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OBAMA AGENDA: Vexing and volatile

The New York Times outlines the "vexing and volatile relationship between the Iraqi prime minister and his American sponsors" dating back to his rise to power during the Bush administration.

The Washington Post, on the tension around Maliki: "The clash has raised deep concerns at home and abroad about Iraq’s teetering stability. Ominously, Maliki reminded the country in a televised address Monday of his position as head of the armed forces and assured soldiers that the “error” will be rectified."

"An enormous Russian convoy of about 280 trucks carrying humanitarian aid has left Moscow for southeastern Ukraine, Russian television and news agencies reported Tuesday," writes the New York Times. "The Russian aid has been an object of suspicion for Ukraine and its Western allies, who accuse the Kremlin of trying to use it as a stealth method to invade its smaller neighbor with armed forces to support the besieged separatists in Donetsk and Luhansk."

David Brooks writes of the differences between Hillary Clinton's "grand strategic cast" to confronting jihadism and Obama's more tactical approach. "Obama has carefully not organized a large part of his foreign policy around a war against jihadism. The foreign policy vision he describes is, as you’d expect from a former law professor, built around reverence for certain procedures: compromise, inclusiveness, rules and norms. The threat he described in his West Point speech was a tactic, terrorism, not an ideology, jihadism."

Obama made clear in remarks to a DSCC fundraiser Monday night that he expects Supreme Court appointments may be coming. "What's preventing us from getting things done right now is you've got a faction within the Republican Party that thinks solely in terms of their own ideological purposes and solely in terms of how do they hang on to power. And that's a problem, and that's why I need a Democratic Senate," he said. "Not to mention the fact that we're going to have Supreme Court appointments, and there are going to be a whole host of issues that many people here care about that are going to be determined by whether or not Democrats retain the Senate."

OFF TO THE RACES: Nunn goes negative

Noted: Ted Cruz acknowledges that impeachment proceedings against Obama ain't gonna happen: From the National Review Online: "It is clear, with the Harry Reid Senate, impeachment of the president is not going anywhere ... If the House of Representatives were to impeach the attorney general, that process would shine much needed light on the indefensible abuse of power by the attorney general.”

ALASKA: "A provocative new mailer from Republican U.S. Senate candidate Joe Miller featuring images of tattooed, threatening-looking Hispanics and saying that incumbent Democratic Sen. Mark Begich “wants them to vote” is factually inaccurate, a widely respected immigration attorney said Monday," the Alaska Dispatch News reports.

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COLORADO: Cory Gardner is hitting Mark Udall on Obamacare in his latest ad, saying that he himself received "a letter saying that my family's plan was canceled."

CONNECTICUT: Turnout is expected to be low in today's primaries, writes the Hartford Courant.

GEORGIA: Michelle Nunn is up with her first attack ad, hitting David Perdue for cutting and outsourcing jobs.

The New York Times’ Mark Leibovich writes of the leaked Nunn memo: “I read every word, and my main “takeaway” — as we helpfully summarizing reporters like to say — is that a political campaign today is a soul-killing pursuit and would generate the precise opposite of the “joy in my heart” that Jeb Bush says he would wish to bring to a presidential campaign if he were to undertake one in 2016. (Memo to Jeb: Do not read this memo.) In other words, this document confirms every worst suspicion that people tend to have about campaigns.”

HAWAII: Hawaii elections officials are now considering a one-day in-person election for voters who weren't able to vote last week due to storm damage. That means that the contest between Colleeen Hanabusa and Brian Schatz could be resolved as early as this weekend.

Hanabusa is warning of "irregularities" in precincts affected by the storm, POLITICO reports.

KENTUCKY:Looks like Libertarian candidate David Patterson will appear on the ballot for U.S. Senate, which could siphon votes from Mitch McConnell.

MISSISSIPPI: Chris McDaniels' spokesman has been subpoenaed to appear before a Lauderdale County grand jury. He says he believes it's about Thad Cochran's "alleged vote buying scheme."

MONTANA: This aggression will not stand, man. There's an online petition to urge Jeff Bridges to run for Montana's open Senate seat.

NEW YORK: Officials are heavily courting Democrats to choose Brooklyn as the site of their 2016 convention. The New York Times: "The city’s effort to bring the Democratic National Convention to the Barclays Center in 2016 — a bid that could help elevate Mayor Bill de Blasio’s national profile while infusing the party with a dash of Brooklyn cool — reached the pep rally stage on Monday, as convention officials were welcomed for a two-day tour."

Cuomo opponent Zephyr Teachout can run in the September 9 Democratic primary, a state judge ruled Monday.

TEXAS:The Washington Post writes that Joaquin Castro "oesn't deny interest in running in 2018 against Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.), or for governor if Democrat Wendy Davis loses this year, as expected, to Republican Attorney General Greg Abbott in the race to succeed GOP Gov. Rick Perry."

VIRGINIA: The latest in the McDonnell trial, from the Richmond Times-Dispatch: "Aides to Bob McDonnell tried to dissuade Star Scientific CEO Jonnie R. Williams Sr. from using the Executive Mansion to host the launch of his dietary supplement, but the gift-giving businessman insisted, saying the governor and first lady supported his product. 'He wanted the mansion,' Jerry W. Kilgore, Williams’ attorney, testified Monday, the 11th day of the federal corruption trial of the former governor and his wife, Maureen."


*** Monday’s “News Nation with Tamron Hall” line-up: Kristen Welker interviews mental health advocate Terrie Williams on Robin Williams death; President of the St. Louis Board of Alderman, Lewis E. Reed on Michael Brown’s killing; Former US Army Captain and Executive Director of the Truman National Security Project Mike Breen on Iraq; and California State Senator Kevin De Leon on California’s sexual assault proposal he co-authored, which requires affirmative consent.

*** Monday’s “Andrea Mitchell Reports” line-up: Andrea Mitchell interviews “Inside the Actors Studio” host James Lipton, Phoenix House President Mitch Rosenberg, One Mind Campaign Co-chairman Garen Staglin, Quartz Managing Editor Bobby Ghosh, the Washington Post’s Chris Cillizza and Nia-Malika Henderson, Journalist Bob Herbert and NBC’s Ron Allen and Duncan Golestani.