Follow the Ads, Did Obama Squander the Surge?, Romney's Coin, Glurting With Hillary Clinton (PM Note)

In Swing States a Storm of Negative Ads - Jon Karl on World News - To most of us, the country looks like 50 states. But to the Obama and Romney campaigns, it looks like just a dozen hotly contested states in which almost all of their campaigning has been. And, if you follow the money, it really comes down to just Ohio, Florida, Virginia, Nevada and Colorado, where the two sides have already spent over $110 million on the presidential election. Turn on the TV in one of these states and you'd think the election was next week. A vast majority of the political ad tsunami is brutally negative.

How Obama Squandered the Surge - Jake Tapper's interview with Rajiv Chandrasekaran on whether the Afghanistan surge was necessary and what it accomplished. Chandrasekaran, who has a new book out, suggests Richard Holbrooke was hobbled by infighting and particularly then-NSA Jim Jones.

Hillary Clinton, says Chandrasekaran, marched into the Oval Office and said, " 'Mr. President, you can fire Richard Holbrooke, over the objections of your Secretary of State.' "

The Pentagon, he says, sent the Marines to the wrong part of Afghanistan, "Because the Marine Corps didn't want to work with the Army."

Chandrasekaran - "When we went to them and said, 'Ah, we're coming here to help bring your government to you.' They said, 'Whoa we don't want our government!' "Must Watch -

Hillary Clinton… in a Yurt - This is the Yurt version of glam camping. You've heard of that? Glamping? This is Glurting - (Dana Hughes on the story, Amber Porter coins 'Glurting')

Romney Outraises Obama by $35 Million in June - President Obama's re-election effort raised $71 million dollars in June, substantially less than the monthly haul by GOP rival Mitt Romney, the Obama campaign has announced. (Devin Dwyer)

Romney Raised 77 Cents Per U.S. Registered Voter in June. Elizabeth Warren Raised 75 Cents Per Massachusetts Registered Voter in June. Math here - (Y!'s Rachel Rose Hartman)

Meet the Koch Brothers - Again - Yesterday's Hamptons Romney Fundraiser seems like a good excuse - Routine fundraisers don't usually trigger attack ads and headlines, but when the man raising a boatload of cash is billionaire conservative David Koch, the spotlight shines brighter. (Matt Negrin)

Six Airmen Lost Over Laos in 1965 Buried at Arlington - Six Air Force airmen killed in a 1965 plane crash in Laos during the Vietnam War were laid to rest today at Arlington National Cemetery, the culmination of a decades-long effort to find their remains, which were all interred in one casket. (Luis Martinez)

What Happens on Taxmageddon? - You'll be coming back to this infographic a lot between now and December -

Here's why -

Obama Re-Pushes Under $250K Tax-Cut Extension - Obama's Take - "Let's not hold the vast majority of Americans and our entire economy hostage while we debate the merits of another tax cut for the wealthy." Obama wants to extend current, lower rates for 98 percent of Americans - individuals earning $200,000 a year or less and families making $250,000 or less - something on which Republicans and Democrats generally agree. (Devin Dwyer)

House GOP Opposes Democrats on Tax Cuts - Boehner's Rejoinder - "President Obama is still asleep at the switch when it comes to our economy and jobs," Boehner, R-Ohio, said in a statement. "In the wake of another weak jobs report, the president is doubling down on his quixotic call for the same small businesses tax hikes that have been routinely rejected by the House and Senate. How will these small business tax hikes create jobs?" (John Parkinson)

Gov. Perry Says Texas Won't Implement Portions of 'Obamacare' - Texas Gov. Rick Perry sent a letter to U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius today informing her that Texas will not implement two portions of President Obama's health care plan despite the Supreme Court's upholding it last month. Perry specifically will express his opposition to establishing a state health insurance exchange and expanding Medicaid required by the plan. (Arlette Saenz)

Christie Taking a 'Wait and See' Attitude After Obamacare Ruling - He's glad, with regard to the Medicaid portion, the Supreme Court ruled "that extortion is still illegal in America." - (Walshe)

Christie Says Treatment over Jail-Time for Drug Abusers is a 'Pro-Life' Issue -

McConnell Suggests 50-50 Chance of Senate Takeover - (Y!'s Rachel Rose Hartman)

Veep Beat: When Two Contenders Head to Boston - Portman on Romney turf, but no meeting; Rubio to fundraise Friday; Rubio op-ed on healthcare; Final countdown to the VP pick; Leaks, lies and auditions, oh my!; Christie's tussle on the Jersey Shore; McDonnell's military service (Arlette Saenz)

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