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OBAMA AGENDA: Freezing Congress out of any U.S.-Iran nuke deal

"No one knows if the Obama administration will manage in the next five weeks to strike what many in the White House consider the most important foreign policy deal of his presidency: an accord with Iran that would forestall its ability to make a nuclear weapon," the New York Times writes. "But the White House has made one significant decision: If agreement is reached, President Obama will do everything in his power to avoid letting Congress vote on it."

From the Wall Street Journal: "The U.S. dropped weapons, ammunition and medical supplies to Syrian Kurds fighting Islamic State extremists in the embattled city of Kobani, U.S. officials said Sunday. Three U.S. C-130 cargo planes began dropping the weapons and supplies, provided by Kurdish authorities in Iraq, on Sunday, the officials said. Over several hours, the U.S. dropped 27 bundles of small arms, ammunition and supplies."

Via the AP, John Kerry says it would be "irresponsible" and "morally very difficult" not to aid the Kurds fighting in Kobani.

The Pentagon is announcing that it will build a 30-person team of medical experts to help combat Ebola, the Washington Post writes.

Writes the New York Times: "In the month since a Liberian man infected with Ebola traveled to Dallas, where he later died, the nation has marinated in a murky soup of understandable concern, wild misinformation, political opportunism and garden-variety panic."

Rep. Darrell Issa has called an October 24 oversight hearing on Ebola.

OFF TO THE RACES: Our Divided States of America

One of us(!) writes that political polarization is worse than ever, and it's here to stay. "The dominant political story heading into the Nov. 4 midterm elections isn’t control of the U.S. Senate, or President Obama’s approval ratings, or the party that captures the most governor’s mansions across the nation. Instead, it’s that this country – long known for its combative politics, especially before an election – is more divided today than it has been in decades. And it’s likely to remain that way for the foreseeable future."

"In a POLITICO poll testing the hardest-fought states and congressional districts of the year, two-thirds of likely voters said they feel that the United States has lost control of its major challenges. Only 36 percent said the country is “in a good position to meet its economic and national security” hurdles."

The Wall Street Journal: "Democrats, worried as polls show their chances of retaining control of the Senate dwindling, are plowing money into long-shot races in unexpected states as embattled incumbents elsewhere seem to be slipping behind."

A DCCC aide passes along that the committee raised $16.7 million in September.

ALASKA: The Alaska Dispatch News writes of Mark Begich's last stand campaigning: "No audience is too small; almost no opportunity gets turned down."

ARKANSAS: Tom Cotton is planning to vote early on Monday morning, writes the AP.

COLORADO: George Will on Cory Gardner: "Gardner, 40, cherubic and ebullient, is a human sunbeam whose unshakable cheerfulness is disconcertingly authentic as he exclaims to the waiter at breakfast, “Thank you for your work this morning!” A fifth-generation Coloradoan who lives in a prairie town in a house once owned by his great-grandparents, Gardner is amused by an anomaly: “Udall looks like the Republican in this race — dour and angry.”"

FLORIDA: Jimmy Buffet will hold a get-out-the-vote rally for Gwen Graham on Wednesday.

Via POLITICO, the Republican Party of Florida has a new ad featuring the greatest hits of Charlie Crist praising Barack Obama.

ILLINOIS: The Chicago Tribune writes on Obama's efforts over the weekend to boost his home state governor, Pat Quinn.

IOWA: Elizabeth Warren's visit to Des Moines for Bruce Braley focused heavily on college affordability.

Roll Call writes that the Iowa Senate race is having trickle-down effects on the state's House contests.

GEORGIA: "For months, Gov. Nathan Deal and Democrat Jason Carter have traded barbs over education and economic policy,” writes the Atlanta Journal Constitution. “But at Sunday’s debate, both rivals unleashed new attacks that focused more on their rival’s personal backgrounds than their policy positions as they intensified their appeal to the middle class."

KANSAS: The AP: “Republican Sen. Pat Roberts and Gov. Sam Brownback are raising gay marriage as an issue to help paint their challengers as too liberal for GOP-leaning Kansas in the final weeks of tough re-election races.”

KENTUCKY: The Courier-Journal writes about how Alison Lundergan Grimes has built relationships with female Democratic senators to seek advice, strategy and money.

MARYLAND: The Baltimore Sun reports on Obama’s stop for gubernatorial candidate Anthony Brown over the weekend.

MASSACHUSETTS: “The American political graveyard has more than a few monuments to politicians and public officials who embellished details of their military service, in some cases laying claim to medals for heroism or other military honors they never received,” leads the Boston Globe. “And then, uniquely, there is Seth W. Moulton, the Democratic nominee for Congress in the Sixth Congressional District, a former Marine who saw fierce combat for months and months in Iraq. But Moulton chose not to publicly disclose that he was twice decorated for heroism until pressed by the Globe.”

MINNESOTA: Elizabeth Warren's message in Minnesota this weekend: "The game is rigged, and the Republicans rigged it."

NEW HAMPSHIRE: From In a new ad, Scott Brown accuses Sen. Jeanne Shaheen of voting to "pave the way for a new tax on energy."

NORTH CAROLINA: Ebola and ISIS are reshaping the North Carolina Senate race, writes the Washington Post. "For much of the year, the incumbent, Sen. Kay Hagan (D), and her allies had successfully framed the campaign as a referendum on the sharp conservative turn taken by the state legislature under the leadership of Tillis, the House speaker. But in the past few weeks, the conversation has pivoted amid alarming headlines about terrorism and a virulent epidemic, further tightening what is expected to be the most expensive Senate race in U.S. history."

The News and Observer does a deep dive into the Ellmers/Aiken race.

WISCONSIN: The New York Times looks at Gov. Scott Walker's hopes for re-election, and beyond. "In a state that twice has picked Barack Obama, Mr. Walker might have pursued a more centrist strategy. Instead, he is talking tough, as he did the other day here in Green Bay, pacing around a truck garage, laying out his plan to drug test people seeking food stamps or unemployment benefits."


*** Monday’s “The Daily Rundown” line-up: NBC’s Craig Melvin anchors from Dallas and interviews NBC’s Chris Jansing, Gabe Gutierrez, Maggie Fox, Mark Murray, and Anne Thompson, msnbc’s Jose Diaz Balart and Ari Melber, Gen. Barry McCaffrey and Fmr. HHS Secy. Michael Leavitt.

*** Monday’s “News Nation with Tamron Hall” line-up: Tamron Hall interviews Criminal Defense Attorney John Burris about Darren Wilson’s account of the Michael Brown shooting, New Ways Ministry Executive Director Francis Bernardo, Huffington Post Justice Reporter Ryan Reilly, Keene State Sophomore Ellery Murray about the riots at Pumpkin Fest, and American Ballet Theater soloist Misty Copeland.

*** Monday’s “Andrea Mitchell Reports” line-up: NBC’s Andrea Mitchell interviews the University of Pennsylvania Chair of Medical Ethics & Health Policy Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, Aspen Institute President and CEO Walter Isaacson, the New York Times’ Helene Cooper and Jackie Calmes, the Washington Post’s Chris Cillizza, NBC’s Craig Melvin, Mark Murray and Carrie Dann and MSNBC’s Kasie Hunt.