The Note’s Must-Reads for Tuesday, March 29, 2011

By Jayson

Mar 29, 2011 4:47am

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, Jacqueline Fernandez and Jordan Manor

PRESIDENT OBAMA / FOREIGN AFFAIRS:
ABC News’ George  Stephanopoulos: “Cost of Libya Intervention $600 Million for First Week, Pentagon Says” One week after an international military coalition intervened in Libya, the cost to U.S. taxpayers has reached at least $600 million, according figures provided by the Pentagon.  U.S. ships and submarines in the Mediterranean have unleashed at least 191 Tomahawk cruise missiles from their arsenals to the tune of $268.8 million, the Pentagon said. LINK

ABC News Karen Travers and Z. Byron Wolf: “Obama Libya Speech: U.S. ‘Interests and Values’ at Risk” President Obama defended U.S. military involvement in Libya this evening as a necessary humanitarian intervention, acknowledging that while America's security was not threatened, U.S. "interests and values" were at stake.  "Mindful of the risks and costs of military action, we are naturally reluctant to use force to solve the world's many challenges," the president said in remarks at the National Defense University in Washington, D.C.  LINK    

The Hill’s Michael O’Brien: “Obama: Libya is no Iraq” President Obama defended his military intervention in Libya in a Monday-night address to the nation that argued it would have been a “betrayal to who we are” not to prevent mass slaughter at the hands of Col. Moammar Gadhafi.  Obama hailed the Libyan effort as a successful, limited military operation carried out as part of an international campaign, and reiterated his promise that U.S. ground troops would not be committed to a third war in the Middle EasT. LINK

LA Times’ David Zucchino: “Libyan rebels stopped short of Surt” After advancing swiftly westward over the weekend, rebel fighters were halted abruptly Monday by stiff resistance from government forces east of the government garrison city of Surt. Fighters returning from the newly established front lines said forces loyal to Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi attacked rebels with rockets several miles east of "Gate 80," a well-defended military position about 50 miles east of Surt. LINK

The New York Times’ Helene Cooper: “Obama Cites Limits of U.S. Role in Libya” President Obama defended the American-led military assault in Libya on Monday, saying it was in the national interest of the United States to stop a potential massacre that would have “stained the conscience of the world.” LINK

The Washington Post’s Scott Wilson: “Obama: U.S. had responsibility to act in Libya” President Obama delivered a broad defense Monday of his decision to intervene in Libya and of his leadership style, arguing that the United States has a strategic interest in preventing the killing of civilians around the world and that it must do so in partnership with other nations. LINK

The Washington Post’s Greg Jaffe and Karen DeYoung: “U.S. deploys low-flying attack planes in Libya” The U.S. military dramatically stepped up its assault on Libyan government ground forces over the weekend, launching its first missions with AC-130 flying gunships and A-10 attack aircraft designed to strike enemy ground troops and supply convoys. LINK

USA Today’s Mimi Hall: “Obama cites ‘responsibility’ of U.S. in Libya intervention” President Obama cast U.S. military intervention in Libya in stark strategic and humanitarian terms Monday, saying he would not stand by while the democratic aspirations spreading across the Middle East were "eclipsed by the darkest form of dictatorship" at the hands of a murderous Moammar Gadhafi. LINK

The Washington Time’s Kara Rowland: “’Deadly advance’ Obama’s trigger” President Obama said Monday that a U.S.-led coalition has staved off a humanitarian disaster at the hands of Col. Moammar Gadhafi, has stopped his troops’ “deadly advance” toward rebel positions, and will turn over control this week to NATO, which is broadening its mission to include protecting civilians on the ground. LINK

Bloomberg’s Ola Galal and Alaa Shahine: “Qaddafi Hometown Readies for Battle as Obama Defends Move” Libyan government troops dug in with tanks to block the advancing rebels at Sirte, Muammar Qaddafi’s hometown, as President Barack Obama defended his decision to involve U.S. forces in the war. Military intervention “stopped Qaddafi’s deadly advance” and helped prevent a massacre of civilians that would have “stained the conscience of the world,” Obama said in a speech at the National Defense University in Washington late yesterday.  LINK

The Boston Globe’s Donovan Slack and Farah Stockman: “Brutality in Libya required swift action, Obama says”US attacks on Libya are essential to prevent Moammar Khadafy from slaughtering his citizens and destabilizing a vital region, President Obama asserted last night in an address that sought to clarify the mission’s goals and counter concerns its beginning was clumsily executed and its end is uncertain. LINK

Politico’s Ben Smith: “Obama's Libya speech: Searching for the Obama doctrine” President Barack Obama answered questions about America’s mission in Libya Monday night with a 27-minute address that focused narrowly on “this particular country, Libya, at this particular moment” and shied away from making sweeping statements about America’s role in the world, the larger principles that guide his decisions on using force or about the U.S. response to the unfolding Arab Spring. LINK

GOVERNMENT SHUTDOWN:
The Wall Street Journal’s Carol E. Lee and Janet Hook: “Government Shutdown Grows Likelier” Talks between congressional leaders and the White House on a deal to fund the government for the rest of the year appear to have slowed, with Democrats and Republicans loudly bickering over the fate of their negotiations. LINK

ECONOMY / BUDGET:
The Hill’s Erik Wasson: “Seeking to corner GOP, White House offers $20B more in spending cuts” Tensions between Senate Democrats and House Republicans over an impending government shutdown rose Monday as the White House worked to finalize a new offer on spending cuts.  The proposal being put together under the direction of White House Chief of Staff Bill Daley would cut an additional $20 billion from this year’s spending on top of the $10 billion already cut by two short-term continuing resolutions, sources close to the talks said.  LINK

LA Times’ Mark Z. Barabak: “Voters mirror Congress in disagreement about budget cuts” For weeks, President Obama has been locked in a fierce budget fight with Republican lawmakers demanding big cuts to slash the federal deficit. Without a deal, much of the federal government could soon shut down.  Here in the Denver suburbs, the battleground portion of a battleground state, agreement among voters on where to cut, what to cut, how much and how quickly seems just as elusive.  LINK

ABC NEWS VIDEOS:
“Obama’s Full Address on Libya” LINK

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