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OBAMA AGENDA: “Lurching from crisis to crisis”

The New York Times: “At a time when the Obama administration is lurching from crisis to crisis — a looming Cold War in Europe, a brutal Islamic caliphate in the Middle East and a deadly epidemic in West Africa — it is not surprising that long-term strategy would take a back seat. But it raises inevitable questions about the ability of the president and his hard-pressed national security team to manage and somehow get ahead of the daily onslaught of events.”

The Washington Post: "The increasingly hostile divergence of views between Turkey and the United States over Syria is testing the durability of their 60-year alliance, to the point where some are starting to question whether the two countries still can be considered allies at all."

The Associated Press: "Activists say 10 Iraqi peshmerga fighters have entered a northern Syrian border town, the first from among a group of 150 Kurdish troops on their way into the embattled Kobani."

"A new band of combative conservatives is likely to win House seats next week, posing a fresh challenge for Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) and his leadership team as they seek to govern an expanded GOP majority next year," writes the Washington Post's Ed O'Keefe.

And breaking this morning: In Bloomberg Businessweek, Apple CEO writes: "I’m proud to be gay, and I consider being gay among the greatest gifts God has given me."

OFF TO THE RACES: Invoking Ferguson and Trayvon Martin

The New York Times: "In the final days before the election, Democrats in the closest Senate races across the South are turning to racially charged messages — invoking Trayvon Martin’s death, the unrest in Ferguson, Mo., and Jim Crow-era segregation — to jolt African-Americans into voting and stop a Republican takeover in Washington." MORE: "The images and words they are using are striking for how overtly they play on fears of intimidation and repression. And their source is surprising. The effort is being led by national Democrats and their state party organizations — not, in most instances, by the shadowy and often untraceable political action committees that typically employ such provocative messages."

One of us(!) takes a closer look at those buzzy Harvard Institute of Politics numbers on millennials -- and finds reason to press the pause button.

The Wall Street Journal notes how incumbent governors are struggling amidst voter anger over the economy.

The AP looks at how Greg Orman or Angus King could end up deciding Senate control.

Jeb Bush, to NBC's Kasie Hunt: My son's "got an opinion, he didn't talk to me" before 2016 comments.

ALASKA: The feud between Mark Begich and Lisa Murkowski is getting even more personal, with a new dispute over whether Murkowski's objections to using her image in an ad were because she "didn’t like the photo."

ARKANSAS: One of us(!) talked to Arkansans about why Republican Tom Cotton looks well positioned to oust a member of one of the state's powerful dynasties, and why the GOP upstart hasn't quite put this race away yet.

Mark Pryor told NBC News yesterday: "I would say that I would support Harry Reid if he runs for leader."

COLORADO: So, there's an ad in the Colorado Senate race sponsored by NARAL that suggests Cory Gardner would "ban birth control" and that amorous couples wouldn't be able to find condoms.

CONNECTICUT: The gubernatorial race here is all tied up, says a new Quinnipiac poll.

IOWA: Hillary Clinton hit Joni Ernst for skipping a Des Moines Register ed board meeting, saying (clip & save): "It truly seems like it should be disqualifying in Iowa of all states to avoid answering questions."

Rand Paul cut the same ad for Joni Ernst as he did for Scott Brown, except without the "leave me the hell alone" line.

LOUISIANA: The New York Times, on how the state's politics are more like Washington's now: "[A]mong the greatest expressions of Louisiana’s particularity have been its politics: populist, locally attuned, based on personality rather than party, fond of deal-cutting, often ethically dubious, but, above all, interesting. Or, at least, that used to be the case."

Landrieu, Cassidy and Maness held their final debate Wednesday night -- the Times-Picayune has the summary.

MAINE: Independent Eliot Cutler isn’t dropping out of the race for governor, but he says that his victory is a “long shot” and encouraged his supporters to vote for other candidates.

MICHIGAN: Barack Obama and Chris Christie are both heading to Michigan to rally their side in the close gubernatorial contest.

NEW HAMPSHIRE: Walt Havenstein may be down 14 points, but Chris Christie is still heading to New Hampshire for him.

SOUTH DAKOTA: Former Gov. Mike Rounds says the EB-5 issue "wasn't raising red flags any place for us."

TENNESSEE: The Wall Street Journal notes how an anti-abortion referendum is becoming the state's most closely watched midterm fight.

WASHINGTON: The week after a deadly school shooting, a ballot measure to tighten background checks in the state is drawing strong support, Reuters writes.


*** Thursday’s “News Nation with Tamron Hall” line-up: Tamron Hall interviews The Washington Post’s Nia-Malika Henderson, Politico’s Chief Political Columnist, Roger Simon and Kentucky political reporter Patrick Crowley; Co-founder and Executive Director, Emily May “Hollaback!” and the film’s actress Shoshana Roberts about their NYC catcall video; our exclusive series Born in U$A features Jim D’Addario of D’Addario & Co. regarding their famous guitar strings ; and Jennifer Finkelstein, founder of “5 Under 40 Foundation” on breast cancer awareness.

*** Thursday’s “Andrea Mitchell Reports” line-up: NBC’s Andrea Mitchell interviews Jon Huntsman, Sr., Fmr. Gov. Ed Rendell, Fmr. RNC Chair Michael Steele, Global Health Service Corps Founder Vanessa Kerry, the New York Times’ Jackie Calmes, the Washington Post’s Chris Cillizza and “Meet the Press” Moderator Chuck Todd.