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A1: The stories you need to read before your first conference call.
-- Attorney General Eric Holder will head to Ferguson, Mo., on Wednesday to oversee the investigation into the shooting death of an unarmed black teenager last weekend, the White House said Monday. Police clashed with hundreds of demonstrators again on Monday and fired tear gas; two people were shot, though state Highway Patrol Capt. Ronald Johnson said police had not fired a single bullet. FBI investigators have interviewed more than 200 people who may have witnessed Brown's death. (Washington Post, St. Louis Post-Dispatch)
-- The White House has convened more than 20 listening sessions this summer on executive options on immigration policy, inviting lobbyists and special interest groups to private meetings led by domestic policy chief Cecilia Munoz to make their case. Sentence of the day: "The go-it-alone approach has left the administration -- which claims to be the most transparent in United States history -- essentially making policy from the White House, replacing congressional hearings and floor debates with closed meetings for invited constituencies." (New York Times)
-- Israelis and Palestinians agreed late Monday to extend a five-day cease-fire in the Gaza Strip an additional 24 hours to give negotiators in Cairo more time to reach a deal. The negotiators have been indirectly negotiating through Egyptian mediators for two weeks. (New York Times)
-- Pope Francis is considering a three-city U.S. trip in September 2015, to Philadelphia, Washington and New York, he said Monday. Francis said he had been invited to address Congress and the U.N. General Assembly. (Associated Press)
-- Just 19 percent of voters say most members of Congress deserve re-election, on pace to be the lowest re-elect sentiment in a midterm election since Gallup began asking the question in 1992. Gallup measured Congress's approval rating at 13 percent. But 50 percent say their member of Congress deserves to be re-elected, higher than in 1992 and 1994. (Gallup) Reid's Take: Don't buy the hype that we're in for some kind of massive turnover. These days, districts are drawn to prevent exactly that.
-- Front Pages: WaPo: "Holder to lead investigation in Ferguson." Another incredible St. Louis Post-Dispatch front of a police officer firing tear gas. NYT and USA Today report on Iraqis taking control of the Mosul Dam. WSJ leads with Ukrainian refugees at risk during clashes between pro-Russian separatists and the Ukrainian army. Des Moines Register's right rail: "Big buzz as Clintons to attend Harkin steak fry."
National Roundup: What's happening outside the Beltway.
-- WH'16: Hillary and Bill Clinton will headline Sen. Tom Harkin's (D) 37th and final steak fry in Indianola, Iowa, next month. It's Bill's fourth appearance at Harkin's signature event and Hillary's second; she and the rest of the 2008 Democratic field all showed up in 2007. (Des Moines Register, Washington Post) Hillary Clinton will also attend a fundraiser for women House candidates in October in San Francisco, alongside Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi. (The Hill)
-- Alaska and Wyoming: Voters head to the polls today for party primaries. The big races to watch: Alaska's Senate race, where party favorite Dan Sullivan (R) faces Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell (R) and attorney Joe Miller (R), and Wyoming's governor's race, where incumbent Matt Mead (R) faces off against state Public Instruction Superintendent Cindy Hill (R). Also on the ballot: Gov. Sean Parnell's (R) tax cuts for oil companies, a direct reversal of former Gov. Sarah Palin's biggest achievement in office. Background on that story here.
-- Virginia: Former Gov. Bob McDonnell's (R) defense kicked off Monday with a former aide describing the governor as "Mr. Honest" and his wife as so "diva-ish" that her staff once threatened to quite en masse. The aide, Janet Vestal Kelly, said consultants from Virginia Commonwealth University were brought in in late 2011 to improve working conditions in the governor's mansion. (Washington Post)
-- Texas: A judge decided Monday not to issue an arrest warrant for Gov. Rick Perry (R), but Perry will still have to be booked, fingerprinted and have a mug shot taken after being indicted by a grand jury. (Associated Press) New York Times editorial: "[T]he indictment ... appears to be the product of an overzealous prosecution." Perry will make six stops in New Hampshire on Friday and Saturday, his state strategist, Mike Dennehy, said in an email.
-- Kentucky: Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes (D) is paying a fraction of market rate for the 45-foot campaign bus in which she's been touring Kentucky touting her Senate bid. That's because the bus itself was purchased by a company run by Jerry Lundergan, the former state Democratic Party chairman and Grimes's father. The Grimes campaign has paid about $450 a day to rent the bus, when market value for a similar bus would run between $1,500 and $2,000 a day. (Politico)
-- Arizona: Bob Parsons, the founder of GoDaddy is contributing another $1 million to a super PAC backing the gubernatorial ambitions of attorney Christine Jones (R), Parsons' former legal counsel. Parsons has contributed more than $2 million to the pro-Jones super PAC. Most of that money has been spent on attack ads against state Treasurer Doug Ducey (R), who has support from his own dark money super PACs. The primary is Aug. 26. (Arizona Republic)
-- North Carolina: The state Mining and Energy Commission will hold four public hearings, beginning tomorrow, over more than 100 proposed safety rules as the state prepares to lift a moratorium on fracking next year. The most controversial proposed rules involve chemical disclosures, the distances from homes and wells of new drilling sites, and drinking water testing. (Raleigh News & Observer) North Carolina badly wants in on the booming fracking business. In a time of tight budgets, hundreds of millions in extraction taxes are hard for any governor to refuse.
DC Digest: What's on tap today in DC.
-- President Obama sits down with members of the economic team this afternoon in the Roosevelt Room. By 4:05 p.m., he'll be on a helicopter back to Andrews for the short hop back to Martha's Vineyard for the rest of his summer vacation. Obama spent more than five hours last night at the home of Sam Kass, the White House chef, near Dupont Circle.
-- Vice President Biden attends the economic meeting this afternoon before dropping by a meeting of the Iraqi Young Leaders Exchange Program, in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building.
-- President Obama will preside over a meeting of the U.N. Security Council when he attends the annual General Assembly in September, to focus on foreign fighters traveling to war zones to join terrorist organizations. The U.S. hopes to have a resolution ready to pass during the meeting. Last time Obama chaired the meeting, in 2009, the heads of Russia, the U.K., France and China all attended. (ThinkProgress)
-- Tensions between Hill Democrats and the White House reached a new zenith in late June when President Obama effectively shut down Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid in a White House meeting with Congressional leaders. After the meeting, Reid told colleagues and staff he was shocked how disengaged Obama seemed; Reid's chief of staff, David Krone, regularly questions White House competency on Capitol Hill. (New York Times)
-- More from the Carl Hulse/Jeremy Peters/Michael Shear tour de force: Obama has played more than 180 rounds of golf since becoming president. In that time, he's played with exactly four members of Congress: Speaker John Boehner and Sens. Mark Udall (D-Colo.), Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) and Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.). The White House pushed back, saying Obama had met 18 times with groups of lawmakers this year, not counting one-on-ones and phone calls. Reid's Take: The frustration with the White House extends beyond Congress to Democratic interest groups around town. And 18 meetings in 8 months, well, that says a lot on its own.
-- The DCCC pulled in $11.5 million in July, ending the month with $56.7 million on hand. The NRCC raised $8 million in the same month, ending with $48 million in the bank. (Roll Call)
TV Time Out: Our exclusive look at who's advertising, and where.
-- Republicans are using the Affordable Care Act as a cudgel against Democratic incumbents far less often in recent months, a reflection that Obamacare is losing its potency as an issue. In a memo to Crossroads GPS, the American Action Network and other GOP groups, Republican pollster Whit Ayres said Obamacare won't be the most important issue on voters' minds this fall. However, he said, another round of attack ads may be coming when premium increases take effect next month. (Bloomberg)
-- The numbers behind that Heidi Przybyla story: In April, Obamacare messages made up 54 percent of the 5,704 issue ads run against Sen. Kay Hagan (D-N.C.). In July, the same issue accounted for just 27 percent of top issue ads. Jobs and employment accounted for 72 percent of anti-Hagan ads. Similar declines have happened in Louisiana and Arkansas.
-- Oregon: Backers of a ballot initiative that would legalize marijuana are reserving $2.3 million in TV time between Sept. 22 and Election Day. At least $750,000 of that will run on two Portland broadcast stations. The campaign, New Approach Oregon, has received lots of funding from the New York-based Drug Policy Alliance, which backs legalization. (Oregonian)
The Buried Lede: The nuggets that deserve the spotlight.
-- There are more than 100,000 self-identified Alaska Native or American Indian residents of Alaska. By the end of March, just 115 of them had signed up for care under the Affordable Care Act. That's because Alaska Natives and American Indians are exempt from the tax penalties that come with not signing up for health insurance. The government pays $4.4 billion a year to the Indian Health Service, a division of HHS, which provides care directly to tribes or hands that money to tribes wishing to find their own care. (Washington Post)
B1: Business, politics and the business of politics
-- A measure of a successful marketing campaign in the viral era: People have mentioned the ice bucket challenge more than 2.2 million times on Twitter since July 29. The ALS Association has received $13.3 million in donations since then, a little less than ten times the amount they received over the same period last year. That money came from about 260,000 new donors. (New York Times)
-- Canada is reconsidering a plan to purchase 65 F-35 fighter jets, after spiraling costs and internal battles among policymakers. The U.S. had hoped to partner with up to eight other friendly nations to sell the Lightning II, in order to bring the price down to a manageable $80 million per plane. Japan and Israel have agreed to buy the F-35, and South Korea is close to making a purchase, too. Italy and the Netherlands have cut back their F-35 orders over budget concerns. (Washington Post)
-- Stocks are trading slightly higher before the bell after the Dow added a little more than 1 percent on Monday. World markets are up across the board. (CNN)
C1: The long reads you'll need to check out before tonight's cocktail party.
-- Former Sen. Jim Jeffords, a Republican-turned-independent whose party switch in 2001 capped a four-decade Senate career, died Monday at the age of 80. The former member of the Singing Senators had been fighting Alzheimer's since retiring from the Senate in 2007. (Burlington Free Press)
-- Jeffords had informed Democratic and Republican Party leaders he would become an independent on a stormy day in May 2001, after weeks of feuding with George W. Bush's White House. He had been concerned with the size of Bush's tax cuts, and then-Senate Majority Whip Harry Reid offered the final carrot by giving Jeffords his position atop the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. A fascinating history of a party switch from The Washington Post's Paul Kane.
C4: The comics page, fun things to read when you're bored at work
-- Rep. Don Young (R-Alaska) said Sunday he is engaged to marry Anne Garland Walton, a registered nurse. Young's first wife, Lu, passed away in 2009, after 46 years of marriage. (Washington Post) Memo to the future Mrs. Young: Please do something about that massive bear pelt in his D.C. office.
Attn Matt Drudge: Things conservatives will get outraged by today.
-- Environmental activist Tom Steyer thinks his point is getting across to "what I would think of as super-sophisticated people," he said at the American Renewable Energy Institute. "The question in the United States of America is how are we doing with everybody else, which is the 99.5 percent of the people[.]" Forget the 99 percent, Steyer is after the 99.5 percent of us who are unsophisticated! (CNS News)