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First Read’s Morning Clips

OBAMA AGENDA: Equal Pay Day

"President Obama on Tuesday will call attention to what he has said is an “embarrassment” in America: the fact that women make, on average, only 77 cents for every dollar that a man earns," the New York Times writes. "But critics of the administration are eager to turn the tables and note that Mr. Obama’s White House fares only slightly better. A study released in January showed that female White House staff members make on average 88 cents for every dollar a male staff member earns."

The Wall Street Journal: “President Barack Obama will undertake take two actions Tuesday aimed at revealing more information about possible pay differences between men and women at federal contractors. The actions are part of a broader campaign by Democrats to highlight gender pay disparities and shore up support for the party's candidates among women voters.”

Some data points from Gallup, via Reuters: "The percentage of Americans without health insurance dipped to its lowest in nearly six years due in part to U.S. President Barack Obama's healthcare reform law, commonly known as Obamacare, according to a Gallup poll released on Monday. Some 15.6 percent of Americans lacked health insurance in the first three months of 2014, down from a high of 18 percent in late 2013, according to the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index survey."

CONGRESS: Your kiss is on my list

NBC's Frank Thorp reports: "A Republican House member apologized Monday after a newspaper published a video it said showed him kissing an aide late last year. Rep. Vance McAllister, a freshman member who is married and has five children, made the apology in a statement that did not directly address the specifics of the newspaper's report. 'Trust is something I know has to be earned whether your [sic] a husband, a father, or a congressman," he said. "I promise to do everything I can to earn back the trust of everyone I've disappointed.'"

The Senate easily passed an extension of jobless benefits last night, but a spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner criticized that measure again, keeping the legislation's future in doubt.

Odd couple: Sens. Ted Cruz and Chuck Schumer aren't best buddies politically, but they teamed up yesterday for a measure to keep Iran's new ambassador to the U.N. from entering the United States, the Washington Post reports. The measure passed the Senate easily on Monday.

The chief of USAID will be grilled by Congress Tuesday about his agency's reported development of "Cuban Twitter" to spark unrest in the country, the AP notes.

OFF TO THE RACES: It’s good to be the king -- or a billionaire

If you care about politics, it's a good time to be a billionaire. As part of our series on the oligarchs of American politics, some of us(!) examine what causes make some of the nation's wealthiest mega-donors tick.

The Kochs and Bloombergs of the world are well-known, but there are plenty of other deep-pocketed donors without big-ticket names. NBC's Andrew Rafferty gives a rundown of some of the most important influencers you don't know.

Speaking of big money, the Atlantic's Peter Beinart says big media outlets should assign special correspondents to cover individual donors.

Talker: Buzzfeed's Ben Smith declares Jeb Bush "a terrible candidate." Why? "The notion that Jeb Bush is going to be the Republican presidential nominee is a fantasy nourished by the people who used to run the Republican Party. Bush has been out of a game that changed radically during the 12 years(!) since he last ran for office. He missed the transformation of his brother from Republican savior to squish; the rise of the tea party; the molding of his peer Mitt Romney into a movement conservative; and the ascendancy of a new generation of politicians — Marco Rubio, Paul Ryan, Scott Walker, Ted Cruz, among them — who have been fully shaped by and trained in that new dynamic."

David Wildstein is talking to prosecutors in the Christie Bridgegate probe.

The Washington Post's Paul Kane: "In the post-earmark era, using the party’s control of the federal bureaucracy to deliver local projects or delay new regulations that might stifle jobs has become a critical part of Democratic efforts to maintain control of the Senate. In close races, particularly in less populated states such as Alaska and Montana, incumbents are hoping that a few favorable agency decisions might secure the backing of key constituencies."

CALIFORNIA: Roll Call: "California Republican David Valadao is running for re-election to the 21st District — but you wouldn’t know he’s the incumbent from his ballot designation."

LOUISIANA: Democrat Mary Landrieu raised $1.8 million in the first quarter, beating the $1.2 million haul by challenger Rep. Bill Cassidy.

Meanwhile, headline in the Times-Picayune: “Bill Cassidy puts on doctor's hat to treat sick passenger on Southwest flight”

NEW HAMPSHIRE: Scott Brown is retiring from the National Guard as he gears up to announce his Senate bid Thursday, the Boston Globe reports.

On Buzzfeed, the New Hampshire Democratic Party runs “10 Things You Don’t Do If You Want To Be New Hampshire’s Senator” hitting Brown.

NORTH CAROLINA: A big number: Incumbent Democrat Kay Hagan pulled in $2.8 million in the first quarter and has more than $8 million on hand, while challenger North Carolina state Speaker Thom Tillis raised $1.3 million.

SOUTH CAROLINA: NBC's Kasie Hunt and Ben Mayer hit the road with Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham, who faces a crowded but weak primary to keep his seat. The quotable Graham weighs in on why none of his challengers have caught fire, on one competitor's allegations about his sexuality, and on why Vladimir Putin's got a "problem." Graham says the difference between him and some of his challengers can be summed up like this: "How do you define conservatism? I'm trying to represent the state with a certain degree of dignity."

PROGRAMMING NOTES.

Tuesday’s “The Daily Rundown” line-up: NBC’s Chuck Todd interviews Congresswoman Rosas DeLauro (D-CT), Historian Taylor Branch, North Carolina NAACP President Rev. Dr. William Barber and former HEW Secretary during the Johnson Administration, Joseph Califano.

Tuesday’s “Jansing & Co.” line-up: Chris Jansing interviews Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), White House Director of Communications Jennifer Palmieri, RNC National Press Secretary Kirsten Kukowski, MSNBC.com’s Irin Carmon, Hufftington Post’s Laura Bassett, MSNBC Legal Analyst Faith Jenkins, Former NTSB Investigator Greg Feith, and MSNBC.com’s Adam Serwer.

Tuesday’s “News Nation with Tamron Hall” line-up: Tamron Hall interviews Attorney Paul Rothstein on the Oscar Pistorius trial; Judi Conti from National Employment Law Center on President Obama's paycheck fairness event with Lily Ledbetter; and Jairo Reyes & Domenick Dedomenico on their firing from UPS.

Tuesday’s “Andrea Mitchell Reports” line-up: NBC’s Andrea Mitchell interviews Sen. Dianne Feinstein, Attorneys David Boies and Ted Olson, Save the Children Managing Director Mark Shriver, Save the Children Artist Ambassador Bridgit Mendler, NBC’s Mike Taibbi and the Washington Post’s Ruth Marcus.

Tuesday’s “The Reid Report” line-up: MSNBC’s Joy Reid interviews Cecelia Munoz, the White House Domestic Policy Director and Elizabeth Plank from Policy Mic about Pres. Obama’s executive action on equal pay. Plus, Michael Eric Dyson from Georgetown University & Anthea Butler from the University of Pennsylvania discuss the kickoff of the LBJ Civil Rights Summit and today’s new civil rights fight.