READ IN: Tuesday, June 17, 2014: U.S. sending 275 troops to Iraq, Boehner asked Ryan to run, McDaniel leads Cochran, Kochs set $290m goal, and Post Office Day in the House

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

-- Up to 275 American military personnel are being sent to Iraq to provide support and extra security for the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, the White House told Congress in a letter Monday. The Obama administration is still considering airstrikes against the ISIS rebels. (Washington Post) The White House is also considering sending a small number of special forces soldiers to help slow the Sunni insurgency. (Associated Press) Sunni militants attacked a police station in Baquba, 44 miles north of Baghdad. (New York Times)

-- President Obama on Tuesday will take the first step toward creating the world's largest marine sanctuary in the central Pacific Ocean, doubling the area of ocean under full protection. Secretary of State John Kerry and senior advisor John Podesta have advocated for more protections for oceans. The Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument will expand from 87,000 square miles to nearly 782,000 square miles. (Washington Post)

-- The Obama administration said Monday the president will sign an executive order banning federal contractors from discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. The order covers about 28 million employees of federal contractors. Today, Obama heads to a DNC gala for the LGBT community in New York, and on Thursday the Justice Department will release a report on its interpretation of last year's United States v. Windsor decision, which struck down the Defense of Marriage Act. (Politico)

-- Rep. Raul Labrador's (R-Idaho) staff had to spend Friday calling around to Republican offices seeking personal phone numbers so Labrador could reach out and seek support for his campaign for majority leader. Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) already had the numbers. (Washington Examiner)

-- House Speaker John Boehner called Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) shortly after Rep. Eric Cantor's (R-Va.) defeat last week to see whether the Budget chairman would be interested in becoming majority leader. Ryan said thanks, but no thanks. "[I]n my gut, I'm just not looking to be that guy," Ryan said. (Washington Post) Ryan's calculus: Leadership is a dead-end job, especially for a guy who's still only 44.

-- Front Pages: WaPo leads with U.N. suspicions of war crimes in Iraq. NYT and WSJ highlight talks between the U.S. and Iran. USA Today fronts GM's latest recall. And everyone celebrates the U.S. win over Ghana with big front-page photos.

National Roundup: What's happening outside the Beltway.

-- WH'16: Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad (R) said Monday he will let the state Republican Party decide the fate of the quadrennial straw poll fundraiser in Ames. Critics think the straw poll is a waste of time and a drain on candidate resources; supporters point out that it raises a boatload of cash for the state GOP. (Des Moines Register) Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) will headline a fundraiser for Rep. Mick Mulvaney (R-S.C.) in Indian Land, S.C., on July 2. Perry will stop at a Dorchester County GOP barbecue the following day, where he'll be introduced by Gov. Nikki Haley (R). (The State)

-- Mississippi: A the polling company inc. survey of 501 likely Republican runoff voters shows state Sen. Chris McDaniel (R) leading Sen. Thad Cochran (R) by a 52 percent to 40 percent margin. 49 percent expect McDaniel to win the runoff, while 26 percent say Cochran is going to win. (Real Clear Politics, pdf)

-- Utah: Gov. Gary Herbert (R) says he hopes to win federal agreement on a work requirement for able-bodied adults in his alternative proposal to expand Medicaid. Herbert met Friday with Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell; he said HHS is receptive to a pilot program. Utah and HHS have reached agreement on 27 of 35 points in the "Healthy Utah" plan. (Salt Lake Tribune)

-- California: Democrats on Monday elected state Sen. Kevin de Leon (D) as their new President Pro Tem, marking the ascendence of a new liberal wing of the party. De Leon joins state Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins (D), who won her job last month, both of whom are likely to be more openly liberal than their predecessors. (Reuters) Big loser in the leadership elections: Northern California. The two chambers usually elect leaders from different halves of the state. This time, they're both Southerners: De Leon is from Los Angeles, and Atkins is from San Diego.

-- Louisiana: Rep. Vance McAllister (R) won election to Congress in part with the support of the Robertson clan, the family featured on "Duck Dynasty." Now, a member of that family wants McAllister's seat. Zach Dasher (R), nephew of Phil Robertson, said Monday he would run for Congress; it's his first run for office. He'll face at least a half dozen other candidates in the Nov. 4 all-party jungle primary, and McAllister himself hasn't completely ruled out running again. (Washington Times)

-- More Louisiana: Sen. David Vitter (R), the front-runner to replace Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) in 2015, left open the possibility of expanding the state's Medicaid program to cover more uninsured residents, he said Monday. Vitter said he's not against taking federal money to improve Louisiana's Medicaid program. Jindal is a hard no on expansion. (Associated Press) Vitter took a few shots at Jindal: "I'm not even running to be in a cameo appearance on 'Duck Dynasty,' as intensely jealous as I am of that," he said. Shots fired!

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

-- President Obama travels to Pittsburgh today to deliver remarks on the economy at TechShop, an open-access public workshop. Later, he heads to New York City to attend two DNC fundraisers, one a gala for the LGBT community and one at a private residence. He'll return to D.C. this evening.

-- Vice President Biden arrived at the U.S. Embassy in Brasilia late Monday after watching the U.S. beat Ghana in Natal, a resort town on Brazil's east coast. He meets President Dilma Rousseff and Vice President Michel Temer this morning. This afternoon, Biden leaves Brazil for Colombia.

-- The House is doing the people's work: Renaming Post Offices. Members will vote to rename nine Post Offices, four Veterans Affairs facilities and one U.S. Forest Service facility today. They're also voting to give some federal lands back to the cities of Anchorage, Alaska, and Albuquerque, N.M., but that's not as exciting as the Thaddeus Stevens Post Office in Danville, Vt.

-- The Senate meets at 10 a.m. for morning business. At 11 a.m., they will hold roll call votes to confirm judicial nominees from Washington, Illinois and Florida, and to invoke cloture on an Assistant Attorney General nominee.

-- Four years ago today, the White House declared 2010 would be the "Recovery Summer." Hat tip Stew.

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

-- House Majority PAC: The Democratic super PAC is laying down another $6.2 million in 22 media markets in fall television advertising. The group's total ad buy is up to $12.6 million , including $900,000 to protect Rep. Nick Rahall (D-W.Va.), $800,000 in the Sacramento media market and $500,000 in St. Louis. Full list of where HMP is spending at Post Politics.

-- Koch Brothers: The network of big GOP donors plans to raise and spend $290 million on Republican candidates through dozens of outside groups. The brothers told friends and allies of the ambitious goal at a retreat this weekend near Laguna Beach. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) appeared at the event. (Daily Beast) One such group will be the Freedom Partners Action Fund, a super PAC that plans to raise and spend $15 million on the midterms. (Politico)

The Buried Lede: The nuggets that deserve the spotlight.

-- Bill and Hillary Clinton, long proponents of an estate tax, are moving to shield some of their estate from taxes levied upon their deaths. The Clintons have created residence trusts for their home in Chappaqua, a move that could save hundreds of thousands of dollars in estate taxes. The Clintons are being advised by attorneys at Greenberg Traurig and Marcum LLP, according to documents filed with Westchester County. (Bloomberg)

B1: Business, politics and the business of politics

-- Efforts to implement voter ID laws and curb early voting days are running into new judicial hurdles just months before the midterm elections. Judges have ruled against GOP-passed voting laws in Arkansas, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Ohio in the last six months; challenges in seven more states still await action. State and federal courts in Arizona, Arkansas, Kansas and other states have indicated they may rule before Election Day. Twenty-two states, almost all of them in the South, have implemented new restrictions on voting since 2010. (New York Times)

-- Foreign holdings of U.S. debt rose to $5.96 trillion in April, a new record and the ninth consecutive monthly increase. China has cut its holdings to $1.26 trillion, the third consecutive reduction, while Japan owns $1.21 trillion of our debt. (Associated Press) Belgium owns $366 billion in U.S. debt. Hmm.

-- General Motors has recalled another 3.16 million older-model vehicles to fix ignition switch defects similar to those linked to 13 deaths and 54 accidents in small cars. GM has recalled almost 18 million vehicles in the U.S. this year alone. (Washington Post)

-- Markets are slightly higher in pre-bell trading. U.S. markets added a few points on Monday, while most international markets are trading higher on Tuesday. (CNN)

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

-- Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki once presented himself as the person who could bring Shiites, Sunnis and Kurds together. Today, he's running the government's response to a Sunni civil war with Shiite militias and a Shiite-dominated military alone.

-- "He is spending much of his time on the military side of the presidential compound, while some of his close civilian aides have taken to wearing starched military fatigues. … What he does not do, by all accounts, is spend much time on the political reconciliation with the Sunni Arabs and Kurds that his international allies in Washington and Tehran have insisted is his country’s only possible salvation." (New York Times)

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

-- Doing social media right: The U.S. Men's National Team tweeted a photo last night of Vice President Biden meeting Clint Dempsey and DaMarcus Beasley in Natal, Brazil. (Twitter)

-- Doing social media wrong: Delta Airlines tweeted a photo illustration of the final score, using the Statue of Liberty to represent the U.S. and a giraffe to represent Ghana. What's wrong with that? Well, for starters, there are no giraffes in Ghana. (Deadspin, BuzzFeed)

-- By the way, a measure of which country is more social about soccer: There were 4.9 million tweets during the U.S. victory against Ghana last night. But there were 8.9 million tweets during Germany's win over Portugal yesterday. (Twitter)

-- Quote of the day, from a Kings jersey-wearing, Bud Light-toting Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti: "They say never, ever be pictured with a drink in your hand and never swear. But this is a big f***ing day." (Los Angeles Times)

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

-- Governors of nine states are asking the Obama administration to withdraw proposed EPA carbon pollution limits for power plants, which they say will cost their states thousands of jobs and billions of dollars. The Republican governors of Alaska, Indiana, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, Texas and Wyoming penned the letter Monday accusing the administration of seeking to eliminate coal from the energy mix. (The Hill)

Attn HuffPo: What outrages liberals today

-- A Heritage Institute panel on Benghazi took an ugly turn Monday when participants derided a Muslim American University law student, compared all of Islam to Nazis and mocked the 2.3 million Muslims who live in the U.S. (Washington Post) Heritage was once a smart think tank that generated ideas for Republicans. No wonder so many of their scholars have left.

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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