The Note’s Must-Reads for Tuesday, March 8, 2011

By Jayson

Mar 8, 2011 3:29am

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 / TERRORISM:
The Washington Post’s Scott Wilson and Joby Warrick: “Obama warns Gaddafi loyalists” President Obama addressed comments directly to Moammar Gaddafi's inner circle Monday in an attempt to pressure those helping prop up the embattled Libyan dictator with a tacit threat of future criminal prosecution. LINK

The Wall Street Journal’s Evan Perez: “Obama Restarts Terrorism Tribunals” WASHINGTON—The Obama administration on Monday lifted its freeze on new military trials at Guantanamo Bay and for the first time laid out its legal strategy to indefinitely detain prisoners who the government says can't be tried but are too dangerous to be freed. LINK

Bloomberg News: “Obama Said to Pick Commerce Secretary Locke as China Envoy” President Barack Obama plans to nominate Commerce Secretary Gary Locke to be the next U.S. ambassador to China, replacing Jon Huntsman, an administration official said.  Locke, 61, who is of Chinese ancestry, is a former two-term governor of Washington and has led annual trade talks between the U.S. and China. LINK

REPUBLICANS / TEA PARTY:
The New York Times’ Lizette Alvarez and Gary Fineout: “Florida Republicans at Odds with Their Leader” Rick Scott, the conservative Republican billionaire who plucked the governor’s job from the party establishment in November with $73 million of his own money and the backing of the Tea Party, vowed during his campaign to run the troubled state like a corporate chief executive (which he was) and not a politician (which he proudly says he is not). LINK

The Boston Globe’s Matt Viser: “Life full, Huckabee not set to leap” The prayers had subsided. The choir completed a final, reverberating crescendo. Hands raised in reverence in the 2,700-seat megachurch were lowered in anticipation of the guest preacher. Mike Huckabee rose from his pew and helpfully clarified which version of himself stood before the faithful on this particular snowy Sunday — whether it was the folksy pastor, the Fox News program host, the conservative radio pundit, the prolific author, or, most intriguingly, the potential candidate considering another presidential run. LINK

Politico’s David Catanese & Molly Ball: “Nevada Republicans see gain in losing John Ensign” The departure of Republican Sen. John Ensign — along with the considerable baggage of an affair and an ongoing Senate ethics inquiry — enhances Republican chances of holding his Nevada Senate seat and could allow the party to avoid a messy primary fight. “I think he did it for his family, but it also benefits the party,” said Nevada GOP consultant Ryan Erwin. LINK

SENATE / BUDGET:
LA Times’ Lisa Mascaro: “Senate faces ticking clock in budget standoff” Facing another fast-approaching deadline to avert a government shutdown, the Senate is set to vote as early as Tuesday on competing budget proposals — both expected to fail — as public and private talks to resolve the stalemate grind on.  Each week deepens the complexity surrounding the standoff and complicates the negotiations as Congress approaches other debates over the nation's debt capacity, entitlement spending and tax policy.  With 10 days until short-term funding for the government runs out, the Senate is expected to begin a series of test votes to convince rank-and-file lawmakers — particularly the “tea party” freshmen in the House — that compromise is required. LINK

The Washington Time’s Stephen Dinan: “$6 billion budget cut: A ‘limit’ for Democrats, a nick for Republicans” A top Senate Democrat said Sunday that the $6 billion in additional spending cuts that his party offered is the limit Democrats can accept — drawing a line well short of Republicans’ goal with less than two weeks to go before a government shutdown if the two sides can’t agree. LINK

GITMO:
ABC News’ Jake Tapper: “President Obama Orders Resumption of Military Commission Trials for Accused Detainees at Gitmo” President Obama today ordered the resumption of military commissions for accused terrorists at Guantanamo Bay, and issued an executive order for indefinite detention providing for a periodic review of those detainees at Guantanamo Bay.  “From the beginning of my administration, the United States has worked to bring terrorists to justice consistent with our commitment to protect the American people and uphold our values,” the president said in a statement. “Today, I am announcing several steps that broaden our ability to bring terrorists to justice, provide oversight for our actions and ensure the humane treatment of detainees.”   LINK

The Hill’s Sam Youngman and Jordy Yager: “Obama to resume military trials for detainees at Guantanamo Bay” President Obama on Monday ordered that military commission trials be resumed at Guantánamo Bay.  The move represents a defeat for Obama, who pledged to close the terrorist detention facility in Cuba within one year of taking office. The president had hoped to hold trials in federal court for many of the detainees, but ran into stiff opposition from both parties.  LINK

2012 ELECTIONS:
The Hill’s Shane D’Aprile: “Ensign helps GOP by bowing out of race” Sen. John Ensign's (R-Nev.) retirement came as welcome news on Monday for national Republicans, who have privately admitted for months the party would be better off without the scandal-plagued senator on the ticket next year.  With Ensign, who is battling ethics charges, not running, Republicans will likely get their candidate of choice — Rep. Dean Heller (R-Nev.).  The Nevada congressman was already moving toward challenging Ensign in the primary. He didn't tip his hand Monday, only saying he and his wife wish Ensign "the very best."  LINK

OTHER:
ABC News’ John R. Parkinson: “Democratic Florida Congressman Denies Sexual Harassment Charges” A Democratic congressman is denying accusations that he repeatedly sexually harassed an employee over the course of two years, calling the allegations “ludicrous” and a “lie” and vowed to be vindicated and win a lawsuit filed Monday in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.Rep. Alcee Hastings issued a statement declaring his innocence Monday afternoon after Judicial Watch, a public interest group that investigates government corruption, filed a lawsuit on behalf of Winsome Packer, a female employee who says she was repeatedly subjected to “unwelcome sexual advances,” “unwelcome touching” and retaliation.  LINK

ABC NEWS VIDEOS:
Gates Apologizes for Afghan Civilian CasualtiesLINK
Odd Couple Affleck and Cindy McCain Unite in CongoLINK

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