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• Obama tries to quell youth revolt
• One is the loneliest number for Sebelius
• Obama bowing to China on airspace?
• Hillary juggernaut: Warren steps aside
• Kanye: I hate books, please buy mine
OBAMA TRIES TO QUELL YOUTH REVOLT - President Obama is joining an event hosted by liberal network MSNBC for students at Washington’s American University as he and his political team try to cope with a deepening rebellion among the young Americans whose support made his presidency possible. Young Americans are the primary targets of the president’s struggling health law. They are subject to mandatory insurance, federal fines and more expensive coverage as Obama seeks to finance subsidized insurance policies for middle-aged Americans. A new poll from the Harvard University Institute of Politics shows Millennials’ approval for Obama’s job performance down 11 points since just before the 2012 election, crashing to 41 percent. Twelve percent of Obama voters said that they would not recast ballots for the president and 47 percent said they would vote to recall Obama from office if given the opportunity. Just 22 percent said they planned to sign up for the law, meaning they could possibly face ObamaCare penalties. Fifty-seven percent opposed the law.
[Christendom College is cutting the hours of student workers to because of ObamaCare. Washington Examiner has the story]
Drowning his sorrows - President Obama told a gathering of 160 young ObamaCare missionaries at the White House to be creative in the events they hold to encourage Americans to sign up for the entitlement. “If you’re a bartender, have a happy hour,” he counseled.
ONE IS THE LONELIEST NUMBER FOR SEBELIUS - Once. That’s how many times President Obama met one-on-one with Health Secretary Kathleen Sebelius in the three years leading up to the disastrous launch of ObamaCare. Breitbart’s Peter Schweizer says the president’s schedule lists 277 private meetings with 16 other cabinet secretaries during the same timeframe. Schweizer’s findings point to what the NYT has called a “deeply dysfunctional relationship” between Obama and the health secretary. Watch his interview with Sean Hannity here.
OBAMACARE TAKES A BITE OUT OF CONGRESSIONAL PAYCHECKS - WSJ details the sticker shock for older members of Congress as they enroll in ObamaCare. Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., would face a premium of $948 a month, to cover Sen. Mary Landrieu’s, D- La., family it would cost $1,774 a month. Since Congress is keeping its employer contribution, they will still see significantly lower costs than ordinary Americans.
Cruz rips Reid on ObamaCare exemptions - Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, said the decision by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to exempt some senior staffers from ObamaCare is “is the clearest example yet of ObamaCare’s failures and Washington hypocrisy… they don't want to be part of it because it's a disaster.” Reid himself is going on the exchange and says he is happy with its options. Fox News has the story.
MORE BUSINESSES MEAN BAD NEWS UNDER OBAMACARE - Couples who operate more than one business are getting snared in an ObamaCare provision that forces them to count the employees of separate companies together. If the tally crosses the 50-worker threshold, employers face big penalties. The WSJ reports on how the costly provision is holding down hiring.
[The administration recently finalized the Health Insurance Tax that will cost $60 billion over the next 5 years and will result in raising premiums by 3 percent. The tax will cost families an additional $270 in 2014. Washington Free Beacon has the details.]
OBAMA BOWING TO CHINA ON AIRSPACE? - Foreign Policy: “Top Obama administration and Pentagon officials signaled a willingness to temporarily accept China’s new, controversial air defense identification zone on Wednesday. Those officials expressed disapproval for the way in which the Asian power has flexed its muscles, and cautioned China not to implement the zone. But they also carved out wiggle room in which the United States and China ultimately could find common ground on the issue, indicating that they may be willing to live with the zone for now -- as long as China backs off its demand that all aircraft traveling through it check in first.”
THE JUDGE’S RULING: MATTERS ETERNAL AND TEMPORAL - Fox News Senior Judicial Analyst Judge Andrew Napolitano offers at Fox News Opinion a respectful dissent from Pope Francis’ latest encyclical. “The pope would do well to pray for those who have used government to steal freedom so as to satisfy their lust for power, and for those who have bowed to government so as to become rich from governmental benefits and not by the fruits of their own labors.”
BAIER TRACKS: SO YOU’RE SAYING THAT THERE’S A CHANCE…“It's hard to believe headlines like this one from the WSJ: ‘Congress Nearer To a Budget Deal.’ The LA Times is far more pointed and puts the onus on one man: ‘Can [Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis.] seal budget deal? Fate of compromise plan could hinge on the Republican's clout.’ Both stories and our own reporting suggest that some small-scale budget agreement could possibly come together as soon as Friday, with the traditional caveats that ‘several obstacles remain unresolved.’ That last line is usually the killer. But we’ll see. Ryan and Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., head up a budget conference committee of 29 lawmakers tasked with trying to reconcile the House and Senate plans. Current funding ends Jan. 15. And, oh yeah – the debt ceiling is up again in February.” – Bret Baier.
WITH YOUR SECOND CUP OF COFFEE...George Will weighs Two options on Iran “The agreement will not stop Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons; only a highly unlikely Iranian choice can do that. The agreement may, however, prevent a war to prevent Iran from acquiring such weapons…. we have two choices, war or containment. Those who prefer the former have an obligation to clearly say why its consequences would be more predictable and less dire than those in the disastrous war with Iraq.”
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POLL CHECK - Real Clear Politics Averages
Obama Job Approval: Approve – 40.1 percent//Disapprove – 55.5 percent
Direction of Country: Right Direction – 24.4 percent//Wrong Track – 66.2 percent
TOP TWEETS - @laurenashburn’s top tweet pick for this morning Rep. Blake @farenthold, R-Texas, “Trying to Sign up for ObamaCare on http://DCHealthlink.com . 3rd try. #ACA #FAIL http://pic.twitter.com/2Ivq3BfcYh”
Lauren Ashburn of “#MEDIABUZZ” tracks the Twitterverse every day in Top Twitter Talk.]
WARREN STEPS ASIDE FOR HILLARY; WHO WILL SAVE ANXIOUS DEMS? - Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., said Wednesday she is “not running for president” and pledged to serve out her term through 2018. But to whom will Democrats wary of 2016 frontrunner Hillary Clinton’s coziness with Wall Street and ethically challenging associations look? Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley seems to be auditioning for the part, but he might just be interested in a supporting role to leading lady Hillary. Vice President Joe Biden continues to maintain that he might run, but polls certainly haven’t been encouraging. With a very weak bench, nervous Democrats might have to get creative. California Gov. Jerry Brown lost to Hillary’s husband in 1992, but has resuscitated his career with a successful term in Sacramento. Another 1992 quasi rematch: Andrew Cuomo, son of Clinton foe Mario, hasn’t shut the door. – Watch Fox: Campaign Carl Cameron is looking at how liberal Democrats are pumping up their power ahead of 2016.
COTTON PICKING FIGHT WITH OWN PARTY - Likely Arkansas Republican Senate nominee Rep. Tom Cotton is condemning his own party’s tweaking of the truly weird campaign ad from super-vulnerable Democrat Sen. Mark Pryor. In the spot, Pryor literally waves a Bible at the camera and professes his Christianity, saying “This is my compass, my North Star. It gives me comfort and guidance to do what’s best for Arkansas.” The National Republican Senatorial Committee pointed out that last year, prior to the implosion of his poll numbers, Pryor cautioned that the Bible is “not a rule book for political issues.” Cotton, who will rely on financial help from the committee in his run, called that observation “bizarre and offensive.” The Hill has more.
[Watch Fox: Correspondent Doug McKelway considers how West Virginia Democrat Joe Manchin is balancing his loyalties to his party and home state amid the ObamaCare crash landing.]
FRATRICIDE ALERT: ALASKA - Sen. Mark Begich, D-Alaska, faces tough odds in keeping his seat next year if Republicans can avoid a bloody, expensive primary fight. But that’s a big “if.” Roll Call looks at the effort by Washington Republicans to nudge aside Alaska Lt. Gov. Meade Treadwell in favor former Bush appointee Dan Sullivan. “However, eyebrows in both parties were raised in late October, when NRSC Chairman Jerry Moran of Kansas and Vice Chairman Rob Portman of Ohio both appeared at a Sullivan fundraiser held at party headquarters on Capitol Hill. Sullivan highlighted the private reception — which was hosted by a laundry list of former Bush administration officials — in an early November email to supporters. He noted in the missive that the campaign exceeded its fundraising goal.”
SECOND WORST ROLLOUT OF THE FALL…Ohio’s Democratic gubernatorial frontrunner Ed FitzGerald isn’t getting any relief from his running mate’s tax woes. Eric Kearney told reporters Wednesday he is staying in the race, despite owing more than $800,000 in back taxes. The Cincinnati Enquirer reports that Kearney is also facing a lawsuit from American Express for $14,000 in credit card debt. Kearney maintains FitzGerald was offered the complete picture during the vetting process. The campaign says Kearney’s struggles make him able to relate to the average Ohioan.
VIRGINIA RECOUNT SET - A Richmond judge has set a Dec. 16 date for the recount in the commonwealth’s attorney general race between Democratic state Sen. Mark Herring and Republican state Sen. Mark Obenshain. The last official count showed Herring defeating Obenshain by 165 votes out of more than 2.2 million – the closest margin in Virginia history. WaPo has the details.
[A new CNN poll shows support for stricter gun control has dropped 6 points since January and is now back under 50 percent.]
YOU HAVE A SEAT ON THE PANEL: FED UP WITH OBAMACARE - More and more Americans are souring on ObamaCare. That’s how Bing Pulse tracked viewer sentiment across the political spectrum during Wednesday night’s “Special Report with Bret Baier” All-Star Panel. With new polls showing more than 50 percent disapprove of the health law, men and women shared concerns expressed by Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Mich., over the Web site’s poor security. Agreement spiked when Rogers charged that the administration has no “coordinated effort” to track threats. Men and women strongly disagreed with President Obama’s assessment that healthcare.gov is working for “most users.
Discussion of a Harvard University poll that revealed a majority of young people disapprove of the president’s new entitlement program saw a big surge in viewer interest. There was slight disagreement across the political divide when Washington Examiner’s David Drucker said Republicans see nothing but more problems to come with ObamaCare. There was a spike in viewer votes when Charles Krauthammer said ObamaCare was not a good deal for young people and that’s why they are “going to walk away…even the ones who are good looking.” On that point viewer engagement peaked at 32,000 votes per minute. Bing Pulse tracked 189,000 viewer votes overall, see the full results by taking a deeper data dive here. Friday is your next opportunity to take your seat on the panel.
ROB FORD COMES TO WASHINGTON AIRWAVES - Toronto Mayor Rob Ford has some hot picks on NFL Football games and is sharing them in his debut today as a sports commentator on Washington D.C. radio station WJK, a.k.a. The Fan. He’s getting off on the right foot with D.C. sports junkies. Asked by reporters about the calls for the Washington Redskins to change names, Ford was blunt: “To me, that’s ridiculous,” he told reporters, according to Canada’s National Post. “What are we going to call the Cleveland Indians? The Cleveland Aboriginals? Where do we start? The Skins are the Skins and I stick with the Washington Redskins.” Back home, Ford is facing revelations that he was blackmailed by the drug dealers who provided him the crack that fueled the video rant that made Ford famous. AP reports police have wiretaps, “[O]f alleged gang members who spoke about delivering drugs to Ford and having pictures of him using drugs.”
[Former Congressman and Internet enthusiast Anthony Weiner is in discussions with top New York City radio stations to host a drive-time radio program , the NY Daily News reports. WABC is seeking to fill its drive-time slot when hosts Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh move to WOR.]
BASHIR COVERAGE JUDGED ILL - On the heels of Martin Bashir’s resignation from MSNBC, Washington Examiner points out uneven coverage by the broadcast networks. “The Big Three networks that flooded viewers with stories about Rush Limbaugh's labeling of abortion advocate Sandra Fluke as a ‘slut’ have gone radio silent on MSNBC host Martin Bashir's call to defecate on Sarah Palin, according to a new analysis. The score tallied by the Media Research Center: Limbaugh, 32 stories or interview segments demanding an apology. Bashir, zero stories.”
CONGRESS OPTS TO HAVE YOU PAY TO SEND YOURSELF HOLIDAY CARDS - Rep. Candice Miller, R-Mich., who oversees a panel supervising what mail members of Congress are allowed to send at taxpayer expense, issued a statement Wednesday heralding a rule change that will allow members to use a holiday salutation, whether it be, “Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, and so on.” In 2012, House members sent 61.4 million pieces of mail to constituents at a cost of $23 million.
CAREFUL, THEY CAN SENSE FEAR - A former saleswoman for fancy underwear chain Victoria’s Secret confirms that men really do fumble with bras – and it’s expensive. Anxious and embarrassed dudes who show up at Christmastime to buy their ladies something special “would buy anything in order to get out of the store as quickly as possible,” the anonymous worker told Business Insider. The strategy was to offer panicky men high-priced items that bargain-hunting women would pass up. As the former lingerie technician said, “when a man walked in, it felt like a lucky break.”
KANYE: I HATE BOOKS, PLEASE BUY MINE - “I am a proud non-reader of books. I like to get information from doing stuff like actually talking to people and living real life,” rapper Kanye West told Reuters… in an interview about a book he wrote and wants people to buy. West, who has recently been promoting the launch of a new celebrity infant with fellow famous person Kim Kardashian, told the wire service that being a non-reader was helpful to his process as it gave him “a childlike purity.” West collaborated on the spiral-bound book of just 52 pages (“some blank, others with just a few words”) with motivational author J. Sakiya Sandifer. From the Reuters write-up: “One two-page section reads, ‘Life is 5% what happens and 95% how you react!’ Another page reads ‘I hate the word hate!’” Said West: “I am not a fan of books. I would never want a book’s autograph.”
AND NOW, A WORD FROM CHARLES…“Here you are actually appealing to young people. It isn’t only because the young have a feeling of being invincible. You are offering a product where they are going to pay twice the market rate. They don't have a job. They are living in their parents’ basement and they are paying twice the market rate in order to subsidize older people who probably have a job or a pension. And that isn’t a good deal. And that’s why the young are going to walk away”—Charles Krauthammer on “Special Report with Bret Baier”