The Note’s Must-Reads for Monday, January 24th, 2011

Jan 24, 2011 6:49am

Compiled by ABC News Digital News Associates and Desk Assistants JACQUELINE NG FERNANDEZ, CLAUDIA MORALES, JAYCE HENDERSON, and MOLLY HUNTER

The Washington Post’s Shailagh Murray and Lori Montgomery: “Reducing the deficit and growing the economy will be the hot topics in 2011” The debate that will define this year and is likely to set the terms for the 2012 elections began in earnest over the weekend, with President Obama and Republican leaders presenting competing visions for reducing the deficit and expanding the economy. LINK

ABC News’ Rick Klein: “’ World News’ Political Insights: Obama Rides Momentum Into Speech” It's time for a State of the Union address that wouldn't have sounded the same three months ago — and wouldn't have looked the same three weeks ago. It's time for a State of the Union address that wouldn't have sounded the same three months ago — and wouldn't have looked the same three weeks ago. LINK

The Wall Street Journal’s Jonathan Weisman: “Obama’s Address Previews 2012 Race” President Barack Obama will call for a "responsible" effort to shrink the deficit but won't offer detailed plans on spending and taxes in a State of the Union address Tuesday that will presage the broad themes for political debate through the 2012 election.LINK

The Washington Time’s Stephen Dinan: “Ryan’s star rising with Obama rebuttal” Moments after President Obama concludes his State of the Union address from the imposing podium of the House of Representatives on Tuesday night, Rep. Paul D. Ryan will deliver the GOP's answering speech from the House Budget Committee's hearing room, across the street in one of the House office buildings. LINK

The New York Times’ Sheryl Gay Stolberg: “State of Union Near, Republicans Draw Line on Spending” Congressional Republicans, seeking to recapture the debate over the country’s economic recovery in advance of President Obama’s State of the Union address, warned Sunday that they would oppose any new spending initiatives and press ahead with their plans for budget cuts in every realm of government, including the military. LINK

The Hill’s John Bennett: 20 Years After Desert Storm, Congress Defers To The Pentagon Since the swift U.S.-led victory in Operation Desert Storm, Congress largely has shown deference to Pentagon decisions on budgets, weapon programs and war plans – a trend accelerated by the 9/11 attacks, defense experts say. As former military officials and defense analysts pointed out last week, that resounding victory over Iraqi forces created celebrity generals and the nation’s fighting forces came home riding a wave of public support. LINK

USA Today’s Joan Biskupic: “Tensions rise between Supreme Court, politicians” The moment lasted about 20 seconds. But its political reverberations have endured for a year and exemplify today's knotty confluence of law, politics and public perception. LINK

The Boston Globe’s Andrea Estes: “Call for public defender overhaul” Governor Deval Patrick wants to eliminate the use of private attorneys to represent indigent defendants, an entrenched $200 million system that has been attacked as unfair by prosecutors across the state. The sweeping measure, which will be contained in the governor’s fiscal year 2012 budget, would end the state’s practice of farming out roughly 90 percent of the work defending poor clients in criminal cases. LINK

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