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OBAMA AGENDA: Talking energy and the environment

The Wall Street Journal: "President Barack Obama on Friday will trumpet new executive actions and public- and private-sector commitments aimed at cutting carbon pollution and improving energy efficiency as he continues to make the pitch that the impacts of climate change must be addressed."

Timothy Geithner considered leaving his Treasury Department post after the financial crisis in 2010 and suggested that Hillary Clinton replace him, the AP reports.

"The Obama administration is clamping down on a technique that government officials have long used to join in public discussions of well-known but technically still-secret information: citing news reports based on unauthorized disclosures," the New York Times writes. "A new pre-publication review policy for the Office of Director of National Intelligence says the agency’s current and former employees and contractors may not cite news reports based on leaks in their speeches, opinion articles, books, term papers or other unofficial writings."

The latest in Ukraine, from Reuters: “Tanks rumbled across Red Square and fighter jets screamed overhead on Friday in Russia's biggest Victory Day military parade in years, fuelling patriotic fervor as President Vladimir Putin rallies his people over the Ukraine crisis. Thousands of goose-stepping troops, motorized artillery and ballistic missile launchers paraded past Putin under the Kremlin's red walls in a show of military might, while jets, helicopters and bombers flew in cloudless skies over Moscow.”

CONGRESS: Benghazi committee approved

NBC's Frank Thorp and Andrew Rafferty write that the House overwhelmingly approved last night's resolution to create a special select committee to investigate Benghazi, with seven Democrats joining Republicans in the 232-186 vote.

One idea being floated by Democrats: Put just one member of the party on the Benghazi panel.

Yesterday's first confirmation hearing for Sylvia Burwell, the pick to replace HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, was "surprisingly cordial," the New York Times writes. (Folks, it’s another reminder that the Health Care Wars, if not over, have at least seen a ceasefire.)

"The House Veterans Affairs Committee on Thursday voted to subpoena Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki after reports that 40 veterans may have died while waiting for treatment at a Phoenix VA hospital," write NBC's Jim Miklaszewski and Courtney Kube. "The committee is calling on Shinseki to produce emails and correspondence he sent to several top VA officials dating back to April 9, 2014."

OFF TO THE RACES: Romney on the GOP’s 2016 field

On “Morning Joe” earlier today, Mitt Romney joined Tim Pawlenty and Rick Santorum (also former GOP presidential hopefuls who’d been elected statewide in Democratic states) in calling for a minimum wage hike. "I think we oughta raise it," he said. "Because frankly our party is all about more jobs and better pay and I think communicating that is important to us."

And here's Romney namedropping potential 2016 candidates: "I am not running for president in 2016. I’m going to be supporting someone who represents practical conservatives that I think we need. You know some of my favorites: Paul Ryan, of course. I love Paul, we were a great team together. But Chris Christie, and Jeb Bush and Rob Portman. The list is long. Scott Walker. There are a lot of fellows and hopefully some women as well that are looking at this race and we’ll get a chance to see someone new. I think our best prospects of getting back the White House is someone who has not run twice before as I have.” (Pressed on which women, he mentioned New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez's "great potential.")

From one of us(!): "Barbara Bush and Hillary Clinton share the title of the most admired first lady of the past 25 years, with current first lady Michelle Obama in a close third, according to the most recent NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll."

POLITICO writes: “The Koch brothers’ main political arm intends to spend more than $125 million this year on an aggressive ground, air and data operation benefiting conservatives, according to a memo distributed to major donors and sources familiar with the group."

Obama is honing his midterm pitch with a focus on the economy "while targeting appeals to African-Americans, young voters and others in his coalition," the Wall Street Journal writes.

The Mike Pence boomlet! The Washington Post, yesterday: "In an interview with The Washington Post, Pence acknowledged that he is weighing his 2016 options amid calls from some supporters to consider a presidential run. 'In the last few months, people have reached out,' he said. 'I’m listening.'"

2016 watch: Marco Rubio is heading to New Hampshire.

GEORGIA: Republican Jack Kingston is slamming rival David Perdue for saying that the standardized expectations from Common Core are "probably worthwhile" in a new direct mailer, per the Atlanta Journal Constitution. Header text: "Obama & Perdue: They're planning to nationalize public schools!"

IOWA: Senate candidate Joni Ernst says she occasionally carried a firearm inside the state capitol building "in the past, when there was ambiguity in the rules as to whether lawmakers could bring firearms into the Statehouse," the Des Moines Register notes.

KENTUCKY: Mitch McConnell raised -- and spent -- more than $1 million in April, writes the Lexington Herald-Leader.

LOUISIANA: Here’s a rough poll for Mary Landrieu: A new Southern Media & Opinion Research poll shows her leading Bill Cassidy by a single point, but her positive rating has hit an all-time low of 39%.

Noted in the Wall Street Journal's story on Obama's midterm strategy: "One senior administration official said a campaign stop in Louisiana, which has a large number of black voters, may be put on the books this fall, depending on the state of the Senate race there. Mr. Obama's campaign schedule isn't expected to markedly pick up pace until after Labor Day." (But no stops in Arkansas or Alaska.)

Sarah Palin endorsed underdog Senate candidate Rob Maness, questioning whether GOP frontrunner Rep. Bill Cassidy "is the best we can do."

NEBRASKA: Paul Ryan endorsed Pete Ricketts in the state’s tight gubernatorial primary, joining Sarah Palin, Ted Cruz and Scott Walker in support.


*** Friday’s “The Daily Rundown” line-up: NBC’s Chuck Todd interviews NBC’s Jim Miklaszewski and Luke Russert, Family Research Council Senior Fellow Ken Blackwell, former Ohio Governor Ted Strickland, plus part two of Chuck’s exclusive interview with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV).

*** Friday’s “Jansing & Co.” line-up: MSNBC’s Chris Jansing interviews Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT), Managing Editor for Dafna Linzer, Senior Political Writer for BuzzFeed McKay Coppins, Columnist at and MSNBC contributor Goldie Taylor, Executive Director for Rights4Girls Malika Saada Saar, Associate Director for Women's Economic Policy at CAP Sarah Jane Glynn, Executive Director for Mom’s Rising Kristin Rowe-Finkbeinerand, and Founder of Fifteen Minutes Public Relations Howard Bragman.

*** Friday’s “News Nation with Tamron Hall” line-up: Tamron Hall interviews Fmr. Rep. and veteran Patrick Murphy on the latest with the VA hospital scandal; Sister Rosemary Nyirumbe on Nigerian girls; Rob Simmelkjaer on the NFL draft; Lauren Morello, Asst Editor of Nature, on “alien” DNA; Ben Pierce & mom Heidi Thaden-Pierce on the 9 yr. old’s bucket list as he loses his eyesight; Christy Turlington Burns on “Every Mother Counts”

*** Friday’s “Andrea Mitchell Reports” line-up: NBC’s Kristen Welker, filling in for Andrea Mitchell, interviews White House Press Secretary Jay Carney, Rep. Carolyn Maloney, Wes Moore, the Washington Post’s Jonathan Capehart, NBC’s Richard Engel and Jennifer Bjorklund and the New Yorker’s Alexis Okeowo.

*** Friday’s “The Reid Report” line-up: MSNBC’s Joy Reid talks to The Huffington Post’s Sabrina Saddiqui about Pres. Obama’s new executive actions in energy efficiency and renewable energy & Republicans continuing to dodge questions about climate change. She’ll also talk to The Grio’s Kunbi Tinuoye about the latest in the search for the kidnapped Nigerian girls and Ibrahim Abdullahi – who’s credited with being one of the first to use #BringBackOurGirls.

*** Saturday’s and Sunday’s “Weekends with Alex Witt” line-up: As part of her weekly “Office Politics” series, MSNBC’s Alex Witt interviews MSNBC’s Ronan Farrow.

*** Saturday’s “MSNBC Live Weekends” line-up at 2:00 pm ET and 3:00 pm ET: Craig Melvin’s guests include Gen. Carter Ham (Retired), former Latta, SC Police Chief Crystal Moore, Reuters investigative reporter David Rohde, Republican strategist Hogan Gidley, the Washington Post’s Jackie Kucinich,’s Esther Armah, Dillard University Pres. Walter Kimbrough and Rolling Stone’s Simon Vozick-Levinson.

*** Sunday’s “MSNBC Live Weekends” line-up at 2:00 pm ET and 3:00 pm ET: Craig Melvin’s guests include Fmr. Rep. Patrick Murphy (D-PA), IMPACT Strategies’ Angela Rye, Bloomberg News’ Jonathan Allen, Scripps Research Institute Prof. Floyd Romesberg and Reason Magazine’s Peter Suderman