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- The Obama admin., "concluding that" Syrian troops "have used chemical weapons against rebel forces" in their country's "civil war, has decided to begin supplying the rebels for the first time with small arms and ammunition, according to American officials" (New York Times).
- The admin.'s finding "brought cheers from hawks in Congress -- as well as calls for consultation" (Roll Call).
- MA SEN Special: VP Biden "will visit the Brockton area next week on behalf" of Rep. Edward Markey (D), Markey "told state lawmakers on Thursday, according to several people in the room" (Boston Globe).
- NJ GOV '13: A new Rutgers-Eagleton poll of RVs, conducted 6/3-9, shows Gov. Chris Christie (R) leading state Sen. Barbara Buono (D), 59-27%. In the previous poll, conducted 4/3-7, Christie led Buono, 57-27% (release).
- VA GOV '13: "A complex legal dispute over mineral rights" in the commonwealth's "coal country has become the latest battleground" in the race, with Dems "accusing" AG Ken Cuccinelli (R) "of improperly siding with out-of-state energy companies against Virginians who say the firms cheated them out of natural gas royalties" (Washington Post).
- CO SEN: According to a new Quinnipiac Univ. poll of RVs, conducted 6/5-10, 40% feel that Sen. Mark Udall (D) deserves to be reelected, while 33% feel he does not deserve to be reelected (release).
- LA SEN: The son of Sen. Mary Landrieu (D) "was arrested Thursday morning" for DWI, hit-and-run, "driving the wrong way on a one-way street" in New Orleans' French Quarter, "possession of an alcoholic beverage in the car" and "not maintaining proper control of the vehicle." The car driven by Landrieu son Frank Connor Snellings, who registered a .211 BAC, "hit a pedestrian." The pedestrian "was not seriously injured" (New Orleans Times-Picayune).
- MI SEN: Rep. Mike Rogers (R) will announce Friday that he's not joining the race, according to MI GOP pollster Steve Mitchell. A source familiar with the NRSC's thinking said the cmte "has no expectation" that he will run and has not met with him recently (Hotline reporting).
- MT SEN: Asked if he thought ex-Gov. Brian Schweitzer (D) would enter the race to succeed Sen. Max Baucus (D), Sen. Jon Tester (D) said, "I don't bet the farm on many things, but I'd bet the farm he's running" ("The Daily Rundown").
- AL-01: As a gov't employee, Surgeon General Regina Benjamin, who is stepping down next month, "cannot discuss future job specifics," but she said her decision to leave as the nation's top doctor "was made before" Rep. Jo Bonner (R) announced he would resign this summer (WKRG-TV).
- AZ-08: Rep. Trent Franks (R), whose "comments ... about rape and pregnancy" created controversy on Wednesday, "sent out an e-mail to supporters Thursday soliciting donations, citing attacks from abortion-rights groups" (Arizona Republic).
- AZ GOV: Opponents of Gov. Jan Brewer's (R) Medicaid expansion are preparing court challenges and a referendum against the measure, "even before Brewer has a chance to sign it into law" (Arizona Daily Star).
Hotline editors weigh in on the stories that drive the day
• GOP sens. trying to get to yes on immigration reform plan to use the amendment process to give themselves cover with conservative activists. And watch sens. who offer amendments identical to language submitted in larger packages: They'll claim credit for strengthening the bill when conservative activists inevitably call them to the carpet.
• One takeaway from recent polls on CO Gov. John Hickenlooper (D): Divided government may help make people sour on DC's ability to get things done, but it can be a boon for governors' approval ratings. Not that CO Dems would trade retaking the legislature and passing what they describe as "long overdue" legislation for a ratings bump.
HAIR OF THE DOG
A 22-year-old CT man "who wrote obscenities and 'Tyranny' on his speeding ticket payment claims in a federal lawsuit that his free speech rights were violated when he was arrested" by police in Liberty, NY, for "aggravated harassment" (AP).
FRESH BREWED BUZZ
- Dems blew out the GOP in Thursday night's Congressional Baseball Game for Charity, 22-0, on the strength of a three-hit shutout from pitcher Cedric Richmond (D-LA), who also went 4-for-4 at the plate (Hotline reporting).
- "I don't know that I'm going to play better than him, but I'm definitely going to use the Internet better than him" -- Rep. Joe Crowley (D-NY), who wore a NY Mets uniform in the Congressional Baseball Game, asked if he would play better than ex-Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY), who also dressed in Mets garb (Roll Call).
- An upcoming fundraiser for ex-Rep. Bob Barr's (R-GA) GA-11 campaign features: "A trophy skull signed by American Icon Ted Nugent" (GAPundit.com).
- "World 5.0 is the idea of a new cultural operating system, grounded in life and based on principles like peace, love, integrity, justice and balance. It sees that Life exists only Now, and that Here and Now is our shared and only reality" -- World 5.0 founder/"Occupier" Jim Prues, who plans to announce his candidacy for the seat held by Rep. Steve Chabot (R-OH) on 6/21, "the Summer Solstice" (Huffington Post).
- "[I]nterviews with more than 30 current and former Bloomberg employees paint a picture of an aggressive, hyperkinetic organization that not only tolerated but encouraged an unusual symbiotic relationship between the company’s news operation and its business interests, including the use of the terminals to break news" (New York Times).
- According to MA state Sen. Robert Hedlund (R), ex-MA Gov. Mitt Romney (R) is "getting ready to trade in his sporty Ford Mustang for a grandfather-mobile," a 15-seat passenger van. "According to Hedlund, Romney was planning to drive" to Laconia, NH, after Thursday morning's funeral for ex-MA Gov. Paul Cellucci (R) "to pick up his new Ford Econoline van in hopes of making it back" to MA in the afternoon "to register the vehicle in the Commonwealth" (State House News Service).
- The Chicago Blackhawks' longest Stanley Cup Finals game was played on 4/9/31. The Blackhawks defeated the Montreal Canadiens, 3-2, on a fame-winning goal from Cy Wentworth.
- That one stumped the Wake Up Call! community, so here's a bonus Swizzle Challenge: "Who is credited with what is believed to be the first home run hit out of the park in the history of the Congressional Baseball Game?" The 4th correct e-mailer gets to submit the next question.
NJ'S EARLY BIRD SPECIALS
- Economy Expectations May Be Giving Obama a Lift
- Why Obama's Approval Rating Isn't Higher
- Americans Know They've Already Lost Their Privacy
- Marco Rubio and Rand Paul's Immigration Bromance
- Meet Obama's Leak Plumber
"Twenty years ago, I never would have done that" -- Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY), on agreeing to take a backseat during negotiations over new gun laws (Time).
"The most dangerous place is between him and a camera" -- Then-Senate Maj. Leader Bob Dole (R-KS), on Schumer in '95 (Syracuse Herald Journal).
Reid Wilson, Editor-in-Chief
Steven Shepard, Executive Editor
- Politics & Government
- Edward Markey
- Barbara Buono
- Mary Landrieu