Debates are the reality TV performances of the final sprint to Election Day, at least among the candidates willing to do them this year, or perhaps unable to duck at least one.

If debates, campaign ads and robocalls dont sew up enough undecided voters, showy public events with big-name surrogates might do the trick. Thats the thinking behind a Pennsylvania swing planned on Nov. 5 featuring former President Obama and President Biden to help Senate candidate John Fetterman, the Democratic lieutenant governor who is in a close race against Republican Mehmet Oz, a TV personality (Axios and The Hill).

Fetterman and Oz will debate for the first and only time tonight in an event that pits the Democrat, who is recovering from a springtime stroke, against the GOP surgeon who is a newcomer to politics and has used health to question his opponents abilities. The Hills Julia Manchester previews the potential play-by-play in a race that has tightened since the summer and is considered a tossup, according to the RealClearPolitics average.

NewsNation: How to watch the Pennsylvania Senate debate from 8 to 9 p.m. ET, hosted by Nexstar, The Hills parent company.

Biden will help Fetterman with fundraising on Friday during a Pennsylvania Democratic Party reception in Philadelphia accompanied by Vice President Harris. Obama and the president will appear together in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh next week for public events in the Keystone State to help Fetterman and Josh Shapiro, the Democratic candidate for governor and the current attorney general, who has maintained a lead over Republican state Sen. Doug Mastriano.

If Republicans win the Senate in two weeks, their party will likely want to thank some GOP gubernatorial candidates, reports The Hills Al Weaver. In some states this year, including Georgia, Ohio and possibly New Hampshire, Republican governors are lending much-needed altitude to some candidates, including some Senate contenders. Thats the case in Arizona where Republican candidate for governor Kari Lake holds a narrow lead and gives GOP Senate contender Blake Masters his only prayer against Democratic incumbent Sen. Mark Kelly.

? The Hill: Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis, during a contentious Monday debate with Democrat and former Gov. Charlie Crist, refused to rule out a 2024 bid for the White House.

? The New York Times: New York Democratic Gov. Kathy Hochul and Rep. Lee Zeldin, the Republican candidate for governor, will hold a single televised debate tonight. Spectrum News and NY1 will host the event at 7 p.m. ET.

Meanwhile, Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, an ally of former President Trump, does not have to comply with a subpoena from a grand jury in Georgia investigating efforts to overturn the 2020 election results, according to an administrative stay issued Monday by Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. The ruling is temporary. Prosecutors have until Thursday to lay out why they want to question the senator (The New York Times).

? SCOTUSblog, by James Romoser: John Roberts is the chief justice. But its Clarence Thomass court.

? The Hill: Jan. 6 panel’s legacy may go beyond the midterms.   

Biden on Monday planted an elm tree on the South Lawn to pay tribute to the chief groundskeeper, Dale Haney, who has worked at the White House for half a century, and then visited staff and volunteers gathered not far away at the Democratic National Committee headquarters while pondering the future.

Whether we maintain control of the Senate and the House is a big deal, Biden said during his pep talk. And so far, were running against the tide, and were beating the tide. But we just have 15 days until one of the most important elections in our lifetime. And its going to shape the coming decade, for real (The Hill).

Related Articles

? Axios: Biden officials are quietly discussing with some in the Senate a possible debt ceiling deal in the lame duck session while Democrats still have majorities. Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) would likely need 60 votes to raise the current $31.4 trillion debt limit, requiring support from at least 10 of the 14 GOP senators who supported the last debt ceiling increase in December 2021.

? Roll Call: Senate, House seats up for grabs as Nevada starts early voting.

? The Hill: Elections for top office could impact abortion access in these states. 



The Department of Justice on Monday announced charges against 10 alleged Chinese government spies and three other Chinese nationals in three separate cases, including a matter in which two intelligence officers, still at large, sought to recruit a U.S. double agent in order to damage prosecution of tech company Huawei. The sprawling activity described by the government includes several different plots and is described as part of a pressure campaign aimed at the U.S.-based Chinese citizens, who had been critical of the Chinese Communist Party. The announcement, led by Attorney General Merrick Garland, comes as the U.S. continues its 2019 criminal case against Huawei (The Hill and NBC News).



In the United Kingdom, the Conservative Party on Monday named former chancellor of the exchequer Rishi Sunak as the third prime minister of the year. Sunak, 42, gained sufficient nominations from within his party to block contender Penny Mordaunt, who withdrew, after former Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Sunday said he was not a candidate. 

The first person of color to hold the post, Sunak is set to meet King Charles III today and inherits a country and economy in turmoil following Liz Trusss resignation after a chaotic 45 days as his predecessor. Truss introduced, and was later forced to walk back, a sweeping economic and tax reform plan that sent the British markets plummeting and drew sharp criticism from within and outside her party (BBC and The New York Times). 

There is no doubt we face profound economic challenges, Sunak said Monday. We now need stability and unity, and I will make it my utmost priority to bring my party and country together.

? The Washington Post: Who is Sunak? What to know about the new U.K. prime minister.

? The Guardian: Sunaks rapid change of political fortune.

A senior Ukrainian official said Monday that Russias occupation administration in Kherson, a strategically important port city, is leaving. Proxy officials are said to be abandoning the government headquarters as Ukrainian forces continue to make progress advancing on the city.

But there is no evidence that Russian soldiers are preparing for a mass withdrawal, Gen. Kyrylo Budanov, the head of Ukraines military intelligence service, said in a Monday interview with a Ukrainian news outlet (The New York Times).

They are not preparing to exit now, Budanov said of the Russian soldiers. They are preparing to defend.

? ABC News: German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier arrived in Kyiv today for his first visit since the war began. He said his visit was to demonstrate Germanys solidarity with Ukraine.

? The New York Times: Where Russians retreated, Ukrainians find devastation.

? The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal: Group of 30 House liberals urge Biden to rethink Ukraine strategy, negotiate with Russia. White House says any talks with Moscow will be up to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

? Bloomberg News: President Vladimir Putins threats worry Ukraines NATO allies as a sign of Russian desperation.

InRussia, American basketball star Brittney Griner heads today to an appeals hearing in a Moscow court facing a nine-year sentence for a drug possession charge to which she pleaded guilty. Griner, who was arrested in Russia in February, does not expect any miracles to happen as a result of the appeal, her lawyers said in a statement on Monday (Yahoo News).

The Biden administration has worked to secure Griners release through a proposed prisoner swap and former New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson (D), acting privately as an experienced negotiator, has traveled to Russia to sek Americans release. Richardson said this month that he was cautiously optimistic that Griner and Paul Whelan, another American imprisoned in Russia, may be freed by the end of the year (CNN). 

The Wall Street Journal: U.S.-Saudi relations buckle, driven by animosity between Biden and Mohammed bin Salman.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) this week is attending a forum in Zagreb, Croatia, aimed at supporting Ukraine. Discussions will be centered on the international community’s efforts to support the Ukrainian people while holding Russia accountable for its documented war crimes and attempted illegal annexations, her office said on Sunday (Reuters).


? How many shocks can the world take? by Stephen Walt, columnist, Foreign Policy. 

? Plummeting U.S. test scores arent a red state vs. blue state thing, by Eugene Robinson, columnist, The Washington Post.


The House meets at 11 a.m. for a pro forma session. Members are scheduled to return to the Capitol on Nov. 14. ??

The Senate convenes at noon on Thursday for a pro forma session. Senators make their way back to Washington on Nov. 14. 

The president will receive the Presidents Daily Brief at 10:15 a.m. Biden will receive an updated COVID-19 vaccine booster shot and deliver remarks about the current state of the pandemic in the United States at 2:05 p.m.

The vice president will fly to Albuquerque, N.M., to speak at 12:45 p.m. MT at a fundraiser with Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D) held at a private residence. Harris will join a moderated conversation at the University of New Mexico about reproductive rights at 2:30 p.m. MT accompanied by the governor and Eve Espey, a physician. The vice president will fly to Seattle and remain overnight.    

Secretary of State Antony Blinken will meet at 10 a.m. with United Nations Under Secretary-General Martin Griffiths. The secretary meets at 1 p.m.with Israeli President Isaac Herzog in Washington, D.C. Blinken will host a reception at the State Department at 5:30 p.m. for policy planning directors and ambassadors with the Atlantic Councils D-10 Strategy Forum, which brings together 10 leading democracies, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, South Korea, the United Kingdom, and the United States, plus the European Union

Second gentleman Doug Emhoff will travel to Eagan, Minn., where he will join Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party Chair Ken Martin at a political event focused on mobilizing voters at 12:30 p.m. CT. He will attend a similar door-knocking event in Edina, Minn., at 3:30 p.m., and another in Minneapolis at 5:45 p.m. at the Sabes Family Center. 

The White House daily press briefing is scheduled at 2:45 p.m.



Fears of a U.S. twindemic are growing as the nation deals with children’s hospitals crowded with cases of respiratory syncytial virus just as the number of people with the flu is also rising across the country, writes The Hills Chia-Yi Hou. Experts had previously been talking about a possible twindemic as a simultaneous surge in COVID-19 and flu cases. Thankfully, COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations have leveled off in the United States although that could change as temperatures drop and people move indoors and if that happens, even more pressure could be placed on hospitals.

Axios: Biden faces COVID-19 dilemma as a winter wave nears.

Washing hands, public health experts say, is always a good idea even amid easily transmitted respiratory viruses, such as COVID-19 mutations, which circulate through air and via aerosol droplets (The Atlantic). 

Total U.S. coronavirus deaths reported as of this morning, according to Johns Hopkins University (trackers all vary slightly): 1,067,882. Current U.S. COVID-19 deaths are 2,566 for the week, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (The CDC shifted its tally of available data from daily to weekly, now reported on Fridays.)


The nations report card, or the National Assessment of Educational Progress, revealed significant drops in math and reading scores during the pandemic, cementing experts warnings about learning loss. The report, released Monday, sampled fourth and eighth graders across the country and marked the steepest declines ever recorded. 

Seventeen states and the District of Columbia saw double-digit drops in scores, declines that did not necessarily correlate with higher- or lower-performing states, or red and blue states and schools that closed for COVID-19 and those that opened quickly.

I want to be very clear: The results in todays nations report card are appalling and unacceptable, said Education Secretary Miguel Cardona. This is a moment of truth for education. How we respond to this will determine not only our recovery, but our nations standing in the world.

The biggest question is what the federal government, states and school districts will do to help students catch up. In 2021, the administration made its largest single investment in U.S. schools $123 billion, or about $2,400 per student. School districts were required to spend at least 20 percent of the money on academic recovery but some experts believe the threshold is inadequate for the magnitude of the problem (The New York Times).

? The Hill: Political, legal battle heats up over student loan debt forgiveness.

? The Washington Post: Schools got $122 billion to reopen last year. Most of the money has not been used.


And finally ? Love is in the air for lizards. New research into the social behavior of lizards and other reptiles suggests they can live in family groups, lovingly care for their young and even form monogamous bonds. Scientists say social behavior in reptiles has been largely overlooked for decades, but with the help of camera traps and genetic testing, researchers have made strides to better understand their social behavior, The New York Times reports. 

Theres more socially going on with reptiles than we give them credit for, Sean Doody, a conservation biologist at the University of South Florida, told the Times.

And this research isnt happening just because they love lizards. Experts estimate that 1 in 5 reptile species are threatened with extinction and learning more about their behavior could be crucial for conservation. Child found locked in dog kennel said hed lived outside since April, warrants show Carl Bernstein says proof is there already for DOJ to indict Trump

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