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- President Obama "said Tuesday he would accept a piecemeal approach to overhauling the immigration system, a move aimed at jump-starting a moribund process that reflects the realities of a divided Congress." In an interview with the Wall Street Journal CEO Council, he also "indicated his administration is considering a relaunch of the government's troubled health-care website, which has frustrated Americans looking to purchase insurance." (Wall Street Journal)
- "The chief digital architect for the federal health insurance marketplace said Tuesday that 30 percent to 40 percent of the project was still being built." Members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee "expressed surprise that so much work remained to be done seven weeks after the federal website opened to the public." (New York Times)
- Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell urged House Republicans on Tuesday "to resist efforts to ease across-the-board spending cuts due to take effect in mid-January." (Wall Street Journal)
- The DCCC raised $7 million in October and has more than $25 million cash on hand. (Hotline reporting)
- Americans for Prosperity is launching a $3.5 million health care-based ad campaign targeting Sens. Mark Begich (D-AK), Kay Hagan (D-NC) and Mary Landrieu (D-LA), and Reps. Ron Barber (D-AZ), Joe Garcia (D-FL) and Patrick Murphy (D-FL), which is "specifically aimed at women because the group's research has shown that they are not only more undecided than men about the merits of the Affordable Care Act, but that they also tend to make the decisions about their family's health care." (New York Times)
- Former Reliant Energy CEO Mark Jacobs (R) officially kicked off his IA SEN campaign on Tuesday, "calling himself a conservative and a 'proven business leader.'" (Des Moines Register)
- A new Quinnipiac University poll of Colorado RVs, conducted Nov. 15-18, shows Gov. John Hickenlooper (D) leading four possible Republican candidates: state Sen. Greg Brophy (44-38%), Secretary of State Scott Gessler (45-40%), former state Senate Minority Leader Mike Kopp (44-40%) and 2010 Constitution Party nominee/former Rep. Tom Tancredo (46-41%). (release)
- Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL) "left the door open" to running for FL GOV next year. Nelson "said he's not considering the governor's race now" and "wished" former GOP Gov. Charlie Crist (D) "the best," but he "said he might change course if Crist 'gets into trouble.'" Nelson, asked what he meant by "trouble": "That's in the eye of the ... beholder." (Politico)
- In the San Diego mayoral special, City Councilman Kevin Faulconer (R) "easily won a spot Tuesday in the runoff," while Councilman David Alvarez (D) "appeared likely to join him" in the runoff, which is "likely to be held in February." (U-T San Diego)
- According to a new CBS News poll of national adults, conducted Nov. 15-18, 37% approve of the way Obama is handling his job as president, while 57% disapprove. In the previous poll, conducted Oct. 18-21, 46% approved of Obama, and 49% disapproved. (release)
Hotline editors weigh in on the stories that drive the day
• The Hagan/Barber/Murphy version of the AFP ads features the powerful tagline, "'Obamacare' doesn't work. It just doesn't work." Congressional Democrats are prodding the White House for something on which they can vote that could serve as a fix for the law's rough implementation, but, ultimately, the only counterargument is to get the exchanges up and running. And time is running short before public opinion is cemented on the health care law, as the rising tide of ominous poll numbers for Democrats indicates.
• Jesse Benton is stuck in the middle of the delicate political alliance between McConnell and Rand Paul, and he's ruffled some feathers on both sides. First, the former Paul campaign manager upset some McConnell allies by telling a conservative activist he was "holding his nose" while running McConnell's re-election bid. And this week, Paul "gently chastised" his former aide for saying that Paul misspoke when he complimented McConnell's primary challenger.
HAIR OF THE DOG
Hawaii state Rep. Tom Brower (D) "is packing away the sledgehammer he has used through the past few weeks to wreck stolen and abandoned shopping carts homeless people use to carry their belongings." (Honolulu Star-Advertiser)
FRESH BREWED BUZZ
- Rep. Trey Radel (R-FL) "was charged with misdemeanor possession of cocaine in D.C. Superior Court on Tuesday." He will be arraigned on Wednesday morning. "Radel, in a statement released by his office, made no mention of resigning from the House. He said he struggles 'with the disease of alcoholism, and this led to an extremely irresponsible choice. As the father of a young son and a husband to a loving wife, I need to get help so I can be a better man for both of them.'" (Politico)
- "A Drug Enforcement Administration official said Radel allegedly bought cocaine from an undercover agent" near Dupont Circle "on Oct. 29. Later that night, federal authorities went to his apartment and informed him that he would be facing criminal charges related to his purchase of cocaine." (AP)
- Albuquerque, N.M., "voters soundly rejected plans late Tuesday to make their home the first city in the country to ban abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy, according to unofficial election returns." (Albuquerque Journal)
- "A divided U.S. Supreme Court allowed a key Texas abortion restriction to stand Tuesday, despite arguments that it's denying women their right to the procedure because so many clinics are stopping or curtailing services." (San Antonio Express-News)
- "There's a Rembrandt trapped in this body." -- George W. Bush, on his painting hobby ("The Tonight Show")
- Virginia state Sen./2009 VA GOV nominee Creigh Deeds (D) "was stabbed multiple times early Tuesday during an altercation at his ... home, and his son, Gus, is dead from an apparently self-inflicted gunshot wound. Police are investigating the attack as an attempted murder-suicide." The elder Deeds "was stabbed in the head and torso but was alert and had given statements to authorities." Late Tuesday, he was listed in fair condition at U-Va. Medical Center in Charlottesville. (Richmond Times-Dispatch)
- "He was just so sweet and happy. ... I just don't understand this at all." -- Brian Hulse, Gus Deeds's academic adviser at the College of William & Mary, from which Deeds withdrew last month (Richmond Times-Dispatch)
- Anders Ebbeson, the husband of former Florida Secretary of State/former Rep./2006 FL SEN nominee Katherine Harris (R), "committed suicide Tuesday morning at the couple's home" in Sarasota, Fla. (Sarasota Herald-Tribune)
- Former Rep. Patrick Kennedy (D-RI) and his wife, Amy, "announced the birth of their daughter, Nora Kara Kennedy, on Tuesday." (Providence Journal)
- "Family's Tenacity and Wealth Put Skakel at Cusp of Freedom" (New York Times)
- "I'll tell you, the people who disliked me are dead and I'm still alive." -- Former LBJ Senate aide Bobby Baker, in interviews with the Senate Historical Office that were "so ribald and riveting, so salacious and sensational, that the Historical Office refrained from its usual practice of posting such interviews online." (Politico Magazine)
- "The National Capital Planning Commission held firm Tuesday in its support for the Height Act limits that have shaped Washington's skyline for 100 years -- a crushing blow to D.C.-led efforts to ease those restrictions." (Washington Business Journal)
PLAY OF THE DAY!
- Today's weather, from the National Weather Service: Mostly sunny. Highs in the upper 40s. Northeast winds 5 to 10 mph.
- The House returns at 10 a.m., and the Senate is back at 9:30 a.m.
- The Woodrow Wilson Center holds a book launch for "Arabs and Israelis: Conflict and Peacemaking in the Middle East." (Ronald Reagan Building, 9 a.m.)
- The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee may vote out the nomination of Department of Homeland Security Secretary-designate Jeh Johnson. (SD-342, 10 a.m.)
- Alex Ovechkin and the Caps host Sidney Crosby and the Penguins. (Verizon Center, 8 p.m.)
- Have an event for us to highlight? Email us!
- Frank Fasi lost to former Hawaii Gov. Ben Cayetano (D).
- Congratulations to Jay O'Callaghan and John Smith for sending in correct answers. But we unfairly denied Monday's winner, Robert Geist, a chance to ask his question, so here's his Swizzle Challenge: "In January 2002, New Jersey had five governors in one week. Of these five acting governors, only four held elected office at the time they served. Who was the only unelected person to serve as acting governor during that week?" The 2nd correct answer gets to submit the next question.
NJ'S EARLY BIRD SPECIALS
- Poll: Americans Think Obamacare Will Help the Poor, Not the Country
- Partisans Clash Over Strategy on Budget Talks
- Baucus's Tiny Step Toward Tax Reform
- Senate Takes Steps to Close Gitmo
- Gillibrand, McCaskill Duel for Votes on Sex Assault Bill
"It's really interesting it came on the heels of Republicans voting on everyone who had access to food stamps get drug tested. It's like, what?" -- House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, on Radel's drug charges (Buzzfeed)
"Cocaine is a hell of a drug!" -- Rick James ("Chappelle's Show")
Steven Shepard, Editor-in-Chief