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A1: The stories you need to read before your first conference call.
-- White House officials said Monday they were confident they would reach their original goal of having 7 million people sign up by the time the final Obamacare numbers are tallied after a last-minute surge in interest. The HealthCare.gov Web site stopped taking applications or allowing users to create accounts for several hours on Monday as about 125,000 users tried to log on at the same time. In an interview with an Oklahoma TV station, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said 80 to 90 percent of those who have signed up have already paid premiums. (Associated Press, New York Times, Wall Street Journal)
-- The U.S. is considering releasing Jonathan Pollard, convicted of spying for Israel, as part of a last-minute push to salvage peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians. Secretary of State John Kerry met with Benjamin Netanyahu for four hours on Monday; Israel is seeking Pollard's release as a part of the negotiations over extending the talks. (Washington Post, New York Times)
-- D.C. voters head to the polls today to nominate a Democratic mayoral candidate and city council members. Just 14,000 voters cast ballots during the early voting window, meaning total turnout is likely to fall below 100,000 for the first time in recent memory. Mayor Vincent Gray and council member Muriel Bowser are locked in a dead heat in the Democratic primary; two recent polls showed Bowser leading, but by a statistically insignificant margin. Polls close tonight at 8 p.m. (Washington Post)
-- We asked the Post's Mike DeBonis to break down the race. His take: Gray will win if his GOTV operation east of the Anacostia River performs to 2010 levels, and if supporters of candidates like Jack Evans, Andy Shallal and Tommy Wells stick with their favorite candidates rather than flocking to Bowser. Bowser will win if undecided voters and fans of other candidates decide they want Gray out first, and if she does well in her home base, Ward 4. Voters in Ward 4 abandoned Adrian Fenty in 2010, paving the way to Gray's victory. DeBonis is watching turnout in Ward 8, the southern tip of D.C., most closely; turnout is usually low there, but it wasn't in 2010. If voters show up today, Gray has a fighting chance.
-- A growing majority of Americans supports trade and business ties with other nations, but a majority also says America needs to "mind its own business internationally," according to a new Pew Research Center poll. Just 12 percent say the U.S. should be the singular world leader, while 72 percent say the U.S. should take a shared leadership role. (Pew) Just 35 percent told Pew pollsters in late March that the U.S. should take a firm stand against Russian actions in Ukraine.
-- Happy April Fools' Day. Don't miss the 15 things about American politics you think someone is totally making up. Our favorite: Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) kicked off her first bid for Senate by raising $17,000 from ex-boyfriends.
-- Front Pages: WaPo leads with the Senate's CIA report, NYT leads with the possible Pollard parole, WSJ highlights calming comments from Janet Yellen, and USA Today is one of a bunch of papers that highlight Obamacare's 7 million enrollee figure. A handful of others: The Charlottesville Daily Progress, the Dayton Daily News and the Bangor Daily News.
National Roundup: What's happening outside the Beltway.
-- Michigan: House Ways & Means Committee chairman Dave Camp (R) is the latest member of Congress to say he won't seek reelection this year after 12 terms in the House. Camp is term-limited out of his chairmanship; he will likely be replaced by either Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) or Kevin Brady (R-Texas). Mitt Romney took 54 percent in Camp's north-central Michigan district. (Washington Post) Rough year for Michigan: Camp joins Reps. John Dingell and Mike Rogers and Sen. Carl Levin, who together account for a combined total of 138 years of congressional seniority, in heading for the exits.
-- North Carolina: American Crossroads debuts a new ad today specifically backing state House Speaker Thom Tillis (R). The new ad is the first part of the $1.1 million in TV time Crossroads has purchased in the run-up to the May 6 primary, a buy aimed at helping Tillis get to the 40 percent necessary to avoid a runoff. (Washington Post)
-- Hawaii: President Obama on Monday endorsed Sen. Brian Schatz (D) over his primary opponent, Rep. Colleen Hanabusa (D), taking sides in a race that has divided the state's Democratic establishment. Schatz was an Obama supporter in 2008, while Hanabusa and the late Sen. Daniel Inouye (D) backed Hillary Clinton. (Associated Press)
-- New Jersey: Legislators investigating the mess on the George Washington Bridge plan to subpoena notes and records kept by the law firm that conducted an internal review of Gov. Chris Christie's handling of the lane closures. On Monday, Christie accepted the resignation of David Samson, his top appointee to the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. (Newark Star-Ledger)
-- New Jersey: Garry Cobb (R), a radio host and former Philadelphia Eagle, will run for retiring Rep. Rob Andrews' (D) seat. Cobb has the backing of the Camden County Republican Party, and he said he hopes to be able to debate likely Democratic nominee Donald Norcross over machine politics. (Philadelphia Inquirer)
-- Massachusetts: Treasurer Steve Grossman, who passed a kidney stone during a debate last week, is fundraising off that kidney stone. Because of course he is. (Boston Globe)
DC Digest: What's on tap today in DC.
-- President Obama welcomes the Boston Red Sox to the White House this morning. He has lunch with House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi, and a meeting with Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker. Vice President Biden is at the White House.
-- The House gavels back into session at noon. Votes will begin at 6:30 p.m., when members are expected to easily pass a bill granting aid to Ukraine and leveling sanctions against Russia that passed the Senate unanimously last week.
-- The first place Washington Nationals (1-0, woo hoo) play the Mets in New York today. First pitch at 7:05.
-- Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) will introduce legislation that would require the Affordable Care Act's risk corridor provision to remain budget-neutral. His office will announce the legislation later today.
The Buried Lede: The nuggets that help you understand Washington better.
-- Former TARP administrator Neel Kashkari, on what it will take to make it to a general election face-off with California Gov. Jerry Brown (D): "I like to joke that I need to be the tallest Smurf to get through the primary. And then the tallest Smurf gets to go take on Gargamel in the November general election. So getting through the primary, we probably need to raise a few million more." Later, a CNBC host brought up the Smurf reference again: "Tallest Smurf. No one can get mad at that, because they're not real, are they?" Kashkari: "Well, there may be little blue people somewhere." (CNBC via Sacramento Bee)
B1: Business, politics and the business of politics
-- The FBI is investigating whether high-speed trading firms are using market information not available to other traders to gain an insider edge. The investigation, which began about a year ago, is probing whether the firms place and then cancel trade orders to create the appearance of market activity and whether they use high-speed trading to hide other insider trades. (Wall Street Journal) Good thing we read the preview of Michael Lewis's new book last night.
-- Markets are up in pre-bell trading. The Nikkei was down slightly, but the Hang Seng in Hong Kong added more than 1.3 percent and European markets are trading higher. (CNN)
C1: The long reads you'll need to check out before tonight's cocktail party.
-- Marian Robinson is the most powerful woman in the White House no one ever hears of. "Mrs. R" lives on the third floor of the White House (the First Family lives on the second floor), travels around without a Secret Service detail, ferries Sasha and Malia Obama to school, counts Betty Currie among her new friends and loves Las Vegas. (Washington Post)
C4: The comics page, fun things to read when you're bored at work
-- Jeff McElroy promises, if elected mayor of Toronto, that he won't smoke crack, he'll only smoke pot. Another candidate, Ray Faranzi, says he won't threaten to kill people when he's drunk, he'll just get drunk. And a third, Jim Tomkins, promises not to get caught on camera urinating in public. Brilliant campaign slogans, save for the fact that they're not real candidates. Ads touting their campaigns are popping up around Toronto, apparently paid for by a group, NoFordNation.com, advocating against Mayor Rob Ford. The election is in October. (Canada.com)
Attn Matt Drudge: Things that will outrage conservatives today.
-- A La Mesa, Calif. couple received an envelope from the state's health-care exchange that included a voter registration card pre-marked with an "x" in the box marked for the Democratic Party. The couple are already registered to vote -- as Republicans. (10News)
-- The National Science Foundation has spent almost $700,000 on a climate change-themed theater production put on by a New York-based group, using money from a 2010 grant. Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas) also questioned the NSF for spending $200,000 on a three-year study of the Bronze Age, $20,000 to study stress in Bolivia and $50,000 to examine lawsuits from 17th century Peru. (Fox News)