The Note’s Must-Reads for Friday, December 24, 2010

Dec 24, 2010 3:11am

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 www.abcnews.com

Compiled by ABC News Digital News Associates and Desk Assistants JACQUELINE NG FERNANDEZ, CLAUDIA MORALES AND JACOB BECKMAN

PRESIDENT OBAMA ADMINISTRATION
The New York Time’s Jeff Zeleny: “Obama is Set to Shuffle His StaffLINK  President Obama is planning the first major reorganization of his administration, preparing to shuffle several positions in the West Wing as he tries to fortify his political team for the realities of divided government and his own re-election.

SENATE
The Wall Street Journal’s Evan Perez: “Many Judicial Picks Aren’t Confirmed” The Senate failed to vote on 19 federal judicial nominees in the 111th Congress, with Republican objections holding up several of President Barack Obama's notable picks.  LINK

CONGRESS
USA Today’s John Fritze: “Congress hits stride at end of ‘lame duck’ session” Despite partisan rancor and a recent election that shifted power to the Republicans, lawmakers left Capitol Hill on Wednesday for Christmas after giving President Obama almost everything on his wish list. LINK

The Washington Post’s Shankar Vedantam: “Passing of DREAM Act is very unlikely in next Congress, Republicans say” Congressional Republicans are pronouncing President Obama’s proposal that the next Congress overhaul the country's immigration laws as dead before arrival.  LINK

Bloomberg’s Matt Viser: “Brown draws ire on the right” Senator Scott Brown’s decision to buck his party leadership in recent days on the “don’t ask, don’t tell’’ military policy and on a nuclear arms treaty has set off a new wave of anger among some of the activists who helped elect him — and renewed talk among conservatives that he might face a primary challenge. LINK

The Washington Times’ Stephen Dinan: “’We the people’ to open next Congress” The Constitution frequently gets lip service in Congress, but House Republicans next year will make sure it gets a lot more than that – the new rules the incoming majority party proposed this week call for a full reading of the country's founding document on the floor of the House on Jan. 6. LINK

ABC News’ Gregory Simmons: “Dirty Money, Dysfunction and Disappointment: Retiring Members Dish on the Congress They Leave Behind” In an ABC News exclusive interview, four retiring representatives sat down with senior political correspondent Jonathan Karl for a candid look at their time in the U.S. Congress. LINK

The Hill’s Alexander Bolton: “Specter: Political courage lacking among colleagues on Capitol Hill” Sen. Arlen Specter, the Republican-turned-Democrat from Pennsylvania who is retiring from the Senate after a 30-year career, says that many of his colleagues lack the political courage to take tough votes. LINK

OTHER
Politico’s Carrie Budoff Brown: “Lamar Smith avoids hard line on immigration” If conservatives expected Republican Rep. Lamar Smith to champion the most controversial anti-immigration measures when he takes control of the House Judiciary Committee next month, they’re in for a surprise. LINK

The Los Angeles Times’ Seema Mehta: “California says census missed 1.5 million residents” California officials estimate that the U.S. Census Bureau failed to count 1.5 million of the state's residents, a discrepancy that if true could cost the state billions of dollars in federal aid over the next decade and perhaps an increase in its representation in Congress. LINK

The New York Daily News’ Nina Mandell: “After Rome attacks, authorities warn Americans to be vigilant of Christmas terror attacks” After a wave of parcel bombs hit Rome on Wednesday, the White House warned Americans to be on high alert for terror attacks in the U.S. as the holiday weekend begins and Americans overseas to hand over any suspicious packages to police. LINK

ABC NEWS VIDEO
ABC News: “Biden: Legalizing Pot Is a Mistake” The vice president pushed back against Pat Robertson’s call to legalize pot. LINK

ABC News: “Bo Obama Kicks Back In Hawaii” The first dog begins his 11-day vacation with a trip to the beach and a run. LINK

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