OBAMA AGENDA: Obama in Poland
NBCNews.com: "President Barack Obama is urging Congress to support a $1 billion initiative to boost U.S. military activity in Europe, the White House said Tuesday, as the president kicked off a four-day trip to the continent. The White House added that the U.S. is reviewing its military presence in Europe as a result of Russia's intervention in Ukraine."
More from the New York Times: "But it was unclear whether Mr. Obama’s new announcement would satisfy regional leaders previously unimpressed by the relatively token forces sent in recent months."
The AP: "President Barack Obama on Tuesday defended his decision to release five Afghan detainees from Guantanamo Bay in exchange for freeing an American soldier, saying his administration had consulted with Congress about that possibility "for some time."
The release of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl is prompting a polarized debate over why the soldier left his post. The Wall Street Journal: "The prisoner swap has exposed a generation gap in the military with some younger soldiers denouncing Sgt. Bergdahl as a deserter, while older officers defended the decision."
The New York Times ed board lauds Obama's new carbon rule, saying the standards "are likely to be enormously beneficial: good for the nation’s health, good for technological innovation, good for President Obama’s credibility abroad, and, in time, good for the planet and future generations."
CONGRESS: Reid vs. McConnell -- at Senate Judiciary hearing
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell have been sparring over campaign finance for months, and today they’ll take the fight to a hearing of the Senate Judiciary Committee. Both high-profile lawmakers will testify before the panel – the first time that the two leaders will testify on policy before the committee – to discuss a constitutional amendment to roll back recent Supreme Court decisions loosening rules for campaign donations. Democratic group American Bridge is up with a new video to mark the occasion, hitting on Reid’s favorite topic: the Koch brothers. The title: “DUI: Democracy Under the Influence (of Koch).”
A new Washington Post-ABC News poll finds that 51 percent of Americans approve of Republicans' new Benghazi panel, versus 42 percent who disapprove.
OFF TO THE RACES: Another Primary Day!
Al Hunt looks at the support for Dr. Benjamin Carson among conservative activists, concluding "Whatever the superficial appeal of the nonpolitician mantra, presidential politics is for politicians."
CALIFORNIA: The Washington Post looks at a Silicon Valley power play. "Ro Khanna, a 37-year-old patent lawyer whose campaign is funded by many of tech’s biggest names, is campaigning to unseat Rep. Michael M. Honda, a longtime liberal stalwart who entrepreneurs say is neither sophisticated nor persuasive enough to represent them in Washington. In Honda, many of the masters of Silicon Valley see complacency; in Khanna, vigor."
IOWA: NBC's Alex Moe reports on Sen. Marco Rubio's latest trip to Iowa to stump for Joni Ernst.
Time's Jay Newton-Small writes that Ernst has "successfully played the female candidate's handbook in Iowa."
KENTUCKY: In the wake of Obama’s EPA announcement, Democratic Senate candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes is pushing back hard, with a coordinated campaign kicking off with newspaper ads. The text (over an image of a coal-toting, hard-hatted miner): “President Obama and Washington Don’t Get it… Alison Grimes Does.”
MISSISSIPPI: Our own Perry Bacon Jr. previews the Mississippi Senate race.
The Clarion Ledger reports that rain, apathy and "disgust" with the race are expected to dampen turnout. "A low-to-moderate turnout is expected, based on absentee ballots and history. Republican Party Chairman Joe Nosef predicts GOP turnout will be somewhere between the just under 200,000 Republicans who voted in the sedate 2007 state primary and the nearly 300,000 who turned out for the 2012 presidential primary."
The Wall Street Journal: "No state is receiving more national attention than Mississippi, the latest arena for a long-running battle between tea-party-aligned groups, who are trying to oust lawmakers they see as insufficiently conservative, and GOP leaders, who are backed by pro-business organizations."
VIRGINIA: NBC’s Lars Gesing dispatch from Arlington, VA: In the crowded Democratic primary race in Virginia’s 8th Congressional District, all seven candidates met Friday in the final debate ahead of the statewide primary election June 10. And the front-runner for the Democratic nomination, former Lt. Gov. Don Beyer, drew fire from his competitors.
Mark Levine, a TV talk host and former legislative counsel to Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.), accused Beyer -- who served as chairman of the American International Automobile Dealers Association in 2006 -- of being a lobbyist. And state Del. Patrick Hope, a health-care attorney, attacked Beyer on his stark support of welfare reform in the 1990s.
Also participating in the debate: Alexandria Mayor Bill Euille; Derek Hyra, an associate professor of urban affairs and planning at Virginia Tech; state Sen. Adam Ebbin; and Lavern Chatman, the former head of the nonpartisan civil-rights organization Northern Virginia Urban League.
These seven Democrats are vying to succeed retiring Rep. Jim Moran (D-Va.), who will give up his seat this fall after more than two decades in Congress.
The winner of next week’s primary is likely to go on and win in November, as the district is considered safely Democratic. In 2012, President Obama carried 68 percent of the vote here. Republicans in April nominated former congressional aide Micah Edmond to attempt to take over the seat in November.
WASHINGTON: The Seattle PI: "In the Northwest, we dream big dreams. But rarely has any place in the region taken a step so bold as Monday’s Seattle City Council passage of a $15-an-hour minimum wage for employers large and small in the Emerald City. Phased in over three to seven years, Seattle will have the highest minimum wage in America."
*** Tuesday’s “The Daily Rundown” line-up: The Washington Post's Chris Cillizza interviews NBC's Perry Bacon Jr., Janet Shamlian, Radio Iowa's O. Kay Henderson, The Los Angeles Times' Seema Mehta, The Washington Post's Dan Balz, NBC's Chuck Todd, Time Magazine's Bobby Ghosh, Iowa Senate Republican candidate Sam Clovis and California State Assemblyman Tim Donnelly.
*** Tuesday’s “Jansing & Co.” line-up: Chris Jansing interviews Retired PFC. Jose Baggett, Reuter’s Investigative Reporter David Rohde, The Atlantic’s Steve Clemons, Chicago Sun-Times Washington Bureau Chief Lynn Sweet, NBC’s Kasie Hunt, U.S. News & World Report Senior Politics Writer David Catanese, The Des Moines Register’s Chief Political Writer Jennifer Jacobs, MSNBC Contributor & Columnist at theGrio.com Goldie Taylor, GOP Strategist Steve Deace, and Stella & Dot CEO & Founder Jessica Herrin.
*** Tuesday’s “News Nation with Tamron Hall” line-up: Tamron Hall interviews Rep. Lois Frankel, Politico’s Roger Simon & General Barry McCaffrey with the latest on Bowe Bergdahl’s release ; Seattle based CEO of MomsRising.org Kristin Rowe-Finkbeiner on the Seattle minimum wage; Steve Olenick on the NFL concussion lawsuit; and Giancarlo Esposito from “Breaking Bad.”
*** Tuesday’s “Andrea Mitchell Reports” line-up: NBC’s Andrea Mitchell interviews former Army Sergeant Josh Korder, who served with Bowe Bergdahl, Seattle Mayor Ed Murray, Israel’s Ambassador to the U.S. Ron Dermer, IAVA’s Aaron Mankin, the New York Times’ Elisabeth Bumiller, the Washington Post’s Chris Cillizza and NBC’s Kasie Hunt and Ayman Mohyeldin.
*** Tuesday’s “The Reid Report” line-up: MSNBC’s Joy Reid interviews The Miami Herald’s Carol Rosenberg, MSNBC Contributor & journalist Rula Jebreal, and NBC News Senior Political Reporter Perry Bacon.
*** Tuesday’s “Ronan Farrow Daily” line-up: General Barry McCaffrey and the Washington Post’s Rajiv Chandrasekaran on the backlash against the rescue of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl. NBC’s Kasie Hunt and Des Moines Register’s Kathy Obradovich on the Mississippi and Iowa primaries. Shannon Watts on the role of women in the gun debate. And Re/Code Co-Executive Editor Kara Swisher and cultural historian Siva Vaidhyanathan on whether Apple has lost it’s mojo.