The Note’s Must-Reads for Thursday, September 30, 2010

Sep 30, 2010 3:46am

The Note's Must-Reads are a round-up of today's political headlines and stories from ABC News and the top U.S. newspapers. Posted Monday through Friday right here at


The Wall Street Journal’s Jonathan Weisman: “Loyalty to Obama Costs Democrats” Rep. Patrick Murphy, a fresh-faced rising Democratic star and loyal backer of President Barack Obama's agenda, is facing the fight of his life in a suburban Philadelphia district Mr. Obama won easily two years ago.LINK

 The Washington Post’s Anne Kornblut and Rosalind Helderman: “President Obama takes his attack on Republicans to Eric Cantor’s districtPresident Obama walked into the back yard of one of his chief congressional critics on Wednesday to continue his blunt assault on Republicans and their policies. LINK

ABC News’ Michael Falcone: “Housekeeper Nicky Diaz: Meg Whitman Treated Me Like a Piece of Garbage” California gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman today found herself battling allegations that she knowingly employed an undocumented immigrant housekeeper, failed to pay a portion of her wages and then fired her in an act of political damage control. LINK

 ABC News’ Huma Khan and Maya Srikrishnan: “Texas Governors' Race Goes National as Parties Eye Long-Term Gains” Democrats are eyeing the opportunity to recapture the Texas governor's seat for the first time in 15 years, in a race that could have an impact on national elections for years to come as the state prepares to draw up new congressional district lines. LINK

 Politico’s Jake Sherman: “Democrats struggle to define own agenda” House Democrats have spent the past week dismissing the Republican agenda, “A Pledge to America,” as a budget-busting, irresponsible return to the Bush era.  But what’s the Democratic agenda if they actually retain majorities in Congress? They don’t seem to have a quick answer. LINK

 USA Today: “Boehner as speaker of the House? Big donors think so” Powerful interests are banking on Republican John Boehner to be the next Speaker of the House, fundraising reports show. LINK

 The Boston Globe’s Matt Viser: “Middle class tax-cut backfiring on Democrats” President Obama’s urgent call for Congress to immediately extend tax breaks for the middle class was supposed to create a defining Democratic issue and cast Republicans as defenders of the rich on the eve of crucial midterm elections. Now, three weeks later, Democrats are further divided and Republicans are using the tax cut issue to their advantage. LINK

 The New York Times’ Michael Luo and Jeff Zeleny: “Democrats Find Many Big Donors Cutting Support” Many wealthy Democratic patrons, who in the past have played major roles financing outside groups to help elect the party’s candidates, are largely sitting out these crucial midterm elections. LINK

The Boston Globe’s Alan Wirzbicki: “Treasurer candidates spar over spending” State Representative Karyn Polito, the Republican nominee for state treasurer, yesterday defended her efforts to block $443 million in a midyear spending bill, saying the state needed to set aside money from the federal government instead of spending it now. LINK

 The Miami Herald’s Beth Reinhard: “Outsider ‘Super PAC’ a boost for Rubio” Oil companies and Wall Street are among the big donors to a political committee backing Republican Senate candidate Marco Rubio in Florida. LINK

 The Denver Post’s Michael Riley: “Udall Offers proposal to clear Senate’s clogged legislative pipeline” U.S. Sen. Mark Udall has joined forces with a well-known conservative thinker in a proposal to reform the clogged legislative works of the U.S. Senate, narrowing but not entirely eliminating the critical minority right to filibuster. LINK

Bloomberg’s Mark Drajem: “U.S. House United to Push China on Yuan as Frustration Mounts” Democratic and Republican U.S. lawmakers joined in sending a message that China must raise the value of its currency, as years of frustration resulted in the first legislation to pass a chamber of Congress on the issue. The House of Representatives voted yesterday for a measure that would let domestic companies petition for duties on imports from China to compensate for the effect of a weak yuan. LINK

 Newsweek’s Ben Adler: “Why is Bill Clinton So Much More Popular Than Barack Obama?” Here's a fun fact from the latest NBC/Wall Street Journal poll: Bill Clinton is the most popular political figure in the country. The former president, who never won an outright majority of the popular vote and was impeached by Congress, enjoys a 55–23 favorable/unfavorable rating. Clinton left office with an approval rating of 68 percent according to the CBS poll at the time, so his continuing popularity is not surprising. LINK

 The Washington Times’ Stephen Dinan: “Lawmakers itching to leave Hill” Leaving taxpayers hanging and next year's spending bills undone, Congress is rushing to return to the campaign trail, pausing just long enough to agree on a stopgap bill to keep the government from shutting down after Thursday. LINK

ABC News: “Obama: 'Your Taxes Have Not Gone Up’” President Obama talks about taxes during a town hall meeting in Iowa. LINK

 ABC News: “Kaptur: 'We're Not Going Back'” Rep. Marcy Kaptur D-OH., talks about the Democratic Party on "Top Line."LINK

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