OBAMA AGENDA: Remembering D-Day
The New York Times lede: "At a time of renewed tension harking back to a darker era, the leaders of the United States, Canada, Europe and Russia put aside their differences for a few hours on Friday to honor the moment decades ago when their predecessors joined forces to liberate a continent from tyranny."
Obama, on those who fought on D-Day: “Whenever the world makes you cynical, stop and think of these men. Whenever you lose hope, stop and think of these men.”
Yet another wrinkle in the murky Bergdahl story, from the New York Times: "A classified military report detailing the Army’s investigation into the disappearance of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl in June 2009 says that he had wandered away from assigned areas before — both at a training range in California and at his remote outpost in Afghanistan — and then returned, according to people briefed on it."
The Washington Post looks at the Bergdahl controversy through the lens of the war at large. "While Obama sees ending the conflict as a critical foreign policy achievement, he is also learning that many in the military are leaving Afghanistan still searching for clarity on what has been accomplished, and whether the fight was worth it." MORE: "For Obama, Bergdahl’s release was, according to aides, a relatively easy choice that brought home the last American prisoner of war. But some military officials see it differently and are especially furious that the White House greeted the release of someone suspected of desertion with the trappings of celebration."
A new poll shows that voters in the presidential swing states of Virginia and Pennsylvania support the Obama administration’s major push to counteract climate change and reduce carbon emissions by 30% until 2030, per NBC’s Lars Gesing. Both states hold a significant share in coal-based energy production.
More from Gesing: 61% of Virginians want their senator to support the new Environmental Protection Agency rules, while 31% oppose it, according to polling conducted by the League of Conservation Voters, a left-leaning political advocacy group. In Pennsylvania, residents there favor it by a similar 61%-27% margin.
The poll was conducted by Democratic pollster Geoff Garin of Hart Research Associates.
CONGRESS: Conflicting statement
The NBC News Hill team reports on conflicting statements from all sides about yesterday's AP report that the Taliban threatened to kill Bergdahl if news of his release leaked.
"A White House-backed plan to overhaul the National Security Agency's phone-data program ran into considerable skepticism from Republicans and Democrats during the Senate intelligence panel's first public evaluation of the proposal," the Wall Street Journal writes.
Sens. John McCain and Bernie Sanders announced a bipartisan deal Thursday to respond to the VA health scandal. Roll Call has the details.
After all the Sebelius sound and fury, her successor was easily confirmed yesterday in the Senate.
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OFF TO THE RACES: Highlights of Hillary’s new book
CBS got its hands on a copy of Hillary Clinton's new book. She says flatly of her 2002 Iraq War vote (the one that dominated her 2008 campaign!) ""I thought I had acted in good faith and made the best decision I could with the information I had. And I wasn't alone in getting it wrong. But I still got it wrong. Plain and simple." She also writes that she disagreed with the president on the issue of arming and training moderate Syrian rebels.
Bloomberg: "Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton raised $200 million in 10 months for their foundation’s endowment, positioning the nonprofit to survive even if its cash-collecting namesakes engage in a 2016 presidential run."
New York Times headline: "Clinton’s Hectic Pace Acts as Retort to Health Fears"
Rand Paul is still weighing running dual campaigns for re-election and for president, he tells the AP.
Half of Americans now say same sex marriage is a constitutional right, per the Washington Post.
CALIFORNIA: Those top-two California state primaries are fun to report on, but do they work? The Washington Post reports.
IOWA: How exactly does the GOP convention for the 3rd District congressional seat work, and who might win it? Roll Call: "In order to win at convention, a candidate must receive more than 50 percent of the vote from the roughly 500 elected delegates in attendance. The process will likely go through multiple ballots, with the lowest vote recipient falling off each successive ballot until there are only two candidates. The winner of that one-on-one matchup gets the nod."
A new Des Moines Register poll shows that solid majorities of likely GOP primary voters agree on conservative positions on voter ID, Obamacare, abortion and same sex marriage.
KENTUCKY: Yesterday in candidate-caught-using-stock-photography news: The Grimes and McConnell campaign swapped insults Thursday after the Grimes campaign barely averted running an ad that featured a Ukrainian model posing as a coal miner. (Zoolander jokes, anyone?) The Grimes campaign countered that images on McConnell's Facebook page pictured a scene in Greece and a Danish hunter.
MICHIGAN: The Gary Peters (D) camp has a Seinfeld-esque video on opponent Terri Lynn Land’s campaign, calling it a “campaign about nothing.”
MISSISSIPPI: Thad Cochran ain't dropping out of the Mississippi Senate runoff, he says.
The Clarion-Ledger follows up on that strange incident involving three people - including a top McDaniel ally - locked in a county courthouse, with the sheriff's office concluding that no criminal activity took place.
TEXAS: Worth keeping an eye on: Immigration is roiling the Texas Republican convention, with the party split over a policy that would allow undocumented workers to hold jobs that aren't filled, Reuters reports.
Also coming from the convention, via the New York Times editorial page blog: "In drafting a new platform ahead of the 2014 election, the Texas Republican Party has had the sense to strip out a declaration that “homosexuality tears at the fabric of society and contributes to the breakdown of the family.” But, in place of that offensive nonsense, it’s poised to endorse the “reparative therapy” that some ill-informed or malicious people consider a “cure” for being gay."
*** Friday’s “The Daily Rundown” line-up: D-Day veterans Ray Tollefson and Jack Schelgel; NBC’s Andrea Mitchell; AFP’s Stephen Collinson; NBC’s historian Michael Beschloss; military historian John McManus; msnbc’s Capt. Wes Moore (Ret.); msnbc’s Gen. Barry McCaffrey (Ret.); msnbc’s Col. Jack Jacobs (Ret.)
*** Friday’s “News Nation with Tamron Hall” line-up: Craig Melvin interviews TIME Magazine's Bobby Ghosh and Congressional Reporter for “The Hill” Alexander Bolton about the latest on Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, Zachary Karabell about the latest job numbers, Col. Jack Jacobs discusses D-Day’s 70th anniversary, and Christy Riggs, a mother of a ten year old girl whose school did not allow her to bring sunscreen on a field trip, resulting in a sunburn, the school says it is not allowed because it is toxic.
*** Friday’s “Andrea Mitchell Reports” line-up: Andrea anchors a special edition of “Andrea Mitchell Reports” live from Normandy, France. She will interview Chief of Staff of the Army Gen. Ray Odierno, Sen. Joe Manchin, NBC News presidential historian Michael Beschloss, Presidential historian David Brinkley and NBC’s Chuck Todd.
*** Saturday’s “MSNBC Live Weekends” line-up at 2pmET: Craig Melvin’s guests include former U.S. Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul, Medal of Honor Recipient Col. Jack Jacobs, Council on Foreign Relations’ Gayle Lemmon, Reuters investigative reporter David Rohde, NBC News Senior Political Reporter Perry Bacon, author Nell Bernstein who penned “Burning Down the House: The End of Juvenile Prison”, and Joshua Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus who founded TheMinimalists.com – plus, Craig takes a special look at the future of Historically Black Colleges and Universities with Florida A&M Univ. President Elmira Mangum and Dream Defenders’ Philip Agnew, a FAMU alum.
*** Sunday’s “MSNBC Live Weekends” line-up at 2pmET (special time!): Craig Melvin’s guests include Rep. John Conyers (D-MI), Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, Democratic strategists Kiki McLean and Doug Hattaway, msnbc.com senior editor Beth Fouhy, and Andy Williams, owner and co-founder of Medicine Man in Denver, CO.