Just realized yesterday that I’ve now been at Political Animal longer than Steve Benen was here. Amazing, eh?

Here are some midday news/views snacks:

* Obama announces he’s no longer planning to withdraw last 5,000 or so U.S. troops out of Afghanistan before the end of his term.

* McCarthy now not alone as Republican House Member admitting Benghazi! Committee designed to hurt HRC politically.

* Estimates of third-quarter fundraising numbers (gross, not net, and not including Super-PACs) have Clinton and Sanders pretty close on Dem side and Carson leading GOPers.

* Politico profiles “power behind the throne” Ivanka Trump.

* Josh Marshall tries to unravel where we are on Paul Ryan and the Speakership.

And in non-political news:

* 911 called by crew of Dr. Phil show after guest hinted at suicide.

As we break for lunch, here’s Robert Ward with “Your Love Is Amazing.”

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Ed Kilgore is a political columnist for New York and managing editor at the Democratic Strategist website. He was a contributing writer at the Washington Monthly from January 2012 until November 2015, and was the principal contributor to the Political Animal blog.