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U.S. slipping into Iran alliance in sectarian war

This June 12, 2014 file photo shows Secretary of State John Kerry listens during a meeting between President Barack Obama and Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott, in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington.

This June 12, 2014 file photo shows Secretary of State John Kerry listens during a meeting between President Barack Obama and Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott, in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington.  (AP)

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Buzz Cut:
• U.S. slipping into Iran alliance in sectarian war
• Why the border surge? It’s the amnesty
• How likely is IRS story on missing Lerner emails?
• Thad’s ‘one of us’ in Mississippi race
• This investment needs guac

Secretary of State John Kerry said aloud today what the Obama administration has been hinting for days: The U.S. military may help Iran fight against rival Islamists who are beheading their way through northern Iraq. Yes, that Iran. A country that claims to shoot down U.S. drones might be aided by U.S. drones in a new front of an old war between armies from rival branches of Islam. Reuters reports that Iranian leaders have said they’re open to the idea, paving the way for American air power to be used in support of Iranian ground forces. It would have sounded preposterous just a few weeks ago. But it sounds plausible today, as the city of Tal Afar and its more than 200,000 residents join the list of those conquered by a brutal, growing army seeking to create an Islamist state that spans across the Iraq-Syria border. After taking the Sunni side in the regional sectarian conflict for most of the past 30 years, the U.S. looks ready to weigh in for the first time in a significant way on behalf of the Shia.

[Fox News: “Despite the added security by the Iraqi government in Baghdad, a string of explosions killed at least 15 people and wounded more than 30 in the city Sunday, police and hospital officials said.”]

Talking around the issue - The talks are expected occur as a sidebar to long-running negotiations in Vienna over Iran’s nuclear program. And like the Obama administration’s efforts to forge a partnership with Iran on allowing for the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan, the partnership is presented as the least-bad option available. But unlike the diplomatic avenues in Afghanistan, the Iraq deal could lead to the U.S. encouraging Iranian forces to cross the border with Iraq and fight against their longtime hated foes. Such a move may deemed preferable to the sight of Baghdad falling to the black-robed Sunni warriors encroaching on the city, but it doesn’t exactly gibe with the overall talking points from the administration that the cause of the crisis is an Iraqi government that is insufficiently inclusive of Sunnis. If you think that Sunni Iraqis are unwilling to fight for the Shia-dominated government in Baghdad now, just wait until they’re asked to fight alongside the Iranians.

Hillary has it both ways - During her tenure as Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton has supported negotiations with the Iran on limiting its nuclear program, talks that have stretched out for years. The 2016 Democratic frontrunner came out against deepening sanctions against the Islamist nation earlier this year, backing Obama administration talks that led to a short-term agreement that eased U.S. sanctions and freed-up cash for Iran in return for marginal limits on enrichment. Clinton, though, turned “skeptical” about striking a deal in remarks to some audiences, telling one group “I am also personally skeptical that the Iranians would follow through and deliver. I have seen their behavior over the years. But this is a development that is worth testing.” Iranian behavior has reverted to stretching out talks toward a longer term U.S.-Iran nuke deal faces a July 20 deadline. The 2016 political calculus for Clinton is delicate with a base that is ever-wary of her hawkishness.

Paul: Hillary not fit to be president - The Hill: “[Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky.] said Clinton’s biggest “dereliction” was to have never read the diplomatic cables from Ambassador Christopher Stevens, who was killed in the attack, providing updates for the on-the-ground situation in Libya. ‘She never read them. It’s a dereliction of duty. It’s something that should preclude Hillary Clinton from every being considered as commander in chief,’ he said to loud applause.”

[The Washington Free Beacon takes a deep dive into audio recordings from the 1980s of Hillary Clinton as talking candidly about a 1975 case in which she used brutal legal tactics to defend a man accused of raping as 12-year-old girl.]

Romney: Hillary ‘clueless’  - WashEx: “[Hillary Clinton] has no successes to point from her record as secretary of State, [former Gov. Mitt Romney, R-Mass.] said. Her attempt to reset U.S. policy on Russia had the opposite effect, Romney said, and her recent comments regarding the Obama administration's release of five Taliban leaders from Guantanamo Bay in exchange for Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, were “clueless.” ‘She said the commandos don’t represent a threat to the United States,’… ‘Of course they do ... are you kidding?’”

It’s not unrest at home. It’s not drought or global warming. Byron York says it’s a belief that there is amnesty: “Recent days have been filled with anecdotal reports, from local news outlets in Central America to major American newspapers, citing immigrants who say they came because they believe U.S. law has been changed to allow them to stay. And now comes word that Border Patrol agents in the most heavily-trafficked area of the surge, the Rio Grande Valley sector of Texas, recently questioned 230 illegal immigrants about why they came. The results showed overwhelmingly that the immigrants, including those classified as UACs, or unaccompanied children, were motivated by the belief that they would be allowed to stay in the United States -- and not by conditions in their homelands”

[In an expression of its “great concern,” the Obama administration is sending Vice President Joe Biden this week for high-level talks with Central American leaders to address the wave of illegal immigrants flooding Texas and other southern states.]

The “Internet of things” has been the increasing focus of the technology world. Refrigerators that order milk! Metrics on the effectiveness of your toothbrushing! With so many Americans wearing fitness monitors and using apps that track our steps, our sleep and our diets, it is becoming easier to imagine the kind of future that was once the stuff of Robert Zemeckis. Matt Honan’s essay for Wired imagining a morning 20 years from now in a “connected” American home considers what happens if the Internet of things is just as buggy, annoying, hacked and limiting as the plain old Internet is today. He begins with the bug afflicting his home’s operating one morning in the 2030s: “Thankfully this one is fairly benign. It sets off the alarm with music I blacklisted decades ago on Pandora. It takes a picture of me as I get out of the shower every morning and uploads it to Facebook. No big deal.”

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Real Clear Politics Averages
Obama Job Approval
: Approve –  42.3 percent/Disapprove – 54 percent
Direction of Country: Right Direction – 29.1 percent/Wrong Track – 63.6 percent
Generic Congressional Ballot:  Democrats – 42 percent/Republicans 41.4 percent

National Review’s John Fund is focused today on testing the plausibility of the IRS’ claim that it has lost all of the emails between Lois Lerner, the former agency executive at the center of the scandal over targeting President Obama’s political enemies, and anyone outside of the organization. The blackout covers not only the key 16-months in the investigation but would expressly deny investigators what they seek: evidence the conspiracy went beyond the agency and into other parts of the administration. Fund argues that the case for the emails being unrecoverable is weak, but also explains why they matter: “Last year’s report by the IRS inspector general set out a timeline of the IRS’s targeting of conservative groups. A full 16 of the 26 non-redacted events in the inspector general’s timeline took place during the period for which all of Lerner’s e-mails were ‘lost,’ and these 16 instances refer to ‘e-mail’ as the source for information on that event.”

National Journal: “In [the Mississippi Senate race], the Chamber of Commerce launched a new statewide TV ad casting Sen. Thad Cochran (R) as ‘conservative, dependable,’ and ‘one of us.’ The group is spending $500,000 to air the spot, according to FEC records.

Roll Call: “Sen. Kay Hagan’s campaign will get a boost this week on television from [liberal political action group] EMILY’s List independent expenditure arm, which will attack her GOP opponent on the airwaves. The North Carolina Democrat faces state Speaker Thom Tillis, the Republican nominee, in one of the most competitive and expensive elections this cycle….It features a teacher… ‘I have to buy supplies for my classroom. And my classroom is getting a lot more crowded,’ she says. ‘Speaker Thom Tillis cut almost $500 million from education causing crowded classrooms, and forcing teachers to pay more out-of-pocket for school supplies, while Tillis protected tax breaks for yachts and jets,’ she adds. The ad buy is in the high six-figures, according to EMILY’s List, and will run on broadcast and cable in Charlotte, Raleigh, and Greensboro Monday through the end of June. It’s part of a $3 million campaign in North Carolina that will include mail and online advertising, in addition to television.”

In the Louisiana Senate race, Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., is out with “part 3” of a series of TV ads featuring playful back-and-forth with her father, former New Orleans Mayor Moon Landrieu. The ad has the senator “yes siring” as Dad recites the social welfare programs she supports.

Montana Democratic incumbent Sen. John Walsh claimed he was the better choice for voters looking to reduce federal spending in his first debate with challenger Rep. Steve Daines, R-Mont., and Libertarian nominee Roger Roots. Get the synopsis and watch highlights from KRTV.

WaPo: “Democrats, Republicans and the outside groups funding massive television blitzes have spent more than $100 million on television time to air general-election ads in battleground states critical to winning control of the Senate, according to public documents filed with television stations nationwide.”

Republicans are hoping to pick up an additional six seats to gain control of the Senate this November. Which Democrat-held seats will prove to be the most likely flips for the red team? The current consensus among Fox News First readers: Arkansas, Montana, Louisiana, South Dakota, North Carolina and West Virginia. “Better pick seven,” Reader Billy Vaughn says, noting the race in Georgia to fill retiring Republican Sen. Saxby Chambliss’s seat, “Can’t trust these Georgia voters not to vote for [Democratic candidate] Michelle Nunn.”

Share your top six picks. Email them – just your top six, please – to FOXNEWSFIRST@FOXNEWS.COM or tweet @cstirewalt

Rep. Mike Coffman, R-Colo., knows he has a battle on his hands to keep ahold of his seat in the suburban Denver district he represents. But how will that high-intensity race against Democrat Andrew Romanoff affect and be affected by the competitive Senate and gubernatorial races in Colorado this year? Coffman joins “Power Play with Chris Stirewalt” to discuss his race and its implications. Watch here.

Would you lend someone $17,000 for their business? What if they told you that you would get free burritos? Mhmm. That’s what we thought. The investors behind new, London-based Mexican food chain Chilango are looking to raise more than $5 million in a hurry, and while their offer includes repayment with 8 percent interest, it’s the free burritos that are getting the attention. Inc. reports on the “burrito bond” that gives investors a free burrito each week for the four-year duration of the loan and “a coupon for two burritos upon subscribing.”

Chris Stirewalt is digital politics editor for Fox News. Want FOX News First in your inbox every day? Sign up here.

Chris Stirewalt joined Fox News Channel (FNC) in July of 2010 and serves as politics editor based in Washington, D.C. Additionally, he authors the daily Fox News Halftime Report political news note and co-hosts the hit podcast, Perino & Stirewalt: I'll Tell You What. He also is the host of Power Play, a feature video series on Stirewalt makes frequent appearances on network programs, including America’s Newsroom, Special Report with Bret Baier and Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace. He also provides expert political analysis for FNC’s coverage of state, congressional and presidential elections.