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A1: The stories you need to read before your first conference call.
-- Judges on two separate U.S. Courts of Appeals issued contradictory rulings on the constitutionality of insurance subsidies under the Affordable Care Act that help millions afford health care in states that did not choose to set up their own insurance marketplaces. A panel of judges on the D.C. Circuit struck down the subsidies, while a panel of judges for the 4th Circuit, in Richmond, upheld those subsidies in a separate case. The administration will ask the full D.C. Circuit to hear the case, while ACA opponents in the 4th Circuit believe they have a better shot at winning in the Supreme Court. (Washington Post)
-- Secretary of State John Kerry arrived in Israel this morning for meetings with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. Kerry will try to broker a cease-fire after 16 days of fighting in Gaza. After the FAA warned against commercial airline traffic into Ben Gurion International Airport near Tel Aviv, Israel's transportation minister said the country would open a second airport, near Eilat in southern Israel, to commercial traffic. (Washington Post, New York Times)
-- The U.S. on Tuesday released satellite images and other sensitive information that officials say show Moscow trained and equipped the separatist rebels in Ukraine responsible for bringing down Malaysia Airlines Flight 17. Intelligence officials cited sensors that traced the path of the missile, voiceprint analysis of rebels claiming credit, shrapnel markings and photos and data from social media sites. Officials said a Russian military installation near Rostov is the main source of Russian support for the separatists. (Washington Post)
-- The Senate and House are likely to act on separate emergency border security plans over the next week, even as the administration warns border enforcement agencies are running out of money to deal with the crisis. Senate Democrats will move a $2.7 billion spending bill, about $1 billion less than the administration requested. House Republicans are working on a bill that would provide less than $2 billion to address the crisis. The Democratic version doesn't include changes to the 2008 anti-trafficking law that would make it easier to deport minors from Central America; the Republican proposal will likely include those changes. The differing measures means Congress is unlikely to come up with the money before breaking for August recess. (Washington Post)
-- Front Pages: WaPo and WSJ lead with court rulings on ObamaCare. USA Today fronts the rulings and leads with the FAA's ban on flights to Tel Aviv. NYT leads with its investigation into Gov. Andrew Cuomo's administration interfering in a supposedly independent ethics agency. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution gives Senate nominee David Perdue a big front-page photo. And the LA Times takes a look at the newest appointee to the California Supreme Court, with the Obamacare court decisions on the left rail.
National Roundup: What's happening outside the Beltway.
-- WH'16: If Texas Gov. Rick Perry's (R) flirtation with another presidential run is about redemption, he's going about it the right way. Perry made a good impression in Iowa over the weekend, and he's brushing up on his policy credentials to make sure there are no more "oops" moments. He's hired Jeff Miller, a California-based strategist, as his top adviser, shaking up a political team that's been around him for most of his tenure as governor. (Washington Post) Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) is headlining a fundraiser for Rep. Mick Mulvaney (R-S.C.) in Rock Hill, S.C., on Aug. 25. (The State)
-- Georgia: Former Dollar General and Reebok CEO David Perdue (R) beat Rep. Jack Kingston (R) to win the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate on Tuesday, on the strength of his performance in the Metro Atlanta area. Kingston conceded late last night. (Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Washington Post. County-by-county results here) The Chamber of Commerce has some making up to do; they backed Kingston and ran an ad accusing Perdue of "crying like a baby." (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)
-- More Georgia: Former state Sen. Barry Loudermilk (R) trounced former Rep. Bob Barr (R) to win the Republican nomination in District 11, vacated by Rep. Phil Gingrey (R). In Rep. Paul Broun's (R) 10th District, Baptist Minister Jody Hice (R) outpaced trucking company executive Mike Collins (R). In Kington's 1st District, state Sen. Buddy Carter (R) defeated surgeon Bob Johnson (R), the tea party and Club for Growth candidate. All three Republican nominees are likely to cruise to wins in November. (Atlanta Journal-Constitution) It's good to be a religious leader running for Congress this year. Hice won Tuesday, Pastor Mark Walker (R) won the GOP nomination in North Carolina's 6th District last week, and Rep. James Lankford (R), who used to run Baptist summer camps, won the Republican Senate nomination in Oklahoma earlier this year. (Roll Call made this point yesterday)
-- Oregon: Voters in Oregon will weigh in on whether to legalize recreational marijuana after the Secretary of State’s office said supporters turned in enough signatures to qualify for November’s ballot. The proposed measure would tax marijuana at $35 per ounce and $5 per plant and fall under the jurisdiction of the state Liquor Control Commission, a regulatory scheme similar to Washington’s new system. (Salem Statesman Journal)
-- Maine: Rep. Mike Michaud (D) has $1 million in the bank, just more than Gov. Paul LePage's (R) $917,000 and almost double the $527,000 independent Eliot Cutler had on hand. Cutler has loaned himself $1 million, and he's been advertising early to bolster his name identification. (Portland Press-Herald) Cutler is the fulcrum here. If lean-Democratic voters see him as a viable candidate, or if he becomes the alternative to a faltering Michaud, LePage has a chance to win re-election. So far those scenarios haven't happened: Polls show Michaud barely leading LePage.
-- North Carolina: The DSCC has partnered with the Wake County Democratic Party to help fund their efforts on behalf of Sen. Kay Hagan (D), bypassing the state Democratic Party, which has been embroiled in an ugly leadership fight. The DSCC has helped steer more than $1 million through the county party, while the state party reported raising about half that in the first half of the year. (New York Times) The backstory: An executive director hand-picked by national Democrats got the boot earlier this year when a new chairman took over. Republicans did the same thing in prior cycles in Nevada and Arizona, bypassing Ron Paul supporters who took over state parties. Smart move, but indicative of underlying problems with the state party’s organizational abilities, which are critical to Hagan’s survival.
DC Digest: What's on tap today in DC.
-- President Obama attends a House Majority PAC fundraiser at the Four Seasons Hotel in San Francisco before stopping at a DCCC fundraiser at a private residence this afternoon. Obama heads to Los Angeles for another DNC fundraiser this evening. He remains overnight in L.A.
-- Vice President Biden heads to Las Vegas today, where he delivers remarks to the NAACP National Convention at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center. He'll headline a rally for Erin Bilbray, the Democratic candidate running against Rep. Joe Heck (R) at the Henderson Convention Center. (Is this the first event Obama or Biden has done for an individual House candidate this year?) Tonight, Biden travels to Cincinnati.
-- The House meets at 10:00 a.m. today with debate beginning this afternoon on a bipartisan education bill. They'll also tackle a handful of measures aimed at curbing human trafficking, all under suspension. First votes expected around 2:00 p.m., with last votes expected by 6:00 p.m.
-- The Senate returns at 9:30 a.m. to continue consideration of a measure to repartriate jobs by giving companies tax credits for insourcing expenses. The bill is Sen. John Walsh's (D-Mont.) election-year pet project. The Senate is also expected to confirm a new general counsel of the Federal Labor Relations Authority, a new ambassador to the Czech Republic and a new principal deputy administrator of the National Nuclear Security Administration.
TV Time Out: Our exclusive look at who's advertising, and where.
-- North Carolina: Sen. Kay Hagan (D) waited a long time before using her campaign war chest to air advertisements. Now, she’s reserving $4.4 million in airtime over the last four weeks of the campaign. (Raleigh News & Observer) Hagan’s decision to hold her fire was a big gamble, even as AFP and other groups spent millions on attack ads. It’s a decision that will either pay off big, or look like a major (perhaps fatal) mistake.
-- Kansas: Rep. Lynn Jenkins (R) took a novel approach to her first re-election ad, featuring former Sen. Bob Dole (R) on his 91st birthday. Jenkins beat a Democratic incumbent to win her seat, but she's not on anyone’s target list for this year.
The Buried Lede: The nuggets that deserve the spotlight.
-- From 1894 to 1967, the Senate rejected only one Supreme Court nominee. In the years since, the Senate has blocked four nominees. No president since George H.W. Bush has had to get a Supreme Court nominee through a Senate controlled by the other party. But here's why Ruth Bader Ginsburg won't retire: How many of the 45 Republicans in today's Senate, not counting however many join them after November, are going to back an Obama nominee? (Daily Beast)
B1: Business, politics and the business of politics
-- Why does Congress take August off? It's the law. The Legislative Reorganization Act of 1970 requires the House and Senate to recess "not later than July 31 of each [even-numbered] year." The law requires Congress to leave town on a Friday in August at least 30 days before Labor Day in odd-numbered years. The measure isn't in effect when the country is at war. Younger members sick of working for months with no recess pushed the changes back in 1970. (Washington Post)
-- A.H. Belo Corp. has agreed to sell The Providence Journal to New Media Investment Group Inc. for $46 million. Belo purchased the paper, which just celebrated its 185th birthday, in 1997 for -- wait for it -- $1.5 billion. (Providence Journal) Ouch.
-- Stock futures are up this morning on better earnings numbers after the Dow gained 61 points on Tuesday. Most world markets are trading higher today. (CNN)
C1: The long reads you'll need to check out before tonight's cocktail party.
-- A three-month investigation reveals Gov. Andrew Cuomo's administration repeatedly intervened in what was supposed to be an indepedent ethics commission. A top Cuomo adviser the commission to drop a subpoena aimed at a Democratic ad-buying firm that worked for Cuomo's campaign, and commissioners and investigators on the panel saw demands from Cuomo's office as politically motivated. Cuomo's office objected to the panel's work when it focused on groups tied to the governor or issues that might reflect badly on him. (New York Times)
C4: The comics page, fun things to read when you're bored at work
-- Long-shot primary challenges to Republican incumbents, populist rhetoric and a determination to shake up the establishment: Sound familiar? You could be talking about today's Tea Party, or the progressive Republicans led by Sen. Robert La Follette (R-Wis.) who shook up the party in the early decades of the 20th Century. A long look at La Follette's role in the Republican Party, from The Atlantic. So, wait, in this analogy, McClure's is Fox News, right? Or is it RedState/Townhall/National Review?
Attn Matt Drudge: Things conservatives will get outraged by today.
-- Eighteen of the 20 children from Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala who were supposed to appear in a Dallas courtroom for initial deportation hearings on Tuesday didn't show up. About 46 percent of juveniles don't show up for immigration court hearings, a Justice Department official told Congress recently. (Dallas Morning News)
-- Youth football teams will be allowed jusst three hours of full-contact practice per week during the season, and none at all during the off-season under a new law signed Monday by California Gov. Jerry Brown (D). The law also prohibits players suspected of head injuries from returning to a game without approval from a medical professional. (Washington Post)
Attn HuffPo: What outrages liberals today
-- Coffee Co., Tenn. Commissioner Mark Kelly (R) is attacking his opponent, Zak Mohyuddin (D), who is Muslim, claiming Mohyuddin believes the American flag should be removed from public buildings and that the Bible should be removed from public places. Kelly couldn’t cite evidence when pressed; he told a reporter his letter to voters was about driving turnout among conservatives. Mohyuddin’s job as an engineer requires him to maintain a security clearance, which includes background checks every five years. (Tennessean)