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First Read's Morning Clips

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

OBAMA AGENDA: Iraq’s Shiite militia takes charge

Reuters: "Iraq's Shi'ite militia announced on Tuesday they had taken charge of the campaign to drive Islamic State from the western province of Anbar, giving the operation an openly sectarian codename that could infuriate its Sunni population."

The New York Times writes that American and allied planes aren't striking obvious ISIS targets out of concern that an attack would kill civilians and hand the terror group a propaganda coup.

"The Justice Department has reached a settlement with the city of Cleveland over the conduct of its police officers, according to a Justice official, the latest case in which the Obama administration has investigated excessive use of force and the violation of constitutional rights by a local department," writes the Washington Post.

The New York Times talked to more than two dozen lawmakers about the phrase that's at the heart of a Supreme Court challenge to the health care statute.

CONGRESS: Stalemate

The Wall Street Journal sums up the stalemate on NSA bulk data collection.

"Sen. Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) married a longtime aide on Saturday, one year after his office swatted down rumors of a romance amid criticism of their shared taxpayer-funded travel," writes the Washington Post.

OFF TO THE RACES: The Green Room strategy

The Wall Street Journal, on the consequences of the debate rules: "With national polls largely a function of name recognition, strategists working for various campaigns said they expected long-shot candidates to spend time in cable TV studios in New York that may instead have been used to meet voters at small events in Iowa or New Hampshire. Money that might have gone to build a campaign infrastructure in early states could instead be diverted to buying national TV ads."

In an interview on the Larry Kudlow Show, David Koch said: "We are thinking of supporting several Republicans ... If we're happy with the policies that these individuals are supporting, we'll finance their campaigns."

BUSH: He's making strides with South Carolina evangelicals, National Review notes.

CLINTON: The Clintons appeared together for the first time since Hillary's campaign launch to march in the New Castle Memorial Day Parade in Chappaqua,'s Alex Seitz-Wald reports.

Her campaign has launched its merch store, which includes, yes, a paintsuit t-shirt.

KASICH: The Columbus Dispatch: "John Weaver, who served as a senior adviser to Sen. John McCain's presidential efforts in 2000 and 2008, has met with Gov. John Kasich recently about a possible campaign role should Kasich run for the Republican presidential nomination in 2016, according to GOP sources."

RUBIO: POLITICO notes that Rubio, who's painted himself as the toughest hawk in the GOP field, voted against a measure to authorize airstrikes in Syria in 2013.

He's built an impressive South Carolina operation, including a super PAC run by the state's premier strategist, National Journal reports.

SANDERS: The AP talks to Bernie Sanders, who says his views are "parallel on many, many issues" with Elizabeth Warren.

And Steve Kornacki writes that Bernie Sanders shouldn't be counted out. "[W]hile the odds that he’ll actually defeat her are vanishingly slim, he may nonetheless be better-positioned than any other Clinton challenger to at least make her break a sweat."

Here’s John Harwood’s “10 questions with Bernie Sanders.”

WALKER: In a Medium post, Scott Walker writes about his trip to Israel. "I wish it were not the case, but this trip only confirmed my belief that the current administration is not giving Israel the support it needs. Instead of standing with our ally, the president is making bad deals with a country that wishes to wipe Israel off the map."

And around the country...

ILLINOIS: "Since the November election, Mr. Rauner and a few prominent donors—including hedge-fund chief executive Kenneth Griffin of Citadel LLC and real-estate investor Sam Zell—have poured more than $25 million into political committees that are expected to help the governor in his growing battle with Democrats, who control the state legislature," writes the Wall Street Journal.


*** Tuesday’s “News Nation with Tamron Hall” line-up: Tamron Hall speaks with Harris County Judge and director of homeland security and OEM for Harris County Ed Emmett about the flooding in Houston Texas, NBC’s Chief foreign correspondent Richard Engel about the latest on ISIS in Iraq, and CEO and founder of Edible ArrangementsTariq Farid as part of our own-going series: Born in the USA.

*** Tuesday’s “Andrea Mitchell Reports” line-up: NBC’s Andrea Mitchell interviews Houston Mayor Annise Parker and NBC’s Gabe Gutierrez on the deadly flooding in Texas, Former Ambassador to Iraq Chris Hill, General Stanley McChrystal, Washington Post’s Chris Cillizza, Bloomberg’s Jeanne Cummings and MSNBC’s Steve Kornacki and Alex Seitz-Wald from Burlington, VT at the Bernie Sanders rally