The Note’s Must-Reads for Thursday, December 23, 2010

Dec 23, 2010 5:10am

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

CONGRESS
ABC News’ Matthew Jaffe and Z. Byron Wolf: “Despite Bruising Election, Democrats and GOP Pass Major Legislation” With time ticking away towards Christmas and a new Congress where Republicans will have much more power, Democrats got two key victories Wednesday on a nuclear disarmament treaty and a bill to provide continuing health care for 9/11 first responders. LINK

The Hill’s Ian Swanson: “After election ‘shellacking,’ Obama racks up string of legislative wins” The post-election congressional session has been anything but lame for President Obama. LINK

The Los Angeles Times’ James Oliphant: “Senate approves New START treaty and help for 9/11 first responders” The Senate approved a nuclear arms treaty with Russia and a bill to aid Sept. 11 first responders Wednesday, wrapping up a lame-duck congressional session that left Democrats jubilant and some Republicans feeling whipsawed. LINK

PRESIDENT OBAMA
The Wall Street Journal’s Jonathan Weisman and Janet Hook: “Obama: Operation Cooperation” After two years of frequent partisan confrontation, President Barack Obama closed out the 111th Congress Wednesday by projecting himself as a force for cooperation, winning late-session victories on some of his top foreign and domestic priorities. LINK

ECONOMY
USA Today’s Daniel Wagner: “Dropouts up, but mortagage-aid program also reaches more” More troubled homeowners are dropping out of the Obama administration's main foreclosure-relief program, which has been widely criticized for failing to help more people keep their homes. LINK

DON’T ASK, DON’T TELL
The Washington Times’ Stephen Dinan: “Obama signs ‘don’t ask’ bill” Breaking a new barrier in gay rights, President Obama signed a bill Wednesday that sets in motion a repeal of the military’s ban on openly gay troops. LINK

START TREATY
The Washington Post’s Mary Beth Sheridan: “Arms treaty approval a win for Obama, but GOP critics are gaining momentum” Eleven days after the bruising midterm elections, President Obama got a stark reminder of how his political shellacking at home could undermine his standing abroad. LINK

Politico’s Scott Wong and Shira Toeplitz: “Senate ratifies START deal” The Senate voted overwhelmingly Wednesday to ratify the START arms-control agreement, delivering a final victory to the White House at the finish line of the lame-duck session. LINK

ZADROGA BILL
The New York Daily News’ Richard Sisk: “Zadroga health bill is a victory for Americans, 9/11 responders say” New York scored a victory on the Zadroga bill but America was the real winner, 9/11 responders said Wednesday. LINK

ABC NEWS VIDEO
ABC News: “911 Responders Thank Jon Stewart” Responders say, “it’s a shame” that it took Stewart “to make this an issue.” LINK

ABC News: “Obama: ‘We Are Not Doomed To This Gridlock’” President Obama says, “the most productive” post-election “in decades.” LINK

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