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First Read’s Morning Clips

OBAMA AGENDA: Cutting emissions by 30%

Driving the day: "The Environmental Protection Agency will propose mandating power plants cut U.S. carbon-dioxide emissions 30% by 2030 from levels of 25 years earlier, according to people briefed on the rule, an ambitious target that marks the first-ever attempt at limiting such pollution," the Wall Street Journal writes.

More, from the New York Times: "On Monday, Mr. Obama is planning to bypass Congress and take one of the biggest steps any American president has ever taken on climate change, proposing new rules to cut emissions at power plants. Yet, by itself, the president’s plan will barely nudge the global emissions that scientists say are threatening the welfare of future generations."

Democrats are bracing for the political fallout from the climate proposal, although POLITICO notes that “some Democrats see the risk as manageable, and the cause more than worth it.”

As he embarks on a week-long trip to Poland, Belgium and France, Obama will try to reassure European allies that the U.S. will keep effectively defending democracy abroad. The Washington Post: "The president’s argument that the United States can strike an effective balance between global leadership and “foreign entanglements” will be immediately tested by a European public skeptical that the country will do what is necessary to rebuff the encroachments of Vladimir Putin’s Russia into Ukraine and, more broadly, Eastern Europe."

Over the weekend: Republicans are blasting the deal that secured Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, calling it a dangerous precedent.

More from the New York Times: "Representatives of both sides played down the idea that the exchange, long seen as a crucial prelude to any broader talks, might breathe new life into the effort to engage the Taliban in a peace effort. But the complex swap showed “each side that the other can deliver,” said one senior American official close to the effort. And it gave both the Taliban leadership and the Obama administration important political symbols."

One of us(!) reported over the weekend on a new NBC News poll that found more Americans oppose Edward Snowden's actions than support them, although opinions vary by age.

Getting buzz today: this piece from POLITICO's Carrie Budoff Brown and Jennifer Epstein on Obama's new sense of realism -- and some liberation -- including this nugget: "... despite his deep connections to Chicago, he has told friends he would like to live in New York City.

CONGRESS: Sanders’ VA solution

Senate Veterans Affairs Committee head Bernie Sanders is proposing a sweeping bill to address problems at the VA.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell will appear as witnesses on a Senate panel on campaign finance reform this week.

OFF TO THE RACES: Cruz narrowly wins RLC straw poll

The results of the Republican Leadership Conference Straw Poll, via the Washington Post: "Cruz took 30.3 percent of the vote, while Carson took 29.4 percent. Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) was a distant third at 10.4 percent, and Mike Huckabee and Texas Gov. Rick Perry both got about 5 percent."

CALIFORNIA: "The state's congressional primary elections on Tuesday will be churning with unaccustomed drama: Two House members, including seven-term Democratic Rep. Mike Honda, are facing stiff primary challenges, while a spate of retirements, including Democratic Rep. Henry Waxman, has unleashed a stampede of ambitious newcomers," writes the Wall Street Journal. "In addition, a conflict between Democratic leaders and the women's political group Emily's List creates a rare opening for Republicans in a Democratic-leaning district."

IOWA: Joni Ernst is looking very strong in Iowa, via a new Des Moines Register poll showing her 18 points ahead of Mark Jacobs.

MISSISSIPPI: A Harper poll shows Thad Cochran barely leading Chris McDaniel, 45-40 percent.

The Hattiesburg American, on Cochran: "The Mississippi Republican still doesn't compete for center stage at news conferences or demonize Democrat colleagues on talk shows. He's still open to negotiating behind the scenes with Democrats on major issues, such as farm programs and defense spending legislation. And he still looks for ways to use "old-school" politicking to help his state."

An ad this weekend in a weekly newspaper aimed at the black community in Jackson, Miss., urged Democrats to vote for Cochran; the ad says it was paid for by a group called "All Citizens for Mississippi" -- which isn't registered with the FEC.

NORTH CAROLINA: The DSCC has reserved $5.5 million in airtime for Sen. Kay Hagan, Roll Call reports.

SOUTH CAROLINA: Lindsey Graham faced most of his GOP challengers at a debate on Friday; State Sen. Lee Bright said a Graham victory would mean "amnesty" and "another war."

OREGON: The Washington Post looks at GOP hopes in the Oregon Senate race.

PROGRAMMING NOTES.

*** Monday’s “The Daily Rundown” line-up: NBC’s Luke Russert interviews NBC’s Ayman Mohyeldin, Jim Miklaszewski, House Armed Services Committee Chairman, Rep. Buck McKeon, IAVA Founder Paul Rieckhoff, The Sierra Club’s Executive Editor Michael Brune, Democratic Strategist Kiki Mclean and NBC News’ Senior Political Editor Mark Murray.

*** Monday’s “Jansing & Co.” line-up: Chris Jansing interviews Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-NY),MSNBC Political Analyst Jonathan Alter, Washington Post Diplomatic Correspondent Anne Gearan, NBC News Terrorism Analyst Evan Kohlmann, Rep. Mike Thompson (D-CA), Huffington Post Staff Reporter Kate Sheppard, Former George H.W. Bush White House Aide Joe Watkins, Democratic Pollster Margie Omero, and CNBC’s Mandy Drury.

*** Monday’s “News Nation with Tamron Hall” line-up: Tamron Hall interviews Politico’s Carrie Budoff Brown on Bowe Bergdahl’s release; New York Times climate reporter, Coral Davenport on the EPA’s big climate change announcement; The Wall Street Journal’s Susan Pulliam on FBI, SEC reportedly probing trading of Carl Icahn, Billy Walters, and Phil Mickelson; and New Orleans Saints quarterback, Drew Brees.

*** Monday’s “Andrea Mitchell Reports” line-up: NBC’s Andrea Mitchell interviews EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy, Rep. Jason Chaffetz, Fmr. Gov. Ed Rendell, the Miami Herald’s Carol Rosenberg, the Washington Post’s Chris Cillizza and UN Under Secretary of UN Women Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka.

*** Monday’s “The Reid Report” line-up: MSNBC’s Joy Reid interviews former NSA Senior Analyst John Schindler, The Daily Beast’s Eli Lake & Marine Corps. Veteran Goldie Taylor on the recovery of Army Sgt. Bowe Berghahl. Plus, documentary filmmaker Eugene Jarecki joins Joy to talk about the latest fight in the war on drugs.

*** Monday’s “Ronan Farrow Daily” line-up: MSNBC’s Ronan Farrow interviews Reuters journalist David Rohde (who will share his experience of being a prisoner of the Taliban), Richard Martinez (father of Christopher Michael-Martinez slain in last week’s tragedy in Santa Barbara), Rep. Chris Van Hollen (on the expected new EPA rules on carbon emissions), and former professional soccer player Jimmy Conrad (who will preview the 2014 World Cup).