YOUNG SUPPORTS DONNELLY FOR VATICAN POST:  One of Indiana’s Republican U.S. senators has endorsed the nomination of Democratic former Sen. Joe Donnelly as the country’s ambassador to the Vatican (AP). Sen. Todd Young offered his congratulations to Donnelly in a Twitter post on Saturday, a day after the White House announced President Joe Biden would nominate Donnelly for the position that requires Senate approval. “Joe is a devout Catholic and longtime public servant, and I know he will serve our nation well and represent the best of our Hoosier values,” Young’s post said. Donnelly served six years in the U.S. House from a South Bend-area district before winning election to the Senate in 2012. He lost his 2018 reelection bid to Republican Mike Braun.

 

DEMS FACE BITTER MIDTERM OUTLOOK: The 2022 midterm elections — and the very real possibility that Democrats could be swept from their House majority — is hanging over the bitter political fight within the party over President Biden’s domestic agenda (The Hill). The centrist House Democrats representing swing districts who see their seats as providing Democrats with their majority say progressives are being short-sighted and selfish by holding up a vote on a bipartisan infrastructure bill they could tout as a major victory back home. If Democrats do lose the House, these lawmakers suggest it will be the fault of liberal colleagues in diamond blue districts who have little to fear themselves in next year’s midterms. "It's very risky to have to go back to your district and tell people that you voted 'no' on $1.2 trillion of infrastructure funding," Rep. Vicente Gonzalez (D-Texas), a Blue Dog, said recently. 

 

U.S. TO PROVIDE HUMANITARIAN AID TO AFGHANISTAN: The U.S. has agreed to provide humanitarian aid to a desperately poor Afghanistan on the brink of an economic disaster, while refusing to give political recognition to the country’s new Taliban rulers, the Taliban said Sunday (AP). The statement came at the end of the first direct talks between the former foes since the chaotic withdrawal of U.S. troops at the end of August. The U.S. statement was less definitive, saying only that the two sides “discussed the United States’ provision of robust humanitarian assistance, directly to the Afghan people.” The Taliban said the talks held in Doha, Qatar, “went well,” with Washington freeing up humanitarian aid to Afghanistan after agreeing not to link such assistance to formal recognition of the Taliban.

 

FAUCI OKs TRICK OR TREATING: Dr. Anthony Fauci said on Sunday that children should be able to safely trick-or-treat this year despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic (The Hill). "You can get out there," Fauci said of Halloween activities. "You're outdoors for the most part, at least, when my children were out there doing trick-or-treating, and enjoy it." Fauci added that "particularly if you're vaccinated," families should be able to enjoy the holiday season. He noted that the upcoming holidays could serve as a reason to encourage more people to get vaccinated. Most children are not vaccinated, as no COVID-19 vaccines have been approved for children under 12 years old. Pfizer has asked the Food & Drug Administration for approval of its vaccine for children aged 5 to 11.

 

SOUTHWEST CANCELS 1,800 FLIGHTS: Southwest canceled more than 1,800+ flights over the weekend, leaving passengers stranded across the country (Axios). The mass cancellations came after pilots asked a federal court to block the COVID vaccine mandate the company imposed last week for all employees. Airline insiders and conservatives wonder if the cancellations are part of a "sick out" in response to the vaccine policy.

 

BIDEN VAX MANDATE ENFORCEMENT UNKNOWN: President Joe Biden says his sweeping Covid-19 vaccination and testing mandate will boost the economy and save lives, but as businesses prepare for the new requirement, they’re wondering not only what will be in the regulation, but how it will be enforced (NBC News). The mandate, which will apply to organizations with at least 100 employees and cover an estimated 80 million workers, has already drawn threats of lawsuits from two dozen Republican attorneys general and prompted some people to vow to quit their jobs. But a greater challenge for the administration could lie within the agency tasked with ensuring compliance. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration was already handling a broad mission prior to the new rule, which it is expected to issue in a matter of weeks. To stretch its resources, the agency typically prioritizes high-risk industries and targets repeat offenders, and it offers help.

 

COVID RESURGE SLOWS RESTAURANT REBOUND: Over the summer it looked like the worst was over for restaurants, as diners flooded back, with reservations and sales hitting new highs. Then covid surged, again, and the rebound slowed down (Washington Post). New jobs numbers out Friday reinforce that idea. In September, food services and drinking establishments added just 29,000 jobs, after shedding 24,700 jobs in August, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That’s far lower compared with the average monthly gain of 197,000 jobs from January through July. Employment overall in the food service sector is down nearly a million jobs from pre-pandemic levels, and restaurants continue to close. Restaurant sales were flat in August compared with July, but they were still a lot higher than the same period in 2020, according to Census Bureau data. Meanwhile, overall numbers of restaurants are down by 13 percent in September, compared with the spring of 2020, according to market research firm NPD Group’s restaurant census.

 

HPI DAILY ANALYSIS: It took a third game and a "black out" crowd in Chicago for the White Sox to notch its first playoff win in more than a decade. If the Sox win this afternoon's game against Houston, it will all come down to one game in Houston on Wednesday. - Brian A. Howey

 

Congress

 

SCAVINO SERVED WITH SUBPOENA: Former Trump aide Dan Scavino has been served a subpoena from the House select committee investigating the January 6 attack on the US Capitol, a source familiar with the matter told CNN, bringing an end to the panel's struggle to physically locate him (CNN). A process server brought the subpoena to former President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida on Friday, the source said. While Scavino was home in New York at the time, he asked a staff member to accept the subpoena on his behalf. In its letter to Scavino, the committee outlined that, because of his close proximity and long history of working with the former President, he can provide useful information regarding conversations Trump had on January 5 about trying to convince members of Congress to not certify the election, the former President's movements on January 6, and the broader communication strategy the White House had in the lead up to the January 6 rally.

 

Nation

 

WHITE HOUSE: WON'T APPROVE JAN. 6 EXEC PRIVILEGE - The White House has informed the National Archives that it is not asserting executive privilege on an initial batch of documents related to the January 6 violence at the US Capitol, paving the way for the Archives to share documents with the House committee investigating the attempted insurrection (CNN). White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters Friday afternoon that President Joe Biden declined to assert privilege over documents pertaining to former President Donald Trump's administration sought by the January 6 select committee. During the White House press briefing, Psaki said that "the President has determined that an assertion of executive privilege is not warranted for the first set of documents from the Trump White House that have been provided to us by the National Archives." "As we've said previously, this will be an ongoing process and this is just the first set of documents," she said. "And we will evaluate questions of privilege on a case-by-case basis, but the President has also been clear that he believes it to be of the utmost importance for both Congress and the American people to have a complete understanding of the events of that day to prevent them from happening again."

 

PENTAGON: NAVY ENGINEER CHARGED WITH ESPIONAGE - A nuclear engineer for the U.S. Navy and his wife have been charged with trying to share some of the United States’ most closely held secrets on submarine technology with another country, according to court documents unsealed on Sunday (New York Times). The engineer, Jonathan Toebbe, was accused of trying to sell information on the nuclear propulsion system of Virginia-class attack submarines — the technology at the heart of a recent deal that the United States and Britain struck with Australia. While rivals like Russia and China have long sought details of U.S. submarine propulsion, based on the details in the court documents, some experts thought the unsolicited offer could have been aimed at a friendly country, not an adversary.

 

 

MLB: CHISOX BOMB HOUSTON 12-6 - Two big swings by pint-sized Leury García. A rule-testing run by Yasmani Grandal. Solid relief work from Liam Hendriks and company. Right when the Chicago White Sox got in big trouble, they found a way (ESPN). García and Grandal homered, and Grandal's borderline baserunning helped the White Sox top the Houston Astros 12-6 on Sunday night to stay alive in their AL Division Series. Backed by a boisterous crowd of 40,288, the AL Central champions erased a 5-1 deficit in the franchise's first home playoff game in 13 years, trimming Houston's series edge to 2-1. Tim Anderson collected three more hits, and Ryan Tepera started a stellar finish for Chicago's bullpen after Dylan Cease and Michael Kopech (1-0) struggled.

 

NFL: BEARS DRUB RAIDERS 20-9 - Justin Fields hyperextended his left leg and got the wind knocked out of him on a tackle in the second quarter. Although Chicago's rookie quarterback was seriously shaken up, he walked to the sideline and only stayed there for two plays before barging back onto the field (ESPN). Fields is determined to be a dependable leader for the Bears, even when their defense is leading the way to another victory. Fields threw his first career touchdown pass, and the Chicago defense largely shut down the Las Vegas Raiders' high-powered offense in a 20-9 win Sunday. Damien Williams scored a touchdown and combined with Khalil Herbert for 139 yards rushing in the Vegas debut for the Bears (3-2), who were accompanied to Sin City by thousands of vacationing fans for the latest meeting of two beloved NFL franchises that failed to win a playoff game in the previous decade.

 

NFL: PACKERS TOP BENGALS IN OT 25-22 - When does one team -- and one kicker -- get four cracks at a go-ahead or game-winning field goal in the final two minutes and 12 seconds of regulation plus overtime? When the same kicker misses three of them and watches his counterpart miss twice, including one that he prematurely celebrated as good. Such was Sunday's 25-22 overtime win for the Green Bay Packers and their normally rock-solid kicker Mason Crosby (ESPN). The result was equal parts a shocking victory for the visitors as it was an unfathomable defeat for the upstart Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium.

 

Sunday Talk

 

GRISHAM SEES TRUMP WITHOUT 'GUARDRAILS': Former White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham said on Sunday that she believes former President Trump will run in 2024 and will have “no guardrails.” “I think he is going to run again and you know that's why I'm speaking out the way I am. I don't want him to run again,” Grisham told “Meet the Press” moderator Chuck Todd on NBC. “I think people aren't remembering that if he does run again in 2024, he'll have no guardrails because he will never have to worry about reelection, so he will do whatever he wants. He will hire whomever he wants, and I think that includes people of the January 6 mind,” she said, referring to the mob attack on the Capitol that led to Trump's second impeachment.

 

SCHIFF SEES GOP 'AUTOCRAT CULT' AROUND TRUMP: Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) on Sunday called the Republican Party "an autocratic cult around Donald Trump" that is "not interested in governing." "We have a Republican Party that is now an autocratic cult around Donald Trump. It is not interested in governing. It is not interested in even maintaining the solvency and creditworthiness of the country," Schiff, who managed House Democrats' prosecution in Trump's first impeachment trial, said while appearing on CBS's "Face the Nation." "And we have to recognize that they're not interested in governing, and so we're going to govern. We're going to have to do it, and [if] we have to do it with our own votes, we will do that," said Schiff, who is a member of the Jan. 6 select committee.

 

WHITEHOUSE SAYS A LOT TO LEARN ABOUT JAN. 6: Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) said on Sunday that there is “a lot left to be learned” about former President Trump’s efforts to overturn the election. Host Chuck Todd asked Whitehouse on NBC's "Meet the Press" if he believes that someone other than Trump was involved in the former president’s efforts to overturn the 2020 election, which President Biden won. “We don't know yet.” Whitehouse replied. “There's just a lot left to be learned, and particularly as the old saw goes, ‘Follow the money.’ Who was paying for this stuff, and how did it all work?” he asked. However, Whitehouse said it is very clear that Trump was involved in these efforts. “We have a very complete picture of the extent to which Trump was personally involved in this. This is a question in which you can actually connect the president of United States to the scheme,” he added.

 

KREBS SAYS GOP LOSES 'CONTROL OF BASE': Christopher Krebs, the first director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, who was fired by former President Trump for refuting claims of a stolen election, said on Sunday that Republican leaders have "lost control" of the party's voter base. On CBS's "Face the Nation," host Margaret Brennan asked Krebs whether he believes Trump is attempting to undermined future elections, noting that the former president said during a recent rally that he is seeking to completely overhaul the U.S. election system. "Without question. It's happening at four different levels, both state legislatures and state elected officials, some of the folks running for secretary of state in Arizona and Georgia, but we're also seeing [it] in the U.S. Congress," said Krebs. "The minority whip was on Fox News this morning with Chris Wallace, and he was talking about how the election was effectively stolen, and he will not admit that [President] Biden won," Krebs added, referring to Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.), who refused to say whether he believed the 2020 election was stolen.

 

GOTTLIEB SAYS CHILD VAX MANDATE A LONG WAY OFF: Former Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said on Sunday that vaccine mandates for children were likely "a long way off." "I think that's a very long way off," Gottlieb said on CBS's Face the Nation. "The older kids — the high school kids, the middle school kids — do seem to get into trouble more with COVID. It's harder to control in those settings, so that's gonna be considered separately. But even that is, I think, a multi-year effort. I don't think that's going to happen anytime soon."

 

McAULIFFE HAS EYE ON 2000 RECOUNT: Virginia Democratic gubernatorial nominee Terry McAuliffe said on Sunday that he wished the Supreme Court would have "let them finish counting the votes" when asked about his past comments regarding claims of fraud in the 2000 presidential election.  "Do you think Republicans stole that election?" CNN's Dana Bash asked McAuliffe on "State of the Union."  "In 2000? I wish the United States Supreme Court had let them finish counting the votes," McAuliffe replied.

 

Local

 

INDIANAPOLIS: CITY-COUNTY BLDG NEEDS $35M IN UPGRADES - Fixing deficiencies in the 59-year-old City-County Building that serves as the seat of Indianapolis government could cost at least $35.6 million, a figure that could help determine the fate of the building as the city seeks ideas for its future use (IndyStar). The latest analysis, conducted by the Environmental Systems Design firm, is the more comprehensive of two reports that examine potential corrections to the building's ventilation, plumbing, fire alarm and electrical systems. The parking garage has exposed rebar. The building's domestic water pipes have reached the end of their service life. Parts of the building are not equipped with automatic sprinklers, a requirement of current Indiana building code.

 

WESTFIELD: CITY TO INVEST IN FIRE STATIONS - Westfield is planning to build the city’s first new fire station in 10 years (IndyStar). Plans are in the works to construct a new 36,000-square-foot station for the Westfield Fire Department at the southeast corner of 171st Street and Ditch Road. A final cost analysis is not complete yet, but the city’s request for proposals estimate was about $13 million, said Deputy Fire Chief Rob Gaylor, who is also leading the project.  The new building will relocate the current Fire Station 81 in the city’s public safety building at U.S. 32 and Dartown Road, Gaylor said in an email to IndyStar.

 

MONROE COUNTY: QUARRY TO BE TOURIST DESTINATION - Monroe County officials are buying part of a site near Bloomington dotted with old limestone quarries for a possible tourist destination despite chemical contamination found in the area (Indiana Public Media). The Monroe County Council this past week approve the $370,000 purchase of nearly 30 acres just northwest of the Interstate 69 and Indiana 46 interchange, The Herald-Times reported. County leaders have discussed over the past couple years buying about 100 acres of wooded former quarry property with the idea of building trails, exhibits about the limestone industry and an outdoor concert venue.