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OBAMA AGENDA: Heading over to HUD

Breaking over the weekend: “President Barack Obama plans to nominate San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro as head of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development in a Cabinet reshuffling, government sources confirmed to NBC News."

FBI director James Comey tells the New York Times that - at the beginning of his tenure - he underestimated the threat America still faces from offshoots of Al Qaeda.

The Wall Street Journal: "The Federal Communications Commission's new proposal to allow broadband providers to charge website companies for faster service thrusts President Barack Obama into a tricky political position, threatening to drive a wedge between him and some of his most ardent political backers."

Same sex marriages could begin in Oregon as early as today, pending a judge's ruling, the AP notes.

The latest in Ukraine, per Reuters: "Russian President Vladimir Putin has ordered military forces to return to their permanent bases after drills in three regions bordering Ukraine, the Kremlin said on Monday. Putin's office said he had issued the order because the spring maneuvers were over. The move could also be intended to ease tension in Russia's standoff with the West over Ukraine before Kiev holds a presidential election on Sunday."

A possible reason for the de-escalation: Russia appears to view the front-runner in Ukraine’s upcoming presidential election as someone it can work with, the New York Times says. “With the country still roiled by separatist violence in the east, the growing air of inevitability around Mr. Poroshenko, who has deep business interests in Russia, has redrawn the Ukraine conflict. It has presented the Kremlin with the prospect of a clear negotiating partner, apparently contributing, officials and analysts say, to a softening in the stance of President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia.”

OFF TO THE RACES: Breaking the GOV glass ceiling

A new POLITICO poll finds more tough generic-ballot news for Dems: "In the congressional districts and states where the 2014 elections will actually be decided, likely voters said they would prefer to vote for a Republican over a Democrat by 7 points, 41 percent to 34 percent."

Democrats, though, do have this good news on the financial front: The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee raised $7.1 million in April -- its best April ever. “Americans from every state are backing the DCCC with record-breaking support as we fight back against this Republican Congress that continues to sell out the middle class in favor of special interests,” DCCC Chair Steve Israel (D-NY) said in a statement. “Americans are supporting the DCCC because they want leaders in Washington who will end the damaging dysfunction and focus on strengthening the economy for middle class families.”

The New York Times writes on female candidates' efforts to break a glass ceiling in the northeast: "The Democratic Party has yet to elect a female governor in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island or Massachusetts."

The Washington Post reports on this cycle's "bumper crop" of three openly gay GOP candidates.

RNC chairman Reince Priebus said on "Meet the Press" Sunday that Hillary Clinton's health is "fair game" for 2016.

All about HRC: The Washington Post counts 98 mentions of Hillary Clinton on the Sunday shows this weekend.

ALASKA: Climate change is an issue in the Alaska Senate GOP primary, with leading candidates downplaying the role of human activity as candidate Joe Miller calls them 'alarmists.'

ARKANSAS: National Journal’s Ron Fournier calls Tom Cotton an “overrated candidate” and writes that Pryor’s biggest liability is Obama (and his greatest asset is his beloved dad.)

IOWA: The Des Moines Register endorsed Joni Ernst, saying she has a "sterling resume" and "a nuanced grasp of the details."

GEORGIA: David Perdue is up with a new ad slamming Jack Kingston's "big spending experience" in Washington and depicting the congressman as an infant.

Noted, from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution: Perdue and Karen Handel both said they will not support McConnell as the party's leader.

KENTUCKY: The Wall Street Journal: "A McConnell victory over Louisville businessman Matt Bevin, which is considered likely, would send a resounding signal to Republicans elsewhere that incumbency and deal-making are no longer the millstones many conservatives claimed them to be as the tea party gained strength in recent years."

The Herald-Leader writes that McConnell isn't even mentioning Bevin on the trail, but he is talking a lot about Barack Obama.

MICHIGAN: The latest on the John Conyers ballot-eligibility story, via the Detroit Free Press: "U.S. Rep. John Conyers asked the Michigan Secretary of State Friday for a formal review of the nominating petitions he submitted, in an effort to get on the Aug. 5 primary ballot."

MISSISSIPPI: The bizarre story shaking up Mississippi's upcoming primary, via the AP: "Authorities say a conservative Mississippi blogger went into a nursing home, photographed the bedridden wife of Republican U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran without permission and posted an image online as part of a video."

The Clarion-Ledger has more: “A representative of the Madison Police Department said there are other individuals in the case that they'd like to talk to "who might have been part of a conspiracy." At this point, police won't comment further, citing the ongoing investigation.”

NEW HAMPSHIRE: Mitt Romney is weighing in on that Wolfeboro police commissioner who called the president a racial slur, decrying his "vile epithet" and calling on him to resign.

TEXAS: Republicans are rallying behind Rep. Ralph Hall before the May 27 runoff that will decide whether he keeps his House seat, Roll Call notes.


*** Monday’s “News Nation with Tamron Hall” line-up: Tamron talks to Medal of Honor recipient and MSNBC military analyst Col. Jack Jacobs about the VA scandal, NBC legal analyst Karen DeSoto, and VA Tech shooting survivor and Co-founder of “LiveSafe” app Kristina Anderson, and “LiveSafe” CEO Jenny Abramson.

*** Monday’s “Andrea Mitchell Reports” line-up: NBC’s Peter Alexander fills in for Andrea Mitchell and will interview Politico Magazine Editor Susan Glasser, AP White House Correspondent Julie Pace, the Washington Post’s Robert Costa and NBC’s Bill Neely, Pete Williams and Rehema Ellis.

*** Monday's "The Reid Report" line-up: MSNBC’s Joy Reid interviews The New York Times’ Nicholas Confessore about the Koch brothers. Plus Joy’s one-on-one interview with Georgia Senate candidate Michelle Nunn. And we’ll also talk LGBT rights with Aisha & Danielle Moodie-Mills.