the worst – stubborn unpreparedness moved forward in order to make a political deadline.  Here’s to more of the first kind.” – Bret Baier.

NEW SUPREME COURT TERM BEGINS TODAY - AP - The Supreme Court will begin hearing oral arguments today in the start of its new term. The high court is set to hear cases on campaign finance laws, racial preference policies, protests at abortion providers and religious liberty. Correspondent Shannon Bream previews the big cases on the docket.

WITH YOUR SECOND CUP OF COFFEE...UCLA Law Professor Adam Winkler considers how Justice Elena Kagan is poised to become the most influential liberal member of the Supreme Court for Slate, in The Coming of the Kagan Court: “…she had earned [President Obama’s] trust as an adviser. And when she was selected to be dean of the Harvard Law School, it wasn’t because she was the most prolific and influential scholar.”

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POLL CHECK - Real Clear Politics Average

Obama Job Approval: Approve – 44.1 percent//Disapprove – 50.3 percent
Direction of Country: Right Direction – 27.0 percent//Wrong Track – 63.6 percent

OFF TO THE RACES…Shutdown air wars in Arkansas - Rep. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., launched an ad over the weekend tying Sen. Mark Pryor, D-Ark., to the shutdown, blasting him for casting the, “…deciding vote to make you live under ObamaCare.” Pryor continues to blame Republicans and what he calls “hyper-partisanship” in the House for the shutdown.

VA College Republicans: McAuliffe a ‘catfish’ - Daily Caller: Virginia’s College Republicans are lampooning Democratic gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe in a new web ad. The ad, “TerryFish,” parodies the popular MTV show “Catfish” about bogus online daters. The spot points to several of McAuliffe’s controversies, with a female actress saying “I met this guy named Terry online, and he’s been making a lot of promises… he’s just too good to be true. I just need to know the truth.”

Huma’s Choice: Hillary or Hubby? - Sources told the NY Post’s Page Six that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, “…has issued an ultimatum to [Huma Abedin] that the doting wife must dump [her husband, self-portrait hobbyist Anthony Weiner] if she wants a top role in her campaign and administration.”

BUT IF HE WOULD HAVE HAD A POCKET KNIFE…AP : “A 9-year-old runaway went through security, boarded a plane at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport without a ticket and flew to Las Vegas, an airport spokesman said Sunday.”

NEVER TOO LATE TO MAKE AMENDS - World War II veteran Jim Williams of Springfield, Ill., stole a picture of Ruby Ruff in 1943 from her parents’ home in Portland, Ore. And now she has it back. As the Daily News of Longview, Ore. reported, Williams was invited to Ruby’s home as part of her family’s effort to make servicemen from nearby Depoe Bay feel at home. Though he and Ruby were just friends, Williams said he envied his bunkmates who had pictures of their sweethearts and took the photo. He regretted doing so, but said he was shipped out before he could give it back. During a recent vacation to the West Coast, Williams tracked down the now Ruby Hazen to return the photo, saying it “survived torpedo attacks, aircraft strafing, shore battery firings and 30 consecutive nights of bombing, two wives and a typhoon in the China seas.” He sent her six roses as thanks for “sharing his war years” and six yellow roses for her husband “in case [Williams] had caused him any embarrassment.”

HEY, I KNOW THAT POLAR BEAR! - Army Specialist Justin May made a surprising return to Kentucky after an 11-month deployment in Afghanistan. May disguised himself as the Bracken County High School polar bear mascot, surprising his father Ronald and brother Ryan who were unaware when he removed the costume head on the field. Watch the family share the moment.

AMERICA’S STRONGEST PRIMETIME LINEUP, ANYWHERE - Fox News Channel’s new evening programming schedule premieres today, with Megyn Kelly joining cable news’ top-rated lineup. “On the Record with Greta Van Susteren” will air at 7 p.m. ET, followed by “The O’Reilly Factor,” continuing in its 8 p.m. slot. Megyn Kelly then debuts her new show, “The Kelly File,” at 9 p.m., followed by “Hannity” at 10 p.m. Fox News Chairman and CEO Roger Ailes said that with the top 13 shows in cable news, “Fox News already redefined prime-time viewing to extend well beyond the antiquated 8-11 p.m. format. We’ve developed a deep bench of engaging and thought-provoking personalities that have grown with Fox News as it has evolved into the most influential and successful cable network in television. These changes will enable the network to continue setting the industry standard for years to come.”

Chris Stirewalt is digital politics editor for Fox News. Want FOX News First in your inbox every day? Sign up here. To catch Chris live online daily at 11:30 a.m. ET, click here.