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TPMDC Morning Roundup

Gates: Congress 'Part Of The Problem' On Afghan Civilian Aid Effort
The Associated Press reports: "Defense Secretary Robert Gates is calling for a 'change in attitude' on Capitol Hill in getting more civilian help in Afghanistan. Gates told an audience in San Francisco that resources given to the State Department for work in the war zone are 'woefully inadequate' and that Congress is 'part of the problem.' Gates noted that lawmakers approved the entire $550 billion budget he asked for this year, but shaved a few billion off the $50 billion Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton had requested."

DeMint's New Focus: Directing Dollars To Favored Candidates
CQ reports: "Sen. Jim DeMint ran up a successful record with the candidates he endorsed in Republican primaries. Now he's shifting his focus to the general election and preparing to support his favored Senate nominees with new and expanded fundraising initiatives. Through his Senate Conservatives Fund political action committee, the South Carolina Republican through Aug. 4 had directed more than $2 million in bundled contributions and independent expenditures to the various Senate primary candidates he has backed during this election cycle."

Sen. Schumer: 'Sour' Electorate Reluctant To Give Dems Credit
The Hill reports: "'Sour' voters reluctant to award Democrats for their legislative success are one of the reasons the party is trailing in the polls, according to Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.). But Senate leaders will keep trying to change that with a jobs-based September agenda, the Senate Democratic Conference vice chairman said Thursday. Asked why the Democrats are still expected to lose seats in November after passing major bills like healthcare reform, credit card reform, a fair-pay act and Wall Street reform, Schumer said voters are frustrated and don't feel the effects of the legislation."

Bush Surprises Returning Troops
Former President George W. Bush and former First Lady Laura Bush greeted a flight of troops returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport, CNN reports: "A spokesman for Bush, David Sherzer, said they were 'honored' to take part in the welcome. 'President Bush often says that he doesn't miss much about being the President, but he does miss being the Commander in Chief of an incredible group of men and women,' he said."