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- "President Obama's latest choice to fill one of the vacancies" on the D.C. Court of Appeals "went down in a filibuster on Tuesday as Senate Republicans blocked another White House nominee -- the third in two weeks -- and deepened a growing conflict with Democrats over presidential appointments." (New York Times)
- "Software problems with the federal online health insurance marketplace, especially in handling high volumes, are proving so stubborn that the system is unlikely to work fully by the end of the month as the White House has promised, according to an official with knowledge of the project." (Washington Post)
- In GA SEN, Rep. Phil Gingrey (R) "is making the first television ad buy" of the race "with a pledge not to run" for reelection "if he can't repeal" the 2010 health care law during his first term. (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)
- In IA SEN, former Reliant Energy CEO Mark Jacobs (R), "who has been exploring a ... bid since late June, will make an announcement on Tuesday," and then "embark on a five-day 'announcement tour.'" (Des Moines Register)
- In MI SEN, Senate Republicans "will host a major fundraiser" in Washington next week for former Secretary of State Terri Lynn Land (D). (Washington Examiner)
- In MS SEN, records show "ultra-conservative" state Sen. Chris McDaniel (R) voted in the 2003 MS GOV Democratic primary, but "McDaniel and others question the accuracy of the records and accuse" Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann (R), "a potential opponent" if Sen. Thad Cochran (R) decides to retire, "of using state resources for 'opposition research' on McDaniel." (Jackson Clarion-Ledger)
- In AZ-02, activist Shelley Kais (R) "jumped into the race ... on Tuesday," setting up a three-way primary with 2012 nominee Martha McSally (R) and radio host Ed Martin (R). "But Martin questioned whether Kais was actually running as a ploy to benefit McSally by splitting the conservative vote. Kais and her husband were early supporters of McSally's campaign last year, designing her website, buying office furniture and providing other services to get her off the ground." (Arizona Republic)
- In AZ GOV, Secretary of State Ken Bennett (R) "formally kicked off his ... candidacy on Tuesday," saying "he would make the state more attractive to lure corporations by replacing the state's income tax while expanding the state's sales tax." (Arizona Republic)
- In MN GOV, 2010 candidate Marty Seifert (R) "plans to announce Nov. 21 that will seek the GOP endorsement for governor." (MinnPost.com)
- Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), in Charleston, S.C., on Tuesday, "drew applause from The Citadel's Corps of Cadets .... when he said" former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (D) "should be disqualified from running for president because of the Benghazi affair." (Charleston Post and Courier)
- Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), who "will deliver the keynote speech to an anticipated crowd of 700" people at Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad's (R) birthday fundraiser Saturday night, told the Des Moines Register he won't contemplate running for president until 2015, but "is clearly leaving a door open." Ryan: "I've decided I will consider this later. ... Once I'm through with this term, then I'm going to give a hard look at it." (Des Moines Register)
- According to a new Quinnipiac University poll of national RVs, conducted Nov. 6-11, 39% approve of the way Obama is handling his job as president, while 54% disapprove. In the previous poll, conducted Sept. 23-29, 45% approved of Obama, and 49% disapproved. (release)
Hotline editors weigh in on the stories that drive the day
• The Republican party is badly divided between the establishment and the tea party wing. But several different Democratic divisions have developed in recent weeks: 1) President Obama vs. Bill Clinton on Obamacare; 2) Progressives looking for a Hillary Clinton alternative through Elizabeth Warren; 3) Red-state Dems and in-party health care law skeptics against Obama's steadfast allies in the Senate. Republicans are facing a nasty civil war, but if Obama's health care law continues to sputter, Democrats could be fighting a multi-front war.
• That said, one oft-forgotten component of the health care law remains a winning issue in vulnerable Dems' minds. Sen. Mark Begich (D-AK), with his call Tuesday for Alaska to expand Medicaid eligibility under Obamacare echoes efforts in states including Arizona, Florida, Kentucky, North Carolina, and others where Dems are making Medicaid expansion a big talking point against Republicans who have blocked it (or attempted to), and the White House is continuing its push on the matter today.
• The fresh Jeb Bush-for-president buzz is a sign of how Obamacare's problems have shifted the GOP establishment's long-term thinking for 2016. After the 2012 elections, wariness over the Bush legacy still hung over any potential Jeb campaign. Now, running against a Clinton in the wake of an administration facing its own Bush-like second-term struggles, the Florida governor's last name doesn't seem nearly as damaging.
HAIR OF THE DOG
"A spy whose naked, decomposing body was found inside a padlocked gym bag at his apartment likely died in an accident with no one else involved, British police said Wednesday -- a tentative conclusion that is unlikely to calm conspiracy theories around the bizarre case." (AP)
FRESH BREWED BUZZ
- Vice President Biden announced Wednesday that his chief of staff, Bruce Reed, will step down in mid-December to become President of The Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation. Senior aide Steve Richetti has been chosen as Biden's new chief. (Hotline reporting)
- Virginia state Sen. Mark Herring (D) "declared victory late Tuesday night" in the Virginia attorney general's race, but state Sen. Mark Obenshain (R) "did not concede and the razor-thin contest could be headed for a recount." (Richmond Times-Dispatch)
- "How Terry McAuliffe's campaign changed the Virginia electorate" (Washington Post)
- Outgoing Boston Mayor Tom Menino (D) "has been hired" by Boston University "to help launch a new Institute on Cities, where mayors and municipal managers from across the globe can share ideas as they tackle urban issues." (Boston Globe)
- "Obamacare's Mystery Woman Says She Fell Victim to Cyberbullies" (ABC News)
- "I'm a Scott Brown Republican. I always have been." -- Former Sen. Scott Brown (R-MA), addressing a Scott County (Iowa) Republican Party fundraising dinner on Tuesday night (Radio Iowa)
- "Sorry, Wrong Jonathan Martin" (New York Times)
PLAY OF THE DAY!
- Today's weather, from the National Weather Service: Mostly sunny. Highs in the lower 40s. Northwest winds 10 to 15 mph with gusts up to 25 mph.
- The House and Senate are back at 10 a.m.
- The House Oversight and Government Reform Commmittee holds a hearing on "The Rollout of HealthCare.gov." (2154 RHOB, 9:30 a.m.)
- The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committe holds a confirmation hearing for Homeland Security Secretary-designate Jeh Johnson. (SD-342, 10 a.m.)
- The Georgetown Hoyas return from South Korea to host Wright State. (Verizon Center, 7 p.m.)
- Have an event for us to highlight? Email us!
- Herbert Hoover helped open the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge on Nov. 12, 1936.
- The winner is Wayne Oldham, and here's his Swizzle Challenge: "Which President held every office at the local, state and federal level -- and one both before and after his Presidency?" The 1st correct e-mailer gets to submit the next question.
NJ'S EARLY BIRD SPECIALS
- Obamacare Threatens Senate Democrats -- And They Know It
- Do Montana Democrats Have a Senate Primary Fight on Their Hands?
- Partisan Conflict Shadows Budget Conference
- John Boehner's Big Choice
- Mistakes Aplenty Found in Obamacare Regulations
"I did resist the temptation to drop in a 'longtime listener, first-time caller,' when I went on the air." -- New York Times' Jonathan Martin, on his appearance on WFAN-AM Tuesday to discuss being mixed-up with Dolphins OT Jonathan Martin on Twitter (New York Times)
"[I]f the Rebels have any chance of winning this war, they better trust Benedict Arnold. Because when Benedict Arnold is Benedict Arnold, he's [George] Cornwallis. And when Cornwallis is Cornwallis, he's Alexander the Great, ok? So if you're gonna trust anybody in this war on the Rebel side, Benedict Arnold's your guy. Back after this." -- A Revolutionary War-themed parody of WFAN's Mike Francesa (YouTube)
Josh Kraushaar, Editor-in-Chief
Steven Shepard, Executive Editor