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Republicans doing everything they can to save Kansas, Senate

The Morning Line

Today in the Morning Line:

  • Sarah Palin, Jeb Bush to campaign for Pat Roberts
  • Orman would be among richest members of Congress
  • U.S., allies begin airstrikes in Syria
  • Obama talks climate
  • Cracking down on offshore tax breaks

Mending fences: After an election season that saw establishment Republicans with DC ties take on more activist tea party conservatives, the two sides are coming together in Kansas. Determined not to let longtime incumbent Republican Pat Roberts lose and for Republicans to once again miss a chance at wresting control of the U.S. Senate, Jeb Bush AND Sarah Palin will be campaigning for Roberts. Just last month, Roberts held off a strong tea party primary challenge, but Palin coming to the state signals just how much national Republicans know they need to get those dispirited conservatives on board. After all, this is a state that hasn’t sent a non-Republican to the Senate since 1932.

All in on Kansas: Palin is set to campaign for Roberts Thursday at the Independence Historical Museum and Art Center in Independence, Kansas. Bush, the former Florida governor weighing a 2016 bid, will be in the state Sept. 29. Former Kansas Sen. Bob Dole and Arizona Sen. John McCain, both one-time presidential nominees for their party, campaigned with Roberts Monday. All this comes as polls show Independent Greg Orman leading Roberts by mid-single digits. But Orman — a venture capitalist, who, it was revealed yesterday, would be among the wealthiest members of Congress, worth between $21.5 and $86 million — is an untested political novice, and Republicans, on the doorstep of the Senate control, are pouring in every resource to stop him. They are raising questions about how he made his money, dispatching operatives to bolster Roberts’ campaign and are about to hit him on the airwaves. Orman is the favorite right now, but let’s see where the race is in two weeks — and if Democrats join in the fight to help him.

US and allies launch airstrikes: The war on the Islamic State militant group inside Syria has begun with the first U.S. and allies air strikes. The New York Times writes that they unleashed “a torrent of cruise missiles and precision-guided bombs from the air and sea on the militants’ de facto capital of Raqqa and along the porous Iraq border.” More: “The strikes are a major turning point in President Obama’s war against the Islamic State and open up a risky new stage of the American military campaign. Until now, the administration had bombed Islamic State targets only in Iraq, and had suggested it would be weeks if not months before the start of a bombing campaign against Islamic State targets in Syria.” Syrian officials say the U.S. informed them of the strikes shortly before launching them. President Obama will be speaking at 10 am ET, making his first remarks since airstrikes in Syria began.

Cracking down on taxes: The Treasury Department unveiled new measures Monday night to discourage “tax inversion,” when American companies move offshore to reduce their domestic tax burden. The government estimates targeting these tax moves could generate $20 billion over the next decade, according to the Joint Committee on Taxation. As of Monday, the new rules will make it more difficult and less profitable for corporations to engineer inversions; the measures are not effective retroactively, sparing some of this summer’s more well-known inverters, although they could still affect pending inversions like Burger King’s move to Canada. That the department took action, despite President Obama and Secretary Lew’s saying there’s “no substitute for congressional action,” speaks to the impossibilities of pushing legislative action before the midterms. And yet, critics on both sides of the aisle say that only Congress has the power to really fix the problem. House Ways and Means Committee Chair Dave Camp wants to see the issue addressed as part of a larger overhaul of the corporate tax code, while Senate Finance Committee Chair Ron Wyden urged Congress to take up tax reform legislation during the lame duck session after the elections. “The administration wanted to go as far as they legally could, but they’re very careful,” said Sen. Chuck Schumer, who’s advocated stronger Congressional action on the issue.

New details on White House fence jumper: New details released by prosecutors Monday revealed that Omar Jose Gonzalez, the man armed with a knife who scaled the White House fence last Friday and got into the front door, had an arsenal of weapons in his car, including two hatchets, a machete and 800 rounds of ammunition. The judge in Gonzalez’s case said that the 42-year-old Iraq War veteran will be kept in custody until his hearing next month, in order to ensure the safety of the president. The Secret Service has been harshly criticized for their handling of last week’s incident, but President Obama praised the agency Monday, saying he is, “grateful for all the sacrifices they make on my behalf and on my family’s behalf.” Members of Congress do not seem to be as forgiving of the security agency. Chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Darrell Issa has invited Julie Pierson, the head of Secret Service, to testify about the agency’s policies and procedures. “These significant security breaches reveal our weaknesses as well as our response capabilities to our nation’s enemies,” Issa said Monday.

Daily Presidential Trivia: On this day in 1952, future President Richard Nixon gave his famous “Checkers Speech.” What was the purpose of the televised speech? Be the first to tweet us the correct answer using #PoliticsTrivia and you’ll get a Morning Line shout-out. Congratulations to CTBobL (‏@CTBobL) for guessing Monday’s trivia: Which member of Congress originally proposed a bill to establish the Peace Corps in 1957? The answer was: Hubert Humphrey, Jr.

LINE ITEMS

  • President Obama will address the United Nations Climate Summit on Tuesday, in New York City. After his U.N. address, the president will speak at the annual Clinton Global Initiative Meeting, and later will attend a fundraising event for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. In the evening, Mr. Obama will attend a reception for visiting heads of state and government.

  • A federal judge in New Orleans ruled Monday that the Louisiana same-sex marriage ban is unconstitutional. The state’s attorney general said they will appeal the ruling.

  • The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee calls Rep. Cory Gardner, R-Colo., two-faced when it comes to birth control and abortion in the group’s latest ad.

  • In the Iowa Senate race, it could all come down to the ground game for Democrats, and that starts in a place called “Obamadale”.

  • North Carolina stands apart from other southern states in that it seems to have moved to the right and to the left in recent years. It’s “deep Dixie purple” in 2014.

  • In the North Carolina Senate race, Sen. Kay Hagan, D, has a narrow 42 percent to 40 percent lead over Republican Thom Tillis in a High Point University poll.

  • Former House Majority Leader Eric Cantor has been subpoenaed to a deposition against the Bank of China.

  • Democrats’ fundraising edge widened in August, in large part because of more big checks from labor unions and billionaires Tom Steyer and Fred Eychaner.

  • The White House says applying to buy insurance on HealthCare.Gov this fall will be much easier than last year with shorter forms and a revamped website.

  • Protestors demonstrating for action against climate change took over Wall Street Monday in what organizers called a “flood Wall Street” sit-in. Police arrested about 100 protesters.

  • Rep. Vance McAllister, R-La., who became notorious earlier this year for a video tape that captured him kissing a staffer, is out with a new campaign ad featuring his wife and promoting family values.

  • A new Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee spot focuses on Minnesota Republican candidate Stewart Mills’ wealth in a new ad that makes Mills look a lot like the millionaire from Gilligan’s Island.

  • In their first ad in New Hampshire, the DCCC targets 2nd District Republican Marilinda Garcia.

  • Aides to Sen. Jeff Merkley responded to unequal pay accusations in a new ad from his opponent Monica Wehby, saying the claim was “absurd.”

  • Senate Judiciary Committee Chair Patrick Leahy says that Obama judicial nominee Michael Boggs doesn’t have enough votes to clear committee — because of opposition from Democrats.

  • Republican Senate candidate Scott Brown stated his disagreement with the New Hampshire GOP on abortion Monday.

  • Roll Call’s Stu Rothenberg believes control of the Senate is hinging on Alaska, North Carolina, Colorado, Iowa and Kansas, and that Republicans only need to win two of those states to take the majority.

  • An Illinois congresswoman is bringing basketball back into her campaign ads, but she’s not the only one to feature her athletic abilities in television spots.

  • Congressional Republicans are furious about the Politico interview with former IRS official Lois Lerner. Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., said in a statement: “Her decision to make unsubstantiated claims to a media outlet while claiming Fifth Amendment protections from answering Congress’ questions is telling.”

  • Rep. David Jolly, R-Fla., wants to establish a five-day workweek in Congress that starts at 8 a.m. Monday and ends at 6 p.m. on Friday.

  • The Republican Governors Association claims Georgia gubernatorial candidate Jason Carter would not create jobs or expand education programs, but he would be a “spending governor.”

  • Maine Gov. Paul LePage might back out of debating his Democratic opponent Mike Michaud over an outside attack ad.

  • Lawyers for multiple same-sex marriage ban challenges across the country are fighting for their case to be argued before the Supreme Court.

  • The city of Seattle decided to rip up 90 citations given for publicly smoking marijuana, after it was revealed that one police officer wrote the majority of the tickets.

  • Utah law allows teachers to carry concealed weapons into classrooms, and two-thirds of likely Beehive State voters think that’s okay, according to a new poll.

  • For the first time, the U.S. Census included gay couples in their count of married couples. The Census found that same-sex couples still make up less than one percent of married couples in America.

  • Want to get fined a thousand bucks in New Hampshire? Instagram your voting ballot.

  • The #babywatch has commenced. Former President Bill Clinton and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton are expecting their first grandchild to arrive sometime next week.

  • Cathy McMorris Rodgers’ high profile has been continually chalked up to her being a “diversity pick,” someone whom male leaders call upon, but who would rather do a less ambitious job if left to her own devices. “But that’s a thin tale,” writes National Journal’s Sarah Mimms.

  • Keep an eye on the Rundown blog for breaking news throughout the day, our home page for show segments, and follow @NewsHour for the latest.

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