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First Read’s Morning Clips

OBAMA AGENDA: Past statements coming back to haunt Obama

From a White House official, here's the list of foreign policy experts who dined last night with Obama, Biden and Kerry: Sandy Berger, Zbigniew Brzezinski, Tom Donilon, Michele Flournoy, Richard Haass, Steve Hadley, Jane Harman, Michael Morell, Strobe Talbott.

The New York Times' Peter Baker writes: "As he seeks to rally Americans behind a new military campaign in the Middle East, Mr. Obama finds his own past statements coming back to haunt him. Time and again, he has expressed assessments of the world that in the harsh glare of hindsight look out of kilter with the changed reality he now confronts."

A Washington Post-ABC News poll finds that 71 percent of Americans support airstrikes in Iraq, while 65 percent support airstrikes in Syria.

Coalition-building can be much harder than it sounds, notes the AP: "The diplomacy of coalition building is time-consuming, and questions about who can or should join are often messy. And in this situation it is complicated by the fact that the U.S. and its allies share an interest in defeating the extremists with some governments they otherwise oppose. "

Iraq has a new government, but new Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has not yet selected defense and interior ministers.

The Wall Street Journal explores how Kurds became key players in the U.S. plan to fight ISIS.

Here's the NYT editorial board on Obama's address on the ISIS threat: "He will need to explain to the nation with specificity how airstrikes against ISIS in Syria fit into a broader strategy; how they could be successful; how they might be done without benefiting Syria’s dictator, Bashar al-Assad, who is under attack by ISIS and other Sunni opposition forces; and how the United States can avoid entanglement in another military morass if it moves more aggressively into this theater."

"Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 was likely struck by multiple "high-energy objects from outside the aircraft," causing it to break up over eastern Ukraine, a preliminary report into the deadly aviation disaster concluded Tuesday," according to the AP. "The report by the Dutch Safety Board stopped short of saying the Boeing 777 was shot down by a missile, but its findings appear to point to that conclusion. It also did not say who might have been responsible."

Bill Clinton and Barack Obama will share a stage Friday for the 20th anniversary of AmeriCorps.

CONGRESS: Price tag: $5 billion

Obama wants Congress to authorize a $5 billion counterterror fund to help address the ISIS threat. Writes The Hill: "Approving the fund could allow the White House and congressional leaders to escape a tougher vote on authorizing or funding military action before the midterm elections but still achieve the “buy in” the president has said he wants from Congress."

Roll Call: "A former communications director for House Republican Conference Chairwoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers sent reporters a 1,959-word email Monday accusing the Washington Republican of “retribution” in connection with an ethics complaint against her office — a serious charge that is the latest alleged impropriety in an ongoing Ethics Committee investigation."

The Benghazi special select committee will hold its first hearing next week, POLITICO reports.

OFF TO THE RACES: Rothenberg predicts GOP will gain at least 7 Senate seats

The Washington Post's Phil Rucker: "Ready for Hillary, the super PAC laying the groundwork for Hillary Rodham Clinton's potential 2016 presidential campaign, has called a meeting of its top national donors to discuss its strategy following the November midterm elections."

TIME writes on a trend we've noted as well: Republicans are talking about over-the-counter birth control in the effort to combat the "war on women" narrative.

Stu Rothenberg, on 2014: "While the current Rothenberg Political Report ratings don’t show it, I am now expecting a substantial Republican Senate wave in November, with a net gain of at least seven seats.But I wouldn’t be shocked by a larger gain."

GEORGIA: Michelle Obama hit the road for Michelle Nunn in Atlanta yesterday, urging a largely African-American audience to make sure they and their families get to the polls.

IOWA: A Loras College poll finds Bruce Braley up over Joni Ernst 45.3 % to 40.5%.

KANSAS: A SurveyUSA poll (which does not meet NBC News polling standards) puts independent Greg Orman at 37 percent, statistically tied with Pat Roberts at 36 percent. Democrat Chad Taylor, who has ended his campaign but currently remains on the ballot, gets 10 percent. The same survey finds Kansas Democrat Paul Davis up over Gov. Sam Brownback by seven percentage points, 47 percent to 40 percent.

MASSACHUSETTS: Roll Call asks: Could John John Tierney lose his primary today? (And maybe a better question: Does Tierney losing actually help Democrats in November?)

NEW HAMPSHIRE: Secretary of State Bill Gardner is predicting relatively heavy turnout for today's primaries.

Today in not-the-Onion headlines: "Prosecutors drop disorderly conduct charge vs NHGOP ‘chicken.' Via NHJournal.com: "Prosecutors dropped a disorderly conduct charge against state Republican Party Michael Zona on Monday, when he had been scheduled to appear in court to face the charges ... Zona had been arrested at the Londonerry Old Home Day Parade on Aug. 16 for allegedly interfering with the path of Sen. Jeanne Shaheen and Gov. Maggie Hassan, who had been marching. He had been told to “cease and desist” several times, but when he allegedly did not, he was arrested."

RHODE ISLAND: A preview from on tonight’s primary: "Tuesday's Democratic primary for Rhode Island governor is emerging as a referendum on how to tackle rising pension costs as the candidates clash over their approaches to a problem bedeviling elected officials around the U.S," writes the Wall Street Journal. "Rhode Island Treasurer Gina Raimondo is trumpeting a 2011 state overhaul she spearheaded that sharply curtailed retirement benefits and rankled unions, while Providence Mayor Angel Taveras is lauding a city pension fix he championed that wasn't as aggressive and eventually won labor support."

VIRGINIA: Gov. Terry McAuliffe, stymied by the GOP-led legislature, is proposing a more modest health care expansion. "Facing a GOP-dominated legislature averse to Medicaid expansion, Gov. Terry McAuliffe on Monday unveiled a more limited plan to expand health services, using his executive authority and available federal funding,” writes the Times-Dispatch. “The plan would provide coverage to only about 20,000 of the estimated 400,000 who would be covered if Virginia expanded Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act."

PROGRAMMING NOTES.

*** Tuesday’s “News Nation with Tamron Hall” line-up: Tamron Hall interviews Vice President Biden exclusively on the 20th anniversary of his domestic violence legislation and Ray Rice; The Washington Post’s sports reporter Cindy Boren and Domestic Violence advocate Leslie Morgan Steiner on Ray Rice’s firing and the fallout. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee and Sen. Bill Nelson with the latest on ISIS and the President’s meeting with Congressional leaders today in advance of tomorrow’s speech; Dr. Claudio Hoyen of CASE University hospital on the respiratory virus striking hundreds of children; and Erica Reid, Author of "The Thriving Child."

*** Tuesday’s “Andrea Mitchell Reports” line-up: NBC’s Andrea Mitchell interviews Rep. Ed Royce, Fmr. Ambassador Nicholas Burns, Israel’s Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz, National Network to end Domestic Violence Pres. Kim Gandy, MSNBC’s Tamron Hall, the AP’s Julie Pace and the Washington Post’s Chris Cillizza.