First Read Flash: System processing

Washington Post: “The Obama administration said Sunday that it has enlisted additional computer experts from across the government and from private companies to help rewrite computer code and make other improvements to the online health insurance marketplace, which has been plagued by technical defects that have stymied many consumers since it opened nearly three weeks ago.”

New York Times: “Federal contractors have identified most of the main problems crippling President Obama’s online health insurance marketplace, but the administration has been slow to issue orders for fixing those flaws, and some contractors worry that the system may be weeks away from operating smoothly, people close to the project say.”

Politico: “It’s not the GOP that President Barack Obama has to worry about in defending his botched health care rollout, it’s fellow Democrats. They voted for the law, sang its praises for three-plus years and still believe in the promise of health care reform. But now they face a conundrum: stay in lock step with Obama and risk their credibility as advocates for the law’s benefits or publicly criticize the administration for its recent problems — especially a failure to more quickly acknowledge, and rectify, the major malfunction of its Internet marketplace.”

Politico: “House Democrats have been all but written off in 2014, but now they finally have something to smile about: The twin fiscal crises that did a number on GOP approval ratings nationwide are providing a badly needed boost to Democratic candidate recruitment efforts.More than a half-dozen blue-chip Democratic candidates who had been uneasy about running — or flatly declined to do so — are now jumping headlong into top-flight races. And they’re citing the ugly spectacle on Capitol Hill as a big reason.”

National Journal: “Democrats are already benefiting politically from the government shutdown – in their pocketbooks. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee raised $8.4 million in September, according to an aide with the group, a significant sum more than a year before next year’s election. The haul dwarfs the $5.3 million collected last month by the National Republican Congressional Committee, which was again out-raised by House Democrats despite holding the majority.”

Politico: “Hard-line conservatives aren’t just sticking it to the national GOP by shutting down the government and bringing the nation to the brink of default — they’re also refusing to pony up to help their party defend the House in 2014.With a little more than a year until the midterm election, many leaders of the shutdown strategy have yet to donate to the National Republican Congressional Committee, records show. At least eight of the debate’s 20 or so most outspoken figures have not given any money to the NRCC, and others have forked over token amounts.”

ALABAMA: Former Rep. Jo Bonner has endorsed Bradley Byrne in the race to succeed him over Tea Party-backed Dean Young. “Bonner won re-election last year over a competitive GOP field that included Young. He remained neutral in the Sept. 24 primary election, when Byrne and Young emerged from a field of nine candidates. The two are battling for the GOP nomination in the Nov. 5 runoff, and the winner will face Democrat Burton LeFlore in the Dec. 17 general election.”

FLORIDA: Tampa Bay Times: “U.S. Rep. C.W. Bill Young, the longest-serving Republican in Congress and a legislator who consistently brought federal dollars to the Tampa Bay area and his home district of Pinellas County, died Friday evening from complications related to a chronic injury. He was 82.”

Roll Call: Young had “announced his retirement last week” and “sparked a competitive race in Florida’s 13th District, which Young has represented for 22 terms. However Young’s death now creates a vacancy in the seat, which will be filled by a special election called by GOP Gov. Rick Scott.”

KENTUCKY: The New York Times takes a look at the conundrum Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell finds himself in: “Few players in the Republican Party’s internal melodrama better embody the tension between the party’s establishment and anti-establishment factions than Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the minority leader…..In an interview late last week, Mr. McConnell was direct about the challenges posed to him by this new brand of conservative. He was dismissive of Mr. Bevin, calling his Democratic challenger — the Kentucky secretary of state, Alison Lundergan Grimes, ‘my real opponent.’”

Lexington Herald Leader’s Sam Youngman: “McConnell’s omnipresence on television and in newspapers has made Alison Lundergan Grimes’ relative quiet during the past few weeks seem conspicuous. There’s an obvious political logic to the two strategies, but Grimes could pay a price by conceding this window to McConnell.”

MISSISSIPPI: National Journal: “Right now, hard-line conservatives would clone Ted Cruz if they could. But with 2014 around the corner, they might be able to do the next best thing. ‘To call me the next Ted Cruz,’ says Chris McDaniel, who announced last week that he would challenge Thad Cochran of Mississippi, the second most senior Republican in the Senate. ‘I would certainly consider that a compliment.’”

VIRGINIA: NBC’s Jessica Taylor: “Hillary Clinton is officially back in politics.The former secretary of state made her first foray onto the campaign trail since leaving the State Department by stumping for Terry McAuliffe, who has opened up a steady lead as the Democratic candidate in next month’s Virginia governor’s race. Clinton was greeted with a rockstar welcome by the 650-plus capacity crowd that packed into the historic State Theatre in the Northern Virginia suburb of Falls Church on Saturday afternoon. McAuliffe may have been the candidate up for election, but all eyes were on Clinton—McAuliffe’s own introduction of her was interrupted only a few words in with loud chants of ‘Hillary! Hillary!’”

The typically right-leaning Richmond Times Dispatch editorial board writes that they “cannot in good conscience endorse a candidate for governor….In the past, The Times-Dispatch has endorsed candidates with varying degrees of enthusiasm. We find it impossible to endorse any of the 2013 candidates with even minimal zeal.”

And the Charlottesville Daily Progress encourages voters to write-in GOP Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling, who was pushed aside by Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli for the nomination. “Mr. Bolling is better qualified to actually govern the commonwealth. His experience is unparalleled, exceeding that of even the two major-party candidates. Do the write thing. Put Bill Bolling’s name on your ballot on Nov. 5. Virginia needs him.”

 

 

 

First Read Flash: System processing