The Note’s Must-Reads for Friday, February 25, 2011

By Jayson

Feb 25, 2011 3:16am

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 Jayce Henderson, Claudia Morales and Katy Conrad

FOREIGN AFFAIRS:
The New York Times’ C.J. Chivers, Alissa J. Rubin and Wesley Morgan: “U.S. Pulling Back in Afghan Valley It Called Vital to War” KABUL, Afghanistan — After years of fighting for control of a prominent valley in the rugged mountains of eastern Afghanistan, the United States military has begun to pull back most of its forces from ground it once insisted was central to the campaign against the Taliban and Al Qaeda. LINK

Politico’s Abby Phillip: “White House pursues sanctions on Libya” The White House, in coordination with European allies, plans to pursue a slate of tough economic sanctions against the Libyan government, beginning at a United Nations Security Council meeting on Friday. LINK

The Wall Street Journal’s Tom Barkley: “Trips to Colombia Add Momentum for Trade Deal” A flurry of trips by U.S. officials to Colombia has added momentum to a push by trade advocates to complete a free-trade agreement held over from the Bush administration. LINK

ECONOMY:
USA Today’s Gregory Korte: “Governors head to D.C., minds set on economy” Scott Walker, the Republican governor of Wisconsin, probably won't come. He's at home battling absentee Democratic lawmakers, unions and protesters over proposed changes to collective bargaining. LINK

REPUBLICANS:
The Washington Post’s Shailagh Murray: “Back home, GOP freshman find fiscal responsibility can be tricky business” MANCHESTER, N.H. – As the government programs fell and the tens of billions in savings piled up during the budget debate in the House last week, freshman Republican Frank Guinta was right there cutting with the rest of them. LINK

The Hill’s Russell Berman: “GOP leader faces tough audience at Harvard” House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) faced off with fervent opponents of the proposed Republican budget cuts Thursday, telling an audience at Harvard that slashing funding for popular programs was a necessary “tradeoff” in tight fiscal times. Students pushed Cantor to restore cuts to federal funding for HIV/AIDS prevention and AmeriCorps programs like Teach for America. LINK

OTHER:
ABC News’ Sunlen Miller: “Motown: Dancing In The White House” Berry Gordy, Smokey Robinson and Stevie Wonder came out to celebrate fifty years of rhythm and blues with a White House music night devoted to black history month and Motown’s effect on music and American history. “Along the way, songs like ‘Dancing in the Streets’ and ‘What’s Going On’ became the soundtrack of the civil rights era,” President Obama said in the East Room of the White House. LINK

The Washington Time’s Sean Lengell: “Shutdown’s ‘essential’ question: which workers are indispensable” As Washington and the nation brace for a possible government shutdown next week, federal agencies are scrambling to determine how many “essential” workers will stay on the job. LINK

The Hill’s Alexander Bolton: “In Al Gore revival, Senate Dems eye the lockbox for Social Security” Senate Democrats want to put the Social Security trust fund in a lockbox and insulate it from a broader budget-cutting package designed to reduce the national deficit. It’s a revival of the concept that former Vice President Al Gore (D) made famous when he sparred with George W. Bush over a proposal to invest a portion of Social Security funds in the private market. LINK

ABC NEWS VIDEO:
Brian Brown on DOMA: 'Failed to Live Up' to DutyLINK
Obama on Libya: 'The World Is Watching'LINK

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