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First Read’s Morning Clips

OBAMA AGENDA: Secret Service’s 2011 fumble

Here's Obama on 60 Minutes: "Our head of the intelligence community, Jim Clapper, has acknowledged that I think they underestimated what had been taking place in Syria."

The New York Times reports on the campaign to re-enlist Iraqi soldiers who deserted when ISIS began its offensive.

From one of us (!) over the weekend: "More than seven in 10 Americans say the United States will end up using its own combat troops against ISIS militants in Iraq and Syria, despite President Barack Obama’s assertion that U.S. combat troops won’t be on the ground there."

"The American military effort against history's deadliest Ebola outbreak is taking shape in West Africa, but concerns are mounting that the pace isn't fast enough to check a virus that is spreading at a terrifying clip," writes the Wall Street Journal.

From the Washington Post, over the weekend: "Secret Service fumbled response after gunman hit White House residence in 2011"

The latest on the democracy protests in Hong Kong, from the AP.

OFF TO THE RACES: An even more polarized Congress in 2015?

"Congressional Republicans successfully ended their primary season with minimal damage, but in at least a dozen safe or largely safe Republican House districts where more mild-mannered Republicans are exiting, their likely replacements will pull the party to the right, a move likely to increase division in an already polarized Congress," writes the New York Times.

Ted Cruz won the Values Voter Summit straw poll over the weekend, for the second year in a row. (Ben Carson came in second.)

NBC's Perry Bacon Jr. reported on the battle for Christian conservative support between Rand Paul and Ted Cruz.

Steny Hoyer, to the Washington Post: "Being majority leader was a great job. If Nancy weren’t here, would I want to be the speaker or leader, the answer to that I think is clear."

The New Yorker offers a must-read on Rand Paul, his relationship with his dad, and his "high jinks" in college.

Writes Roll Call: "In political ad after ad, challengers are taking aim at incumbents for accepting “perks” in a Congress mired in gridlock. Incumbents feel the heat, emphasizing their own commitment to ending taxpayer-funded congressional perks. The irony, of course, is the winner will have access to the same salary and benefits as soon as they’re sworn into office in January. But operatives from both parties argue the message remains potent in a political environment where Congress is unpopular."

COLORADO: The birth of Chelsea Clinton's daughter kept her famous father from stumping for Mark Udall and John Hickenlooper, but he called in via speakerphone, the AP reports.

IOWA: The Des Moines Register reports that Joni Ernst is leading Bruce Braley 44 percent to 38 percent among likely voters.

The two Senate candidates squared off in a sharp debate on Sunday. The Omaha World-Herald writes that neither candidate landed a "knockout punch."

MSNBC’s Michael LaRosa on the debate: “Democratic Congressman Bruce Braley and Republican State Senator Joni Ernst traded barbs in a heated one-hour back and forth. Braley, who tried to paint Ernst as an extreme Tea party and Koch brother-backed ideologue, was met with stiff resistance by his GOP opponent. ‘I am a mother, I am a soldier, and I am an Independent leader,’ Ernst said.”

The Iowa Democratic Party highlights a response Ernst gave on “personhood” and abortion.

KANSAS: Which party would Greg Orman caucus with? He tells The Washington Post: "“It’s not in the best interests for us to say that."

Pat Roberts is now reaching out aggressively to Tea Party leaders, reports McClatchy.

LOUISIANA: Mary Landrieu gets 43 percent support in a new CNN poll, compared to 40 percent for Bill Cassidy.

NORTH CAROLINA: In a new ad, Thom Tillis is hitting Kay Hagan for missing committee hearings on ISIS.

A new CNN poll finds Hagan with 46 percent, Tillis with 43 percent and libertarian Sean Haugh with seven percent.

OHIO: Democrats are trying to avoid a "disastrous shutout" in Ohio as they admit their Democratic gubernatorial candidate's campaign has "all but imploded,” writes the New York Times. The money quote: party chairman Chris Redfern says he wouldn't hire the outside company that vetted Ed Fitzgerald "to clean out my birdcage."

The Youngstown Vindicator, on the late Jim Traficant: "His unfulfilled potential and his wasted talent were the result of his being sidetracked by too much nonsense and, yes, a preoccupation with using his position as a member of Congress for personal gain."

WISCONSIN: Michelle Obama campaigns for Mary Burke today while Chris Christie stumps for Scott Walker.

PROGRAMMING NOTES.

*** Monday’s “The Daily Rundown” line-up: NBC’s Luke Russert interviews former Secret Service Agent Evy Poumpouras, Congressman Peter King (R-NY), State Department Spokeswoman Jen Psaki, NBC’s Pete Williams, Chris Jansing, Richard Engel, Gabe Gutierrez, Ron Allen, Ayman Mohyeldin and NBC’s Senior Political Editor Mark Murray.

*** Monday’s “News Nation with Tamron Hall” line-up: Tamron Hall interviews The Daily Beast’s Michael Tomasky on President Obama’s recent comments on ISIS; and Attorney Areva Martin on Michael Dunn’s retrial & day one of jury selection in Jodi Arias’s penalty phase retrial.

*** Monday’s “Andrea Mitchell Reports” line-up: NBC’s Andrea Mitchell interviews Sen. Barbara Boxer, the Washington Post’s Carol Leonnig and Chris Cillizza, the AP’s Julie Pace, the Woodrow Wilson Center’s Aaron David Miller and NBC’s Richard Engel, Pete Williams and Mark Murray.