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First Read Flash: The longest war?

NBC's Richard Engel reports the U.S. is preparing to maintain military posts in Afghanistan for years to come despite the belief the war would soon be over.
/ Source: MSNBC TV

NBC's Richard Engel reports the U.S. is preparing to maintain military posts in Afghanistan for years to come despite the belief the war would soon be over.

NBC’s Richard Engel: “While many Americans have been led to believe the war in Afghanistan will soon be over, a draft of a key U.S.-Afghan security deal obtained by NBC News shows the United States is prepared to maintain military outposts in Afghanistan for many years to come, and pay to support hundreds of thousands of Afghan security forces. The wide-ranging document, still unsigned by the United States and Afghanistan, has the potential to commit thousands of American troops to Afghanistan and spend billions of U.S. taxpayer dollars.”

NBC’s Carrie Dann: “President Barack Obama said Tuesday that his administration “underestimated” the difficulty of launching the troubled web site but that political partisanship is also to blame for the law’s poor rollout. “I think that we probably underestimated the complexities of building out a website that needed to work the way it should,” Obama said during an interview with the Wall Street Journal’s Gerald Seib as part of its “CEO Summit.”

Washington Post: Obama “sought to redirect some of the political blame for the botched rollout of the federal health insurance exchange to Republicans, characterizing GOP lawmakers as rooting for the law’s failure.”

Politico: “In the end, one man will control whether the Senate attempts to fix Obamacare after its messy debut: Harry Reid/ But the Senate majority leader isn’t ready to act just yet. Reid and his leadership team are assessing how Obama’s proposed administrative fix to allow individuals to keep canceled insurance plans for one year plays in GOP-friendly states like Louisiana, Arkansas and North Carolina — where key Democratic incumbents are up for reelection next year, leadership aides said. The hope is that the fix may blunt a recent nose dive in public approval of Obamacare.”

The Hill: “President Obama’s relationship with congressional Democrats has worsened to an unprecedented low, Democratic aides say. They are letting it be known that House and Senate Democrats are increasingly frustrated, bitter and angry with the White House over ObamaCare’s botched rollout, and that the president’s mea culpa in a news conference last week failed to soothe any ill will.”

New York Times: “Of the 13 states that have so far said they will allow consumers to renew canceled plans, all but four are led by Republican governors and have generally been opposed to the new health care law. Of the eight that have said they will not carry out the policy, six are in Democratic-led states, many of which have actively worked to put the law into effect and have argued that allowing such an extension could undermine its success. They include New York, which announced its decision on Tuesday, and Massachusetts. Many other states, including California and New Jersey, are still weighing their options.”

Wall Street Journal: “President Barack 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. Mr. Obama has long favored the sweeping immigration bill that passed the Senate in June, but the House has made clear it wouldn’t consider that measure. In a wide-ranging interview before business executives at The Wall Street Journal CEO Council, the president said he is amenable to House Republicans’ taking up elements of the Senate bill, as long as the end result is the same.”

New York Times: Reid “is prepared to move forward with a vote that could severely limit the minority party’s ability to filibuster presidential nominees, possibly as early as this week, Democrats said Tuesday. 

gave a high-profile boost to Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand on Tuesday by supporting her legislation to remove the prosecution of serious crimes in the military from the chain of command….But Reid’s backing alone does not appear to be enough to push the New York Democrat’s amendment, which could receive a vote as soon as Wednesday, over the 60-vote threshold. Reid’s position reflects the majority of his rank-and-file Democrats, who prefer Gillibrand’s measure to the Senate Armed Services Committee’s base text. The committee text includes major changes that Gillibrand and her allies say do not go far enough to protect victims of violent crime and sexual assault, or encourage them to report attacks.”

Roll Call: “The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee raised about $7 million in October and will report more than $25 million in cash on hand, according to a DCCC aide. The committee’s bottom line was boosted, in part, because of the government shutdown that month. Polls showed Republicans — especially in the House — received much of the blame for the 16 days the federal government was closed.”

CALIFORNIA: San Diego Union Tribune: “Republican City Councilman Kevin Faulconer easily won a spot Tuesday in the runoff to be San Diego’s next mayor while Councilman David Alvarez appeared likely to join him as the Democratic challenger.”

FLORIDA: Politico: “Rep. Trey Radel, a Florida Republican elected in 2012, will be in court Wednesday on charges that he possessed cocaine. Radel, 37, was charged with misdemeanor possession of cocaine in D.C. Superior Court on Tuesday. He faces a maximum of 180 days in jail, as well as a fine of up to $1,000. Several sources with direct knowledge say it was the FBI and Drug Enforcement Administration who were involved in the charges.”

Roll Call’s Abby Livingston: Radel “said that he is ready “to face the consequences” of his cocaine possession charge, and some of them might be political. Democrats concede his is a Safe Republican seat. So if his legal problems become fodder in his bid for a second term, it will likely be litigated in the primary. One Sunshine State-based Republican consultant suggested that such a charge would not play well with the 19th District’s base of wealthy and retired voters.”

Hardball’s Michael LaRosa: “In an effort to tamp down recent speculation over a potential intra-party battle, Florida Sen. Bill Nelson told that right now he has no plans to run for governor in 2014, a contest that would pit the Democratic three-term senator against former Republican Governor turned Democrat Charlie Crist in a primary. “I want to be clear that I have no plans to run for governor,” Nelson told “I wish Charlie Crist well,” he said. But Nelson didn’t do much to fully oblige fellow Democrats in Florida who have lined up behind the former Republican Governor, reserving his option to jump into the race at some later time.”

GEORGIA: Daily Caller: “Four top staffers resigned from Georgia Republican Rep. Phil Gingrey’s Senate campaign on Monday. Gingrey’s general consultant Chip Lake, campaign manager John Porter, political director David Allen and political adviser Justin Tomczak, left the campaign Monday, a source close to the campaign told The Daily Caller.”

Washington Post: “The day before he apparently stabbed his father at the family’s home in rural Bath County, the son of Virginia state Sen. R. Creigh Deeds underwent a psychiatric evaluation but was not admitted to a hospital, because no bed was available. Deeds was listed in fair condition late Tuesday after his son, Austin, stabbed him in the face and chest, then shot himself in what investigators suspect was an attempted murder and suicide.”