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First Read's Morning Clips

A roundup of the most important political news stories of the day

OBAMA AGENDA: Let’s make a deal?

Dateline Brussels, from the Wall Street Journal: "U.S. and Iranian negotiators set to resume talks Monday are hoping to seal a tentative political agreement on Tehran’s nuclear program, though Western diplomats said serious negotiations over substance would still be needed in the months ahead. An announcement of a political agreement before an end-of-March deadline, could spur expectations that Iran and the six-nation group is on track for a deal—an advance they hope would buy them fresh time to reach a final, detailed nuclear accord by June 30."

Vladimir Putin has reemerged after a mysterious 10-day absence, and he appears to be healthy.

Benjamin Netanyahu is pleading for support before Tuesday's election, conceding that there's a "real danger" that he could lose his job.

"The plea deal given to retired Gen. David H. Petraeus, which spares him prison time even though he gave military secrets to his mistress, reveals a ‘profound double standard’ in the way the Obama administration treats people who leak classified information, a lawyer for an imprisoned government contractor wrote in a letter to prosecutors," reports the New York Times.

Police have arrested a 20 year-old man in connection with the shooting of two Ferguson police officers last week.

CONGRESS: GOP chasm in crafting budget

From the New York Times: "The congressional push this week to secure the first Republican budget plan in nearly a decade is revealing a chasm between fiscal hawks determined to maintain strict spending caps and defense hawks who are threatening to derail any budget that does not ensure an increase for the military."

Here's the AP's briefer on what to know about the budget debate.

Majority Leader Mitch McConnell now says that he won't bring Loretta Lynch's nomination to the floor until the Senate finishes the anti-trafficking bill that hit a snag last week.

Sen. Bob Menendez says he has not received any subpoenas from federal authorities.

Roll Call has the latest on the latest spending battle over the “Doc Fix.”

OFF TO THE RACES: On Jeb’s private email account

BUSH: From over the weekend, in the Washington Post: "Jeb Bush used his private e-mail account as Florida governor to discuss security and military issues such as troop deployments to the Middle East and the protection of nuclear plants, according to a review of publicly released records."

CLINTON: House Republicans are expected to announce a new investigation into Hillary Clinton's emails, per ABC.

Sunday’s A1 in the New York Times profiles Robby Mook: “The Clintons anointed Mr. Mook as much for his ease with data and technology as for his calm temperament. They value his rare ability to charm and include the abundant advice-givers without allowing them to become too intrusive. Still, asserting himself among so many influential veterans will not be easy.”

Rep. Trey Gowdy told one of us(!) that he has "zero interest" in investigating Benghazi into 2016.

The Wall Street Journal reports that Hillary Clinton is aggressively courting Hispanic staff as she builds her campaign team, including tapping Latina Amanda Renteria as her likely political director.

ICYMI: Maureen Dowd over the weekend, re: Hillary: "An Open Letter to the Leaders of the Clinton Republic of Chappaqua"

CRUZ: From "Ted Cruz says he can "absolutely" compete with the big bucks that Jeb Bush is expected to raise."

FIORINA: She made her pitch to conservative women in Des Moines on Saturday, taking on Hillary Clinton over transparency issues.

HUCKABEE: The New York Times writes that Mike Huckabee is pursuing some "highly unconventional income streams" like endorsing a "dubious diabetes treatment."

PAUL: At SXSW, Rand Paul talked tech and courting the "leave-me-alone-coalition."

RUBIO: From POLITICO, this could be problematic: "The brick-fronted tract house with a satellite dish and a yellow fire hydrant in front looks like many middle-class homes in Florida’s capital, except for the two names on the deed. Marco Rubio: U.S. senator and would-be presidential candidate. David Rivera: Scandal-plagued former congressman under investigation in a federal campaign-finance probe."

WALKER: Scott Walker says his sons will take a semester off from college to campaign for him.


*** Monday’s “Andrea Mitchell Reports” line-up: NBC’s Andrea Mitchell interviews Education Secretary Arne Duncan, the Atlantic’s Jeffrey Goldberg, the Huffington Post’s Sam Stein, the Washington Post’s Jonathan Capehart, NBC’s Ayman Mohyeldin, Stephanie Gosk, Kelly Cobiella, Ron Mott and Sarah Dallof.