The Note’s Must-Reads for Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Jan 18, 2011 4:01am

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, JAYCE HENDERSON, MELISSA NOEL and MOLLY HUNTER

PRESIDENT OBAMA
ABC’s Gary Langer: “Obama Lauded on Response to Tucson; More See Chance of Political Conciliation” Americans divide on the risks posed by the tone of the country's political discourse but approve overwhelmingly of President Obama's attempt to redirect it. Most also hold some hopes of political conciliation in the aftermath of the Tucson shootings. LINK

The Wall Street Journal’s Elizabeth Williamson: “Obama Launches Rule Review, Pledging to Spur Jobs, Growth” President Barack Obama plans a government-wide review of federal regulations, aiming to eliminate rules that stymie economic growth. LINK

SARAH PALIN
ABC’s John Berman: “Sarah Palin: ‘Those on the Left Hate My Message” Sarah Palin says that people on the left hate her message and will "do what they can to destroy the message and messenger," even as she insists that she will not be "sat down and shut up. In her first interview since the shootings in Arizona, Palin spoke tonight with conservative commentator Sean Hannity on Fox News, where she is also a paid contributor. LINK

The New York Times’ Jeff Zeleny: “Palin Defends Use of ‘Blood Libel’ Phrase” Sarah Palin said in a television interview on Monday evening that she agreed with bipartisan calls for civility in the wake of the Arizona shooting rampage, but she vowed to not be deterred from political debates while deciding whether to run for president. LINK

Politco’s Andy Barr: “Sarah Palin defends ‘blood libel’ use” Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin insisted Monday that she did know the definition of, and correctly used, the term “blood libel” in recently striking back at her critics. “Blood libel obviously means being falsely accused, or having blood on their hands,” Palin said in a Fox News interview with Sean Hannity. LINK

The Hill’s  Shane D’Aprile : “Palin defends ‘blood libel’ description: ‘That’s exactly what was going on’  In her first interview since accusing critics of manufacturing a "blood libel" by linking her political rhetoric to the mass shooting in Arizona, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin defended her recent video response to critics, vowing she will not be silenced. LINK

New York Daily News’ Nina Mandell: “Sarah Palin’s response to Arizona shooting earned a thumbs downs from most Americans” Sarah Palin's response to the deadly Arizona shootings fell flat with many Americans – including many of her supporters, according to a new poll. Only 30% of those surveyed in a new  ABC NEWS-Washington Post  poll approved of the way Palin responded to the deadly rampage, while 78% approved of the way President Obama handled it. Forty-six percent of people surveyed disapproved with the way Palin handled the situation. LINK

FOREIGN AFFAIRS
The Boston Globe’s Farah Stockman: “Kinder prison, swifter justice for US detainees in Afghanistan” A few months after insurgents launched a rocket attack on Kandahar’s air base, US soldiers kicked down Khan Mohammed’s door and whisked the stout, ruddy-faced 27-year-old — blindfolded and handcuffed — to an American prison near Kabul. LINK

The Washington Post’s Aaron Davis: “On final tour in Iraq, daily grind combines with goodwill missions” Officially, the yearlong mission remaining for roughly 48,000 U.S. troops in Iraq is to "advise and assist" this country's security forces. Unofficially, it is to fight off boredom and to stay alert and safe in the long, empty stretches that dominate their days. LINK

OTHER
The Hill’s Alexander Bolton: Sen. McConnel lures stars from Tea Party during Afghanistan trip. Conservatives believe Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) used a weekend trip to woo star GOP freshmen away from the Tea Party. McConnell took Sens. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Pat Toomey (R-Pa.), Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) and Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) on a high-powered weekend trip to Afghanistan and Pakistan that is being seen as a ploy by the leader to secure allies for forthcoming legislative battles. LINK

USA Today’s Fredreka Schouten: “With eyes on 2012, lawmakers kick off fundraisers” As members of Congress return to normal legislative business in the coming days, they'll also swiftly resume another activity: raising campaign cash. LINK

Newsweek’s Mickey Kaus: “Are We Sure ‘Civility’ Will Help the Democrats?” During the debate over welfare reform that consumed much of 1995 and 1996 in Congress, those who generally supported the Republican approach (ending the welfare "entitlement," imposing work requirements) had a very strong hand. Polls had consistently shown voters hated no-strings welfare. Even the Democratic president blamed welfare for sustaining a "culture of poverty." LINK

ABC NEWS VIDEO
ABC News: “Maine Governor Changes MLK Jr. Plans” Paul LePage told critics to “kiss my butt” for criticizing his record on race. LINK

ABC News: “Democrats and Republicans Playing Nice? New Session of Congress tests theme of civility. LINK

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