OBAMA AGENDA: Another criticism of the Bergdahl swap
The New York Times: The Bergdahl saga continues, with intelligence experts questioning why the prisoner swap wasn't part of a larger agreement with the Taliban to foster reconciliation with the government in Afghanistan.
More: “Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl has told medical officials that his captors locked him in a metal cage in total darkness for weeks at a time as punishment for trying to escape, and while military doctors say he now is physically able to travel he is not yet emotionally ready for the pressures of reuniting with his family, according to American officials who have been briefed on his condition.
The AP writes that “What's clear in the complexities is that the age-old vow to retrieve the captured or the fallen proved more potent than the refusal to make deals with those who don't fight by the rules.”
Health watch: "A federal judge has struck down a new rule requiring drug companies to offer certain drugs at discounted prices, saying the Obama administration had no authority to issue the rule."
OFF TO THE RACES: Hillary-palooza begins
Here's Hillary Clinton on ABC defending her hefty speaking fees: "We came out of the White House not only dead broke, but in debt … We had no money when we got there, and we struggled to, you know, piece together the resources for mortgages, for houses, for Chelsea's education. You know, it was not easy."
The New York Times reviews Hillary Clinton's book "Hard Choices," calling it "a subtle, finely calibrated work that provides a portrait of the former secretary of state and former first lady as a heavy-duty policy wonk."
Meanwhile, GOP group America Rising is out with a 140-page e-book outlining Clinton's "Failed Choices," covering Libya and Benghazi, the Russian "reset," the Middle East and other key moments in her State Department tenure.
Noted: "A Democratic strategist who is considered a possible Clinton campaign manager in 2016, Robby Mook, has been meeting with top aides to Mrs. Clinton and discussing strategies to win enough states to clinch the White House, two people familiar with the matter said,” per the Wall Street Journal.
Almost six-in-ten Americans approve of Hillary Clinton's tenure as secretary of state, the Washington Post notes.
The Washington Post finds that billionaire donor Tom Steyer is "only now becoming fully divested from energy firms linked to climate change."
Christie critics, take note, via the New York Times: A huge Port Authority land purchase in N.J. in 2010 "seems to be the earliest example uncovered so far of the governor and his appointees at the authority using the huge bistate agency as a financial backstop for New Jersey, covering costs that would otherwise be shouldered by the state’s taxpayers and, in the process, enabling Mr. Christie to burnish his image as a tough-minded fiscal conservative to a national Republican audience."
One to watch: "The chief of staff to Gov. Chris Christie, Kevin O'Dowd, will testify today before the legislative committee investigating the September lane closings at the George Washington Bridge, which were orchestrated by two of the governor's political allies," the Star-Ledger writes.
"Opposition to an immigration-law overhaul remains high within the Republican Party, but primary season is showing that support isn't necessarily a career-ending move, nor is opposition a clear path to the nomination. That could factor into the decision by House GOP leaders on whether to move broad immigration legislation this year," notes the Wall Street Journal.
ALASKA: On Sunday, the New York Times wrote about all the outside money that has been pouring into the competitive Alaska Senate race. “More than $20 million worth of ads have been reserved so far — the bulk of the money coming from Washington-based outfits like Karl Rove’s American Crossroads, which wants to elect a Republican, and the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, which is defending Senator Mark Begich, one of the most targeted first-term Democrats. Five months before the November election, that sum would be extraordinary in any state. It is all the more staggering considering it will be spent to reach only about 490,000 registered voters.”
IOWA: Another poll - this one from Loras College - finds Joni Ernst leading Bruce Braley 48-42%
GEORGIA: The Wall Street Journal digs into Jason carter's run against Nathan Deal in Georgia.
LOUISIANA: Sen. Mary Landrieu is visiting a coal-fired power plant to highlight her criticism of Obama's proposed EPA regulations, Roll Call reports.
MISSISSIPPI: Via the Clarion-Ledger: "The Hinds County District Attorney's office will investigate how a staffer for state Sen. Chris McDaniel's U.S. Senate campaign and two other McDaniel supporters got locked in the county courthouse after Tuesday's primary election. The county sheriff's department has concluded that Janis Lane, Scott Brewster and Rob Chambers did nothing criminal."
A new Chism poll finds that McDaniel has a small lead over Cochran, 51-48%
NEW HAMPSHIRE: National Journal asks if Scott Brown can actually win in the Granite State.
SOUTH CAROLINA: Turnout is expected to be low in Tuesday's Senate primary, the State reports.
TEXAS: The Washington Post writes that "the entire Texas GOP appears to have been made over in [Ted] Cruz’s image."
*** Monday’s “The Daily Rundown” line-up: Chuck Todd interviews former Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX), WH DPC Dir. Cecilia Munoz, NBC’s Jim Miklaszewski, UVA’s Larry Sabato, National Review’s Jim Geraghty
*** Monday’s “Jansing & Co.” line-up: Guest Host Richard Lui interviews Rep. Jeff Miller (R-FL), MSNBC.com’s Senior Editor Beth Fouhy, Buzzfeed’s Senior Political Writer McKay Coppins, Time’s Middle East Bureau Chief Aryn Baker, Border Action Network’s Executive Director Juanita Molina, Political Strategist Angela Rye, and GOP Strategist Hogan Gidley.
***Monday's "News Nation with Tamron Hall" line-up: Kristen Welker interviews former hostage negotiator for the ATF Jim Cavanaugh & New York Times reporter Carlotta Gall on Bergdahl; Casa Mariposa volunteer Dan Wilson regarding the influx of undocumented migrant children into Arizona; Rula Jubreal and Lino Ruli, Host of The Catholic Guy on the Pope’s meeting with Presidents’ Shimon Peres and Mahmoud Abbas.
*** Monday’s “Andrea Mitchell Reports” line-up: NBC’s Andrea Mitchell interviews U.S. State Dept. spokesperson Marie Harf, Democratic strategist Kiki McLean, The Hill’s Amie Parnes, the Washington Post’s Chris Cillizza and Ruth Marcus, the New York Times’ Helen Cooper, HBO’s “The Case against 8” documentary filmmakers Ben Cotner and Ryan White and NBC’s Richard Engel and Anne Thompson.