EARLYBIRD: HEADLINES FROM AROUND THE WEB

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House hopeful John Foust on federal workplace issues

This is the second in a series of Federal Diary columns covering races in two open congressional seats in Northern Virginia, home to many federal employees. ...

3:17 PM ET FEDERAL EYE (WASHINGTON POST)

A Broader Problem Than UNC’s Scandal: Grade Inflation

Salim Furth: Colleges that refuse to tackle grade inflation bear some responsibility for the fact that women, on average, end up in lower-paying fields.

3:09 PM ET WASHINGTON WIRE (WALL STREET JOURNAL)

Ernst skips Des Moines Register meeting

Iowa Republican Senate candidate Joni Ernst canceled a meeting with the Des Moines Register editorial board Thursday, a move that the newspaper's publisher and ...

3:07 PM ET CNN POLITICS

Capital Journal Afternoon Edition: The Most Expensive Midterm Ever | Islamic State Recaptures Hill Near Kobani | Will the Senate Opt for Gridlock or Governing?

The Journal's afternoon rundown of the biggest news stories and exclusive features from Washington.

2:49 PM ET WASHINGTON WIRE (WALL STREET JOURNAL)

First Draft: A Rally for Cuomo, but He’s Not the Main Event

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo of New York foresees “something really, really, really big” for Hillary Rodham Clinton’s future.

2:47 PM ET NEW YORK TIMES POLITICS

At $4 Billion Cost, 2014 Is Most Expensive Midterm Ever

Nearly $4 billion will be been spent on this year's midterm election, including $2.7 billion spent by candidates and parties and almost $900 million spent by ...

2:10 PM ET WASHINGTON WIRE (WALL STREET JOURNAL)

U.S. Strikes Cut Into ISIS Oil Revenues, Treasury Official Says

David S. Cohen, the government’s point man on Islamic State finances, said American airstrikes on refineries controlled by the group had threatened its supply ...

1:51 PM ET NEW YORK TIMES POLITICS

Will the Senate Opt for Gridlock or Governing?

Jim Manley: Anyone who thinks that House Republicans' takeaway from this election is that they must compromise more needs to get his head examined.

1:27 PM ET WASHINGTON WIRE (WALL STREET JOURNAL)

South Carolina Lawmaker Loses Seat in Plea Deal on Campaign Finance Charges

Robert W. Harrell Jr., a Republican who was the speaker of the South Carolina House, was given a six-year suspended sentence over campaign payments for flights ...

12:44 PM ET NEW YORK TIMES POLITICS

First Draft: Government Aid Causes Suicide, Says King of Government Aid

Representative Don Young isn’t disavowing comments on suicide that set off a wave of criticism of the 81-year-old Alaska Republican.

12:15 PM ET NEW YORK TIMES POLITICS