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.”

Ed Kilgore

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.