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A1: The stories you need to read before your first conference call.
-- Top U.S. military leaders on Wednesday warned of both political and military risks associated with launching a new bombing campaign in Iraq as the Obama administration signaled that it is reluctant to launch airstrikes or intervene militarily. Lawmakers who met with President Obama said he was still reviewing his options. (Washington Post)
-- The Obama administration is also signaling that it prefers a new government without Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki at the helm. The administration wants Iraq's political parties to form a new government that would include the country's Sunni and Kurdish populations. (Wall Street Journal)
-- With House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) expected to easily win the race for House Majority Leader later today, all eyes are on the battle to replace McCarthy in the No. 3 slot in GOP leadership. That contest pits Republican Study Committee chairman Steve Scalise (La.) against now-chief deputy whip Rep. Peter Roskam (Ill.) and conservative Indiana Rep. Marlin A. Stutzman. It looks like it could be headed for multiple ballots. (Washington Post)
-- News Corp head Rupert Murdoch writes a WSJ op-ed titled "Immigraton Reform Can't Wait." He says: "We need to give those individuals who are already here—after they have passed checks to ensure they are not dangerous criminals—a path to citizenship so they can pay their full taxes, be counted, and become more productive members of our community." (Wall Street Journal, Reuters)
-- In a move that intensified the fight for the Washington Redskins to change their nickname, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office canceled the team's trademark registration. It's mostly a symbolic development, but one that keeps the debate squarely in the spotlight as opponents of the name argue it is disparaging. (Washington Post)
National Roundup: What's happening outside the Beltway.
-- WH'16: Well, so much for the Brian Schweitzer (D) for president chatter. The former Montana governor told National Journal that Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) "was the woman who was standing under the streetlight with her dress pulled all the way up over her knees, and now she says, 'I'm a nun,' when it comes to this spying!" He said of recently ousted House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.): "If you were just a regular person, you turned on the TV, and you saw Eric Cantor talking, I would say—and I'm fine with gay people, that's all right—but my gaydar is 60-70 percent. But he's not, I think, so I don't know." (National Journal, Washington Post) Meanwhile, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R), once a champion of Common Core, has turned his back on it entirely, an apparent recognition of how toxic the education standards have become among conservatives. (Washington Post)
-- Mississippi: Sen. Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) is getting some help down the stretch from surrogates who have cut ads for him. Gov. Phil Bryant (R) and former NFL star Brett Favre appear in new commercials for the incumbent. Cochran faces state Sen. Chris McDaniel in a Republican runoff next Tuesday. (Jackson Clarion-Ledger, The Hill)
-- Alaska: Former state attorney general Dan Sullivan is the clear front-runner for the GOP nomination for U.S. Senate. But underdog Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell is getting a lift from conservative blogger Erick Erickson, who endorsed him. (RedState) Sean's take: It's good news for Treadwell, but the reality remains that Sullivan will be very tough to beat. He has both establishment (Crossroads) and tea party (Club for Growth) money in his corner.
-- Louisiana: Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) is spearheading a bill to bypass Obama and approve the Keystone XL pipeline. It cleared the Senate Energy Committee she chairs, but Republicans are complaining she is simply playing politics in an election year. (New Orleans Times-Picayune, Baton Rouge Advocate)
-- Colorado: Gov. John Hickenlooper (D) told county sheriffs he signed a bill that banned high-capacity ammunition magazines because one of his "staff made a commitment." That doesn't exactly scream leadership. Republicans are already pouncing. (Denver Post, CBS4)
-- Montana: Democratic Sen. John Walsh's military record is back in the spotlight. Walsh is out with a new ad in which a paralyzed veteran defends him against Republican criticism over a reprimand he received from the Army. (Washington Post)
DC Digest: What's on tap today in DC.
-- President Obama will join a meeting of the President's Export Council in the morning. At 2:15 p.m. he will award retired Marine Corps Corporal William "Kyle" Carpenter the Medal of Honor for conspicuous gallantry in Afghanistan.
-- Vice President Biden is in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, where he'll meet with President Danilo Medina and deliver remarks at the Maritima Solar facility.
-- The House will gather at 10 a.m. for morning business and conduct its legislative business in the afternoon. It will continue considering the Department of Defense Appropriations Act.
-- The Senate will meet at 9:30 a.m. for morning business and resume consideration of the motion to proceed to the Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act. Read more about the bill here.
-- Deputy Secretary of Defense Bob Work, Secretary of the Army John McHugh and Army Chief of Staff Gen. Raymond Odierno deliver remarks at the Army birthday cake cutting ceremony at 11 a.m across the river at the Pentagon.
TV Time Out: Our exclusive look at who's advertising, and where.
-- New York: Rep. Tom Reed (R) is reintroducing himself to voters in his Upstate district, based around Elmira and Ithaca. Reed's campaign is spending about $120,000 in the Buffalo and Elmira markets on ads running June 17-30. The DCCC has reserved $380,000 in October ads on behalf of Tompkins County legislator Martha Robertson (D).
-- American Chemistry Council: It's rare that an outside group backs candidates on both sides of the aisle, but the ACC has been doing so, however quietly, all year. The group spent almost $290,000 on behalf of Cantor in the Richmond market in May and June; more than $500,000 for Rep. Mike Simpson (R-Idaho) in the Boise, Idaho Falls and Twin Falls markets; and $190,000 for Rep. Lee Terry (R-Neb.) in Omaha. Checking the bipartisan box, the ACC ran $215,000 on ads like this one backing Sen. Mark Begich (D-Alaska) in the Anchorage, Fairbanks and Juneau markets in January and February.
-- The DGA is up with a new ad in Michigan that hits Gov. Rick Snyder (R) over pay raises for his administration officials.
The Buried Lede: The nuggets that deserve the spotlight.
-- Students and professors at Portland State University are creating a mapping project to encourage more people to run in local elections. Here's how it works: Users enter their address and then discover all the possible elected positions for which they are eligible to compete. As for the filing deadlines and requirements -- that's all there, too. (Oregonian)
B1: Business, politics and the business of politics
-- Former Florida governor Charlie Crist's net worth has climbed from $466,063 in 2010 to $1.2 million, according to his recent financial disclosure forms. (Tampa Tribune)
-- The Georgia Restaurant Association released a study saying that raising Georgia’s minimum wage from the current $7.25 to $10.10 an hour would cost more than 21,000 jobs statewide. (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)
C1: The long reads you'll need to check out before tonight's cocktail party.
-- Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) is one of the most polarizing figures in politics. But you wouldn't know it from his persona, writes Tim Alberta: "The union fight left Wisconsin bitterly divided, but, unlike Christie, Walker doesn't behave like a brawler. In interviews with dozens of officials, aides, and activists from both parties, it was hard to find anyone who could muster a negative word about Walker the man—even among those who make a living berating Walker the governor. 'I'll be honest with you,' says Mike Tate, chairman of the Wisconsin Democratic Party. 'He's just a very pleasant guy.'" (National Journal)
C4: The comics page, fun things to read when you're bored at work
-- Meet Lucy Li, who at 11 years old is the youngest player to qualify for the U.S. Women's Open golf tournament. Ever. Li, who took up the sport at age 7, clocked in with rounds of 74 and 68 at a qualifying event. Not too shabby. (New York Times)
-- So how much did the average American day change between 2003 and 2013? In absolute terms, not all that much. In relative terms, the changes were more striking: Americans who did homework or research spent almost 25 percent more time on those activities in 2013. And those who took part in in organized religious or spiritual activities spent 9 percent less time on them compared to 2003. (GovBeat)
-- @RepLynnJenkins: Since @BarackObama poked fun at @Royals fans, they have gone 13-4, swept the @WhiteSox & are now in 1st place... Just saying. #BeRoyalKC
Attn Matt Drudge: Things conservatives will get outraged by today.
-- The city of Denton, Texas is considering becoming the first city in the state to ban fracking, a practice that frees oil and gas. "I think the people of Denton really want to keep the livability of the town," said Taylor Schrang, a 28-year-old personal trainer. "And fracking is pretty obtrusive." (AP)
Attn HuffPo: What outrages liberals today
-- The execution of a Florida man marked the third U.S. execution in 24 hours. The Supreme Court rejected a last-second appeal by the man's attorneys. (AP)