READ IN: Tuesday, June 3, 2014: Bergdahl a hot potato, Obama job approval up to 46, primaries in 8 states, Tom Cotton finally leads, albeit a GOP poll, OK SEN goes negative

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A1: The stories you need to read before your first conference call.

-- The White House said Thursday it would seek up to $1 billion for an increased military presence in Eastern Europe to assure allies the U.S. will rebuff Russian advances. Funds for the "European Reassurance Initiative" will be used to deploy more American troops to Eastern Europe, and to bolster militaries in Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine. (Washington Post)

-- Forty-six percent of Americans approve of the job President Obama is doing, up 5 points from late April, while 51 percent say they disapprove, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll. More than three quarters, 77 percent, say they support reducing U.S. troop presence in Afghanistan to 9,800 by the end of this year and near zero by 2016. Democrats lead the generic ballot by a 47 percent to 45 percent margin. (Washington Post)

-- Negotiations over the release of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl began as a part of a lofty effort to create a lasting peace, but ended as a simple prisoner "transfer," after U.S. officials concluded their leverage would be greatly reduced after pulling troops out of Afghanistan at the end of the year. The U.S. and Qatar signed a memorandum of understanding that the Taliban prisoners would be held in the tiny emirate in mid-May; Af-Pak special envoy Marc Grossman handled the negotiations. (New York Times)

-- U.S. intelligence agencies have thoroughly investigated Bergdahl's conduct, beginning before he was captured by the Taliban. The Pentagon knew where Bergdahl was but shelved rescue missions over concerns about casualties. (Fox News, Washington Times) Officials also believed they would have had to release the five Taliban prisoners once U.S. military forces leave Afghanistan completely in 2016. (ThinkProgress)

--Tomorrow's Fight Today: The Obama administration is considering former Treasury official Michael Barr for one of two spots on the Federal Reserve, a move that could anger reformers who see Barr as too close to the banking industry. Sens. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) -- who helped sink Larry Summers' chances to head the Fed -- sent a letter to the White House last week urging Obama to choose nominees with "a strong commitment to financial reform." (The New Republic)

-- The NRSC is launching robocalls today in Virginia, Louisiana, Colorado and Alaska, targeting Democratic incumbents over the new EPA rules. A committee spokeswoman says the calls will target swing voters specifically in Northern Virginia and the Gulf Coast, and undeclared or independent voters in Alaska and Colorado. (Washington Post)

-- Meanwhile, Kentucky Democratic nominee Alison Lundergan Grimes is spending money on ads attacking Obama and the proposed EPA regulations. "President Obama and Washington don't get it," the new ads say. (The Hill) With friends like these…

-- Front Pages: WaPo leads with fallout from proposed EPA rules. NYT leads with investigations into a former Brooklyn D.A. WSJ and USA Today look into VA hospital records. Austin American-Statesman: "Perry blasts new EPA carbon rules." Chicago Tribune: "Carbon cuts offer healthier Chicago."

National Roundup: What's happening outside the Beltway.

-- Primaries: Voters are voting in Alabama, California, Iowa, Mississippi, Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico and South Dakota today. Check out our Primary Primer for all the races you need to watch in yesterday's Read In.

-- Arkansas: American Crossroads will put out new Public Opinion Strategies polling today showing Rep. Tom Cotton (R) leading Sen. Mark Pryor (D) by a 46 percent to 41 percent margin. The poll shows President Obama's approval rating at just 35 percent, with 49 percent saying they strongly disapprove. And former Rep. Asa Hutchinson (R) leads former Rep. Mike Ross (D) by a 48 percent to 42 percent margin, about in line with other public polling.

-- Iowa: Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) campaigned for state Sen. Joni Ernst (R) on Monday after endorsing her earlier this year before meeting privately with donors. Rubio's PAC has bought TV ads on Ernst's behalf. (Des Moines Register) The Tea Party Express endorsed Ernst, the day before the primary. (TPE) Fair warning: Anyone who calls Joni Ernst the tea party candidate gets their pundit card revoked. She's been Gov. Terry Branstad's candidate since day one.

-- California: Working for Us, a D.C.-based labor PAC run by Steve Rosenthal, has spent more than $45,000 opposing tech entrepreneur Ro Khanna (D), who's challenging Rep. Mike Honda (D) in today's primary. They've also spent $21,000 backing Vanila Signh (R), a physician who's been endorsed by the NRCC and Rep. Pete Sessions (R-Texas). The goal: Get Singh through the top-two primary and box out Khanna. (San Francisco Chronicle) Probably not going to work, but a good try.

-- Colorado: Something to watch for: This is the first year Colorado's elections will be conducted entirely by mail. Ballots will hit mailboxes this week, in advance of the June 24 primary. (Denver Post) All-mail elections coincided with dramatic shifts to Democrats in Washington and Oregon; will the same be true of Colorado? We wrote about this a few times last year.

-- Illinois: A preliminary review of paperwork submitted by supporters of state legislative term limits shows they have at least 333,000 valid signatures, 10 percent more than the 300,000 valid signatures required to get the proposed constitutional amendment on November's ballot. The amendment would limit lawmakers to a total of eight years in office, slightly increase the size of the state House and cut the Senate by about one-third. (Chicago Tribune)

-- Nebraska: Former Ameritrade executive Pete Ricketts (R) wants incumbent Lt. Gov. Lavon Heidermann (R) to keep his job next year. Ricketts picked Heidermann as his running mate in a press conference Monday; Heidermann ascended to the top job after Gov. Dave Heineman (R) picked him to replace a predecessor who had come under ethical scrutiny. (Lincoln Journal-Star)

-- Arizona: Scott Fistler lost his first bid for Congress and a race for Phoenix city council. So he legally changed his name to Cesar Chavez, became a Democrat and jumped into the race to replace retiring Rep. Ed Pastor (D). Fistler/Chavez's campaign website is full of photos showing demonstrators rallying for former Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez. (Arizona Capital Times)

-- Candidates in Hawaii, Massachusetts and Minnesota, get your ducks in a row: Today's the filing deadline in your states.

DC Digest: What's on tap today in DC.

-- President Obama landed in Warsaw, Poland, at 9:43 a.m. local time, 3:43 a.m. Eastern Time. He toured a hanger of American F-16s along with President Bronislaw Komorowski. Obama and Komorowski held a bilateral meeting at Belweder Palace, along with Secretary of State John Kerry and National Security Advisor Susan Rice.

-- Vice President Biden has one more day of vacation on Kiawah Island. The White House said Monday Biden will lead the U.S. delegation to the inauguration of Ukrainian President-elect Petro Poroshenko on June 7 in Kiev.

-- The Senate gavels in at 10 a.m. before finishing votes on Keith Harper's nomination to the U.N. Human Rights Counsel. The Senate will vote on cloture on a Commodity Futures Trading Commission member before adjourning for party lunches; other votes on pending nominations are possible this afternoon.

-- Mame Reiley, the long-time Virginia Democratic operative who helped launch Mark Warner's political career, helped Doug Wilder explore a presidential run and later served as head of the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority, died Monday after a four-year battle with cancer. She was 61. (Washington Post)

TV Time Out: Our exclusive look at who's advertising, and where.

-- Oklahoma: The race for retiring Sen. Tom Coburn's (R) seat is going negative. Oklahomans for a Conservative Future, an outside group backing state Rep. T.W. Shannon (R), is running a new ad attacking Rep. James Lankford (R) over votes on "the Obama budget" that raised spending by $65 billion. The ad doesn't cite actual roll call votes, and it's not clear which vote they're talking about. FEC reports show the group spent $246,000 on the ad. (The Oklahoman)

-- Arkansas: The Crossroads groups will spend a little over $1.7 million over the next month taking aim at Sen. Mark Pryor (D). American Crossroads is firing off a new ad today tying Pryor to President Obama, via spelling bee, with $440,000 behind it. The super PAC will spend another $441,000 beginning the week of June 24, while Crossroads GPS will spend $875,000 between June 13 and July 8.

-- New York: Speaking of Crossroads, the group is running its first negative ads in a Republican primary race. They'll start airing ads today lambasting businessman Matt Doheny (R), running for the open 21st district seat being vacated by Rep. Bill Owens (D). Republicans prefer Elise Stefanik, a former Bush administration official running for office for the first time. (Hotline)

The Buried Lede: The nuggets that deserve the spotlight.

-- Notes taken by a Nebraska carpenter who died in 2003 could shed light on the origins of two D-Day battlefields. Gayle Eyler's notes claim Gen. Omar Bradley, commander of the D-Day forces who stormed ashore in Northern France, named two beaches after his carpenters' homes; Eyler was from a town just outside Omaha, and a sergeant named Sam was from Provo, Utah. Hence the names, Omaha and Utah Beach. No one has verified the story, and the origins of the names are still unclear. (Salt Lake Tribune)

-- Press Secretary Prep: The 70th anniversary of the D-Day invasion is Friday. Get to work on those statements.

B1: Business, politics and the business of politics

-- A day after a merger between Patton Boggs and Squire Sanders was completed, another 12 attorneys and policy experts said they would leave for rival law firms. Half a dozen financial services experts moved to Holland & Knight, a telecom expert fled to Akin Gump. The departures bring the number of exits at Squire Patton Boggs to 22 since last week. (Washington Post)

-- Donald Trump finally has his foot in the door in D.C. Trump and daughter Ivanka formally took over the Old Post Office building on Pennsylvania Ave. on May 31 to begin a $200 million renovation that will create a 271-room hotel set to open in 2016. The Trumps will pay a base rent of $250,000 a month, though the government will continue to own the building. (Washington Post)

-- Markets are mixed in early hours trading. Asian markets closed higher today, but European markets are trending lower. (CNN)

C1: The long reads you'll need to check out before tonight's cocktail party.

-- The EPA is using Section 111 of the Clean Air Act to justify new regulations on coal-fired power plants. That section, authored by Sen. Edmund Muskie (D-Maine), came to exist thanks to the top lobbyist for the United Steelworkers union, who didn't want Rust Belt industries targeted specifically. Muskie's staff set about developing a provision to eliminate incentives for industry to leave states with stricter regulations. (Politico)

C4: The comics page, fun things to read when you're bored at work

-- Wisconsin has nearly three times as many bars as it does grocery stores. New Hampshire residents drink the most beer and spirits per capita, almost twice the national average. And residents of Idaho and the District of Columbia drink more than twice the national average of wine every year. North Dakota and Montana have more bars per capita than every other state, while Delaware, Maryland and Mississippi have the fewest, at less than 1.5 per 10,000 people. All that and more scenes from America's Beer Belly, along with great maps, at Washington Post.

-- Marijuana dispensaries in San Jose, Calif., are offering discounts and free pot to customers who show proof they voted in today's primary election. The dispensaries put out a voter's guide advocating for a few candidates, but they say their overall goal is just to improve turnout. (Chicago Tribune)

Attn Matt Drudge: Things conservatives will get outraged by today.

-- Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer (R) wants answers from the White House over reports that undocumented immigrants from Central America have been dropped off at bus stations in Tucson and Phoenix in recent weeks. Rep. Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.) has asked House Oversight and Government Reform Committee chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) to investigate. The Border Patrol said last week it had flown about 400 migrants from the Rio Grande Valley in Texas to Tucson to be processed. (Arizona Republic)

Attn HuffPo: What outrages liberals today

-- The Virginia Flaggers, a group that celebrates the Confederacy, raised a 20-foot by 30-foot Confederate flag alongside Interstate 95 near Fredericksburg on Monday. The first time the group raised the Stars and Bars, 24,000 people signed an online petition against the display. (Reuters)

Reid Wilson covers state politics and policy for the Washington Post's GovBeat blog. He's a former editor in chief of The Hotline, the premier tip sheet on campaigns and elections, and he's a complete political junkie.
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