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OBAMA AGENDA: “I’m not interested in photo-ops”

From NBC News: "President Barack Obama on Wednesday said he is not visiting the U.S. border while in Texas because he is “not interested in photo-ops” and urged Congress to approve funding to deal with the surge of minors illegally streaming into the country. “There is nothing that is taking place down there that I am not intimately aware of and briefed on,” Obama said. “This isn’t theater, this is a problem.”

Obama also pressed Gov. Rick Perry to rally support for his $3.7 billion funding request to address the crisis, notes the New York Times.

The AP lede: "Faced with a potentially awkward scene at the Texas-Mexico border, President Barack Obama sought to recast the political debate over a flood of young migrants as a question of Republican willingness to tackle the problem, not his decision to skip a chance to view the crisis first-hand."

Why immigration optics are tough for the Republicans too? Headlines like this in the Wall Street Journal: "GOP Pushing Quicker Deportations"

No decision on the Keystone XL pipeline will come until after the November elections because of scheduling in the Nebraska Supreme Court, the Washington Post reports.

The latest in Gaza, from the New York Times: “A spokesman for the Israeli military said that about 20,000 reserve troops had been called up and that preparations for a possible ground operation were being completed, but that the current focus of the ground forces was to uncover tunnels in Gaza used by militants for attacks. As the air campaign entered its third day, the Palestinian death toll rose to at least 67, according to officials in Gaza. ”

Per the Wall Street Journal: "U.S. authorities are investigating an apparent breach of computer systems at the federal Office of Personnel Management, which stores data on federal employees, according to a Department of Homeland Security official."

CONGRESS: Boehner’s disagrees with impeachment calls

Asked by Luke Russert about some calls for the impeachment of the president over his use of executive actions, House Speaker John Boehner: "I disagree."

"Lois Lerner, the former Internal Revenue Service official at the center of an investigation into the agency’s treatment of conservative political groups, may have used an internal instant-messaging system instead of email so that her communications could not be retrieved by investigators, Republican lawmakers said Wednesday," via the New York Times.

The House Ways and Means Committee plans to begin voting on a proposal for the highway trust fund, but it's got bipartisan backers AND opponents, writes the Wall Street Journal.

Democrats are tossing around the word "shutdown" in reference to the highway bill, trying to tie the Highway Trust Fund's shortfall to the government shutdown last year, notes The Hill.

From Roll Call: "Gun politics appear all-but-certain to destroy any chance of advancing a bipartisan hunting, fishing and conservation package — and with it, a chance for Sen. Kay Hagan and other endangered Democrats to tout their bipartisan legislative bona fides ahead of the November elections."

The Washington Post has the details of Democrats' efforts to reverse the Supreme Court's Hobby Lobby decision.

The Ex-Im Bank opponents appear to have lost their battle, writes Time.

OFF TO THE RACES: Scott Walker’s big bucks

ALASKA: Immigration is becoming a wedge in the GOP Senate primary, courtesy of Joe Miller, writes the Alaska Dispatch News.

ILLINOIS: Democrats in the state are worried that Gov. Pat Quinn’s woes may hurt them down the ballot, writes The Hill’s Jessica Taylor.

IOWA: Joni Ernst is about to go off the trail for two weeks for active duty training, writes the Des Moines Register.

KENTUCKY: Mitch McConnell is striking back against a Grimes ad that targets him on Medicare, calling her claims "shaky" and "laughable" in a commercial of his own.

LOUISIANA: Former Mayor Ray Nagin is headed to federal prison for 10 years for bribery.

MICHIGAN: GOP Senate candidate Terri Lynn Land brought in $3.4 million last quarter - including $1.2 of her own money -- while Democrat Gary Peters raised $2 million.

MISSISSIPPI: From the Clarion-Ledger: “Conservative Texas-based True the Vote has filed a motion for a restraining order against the Mississippi Republican Party, claiming June 24 runoff records have been destroyed and tampered with.”

Thad Cochran is switching up his campaign manager, the paper also notes.

NEW HAMPSHIRE: Jeanne Shaheen is holding strong against Scott Brown, according to a new UNH Survey Center poll that shows her up 50 percent to Brown's 38 percent.

NORTH CAROLINA: Kay Hagan and Thom Tillis are wrangling about the number of debates they'll hold before the November election.

Hagan raised more than $3.6 million between April and June, the Washington Post reports.

WISCONSIN: Scott Walker raised $8.2 million in the first half of 2014, more than twice what challenger Mary Burke hauled in, the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reports.


*** Thursday’s “The Daily Rundown” line-up: NBC’s Kristen Welker interviews NBC’s Luke Russert, Sen. Ron Johnson, State Sen./Lt. Gov. nominee Leticia Van de Putte, NBC’s Martin Fletcher, Israeli Amb. Ron Dermer, NBC’s Mark Murray

*** Thursday’s “News Nation with Tamron Hall” line-up: MSNBC’s Tamron Hall interviews Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-TX) and Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins on the border crisis; Deadline Hollywood’s Awards editor Pete Hammond, on today’s Primetime Emmy nominations; and in our exclusive Born in the U$A series, Bea Arthur, founder & CEO of Pretty Padded Room, where online trained therapists are available around the clock.

*** Thursday’s “Andrea Mitchell Reports” line-up: NBC’s Andrea Mitchell interviews Sen. Bob Menendez, Rep. Joaquin Castro, Rep. Jeff Denham, Fmr. White House Deputy Chief of Staff Nancy-Ann DeParle, Bloomberg’s Jeanne Cummings and NBC’s Ayman Mohyeldin, Stephanie Gosk, Peter Alexander and Martin Fletcher.