The Note’s Must-Reads for Monday, February 7, 2011

Feb 7, 2011 5:51am

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, JAYCE HENDERSON, CLAUDIA MORALES, and CARRIE HALPERIN

PRESIDENT OBAMA
USA Today’s Richard Wolf and Mimi Hall: “Obama to address U.S. Chamber of Commerce” When President Obama addresses the U.S. Chamber of Commerce for the first time today, he will face hundreds of business leaders happier about his recent rhetoric but still dissatisfied with his record. LINK

The Hill’s John T. Bennet “Obama: I'm not moving to center” President Obama on Sunday dismissed the notion that his administration in recent weeks has pivoted toward the political center to raise his approval ratings as the 2012 campaign nears. LINK

INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS
ABC News’ Sara Just: “Sarah Palin Blasts Obama's Handling of Egypt” Sarah Palin blasted the Obama administration's handling of the Egypt crisis on Saturday in an interview with the Christian Broadcasting Network.  LINK

ABC News’ Josh Miller and Huma Khan: “As Opposition Groups Meet, Egyptian Leader Calls for Normalcy” The new vice president of Egypt has a potent message for all those protestors in Cairo: go home and let things go back to "normal." LINK

The Los Angeles Times’ Kim Murphy: “Around Cairo, some semblance of normality returns” Protesters are still camped out in Tahrir Square, but in other areas, as banks and stores reopen, residents begin to return to the routines of daily life.  But barely half a mile away, where Tahrir Street spills into the teeming middle-class neighborhood of Dokki, the dense cacophony of a typical Cairo afternoon had settled, like the day's warm and calming rain, over the upheavals of the week before. LINK

The Washington Post’s Joby Warrick and Scott Wilson: “Egypt diplomacy: White House races to keep pace with events put in motion by protests” All week, events in Egypt had churned so rapidly it was hard to keep up, even for a U.S. secretary of state who travels with a phalanx of BlackBerry-wielding aides. When Hillary Rodham Clinton departed Washington late Friday for a conference in Germany, the Egyptian capital was peaceful and the government appeared to be moving toward negotiations with protesters.  LINK

The Los Angeles Times’ Laura King and Ned Parker: “Muslim Brotherhood joins talks on Egypt crisis; departure of Hosni Mubarak remains sticking point” The inclusion of the banned Muslim Brotherhood in negotiations between Vice President Omar Suleiman and regime opponents is seen as significant. The government offers new concessions, but demonstrators stand by their demand for the quick exit of President Hosni Mubarak. LINK

Bloomberg’s Vivian Salama and Glen Carey: “Mubarak Divides Egypt Opposition Parties to Carry Out Mandate” Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, who may have won concessions yesterday allowing him to serve the rest of his mandate, did so with the same tactics that kept him in office since 1981: Divide and conquer the opposition. “The regime is really good at what it does,” said Shadi Hamid, director of research at the Brookings Doha Center.  LINK

The New York Daily News’ Eric Watson “Sarah Palin: I don't trust we know true motives of protesters in Egypt” Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin says she is skeptical of the true motives of the protesters demonstrating in Cairo. LINK

HEALTH CARE
The Boston Globe’s Kay Lazar: “More get waivers of health insurance” Massachusetts regulators granted more exemptions last year to residents who said they could not afford the health insurance required by the state, waiving the tax penalty for more than half of those who appealed, according to state data. Of the 2,637 people who applied, 63 percent received an exemption with 107 cases pending, up from 44 percent the previous year. LINK

Newsweek’s Ezra Klein: “The Justice Will See You Now” As of now, Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy is the most pivotal health-care policy thinker in America. Following district court Judge Roger Vinson’s Jan. 31 ruling that declared President Obama’s health-care-reform law unconstitutional, the plan has a solid 2–2 record in the federal courts: two district judges have ruled for it, and two against. The odds are very good that it will eventually wind up in the Supreme Court. And once it gets there, odds are the bill’s fate will come down to one person: Justice Kennedy. LINK

OTHER
The Wall Street Journal’s Conor Dougherty and Amy Merrick: “Governors Chop Spending” Governors around the U.S. are proposing to balance their states' budgets with a long list of cuts and almost no new taxes, reflecting a goal by politicians from both parties to erase deficits chiefly by shrinking government. LINK

The New York Times’ Sheryl Gay Stolberg and William Neuman: “Restaurant Nutrition Draws Focus of First Lady” After wrapping her arms around the retail giant Wal-Mart and trying to cajole food makers into producing nutrition labels that are easier to understand, Michelle Obama, the first lady and a healthy-eating advocate, has her sights set on a new target: the nation’s restaurants. LINK

ABC NEWS VIDEO
Rand Paul: 'I'm Not Singling Out Israel' LINK
Crisis in Egypt: Face to Face With Hosni Mubarak LINK

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