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First Read’s Morning Clips

OBAMA AGENDA: LBJ looms large

The New York Times writes that President Lyndon Johnson's legacy looms large for Obama at the 50th anniversary of the LBJ-ushered Civil Rights Act.

Obama pushed back at critics of his equal pay push yesterday, calling the gender gap "not a myth, it's math." (His call for Congress to pass legislation to remedy the discrepancy, however, looks destined to go unheeded at a Senate vote later today on the Paycheck Fairness Act, which is expected to fail.)

Meanwhile, the Washington Post gives Obama two Pinocchios ("significant omissions and/or exaggerations") for his claim that a woman makes 77 cents for every dollar a man earns.

A new report shows that, so far, the picture of early enrollees in the new health care marketplaces isn't quite as rosy as the Obama administration would probably like. (Caveat: The study doesn’t include the rush of enrollees from March.) The New York Times: "The study, to be released Wednesday by the major pharmacy-benefits manager Express Scripts, suggests that early enrollees face more serious health problems and are older than those covered by their employers. The study also showed a higher use of specialty drugs, which are often used to treat diseases like cancer and rheumatoid arthritis; the use of such drugs could hint at more costly medical problems."

Speaking of health care, the Wall Street Journal: "A tiny sliver of doctors and other medical providers accounted for an outsize portion of Medicare's 2012 costs, according to an analysis of federal data that lays out details of physicians' billings. The top 1% of 825,000 individual medical providers accounted for 14% of the $77 billion in billing recorded in the data."

The Secret Service is shaking up its staff again in the wake of two alcohol-related incidents on recent presidential trips, writes the Washington Post.

CONGRESS: A new hope?

House Republicans are pushing a plan to bring a version of the emergency unemployment benefits extension up for a vote after the April recess, Roll Call writes. “[House Rules Chairman Pete] Sessions said the five-month extension could serve as a partner for House-passed bills and other priorities, such as a permanent extension of so-called bonus depreciation for business investment.”

Republicans in the Senate are expected to block a measure to advance the Paycheck Fairness Act Tuesday. Roll Call writes that the GOP isn't "sweating it," calling the move a political ploy and enlisting Republican women to rebut Democrats' claims.

The Hill predicts a "razor thin" margin on Thursday's vote on Rep. Paul Ryan's budget blueprint.

After a brief flurry of speculation that top Democrat Steny Hoyer hinted yesterday at a pot-smoking past, the Maryland lawmaker clarified that he hasn't used marijuana.

OFF TO THE RACES: Big money doesn’t always mean big results

On Monday, we reported on some of America's wealthiest donors and the causes that make them open their wallets. Today, one of us (!) notes that big money doesn't always mean big results.

Noted: Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell doesn't think that limits on campaign contributions to individual candidates are going away anytime soon.

Hillary Clinton said Monday that she's "thinking about" another White House run, though she noted that the nation is in the middle of a period of political "dysfunction." Msnbc.com calls it "her strongest hint" yet.

Check out Haley Barbour's defense of Jeb Bush's "act of love" comment, per POLITICO: "If Jeb feels that way about it — it sort of reminds me of my boss, Ronald Reagan.”

And Rush Limbaugh is saying that Bush’s statement was “designed to tick us all off or tick the Tea Party people off now. Get it done with and over with and then out of the way, and move on.”

Well, then: The Senate's top Democrat, Majority Leader Harry Reid, says Democrats would be "fine" to hold the Senate "if the election were held today."

IDAHO: The Wall Street Journal reports that Tea Party groups' efforts to oust Rep. Mike Simpson in a GOP primary aren't gaining much momentum, as pro-business organizations flood the airwaves to boost the eight-term incumbent.

IOWA: Former governor and presidential candidate Mike Huckabee spoke to an influential Iowa faith group last night, Radio Iowa's O.Kay Henderson reports.

The Des Moines Register quotes Iowa conservative and radio host Steve Deace, who's bullish on a Huckabee run in 2016. "I think he is going to run what amounts to a general election campaign from day one." (Bonus quote: Huckabee told the Iowa crowd he's NEVER tasted beer.)

LOUISIANA: Rep. Vance McAllister, dubbed the "kissing congressman" for being caught on tape smooching an aide, could be in political trouble, writes The Hill. McAllister says he plans to run for re-election in the fall.

McAllister wants an FBI investigation of the leaked video, reports the Monroe New Star.

NEW YORK: POLITICO's Alex Isenstadt profiles New York congressional Democratic candidate Sean Eldridge, the husband of Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes. "Congressional challengers typically seek maximum media exposure; Eldridge allows few chance encounters with the media. His campaign frequently posts pictures on his Facebook page of the candidate out and about in the district, but local reporters say they’re usually not made aware of his public schedule ahead of time. He declined to be interviewed by POLITICO, and the door to his campaign headquarters in Kingston was locked on a recent visit."

SOUTH CAROLINA: Lindsey Graham primary opponent Det Bowers has raised more than $417,000 since entering the race in February, The State writes.

PROGRAMMING NOTES.

Wednesday’s “The Daily Rundown” line-up: NBC's Chuck Todd interviews Senator Bob Corker (R-TN), Senator Richard Burr (R-NC), former Mayor of Atlanta Shirley Franklin, Director of the National Museum of African American History & Culture Dr. Lonnie Bunch, The New York Times' Jonathan Martin and Vanity Fair’s Todd Purdum.

Wednesday’s “Jansing & Co.” line-up: Chris Jansing interviews Rep. John Yarmuth (D-KY), MSNBC Legal Analyst Faith Jenkins, The Washington Post’s Dana Milbank, USA Today’s Susan Page, Democratic Strategist Keith Boykin, Republican Strategist Rick Tyler, and Texas State Senator Rodney Ellis.

Wednesday’s “News Nation with Tamron Hall” line-up: Tamron Hall interviews NFL hall of famer Jim Brown from the LBJ Civil Rights summit; Attorney Lisa Green on the Oscar Pistorius trial; and Paparazza Jennifer Buhl, on her new book, "Shooting Stars."

Wednesday’s “Andrea Mitchell Reports” line-up: NBC’s Andrea Mitchell interviews Rep. John Lewis, NAACP Legal Fund President Sherrilyn Ifill, the Washington Post’s Chris Cillizza and Anne Gearan, NBC’s Mike Taibbi and author Katherine Schwarzenegger.

Wednesday’s “The Reid Report” line-up: MSNBC’s Joy Reid interviews NBC Presidential historian Michael Beschloss, Medal of Honor recipient Col Jack Jacobs and The Grio’s Goldie Taylor.