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- "The hard line Democrats have drawn against delaying a core element of the federal health law has begun to crack, as problems with the new federal insurance website prompted calls" for President Obama "to delay penalties on people who don't carry health coverage. ... Late Wednesday, the Obama administration said it would establish what amounts to a six-week extension in the time people have to obtain insurance coverage before incurring a penalty, responding to what some have described as a lack of clarity in the law over the deadline." (Wall Street Journal)
- Obama on Thursday "will make a statement ... at the White House urging lawmakers to finish work on measures to strengthen U.S. borders and provide a pathway toward citizenship for millions of people who are in the United States illegally." (Reuters)
- In VA GOV, former DNC chairman Terry McAuliffe (D) and Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli (R) "will meet face-to-face" Thursday evening "on the Virginia Tech campus in Blacksburg for the third and final debate of a long and contentious campaign." (Richmond Times-Dispatch)
- A new Boston Globe poll of Boston mayoral LVs, conducted Oct. 17-22 by UNH Survey Center, shows city Councilor John Connolly leading state Sen. Martin Walsh (D), 47-38%. (release)
- A new University of Arkansas poll of AR SEN LVs, conducted Oct. 10-17, shows Rep. Tom Cotton (R) leading Sen. Mark Pryor (D), 37-36%. (release)
- Illinois state Sen./2008 IL-14 nominee/2008 IL-14 Special nominee/2002/2004 SEN candidate/2006 GOV candidate/dairy magnate Jim Oberweis (R) "says he's gathering petition signatures" for an IL SEN bid. (AP)
- "Iowa conservative leader" Bob Vander Plaats (R) "has been sending more signals recently that he is getting serious" about a possible IA SEN bid. (ABC News) But Vander Plaats doesn't seem that serious, says Des Moines Register columnist Kathie Obradovich. (Des Moines Register)
- In WY SEN, the American Principles Fund launched a new TV ad featuring former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee (R) calling Sen. Michael Enzi (R) "a protector of 'traditional marriage.'" (NBC News)
- In NJ-02, attorney Bill Hughes Jr. (D) "is set to announce" he will challenge Rep. Frank LoBiondo (R) in an event on "Thursday at the Atlantic City boardwalk." (Philadelphia Inquirer)
- In OR-02, Klamath County Chairman Dennis Linthicum (R) "announced Wednesday that he's jumping into the Republican primary against" NRCC Chairman Greg Walden. (Portland Oregonian)
- A new University of Arkansas poll of AR GOV LVs, conducted Oct. 10-17, shows former Rep. Asa Hutchinson (R) leading former Rep. Mike Ross (D), 35-31%. (release)
- A new Fox News poll of national RVs, conducted Oct. 20-22 by Anderson Robbins Research (D)/Shaw & Company Research (R), shows Democrats leading the House generic ballot, 45-37%. (release)
Hotline editors weigh in on the stories that drive the day
• It's easy to forget that most of the Senate battlegrounds will be in very conservative states, predominantly in the South. That's what makes Wednesday's University of Arkansas poll significant, showing Arkansans hold very different views about blame for the government shutdown than most Americans, blaming Obama more than Congressional Republicans.
• With another new super PAC ad touting Enzi's position, same-sex marriage has unexpectedly become a big early issue in WY SEN, even though Liz Cheney has said she opposes it too. (Several years ago she supported the State Department's extension of spousal benefits to gay couples.) Ironically, the last Cheney to run for office benefited from the host of ballot measures to ban same-sex marriage in 2004.
• Here, in one story, is why Republicans have generally refused to accept Obamacare as settled law and continue to fight its implementation: Idaho Gov. Butch Otter (R) suddenly has a primary on his hands, pretty much out of nowhere, and state political chronicler Dan Popkey writes that it may be credible. Otter argued that his push for the state to run its own Obamacare exchange would give Idahoans more control, but any association the program is toxic in segments of the GOP electorate.
HAIR OF THE DOG
"West Haven (Conn.) 'recluse' charged for Twitter threats against Mets" (New Haven Register)
FRESH BREWED BUZZ
- "Despite repeatedly denouncing the CIA's drone campaign, top officials in Pakistan's government have for years secretly endorsed the program and routinely received classified briefings on strikes and casualty counts, according to top-secret CIA documents and Pakistani diplomatic memos." (Washington Post)
- "The German Foreign Ministry says it has summoned the U.S. ambassador in the wake of allegations that American intelligence may have targeted Chancellor Angela Merkel's cellphone." (AP)
- "Assume for purposes of discussion that there was widespread drinking at this party. How is that relevant to me? ... The question is, do I have any moral authority over other people's children at beach week in another state? I say no." -- Maryland Attorney General/MD GOV candidate Doug Gansler (D), asked by the Baltimore Sun about a house party in South Bethany, Del., in June "where underage participants later confirmed many were drinking alcohol." Gansler said "he stopped by the ... beach house to talk briefly with his teenage son and then left," and photos taken at the party show "older adults can be seen standing in the background" while "young people, both men and women, are dancing on a bar and on a table" (Baltimore Sun)
- "Ana Alliegro, a central player in a federal elections investigation" of former Rep. David Rivera (R-FL), "returned from self-imposed exile in Nicaragua and is talking with authorities. Alliegro, who "is negotiating a deal to avoid prison time" after fleeing the country last year, "said she opened a beauty salon in Nicaragua and was in frequent contact with Rivera." (Miami Herald)
- Businessman/WH '12 candidate Herman Cain (R) "insisted" this week that the three women who accused him in late 2011 of sexual harrassment "are 'liars,'" and he "speculated as to who may have orchestrated the allegations: the Devil." (RealClearReligion.org)
- Kennedy cousin Michael Skakel "was granted a new trial Wednesday by a Connecticut judge who ruled Skakel's attorney failed to adequately represent him when he was convicted in 2002 of killing his neighbor," Martha Moxely, in 1975. (AP)
- "Um, I don't think I should answer that." -- Heidi Nelson Cruz, wife of Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), asked whether she could see herself as first lady (New York Times)
- The NRCC apologized Wednesday night for conducting automated-poll interviews in the yet-to-be-declared FL-13 Special on the eve of late Rep. Bill Young's (R) funeral. (SaintPetersBlog.com)
PLAY OF THE DAY!
- Today's weather, from the National Weather Service: Mostly sunny. Highs in the mid 50s. West winds 10 to 15 mph with gusts up to 25 mph.
- The House convenes at noon.
- Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA) and Rep. Randy Neugebauer (R-TX) engage in a discussion on "Getting Our House in Order: Solving the Lingering Issues of the House Recession," sponsored by the Bipartisan Policy Center. (Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center, 9:30 a.m.)
- McAuliffe and Cuccinelli debate for the final time. (NewsChannel 8, 7 p.m.)
- The Cardinals look to bounce back against the Red Sox in Game 2 of the World Series. (WTTG-TV, 8 p.m.)
- Have an event for us to highlight? Email us!
- Three presidents had two living parents for their inaugurations: Ulysses S. Grant, John F. Kennedy and George W. Bush.
- The winner is Dominic Moore, and here's his Swizzle Challenge: "Who are the 7 Catholics to hold (at one time or another) a major-party nomination for vice president?" The 1st correct e-mailer gets to submit the next question.
NJ'S EARLY BIRD SPECIALS
- Inside the Messy but Moneyed Republican Plan to Neutralize the Tea Party
- With a Little 'Fight,' Boehner Strengthens His Position
- What If Millennials Start to Hate Obamacare?
- Why States Are Doing Obamacare Better
- Buck Stops With Obama on Rocky Rollout of Health Care Plan
"[Gansler] said he does not remember whether he saw anyone drinking. But even if he had, Gansler said, it was not his responsibility as a parent or a high-ranking law enforcement official to intervene." -- The Baltimore Sun story on Gansler
"I don't remember much, but it was one of the best parties I've been to, hands down." -- An anonymous party attendee (Baltimore Sun)
Josh Kraushaar, Editor-in-Chief
Steven Shepard, Executive Editor