The Note’s Must-Reads for Wednesday, March 30, 2011

By Jayson

Mar 30, 2011 3:55am

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 / LIBYA:
ABC News’ Karen Travers: “President Obama on Moammar Gadhafi: ‘The Noose Is Tightening” President Obama believes that Libyan strongman Moammar Gadhafi's inner circle is realizing that the "noose is tightening, that their days are numbered."  The president spoke with ABC News anchor Diane Sawyer one day after addressing the nation on his reason for joining with NATO and other allies in imposing a no-fly zone over Libya and suggested that it is pressuring Gadhafi into stepping down. LINK

LA Times’ Henry Chu: “International conference in London plots Libya future” With the U.S. handing off responsibility for military action in Libya, scores of diplomats and international officials gathered in London to start plotting the country's future and declared their resolve to maintain pressure on Moammar Gadhafi until he stops attacking his own people.  But there were no Libyans included in the blue-ribbon guest list Tuesday.  LINK 

NY Daily News’ Jonathan Lemire: “President Obama takes Manhattan” A few minutes before 7 p.m., DNC Chairman – and former Virginia governor – took the microphone to welcome guests to the fundraiser at Harlem's Red Rooster restaurant. Kane praised POTUS and thanked the 50 donors for attending the dinner.  "How [Obama] has dealt with what he's been challenged has been incredible," said Kane, who called POTUS' administration a "transformative" presidency." LINK

Bloomberg’s Nicholas Johnston and Hans Nichols: “Obama Says ‘Days Are Numbered’ for Qaddafi’s Regime in Libya” President Barack Obama said Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi’s reign is nearing its end under pressure from sanctions and the intervention of an international military force. The “noose has tightened” around Qaddafi as “people around him are starting to recognize that their options are limited and their days are numbered,” Obama said on the “CBS Evening News,” one of three interviews he gave to broadcast networks yesterday.  LINK

The Boston Globe’s Farah Stockman: “Top Khadafy aide helped craft deal with local firm He is Moammar Khadafy’s brother-in-law and his most trusted aide, convicted in absentia for the 1989 bombing of a French airliner and implicated in the 1996 massacre of 1,200 Libyan political prisoners. But in 2006, Abdullah Al Sanusi was also the man who arranged the services of a noted Cambridge consulting firm in a very different project: revamping Libya’s reputation on the world stage. LINK

USA Today’s Catalina Camia: “Obama team opposes Boehner’s school vouchers bill” The Obama administration "strongly opposes" a bill championed by House Speaker John Boehner that would revive and expand vouchers for low-income students in the District of Columbia. LINK

FORECLOSURES:
The New York Times’ Michael Powell and Andrew Martin: “Foreclosure Aid Fell Short, and Is Fading” Last summer, as President Obama’s premier plan to save millions of Americans from foreclosure foundered, the administration tossed a new life preserver to homeowners. LINK

CONGRESS / BUDGET:
The Washington Post’s David Fahrenthold: “Despite pressure to reduce national debt, few in Congress use payback program” It sounds like the perfect political gesture for the moment. Congress is getting ready for an epic fight over the national debt, and House rules allow members to give back a portion of their salaries for debt reduction. LINK

The Washington Time’s Stephen Dinan: “Spending fight in Senate turns to GOP riders” Democrats said Tuesday that in an effort to find a spending compromise that would keep the government from shutting down April 8, they are willing to look at some of the legislative add-ons House Republicans tacked onto their spending-cuts bill. LINK

GOVERNMENT SHUTDOWN:
ABC News’ Matthew Jaffe and John R. Parkinson: “Shutdown Showdown: Boehner and Reid Spin Spending Debate” A breakthrough in the budget debate? Speaker of the House John Boehner and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid can finally agree on at least one thing: they cannot negotiate a long-term deal to fund the government for the rest of the fiscal year without the other’s participation.  There’s just one problem: neither party leader seems very eager to negotiate with the other one either.  LINK

GOP / DEMOCRATS:
The Washington Post’s Paul Kane: “House Republican Leaders turn to moderate Democrats for budget deal” Having difficulty finding consensus within their own ranks, House Republican leaders have begun courting moderate Democrats on several key fiscal issues, including a deal to avoid a government shutdown at the end of next week. LINK

The Hill’s Mike Lillis and John. T. Bennett: “GOP rejects Obama’s Libya explanation” President Obama’s prime-time explanation for sending U.S. forces into Libya failed to win over GOP leaders who say they still haven’t heard a clearly defined exit strategy. Republican leaders in both chambers said Tuesday that they aren’t sure whom the U.S. is trying to help in Libya, how long the military operations will last or what the ultimate objectives are. LINK

The Wall Street Journal’s Janet Hook and Carol E. Lee: “Democrats Agree to Take New Look at GOP Proposals” Democrats and the White House are considering whether they can agree to any of a series of conservative policy restrictions backed by Republicans—and opposed by most Democrats—that could help break an impasse in budget talks, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said Tuesday. LINK

OTHER:
ABC News’ Matthew Jaffe and John R. Parkinson: “GOP House Terminates Dems’ Foreclosure Prevention Program” The House of Representatives voted late Tuesday evening to end the Obama administration’s embattled foreclosure prevention program, arguing that it is wasting tens of billions of taxpayer dollars without a significant return or benefit to the struggling economy. The Republican-controlled House voted 252-170 to scrap the Home Affordable Modification Program, known as HAMP.  LINK 

The Hill’s Jordy Yager: “Senators defend civil rights of Muslim Americans, warn against unfair judgment” Senators defended the civil rights of Muslim Americans at a hearing Tuesday, warning that the community should not be unfairly judged because of the actions of a select group of people meaning to do the U.S. harm.  “Many law-abiding Muslim Americans face discrimination and charges that they are not real Americans, simply because of their religion. It’s wrong to blame the entire community for the wrongdoing of a few,” said Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.).  LINK 

LA Times’ Jeffery Fleishman: “Syrian Cabinet quits as Assad promises reform” The Syrian government resigned Tuesday as President Bashar Assad sought to stem a widening rebellion by promising to reform the police state that has kept his family in power for more than 40 years in one of the Middle East's most strategic countries.  Dissolving the Cabinet was the latest gambit by Assad to counter protests that threaten the kind of upheaval that brought down autocratic leaders in Egypt and Tunisia.  LINK

ABC NEWS VIDEOS:
Obama on Libya and Juggling Multiple CrisesLINK
Target Libya: Rebels React to Obama SpeechLINK

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