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First Read’s Morning Clips

OFF TO THE RACES: The debate over the debates

NBC's Alex Jaffe has all the details from Sunday night's meeting of GOP presidential debates to determine criteria for Republican debates going forward.

Jason Horowitz had a good look over the weekend at the relationship between Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz.

BUSH: In case you missed it: Here's what Jeb had to say to one of us(!) about his debate performance.

And he also said on NBC's Meet the Press that he is "conflicted" about the death penalty.

Jeb Bush is hoping his new e-book can help boost his "fix it" message.

The Washington Post has a deep dive into his efforts to open a charter school in one of Miami's poorest communities.

The Des Moines Register writes that he's still got hope in the caucus state.

CLINTON: She's having to work hard to keep black voters' interest, the Washington Post reports.

CRUZ: "The super PACs backing Cruz's presidential run have yet to reserve any TV time in the early primary states - or anywhere else - despite a combined $38 million warchest that ranks second only to Jeb Bush's $103 million operation. The total absence of ads has created confusion and growing consternation inside the Cruz campaign, which cannot legally communicate with its allied super PACs and has had to watch as their rivals lock in tens of millions of dollars in ads before prices spike, as they typically do as elections near," POLITICO reports.

He got the biggest reception at Saturday's Growth and Opportunity Party event in Des Moines.

FIORINA: She's not happy with the hosts of The View for their comments about her smile during the debate.

SANDERS: He's up with his first TV ad buy, NBC's Shawna Thomas reports.

And around the country...

The Wall Street Journal has a good summary of the ballot initiatives on tomorrow's ballots.

KENTUCKY: The Herald-Leader catches you up on everything you need to know about the Kentucky governor's race.

TENNESSEE: Former senator and presidential candidate Fred Thompson has died at the age of 73.

TEXAS: A equal rights amendment on the ballot in Houston is causing political clashes.

CONGRESS: Ryan: Obama "untrustworthy" on immigration

New House Speaker Paul Ryan says that the president is "untrustworthy" on immigration.

Ryan could face his first challenge with this week's work on the highway bill.

OBAMA AGENDA: Banning the box

The president is unveiling a set of initiatives to ease the path for former prisoners to find jobs and housing.

NBC's Lester Holt will interview President Obama on this topic from New Jersey.

Msnbc.com's Ari Melber has more on the president's move to "ban the box."

It's open enrollment season for Obamacare. Via the Wall Street Journal: "Health insurers lost a total of $2.5 billion, or on average $163 per consumer enrolled, in the individual market in 2014, McKinsey found. A number are also expecting to lose money on their marketplace business for 2015. Now, a lot of insurers are recalibrating their approach for 2016, with changes visible at all levels of the industry—from pricing to product design."

PROGRAMMING NOTES.

*** Monday's "Andrea Mitchell Reports" line-up: NBC's Andrea Mitchell interviews Sen. Ben Cardin, Armstrong Williams - advisor to the Ben Carson presidential campaign, former pilot Jay Rollins, the Wall Street Journal's Jeanne Cummings, and NBC's Bill Neely, Richard Engel, Kerry Sanders and Kristen Welker.