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First Read's Morning Clips

A roundup of the most important political news stories of the day.

OBAMA AGENDA: Disappointed

NBC's Perry Bacon Jr. writes that the modest reforms announced by the Obama administration Monday in the wake of the Ferguson unrest have disappointed some activists.

From NBC News: Obama announced new funding Monday to address "simmering distrust" between police departments and minority communities.

POLITICO reports that the White House weighed a trip to Ferguson but decided that it would be too politically and logistically complicated.

Here's SCOTUSblog's take on yesterday's oral arguments in the Facebook threats case: "Although the Roberts Court has been consistently supportive of free speech, even when the substance of that speech is unpopular or even downright offensive, it wasn’t clear this morning that Anthony Elonis can count on the same kind of support. At the same time, there was no obvious path to victory for the federal government either, and the end result could be a decision that neither side likes."

CC: Ted Cruz. Sen John McCain of Arizona also wants Joe Lieberman as the next Defense Secretary, writes the Washington Post.

The U.S. and European allies will discuss possible further sanctions on Russia, writes Reuters.

CONGRESS: Unleash the “Cromnibus”

The New York Times, on the 'Cromnibus' and preventing a government shutdown: "House Republicans are reviewing a plan by Representative Tom Price of Georgia, who is popular among more conservative members, that offers a hybrid solution: a combination of a broad-based spending bill that would keep the government funded through September 2015 and a stopgap spending measure to pay for operations of the Department of Homeland Security, the agency with primary responsibility for carrying out Mr. Obama’s immigration action."

"Lawmakers divided about whether to renew a raft of expiring tax breaks appear increasingly likely to extend them only through 2014, a move that would leave businesses and individuals in limbo for 2015 and beyond," writes the Wall Street Journal.

The Washington Post reports that the firing of GOP aide Elizabeth Lauten "prov[es] that there still may be some taboos in Washington’s ever more rancorous political culture."

Democratic group American Bridge is out with a new report that pushes for the Senate confirmation of outstanding presidential nominees during the lame duck session.

Lawmakers have a deal on a joint defense policy bill, but – in a blow to Obama – it won’t include language allowing for the closure of the federal prison at Guantanamo Bay.

OFF TO THE RACES: Portman will run for re-election instead of the White House

From NBC News: Rob Portman won't run for president in 2016, saying that his focus remains on his Senate reelection.

From MSNBC's Kasie Hunt: Jeb Bush says that the 2016 GOP presidential nominee must be willing to 'lose the primary to win the general.'

Hillary Clinton has declined to take a position on the Keystone XL pipeline but needs support from environmental activists, notes the Washington Post.

ARIZONA: Per yesterday's official canvas in the outstanding House race, from the Arizona Republic: "McSally is listed as the provisional winner, pending the results of an automatic recount. She leads Barber by 161 votes."

KENTUCKY: Rand Paul said in a statement Tuesday that he'll run again for Senate in Kentucky even as his team mulls how to deal with rules that would prevent him from being on the ballot for two offices at once.

Here's more on Paul's plan to combat the rules and run for president and Senate at the same time, from National Journal.

LOUISIANA: In last night's Senate runoff debate, Mary Landrieu suggested that Cassidy "pads his own paycheck" with money from poor medical patients, writes NBC’s Leigh Ann Caldwell.

A new ad from Mary Landrieu suggests that Republicans want to impeach the president and that Bill Cassidy would be "disastrous for black families."


*** Tuesday’s “The Rundown with Jose Diaz-Balart” line-up: Jose Diaz-Balart interviews USA Today’s Immigration Reporter Alan Gomez, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), Former Amb. Marc Ginsberg, Global Grind’s President Michael Skolnik,’s Senior Health Writer Maggie Fox, NBC’s Senior White House Correspondent Chris Jansing, CNBC’s Amanda Drury, NBC’s Senior Political Reporter Perry Bacon, Politico’s Senior Congressional Reporter Manu Raju, NBC’s Kelly O’Donnell, MSNBC’s Alex Seitz-Wald, Former Bush-Cheney Senior Advisor Robert Traynham, Democratic Strategist Chris Kofinis, MSNBC’s Kasie Hunt, Author of the “Coming Collapse of China” Gordon Chang, MSNBC’s Irin Carmon, and Amigos for Kids President and CEO Rosa Maria Plasencia.

*** Tuesday’s “News Nation with Tamron Hall” line-up: Tamron Hall interviews Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX), USA Today Columnist and Attorney Raul Reyes & Immigration Attorney David Pena on today’s immigration hearings; Dream Defenders Executive Editor Phillip Agnew & Brittany Packnett of Teach for America-St. Louis, who both met with Obama yesterday at the White House on the Ferguson situation; and in our Born in the U$A series: Anthony Moultry, owner of Chicer Collegiate, that gears its clothing line towards students at historically black colleges and universities.

*** Tuesday’s “Andrea Mitchell Reports” line-up: NBC’s Andrea Mitchell interviews NIAID Director Dr. Anthony Fauci, National Coalition on Black Civic Participation CEO and President Melanie Campbell, Ice Bucket Challenge Creator Pat Quinn, MSNBC’s Alex Wagner, NBC’s Pete Williams and Richard Engel and the Washington Post’s Chris Cillizza and Ruth Marcus.