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• President Romney
• Galloping Goalposts
• Team Obama tries to rally for late-term abortion
• ‘…a new nation, conceived in liberty…’
• Ah, Florida
PRESIDENT ROMNEY - How significant was President Obama’s “if you like it” bait and switch? The latest WaPo/ABC News poll says that if the election were held today, Mitt Romney would beat Obama 49 percent to 45 percent. That’s an 8-point swing from the results of last year’s election. And that’s among registered voters, saying nothing of what voter intensity would do to those numbers given the growing opposition to the health law and the president’s management. The survey shows public opposition to ObamaCare at 57 percent, in the latest WaPo/ABC news poll. President Obama’s approval is also suffering with 44 percent of adults now saying they “strongly disapprove” of the job he is doing.
[Major voter shift on government’s health role - A new poll from Gallup reveals 56 percent of respondents now believe that it is not the government’s responsibility to ensure its citizens have health insurance. In 2009, a majority of Americans felt it was the government’s job.]
Warrior women - President Obama is trying to weather the storm with the help of his political base as millions of insurance policies head for the scrapyard, even though he promised exactly the opposite. Liberal Democrats are saying the president should have just leveled with voters about the need to destroy the policies in order to drive consumers into ObamaCare. But the technological disaster of the Web site has made it impossible for the president to tell anxious policyholders that it’s for their own good. How bad is it? In 2012 exit polls, Obama led with women voters by 11 points. In the WaPo poll, it’s one point.
Just the tip of the iceberg - As President Obama and Democrats downplay cancelled policies under ObamaCare as only 5 percent of all health insurance consumers, National Review’s Andrew McCarthy told Megyn Kelly this figure is a deception. Citing a Justice Department filing from Oct. 17 that states, “Even under the grandfathering provision, it is projected that more group health plans will transition to the requirements under the regulations as time goes on.” McCarthy told Kelly, “This shows they never thought the grandfather clause was real in the first place.” Watch the full interview from “The Kelly File” here.
Buyer’s remorse? - Tickets for President Obama’s Nov. 25 fundraiser in San Francisco are now 50 percent off. Washington Examiner has the details.
GALLOPING GOALPOSTS - The Obama administration is again changing the measure of success as it races to repair the online home of ObamaCare. Rather than saying the Web site will be fixed, officials are now tamping down expectations by saying it will be “greatly improved.” The White House now claims that the ability to enroll 80 percent of those seeking to sign up for the new entitlement program by the end of the month would be a success. This comes as a House Energy and Commerce Committee’s investigation found the administration knew there were concerns, as early as March, that tech problems would prevent a successful launch. NYT reports, engineers have fixed 200 of the sites 600 defects and that enrollments are far ahead of last month’s dismal numbers. President Obama told campaign volunteers that he expects another half million to sign up by this time next month. Fox News has more.
[Watch Fox: Rep. Steve Scalise,R-La., reacts to reports there were early warnings of problems with healthcare.gov in the 9 a.m. ET hour ]
Can’t blame federal procurement rules - President Obama sought Monday night to buck up the members of his permanent campaign arm that the Web site for ObamaCare would be up and running in time to salvage the dismal launch of the new entitlement program. But Organizing for Action faced a tech crash of its own, with many supporters unable to log in or hear the audio of the president’s online address. Daily Caller has more.
Carney’s complications - WaPo’s Dana Milbank considers the oratorical acrobatics of White House Press Secretary Jay Carney: “Carney, at his briefing Monday, didn’t deny the [target of 80 percent of enrollees coming through the plan’s troubled Web site] but did his best to qualify it with all sorts of asterisks and fine print about metrics and baskets and site stability and users’ experiences and navigators and channels and something about a continuum…Fox News’s [Senior White House Correspondent] Ed Henry asked if the ‘vast majority’ standard could be lowered to 60 percent or 70 percent. Carney droned on about ‘the context in which these metrics are being described.”’
Senate probes security flaws - A Senate panel will consider security flaws in healthcare.gov. They have enlisted the aid of David Kennedy, a professional hacker hired by companies, and even countries, to help identify vulnerabilities in their online systems. Kennedy calls ObamaCare’s health hub a goldmine for hackers and criminals seeking private information.
States received billions for exchange Web sites - The Obama administration gave states roughly $4.4 billion in taxpayer dollars to set up their own ObamaCare websites, according to a new analysis. A Fox News analysis of the report shows 24 states received money but decided to instead send residents to the federal HealthCare.gov site.
Nevermind… - President Obama heralded Washington state resident Jessica Sanford last month for her success in enrolling in ObamaCare and obtaining high-quality insurance. It turns out, though, that Sanford doesn’t actually qualify for the ObamaCare subsidy. Watch the report from “On the Record with Greta Van Susteren.”
[President Obama will address the business community this afternoon during WSJ’s CEO council. Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., will address the group this evening.]
OBAMA TRIES TO BLOCK TOUGHER IRAN SANCTIONS - President Obama will meet with Senate leaders today in a bid to prevent further sanctions against Iran. The administration wants Congress to hold off on additional sanctions as negotiations continue over Iran's nuclear ambitions. The administration argues that current sanctions have prompted Iran to “come to the table” and feel additional sanctions would be a hindrance to current negotiations. Fox News has more.
[Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, has sent a “Dear Colleague” letter to all members of the Senate, calling on them to join the 24 other senators who are pushing for an impendent investigation of the 2012 raid by Islamist militants in Benghazi, Libya. The letter also includes statements from the family of Sean Smith, whose mother Patricia, says she is being denied answers by the State Department because they do not consider her “immediate family.”]
TEAM OBAMA TRIES TO RALLY FOR LATE-TERM ABORTION - Albuquerque could become the first city in America to enact a ban on late-term elective abortions as voters head to the polls today in a special election. The measure saw widespread support in a September poll by the Albuquerque Journal, but outside groups, including President Obama’s permanent campaign arm, Organizing for Action, have poured in resources in a bid to preserve access to elective abortions in the sixth month of pregnancy and beyond. National pro-life groups have jumped in the race, too. Read the latest from the Journal here – Watch Fox: Correspondent Shannon Bream is following today’s historic vote.
‘WHITE SUBURBAN MOMS’ SLAM DRAWS ALMOST APOLOGY - Education Secretary Arne Duncan issued an apology of sorts for waving off criticism of the administration’s controversial Common Core education regulations because it was coming from “white suburban moms” who did not support the program’s standards. Duncan said in a statement, “I used some clumsy phrasing that I regret.” When pressed about Duncan’s comments, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney ducked the question. Daily Caller has more.
WITH YOUR SECOND CUP OF COFFEE...As the Obama Justice Department prepares to announce what is expected to be a massive fine levied on a New York bank for its part in the Panic of 2008, WaPo’s Chuck Lane examines the demands on the left for criminal charges from the financial meltdown in Banks Aren’t the Bad Guys. Lane looks at the past and present of blaming bankers after panics, but says “The real scandal is the counterproductive behavior that was perfectly legal: Americans’ shared, erroneous belief in ever-rising housing prices and corresponding mania to profit from them.”
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Real Clear Politics Averages
Obama Job Approval: Approve – 40.8 percent//Disapprove – 54.6 percent
Direction of Country: Right Direction – 22.7 percent//Wrong Track – 68.3 percent
TOP TWEETS - @laurenashburn’s top tweet pick for this morning from Cox Radio’s DC correspondent @jamiedupree: “GOP stays on the offensive on health law; 2 hearings today, more around the nation soon.”
Lauren Ashburn of “#MEDIABUZZ” tracks the Twitterverse every day in Top Twitter Talk.]
SUPER-DUPER PAC FOR HILLARY - The pro-Hillary Clinton super PAC’s cannot coordinate with the 2016 Democratic frontrunner, but there’s nothing to stop them from coordinating with each other. AP’s Ken Thomas reports on how the pro-Clinton outside groups are synching up ahead of the cycle. And just because the Clintons can’t talk with their backers, doesn’t mean they can’t talk to them. “On Tuesday, American Bridge and the liberal-leaning Media Matters plan to hold a daylong conference on in San Francisco, where about 80 prospective donors and financial backers will hear from… former Vice President Al Gore and Democratic strategists James Carville and Paul Begala, longtime advisers to former President Bill Clinton… Bill Clinton addressed a similar closed-door Media Matters/American Bridge conference in May in New York, where he thanked the organization for its efforts, according to a person who attended.”
MICHELLE O’S ENDORSEMENT NO HELP TO GRIMES - Kentucky Democratic Senate hopeful Alison Lundergan Grimes received a glowing endorsement from First Lady Michelle Obama during a Democratic fundraiser in New York Monday. The first lady said Grimes’ election was crucial to advancing her husband’s agenda on health care and gun control. Grimes has shown a reluctance to fully embrace ties to the president as she makes a bid for the seat currently held by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. The Lexington Herald-Leader has the story.
RAND PAUL HAS A SEAT ON THE PANEL – AND SO DO YOU - Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., took his seat on the “Special Report with Bret Baier” All-Star Panel Monday to forecast that a Washington outsider, “someone like [him],” is what voters will want in 2016. As measured by Bing Pulse, men and women viewers agreed when the Kentucky senator said, “I’m new enough here to still be perceived as an outsider should that be the choice sometime in 2016.” Democrats disagreed with his statement.
Sen. Paul’s thoughts on ObamaCare generated a high volume of viewer interaction. Republicans and independents shared Paul’s belief that ObamaCare without a fix creates a high-risk pool of consumers in the insurance market. And viewer votes spiked to 32,000 per minute when he charged the “discussion over ObamaCare isn’t about health care; it’s about freedom of choice versus coercion.” Paul also found widespread agreement across the spectrum when he proposed expanding tax-free, health savings account plans with higher deductibles and lower premiums.
With a possible U.S. brokered deal on Iran’s nuclear program and a call for increased sanctions in the news, all political parties and genders disagreed with Paul’s claim that he couldn’t rightly say what to do because he is not privy to the administration’s plan. Women agreed significantly more than men with Paul’s comment that he would not let Iran have a nuke. Watch here. Bing Pulse tracked 289,000 viewer votes on the panel. See the full results in this deeper data dive. Don’t forget to take your seat!
[“I am going to be me. If I ever decide to run for anything again, if being me isn't good enough, then fine I'll go home. You know this isn't my whole life.”—Gov. Chris Christie, R-N.J., at Wednesday’s WSJ CEO Council, WSJ has more]
ACTIVISTS RISKS JAIL FOR DISCLOSING POLITICAL PROBE - Political activist Eric O’Keefe is the latest target of secret investigations of Wisconsin’s conservatives. Watchdog.org reports that O’Keefe’s recent disclosure to the WSJ that he had been subpoenaed in a Democrat-led secret investigation of Wisconsin conservatives could land him in jail. Under the state’s “John Doe” law, a subpoena's target is prohibited from disclosing its contents to anyone but their attorney. Bruce Landgraf, the Milwaukee County assistant district attorney who launched the investigation, has been accused of bully tactics in pursuit of political targets, even throwing two men who refused to testify in jail. The tactics have included after-hours visits to homes and offices; confiscated equipment and files; along with demands for phone, email and other records.
‘A NEW NATION, CONCEIVED IN LIBERTY…’ - It was a scant 270 words, but it rallied a nation shattered by the terrible cost of the Civil War and stands as probably the greatest piece of presidential oratory of all time. On this date 150 years ago in a Pennsylvania field Abraham Lincoln delivered his Gettysburg Address. The speech was panned by critics for its brevity and ordinary language. With nearly a million men killed in the war, Lincoln’s simple eloquence became a rallying point for the nation to persevere in the fight so that the higher ideal of the nation’s founders might be realized. Historian Martin Johnson considers “The Authentic Legend of Lincoln at Gettysburg” for Fox News Opinion: “This was the ‘great task,’ to assure that the nation would, ‘under God’ – words Lincoln spoke spontaneously, under the inspiration of that moment – have ‘a new birth of freedom,’ an unprecedented phrase first found on that new page written after his return from the battlefield.”—Watch Fox: Chief Washington Correspondent James Rosen commemorates the address today from Gettysburg.
[Enjoy a dramatic recitation of Lincoln’s famous address from special guests of “Fox & Friends”]
OF COURSE IT IS…AP: “Michelle Obama shared one with her ‘first dog’ Bo, Hillary Clinton tweeted one with her daughter Chelsea. Now ‘selfie’ — the smartphone self-portrait — has been declared word of the year for 2013, according to Britain's Oxford University Press… Previous words of the year have included ‘unfriend’ in 2009, ‘credit crunch’ in 2008, ‘carbon footprint’ in 2007 and ‘Sudoku’ in 2005…Oxford usually assigns a separate word of the year to the U.S. and to the U.K., but it said ‘selfie’ captured the imagination on both sides of the Atlantic this year.”
AH, FLORIDA - Florida is ending public python hunts. Previously, the state’s Python Challenge allowed amateur hunters to go after the large snakes throughout January and February. Last year’s challenge netted over 68 snakes, some as long as 14 feet. The hunt drew over 1,600 hunters into swamps and marshes to scour for the non-native reptiles, which have been blamed for crushing pets. The commission is now working with licensed hunters to manage the states pesky python problem. Read more.
AND NOW, A WORD FROM CHARLES…“If you are obsessed with equality, as they are in Europe, what you end up with is chronic unemployment. Because the real engine of growth is low regulation, low taxation and you allow the golden goose, meaning the private economy, to go ahead and to flourish. And when you over regulate and you overtax it, especially if you are doing it in the name of reducing inequality, you are going to get the opposite effect.” – Charles Krauthammer on “The O’Reilly Factor”