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First Read's Morning Clips

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

OBAMA AGENDA: An incomplete score on Africa

The Washington Post reports on how, despite some gains, much of his work in Africa remains incomplete.

The AP looks at how the Iran deal has supercharged congressional lobbying.

"The Obama administration’s plan to restore funding for in-prison college programs won praise from inmate advocates Tuesday, alongside allegations that officials are ignoring the will of Congress and eschewing the needs of law-abiding students," writes the Wall Street Journal.

CONGRESS: Insurrection

Our Hill team reports on an insurrection against John Boehner: "Rep. Mark Meadows, R-North Carolina, filed a motion to "vacate the chair" — a parliamentary maneuver that could be used to depose Boehner, R-Ohio. The motion accuses Boehner of having "endeavored to consolidate power and centralize decision-making, bypassing the majority of the 435 Members of Congress and the people they represent," and of using "the power of the office to punish Members who vote according to their conscience instead of the will of the Speaker."

POLITICO profiles Meadows here.

The Senate will accept a three-month stopgap highway bill -- and will vote on defunding Planned Parenthood before recess.

OFF THE RACES: Dems – and Huckabee – court Big Labor

Five presidential hopefuls (including Republican Mike Huckabee) are courting the AFL-CIO at its executive council meeting this week.

Ashley Parker of the New York Times writes that Facebook is expanding its role in politics. "Some estimate that 2016 will usher in roughly $1 billion in online political advertising, and Facebook says it is on track to increase its revenue from previous cycles." MORE: "Since 2012, Facebook has doubled its government and politics team, which includes a political ad sales group, a data communications team and employees devoted solely to Democrats or Republicans."

POLITICO reports that FOX News has lowered the threshold to participate in its 5p.m. debate, opening it to all announced Republican candidates who fail to make the cut for the primetime event on August 6.

BUSH: "A Texas oil man, a Wall Street financier and several former U.S. ambassadors are among the top donors to Jeb Bush’s super PAC, providing hard evidence the Republican establishment is rallying to his presidential candidacy as he girds for a long primary battle," writes the Wall Street Journal.

CLINTON: In an interview with the Union Leader, she called images from the undercover Planned Parenthood videos "disturbing," adding: "One, Planned Parenthood for more than a century has done a lot of really good work for women: cancer screenings, family planning, all kinds of health services. And this raises not questions about Planned Parenthood so much as it raises questions about the whole process, that is, not just involving Planned Parenthood, but many institutions in our country. And if there’s going to be any kind of congressional inquiry, it should look at everything and not just one (organization)."

In an interview with, she said she had doubts about the Obama plan to continue drilling in the Arctic.

She's reaching out to congressional Democrats and pledging to run a coordinated campaign, particularly those in key races.

PAUL: In an interview with the Boston Globe, he defending what's been described as a faltering campaign: "I’m the one person up here who will say you do have the right to be left alone and that we really don’t want President Obama collecting all of our phone records."

RUBIO: He writes in an op-ed on “The next President must campaign for the office on the principle that has long guided American foreign policy toward Iran – that the regime cannot have mastery of dangerous nuclear technologies. Period. The next president must re-impose the sanctions waived by President Obama and work with Congress to impose new crushing sanctions on Iran’s leaders for their ongoing support for terrorism and brutal human rights abuses.”

TRUMP: In a total dog-bites-man story, New York Times looks deep into his deposition record: "Hundreds of pages of sworn testimony by Mr. Trump over the past decade show something less flattering. Some of his claims, made under oath, and under pressure, are shown to be hyperbolic overstatements, and others to be shadings of the truth or even outright misstatements. And in rare instances, he turns boorish and demeaning."

He said he'd "love to" have Sarah Palin serve in his cabinet.

Trump says he won't participate in next Monday's Union Leader forum because he doesn't think he'll get an endorsement from the newspaper.

"The ABC, CBS and NBC evening newscasts spent 114 minutes on campaign coverage from the beginning of June through the end of last week, and Trump was the focus of 60 of them. The closest competitor was Jeb Bush with 15 minutes," writes the AP.


*** Wednesday’s “News Nation with Tamron Hall” line-up: Tamron Hall speaks with Sports Editor at the Nation Dave Zirin and MSNBC Host Steve Kornacki about the latest on the “Deflate Gate” scandal, Wildlife biologist Jeff Corwin about Cecil The Lion being hunted down for sport, and managing Editor Dafna Linza regarding the latest on the release of Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard.

*** Wednesday’s “Andrea Mitchell Reports” line-up: NBC’s Andrea Mitchell will interview Sen. Claire McCaskill, Rep. Jim Clyburn, British Ambassador Sir Peter Westmacott, msnbc’s Steve Kornacki, NBC’s Pete Williams, John Yang and Rehema Ellis, USA Today’s Susan Page and the Washington Post’s Chris Cillizza.

*** Wednesday’s “Live with Thomas Roberts” line-up: Thomas Roberts interviews Former Miami Dolphin Randall “Thrill” Hill, Joe Sullivan of The Boston Globe and MSNBC Host Steve Kornacki about Tom Brady’s NFL suspension being upheld, April Ryan, DC Bureau Chief at American Urban Radio Network about Fox lowering the threshold for early GOP debate, and Animal Planet’s large predator expert Dave Salmoni about the American dentist accused of killing “Cecil the Lion.”