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Obama’s ISIS pressure point is Dems' worst nightmare

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Politics,Chris Stirewalt,Power Play

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Buzz Cut:
• Obama’s ISIS pressure point is dems worst nightmare
• Rand: Dems fear ‘war hawk’ Hillary
• Hagan vexed at Obama ahead of North Carolina visit
• Power Play: Oregon’s purple politics
• Gridiron granny gets her man

OBAMA’S ISIS PRESSURE POINT IS DEMS' WORST NIGHTMARE
As if the pressure of running under President Obama’s domestic policies wasn’t bad enough for vulnerable Democrats, the administration’s quandary over what to do about the ravages of the Islamist terror group ISIS is making the squeeze unbearable.  Back in Washington from his two week vacation, the president hunkers down with senior advisors at the White House today. Among those meetings, a session with Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, who warned ISIS “is beyond anything that we’ve seen.” Republican hawks seized on the comments Sunday, hammering Obama to take more aggressive action and exhibit leadership in place of a “feckless” foreign policy. Meanwhile Democrats, who have been tepidly supportive or staying under the radar during the administration’s limited air strikes in Iraq, have another policy crisis to run away from as their chances of holding control of the Senate look increasingly remote. President Obama may be under pressure to act quickly, but he has already said a solution in Iraq is “a long term project.” That’s little consolation for those on the president’s team facing voters just 10 weeks from now, no matter which policy direction he chooses.

[“The president has got to come forward with a cohesive, comprehensive strategy, not only in Iraq, but also in Ukraine, also in other parts of the world.  This is an administration which the kindest word I can use is feckless, where they have not outlined a role that the United States of America has to play, and that’s a leadership role. No more leading from behind.  No more don’t do stupid stuff.” –Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., on “Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace.” ]

Limited effect - WSJ: “The leading options under consideration for strikes in Syria—if Mr. Obama decides to expand the fight—are narrow in scope, designed to prevent the Islamic State from carrying out any plots that threaten Americans and from resupplying its forces in neighboring Iraq. Officials played down prospects for a broad-based campaign to uproot and destroy Islamic State’s vast fighting force in Syria.”

[From ‘jayvee’ to ‘beyond just a terrorist group’ - The Hill offers a history of the Obama administration’s  view of the Islamic militant group ISIS.]

Dempsey downplays threat - Fox News: “Despite threats to the contrary, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff insisted the Islamic State terror group is a regional threat and said he would not recommend U.S. airstrikes in Syria until he determines that they have become a direct threat to the U.S. Gen. Martin Dempsey, speaking to reporters on board a military plane traveling to Afghanistan, said Sunday that he believes the Sunni insurgent group formerly known as ISIS is not currently plotting or planning attacks against the U.S. or Europe.” Dempsey said Thursday ISIS insists must be targeted in Syria to be defeated.

NYT: “While the risk to the United States and the West is real, those paying the biggest price are Muslims. That’s why President Obama was correct to argue that ‘from governments and peoples across the Middle East, there has to be a common effort to extract this cancer so that it does not spread.’ Making this happen will take American leadership, but, so far, neither he nor America’s allies have laid out a coherent vision of how to bring that about.”

[Washington Examiner’s Brian Hughes asks the five tough questions President Obama will need to answer now that his vacation has ended.]

NIXON NON-COMITTAL ON FERGUSON PARTISAN PROSECUTOR
Gov. Jay Nixon, D-Mo., declined to offer a tacit endorsement of St. Louis County Prosecutor Bob McCulloch, who is handling the case involving the shooting of an unarmed teen ager in Ferguson, Mo. “He’s democratically elected by overwhelming numbers, and reelected,” Nixon responded when asked by CNN if he supported the Democratic prosecutor, who has held office since 1991. “I think clearly he has the experience, the people here have elected him,” Nixon said. “You don’t want to pre-judge any of this.” Protestors in the St. Louis suburb have been critical of McCulloch’s objectivity in the case, pointing to his family ties among the St. Louis Police Department and the death of his father while responding to a call involving a black suspect.

Carson offers prescription for Ferguson - Fox News: “Ben Carson, a rising star in conservative politics, said Sunday that race is just one factor surrounding the police shooting of the unarmed black 18-year-old Michael Brown – repeating his message that more personal responsibility and America’s failure to provide better economic opportunity to minorities also play a major role. ‘I’m not sure this is a police versus blacks situation,’ he said during an exchange on ‘Fox News Sunday’ with civil rights leader Jesse Jackson…Jackson compared the Aug. 9 shooting of Brown to a ‘state execution’ and said it was part of a larger pattern of attacks on black males, also naming Trayvon Martin and Rodney King… ‘But we come at it from a different point of view’ said Carson, an Independent and potential 2016 presidential candidate. ‘Some of the worn-out policies of the do-gooders are not working.’’’

Hillary stays silent - BuzzFeed: “…Hillary Clinton left a book signing on Sunday afternoon as two reporters asked questions about the protests in Ferguson, Missouri. Clinton ignored them, exiting the bookstore through a backdoor…in the two weeks since the police shooting of Michael Brown, a black teenager, Clinton has not commented on the unrest in the St. Louis suburb.”

WITH YOUR SECOND CUP OF COFFEE...
Breakfast is often called the “most important meal of the day.” Conventional wisdom says the first meal of the day provides a boost to your metabolism and will decrease your waist line. But scientific evidence for those claims has been sparse. Researchers at the University of Alabama at Birmingham found early-hour eating didn’t result in any increase or decrease of weight among those participating in the study. Emily Dhurandhar, the assistant professor at the UAB who conducted the study says in terms of weight loss “breakfast may be just another meal.” Another new study from the University of Bath (UK) discovered that breakfast neither increased nor decreased a person’s overall energy. “It is certainly true that people who regularly eat breakfast tend to be slimmer and healthier but these individuals also typically follow most other recommendations for a healthy lifestyle, so have more balanced diets and take more physical exercise,” said Dr. James Betts, a lead researcher in the study.

Got a TIP from the RIGHT or LEFT? Email FoxNewsFirst@FOXNEWS.COM

POLL CHECK
Real Clear Politics Averages
Obama Job Approval
: Approve – 41.6 percent//Disapprove – 52.6 percent
Direction of Country: Right Direction – 26.8 percent//Wrong Track – 65.2 percent
Generic Congressional Ballot:  Democrats – 41.2 percent// Republicans – 39.8 percent

-- 71 days until  Nov. 4 --

RAND: DEMS FEAR ‘WAR HAWK’ HILLARY
Fox News: “[Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky.] a leading anti-interventionist, predicted in an interview aired Sunday on NBC’s ‘Meet the Press’ that the 2016 White House race will be a ‘transformational election’ if Democrats nominate ‘a war hawk like Hillary Clinton’…Paul said Sunday that Democrats’ biggest 2016 fear is him running in the general election with a lot of Independent and some Democratic voters saying ‘You know what? We are tired of war. … We’re worried that Hillary Clinton will get us involved in another Middle Eastern war, because she’s so gung-ho’…Michael Czin, spokesman for the Democratic National Committee, said Sunday that Democrats are eager to debate Paul about ‘his fringe, isolationist vision,’ which Czin says includes plans to end all aid to foreign allies, including Israel.”

RUBIO TO FIRE UP SOUTH CAROLINA GRILL
South Carolina News and Press: “If Sen. Marco Rubio [R-Fla.] wants to win the GOP presidential nomination in 2016, he’ll likely have to impress voters in South Carolina, which holds the nation’s first Southern primary. On Monday, the Florida Republican will get a chance to do just that when he headlines a barbecue fundraiser for Rep. Jeff Duncan in Anderson [R-S.C.] that's expected to draw 1,500, including most of the state’s top Republicans.”

BIDEN BUCK BOOSTING IN LAND OF LINCOLN
Chicago Sun-Times: “Vice President Joe Biden hits Chicago on Monday…Biden’s day trip to the city is to headline fundraisers for Gov. Pat Quinn and the House Democratic political operation and to pitch a minimum wage increase with [Chicago Democratic] Mayor Rahm Emanuel…”

WEBB WEIGHING 2016 BID?
WaPo: “Former U.S. Sen. Jim Webb [D-Va.] touched down in Iowa, announced plans to hit New Hampshire and launched a new presence on social media this week — renewing speculation about whether the decorated war veteran who left the Senate after one term is considering a run for president. The Iowa swing had everything: campaign events, phone banks, a speech to union organizers and a veterans roundtable — all chronicled for the world to see on the Twitter account of Webb, D-Va.,…If his actions suggest a 2016 bid could be in his future, Webb insists he's simply eager to spread a message of economic fairness and social justice, a realigned foreign policy and an end to executive overreach.”

DEMS LOCK IN 2016 PRIMARY DATES
Fox News: “The Democratic National Committee, or DNC, approved rules for its 2016 convention along with a primary schedule that will begin with the Iowa caucuses on Feb. 1, 2016, followed by voting later that month in New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina. The 2016 framework is in line with plans pushed by Republicans and gives states incentives to hold their primary contests between March and June, aiming to avoid a front-loaded calendar that encroaches on the Christmas holidays.”

HAGAN VEXED AT OBAMA AHEAD OF NORTH CAROLINA VISIT
Roll Call: “Sen. Kay Hagan doesn’t sound thrilled President Barack Obama is coming to town. The North Carolina Democrat, one of the most vulnerable senators, issued a terse statement about Obama’s veterans policy ahead of his planned Tuesday visit to her home state. The White House announced late Friday that Obama will deliver remarks at the American Legion’s 96th National Convention. The appearance gave Hagan an opportunity to criticize the president in the wake of a scandal that has captured national attention. Hagan’s office blasted her statement just 31 minutes after the White House released the schedule. ‘The Obama Administration has not yet done enough to earn the lasting trust of our veterans and implement real and permanent reforms at the VA,’ Hagan said. She added, ‘I hope to hear the President address these challenges at the American Legion’s National Convention in Charlotte. I will be there to discuss some of the steps I want to see taken in Washington to uphold the commitment our government has made to North Carolina’s veterans.’’’

BROWN SAYS HE’S GOT THE MO
New Hampshire Republican Senate hopeful Scott Brown is seizing on a recent poll showing he has narrowed Sen. Jean Shaheen’s, D-N.H., lead with a new Web ad featuring news reports touting his momentum.

MCFADDEN TEAMS UP WITH GOP AND NRSC FOR BIG BUCKS
Minneapolis Star-Tribune: “U.S. [Republican] Senate candidate Mike McFadden has partnered with the National Republican Senatorial Committee and Republican Party of Minnesota to create McFadden Minnesota Victory Committee, a joint fundraising committee for his campaign against Democratic incumbent Sen. Al Franken…Federal law still limits how much donors can give to each individual candidate and party, but donors can give to as many candidates and parties as they like. So teaming up to raise money with like-minded groups and candidates has become more lucrative.”

POWER PLAY: OREGON’S PURPLE POLITICS
In the latest edition of “Power Play with Chris Stirewalt” Chris talks with Oregon Republican Senate candidate Monica WehbyWatch as Wehby makes her case for why the political climate in the Beaver state could tilt the balance of power in the Senate in favor of Republicans this November.  Wehby is challenging freshman Democratic Sen. Jeff Merkley.

FREEDOM PARTNERS PLUMPS BIG FOR WEHBY
Daily Beast: “Freedom Partners, an Arlington, Va.-based group affiliated with the Koch Brothers,  is set to drop $3.6 million dollars in the race on [Republican Monica Wehby’s] behalf against [Sen. Jeff Merkley, D-Ore.].  ‘Oregonians deserve effective leadership and Freedom Partners will continue to hold Sen. Merkley accountable for his bad votes on issues like Obamacare, and his ineffective record,’ said James Davis, a spokesman for the group. But Freedom Partners’ decision to enter the fray is not just about animus towards Merkley, who is simultaneously one of the more liberal and more obscure members of the Democratic caucus in the Senate. Instead, there’s a hope that Wehby might actually win, albeit with difficulty.”

PICK SIX:  MOODY BLUES IN THE BEAVER STATE?
Republicans can capture the Senate with a net gain of six seats this cycle. Which six Democrat-held Senate seats are the most vulnerable in November? Here are the top picks among Fox News First readers: Arkansas (13.6%), Montana (12.1%), Louisiana (11.5%), West Virginia (11.3%), South Dakota (10.9%) and North Carolina (9.6%). Reader John William Gibson  of Coos Bay, Ore., makes the case for the Beaver State writing, “Although Oregon has been a solid blue for about 16 years, the tide is turning…CoverOregon was the biggest single failure in the ObamaCare rollout, and is now entirely scrapped.” Gibson adds, “[Republican Monica Wehby] can use the anti-Democrat mood to close that gap and very possibly pick up that seat.

Share your top six picks. Email them – just your top six, please – to FOXNEWSFIRST@FOXNEWS.COM or tweet @cstirewalt.

WALKER CELEBRATES WISCONSIN COMEBACK IN NEW AD
Gov. Scott Walker, R-Wis., is hitting the airwaves to promote his jobs records. In a new ad, Walker appears saying, “Before we took office, 133,000 Wisconsin workers had lost their jobs…Today, even Lambeau Field couldn’t hold the more than 100,000 people who have gotten a job since we took office.”

[WSJ: “On Friday the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals responded to a media request and released documents that had been sealed as part of a John Doe probe into [Gov. Scott Walker’s] fund-raising. The court’s clerk also bungled and released, for a brief period, some documents that weren’t supposed to be unsealed, including donor names and references to bank records. Unless you’re a political Bambi, the only news in the documents is further evidence that the prosecutors are operating on an unconstitutional interpretation of campaign-finance law… The real outrage here concerns the damage to the privacy of potential donors who under federal rules for 501(c) groups can keep their names private. Liberals want to require such disclosure so they can embarrass or intimidate donors from exercising their First Amendment rights.”]

GRIDIRON GRANNY GETS HER MAN
A Pasco, Washington grandmother flexed her strong-arm of the law when she aided police in apprehending a suspect that escaped.  When Becky Powell saw Joseph Lewis Fry running from police she told her husband to speed up and get in front of the suspect. As the car was still in motion she jumped out of the car and “got into a football stance,” and tackled Fry. Powell told the Tri-City Herald. “He stiff-armed me and I just wrapped him up and threw him on the ground.” Powell said. For good measure Powell whispered to the suspect, “How does it feel to be taken down by a mother of five and a grandmother of three?”

Chris Stirewalt is digital politics editor for Fox News. Want FOX News First in your inbox every day? Sign up here.

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