The Note’s Must-Reads for Monday, April 18, 2011

By Jayson

Apr 18, 2011 4:51am

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 Jayce Henderson, Jacqueline Fernandez and Amanda VanAllen

PRESIDENT OBAMA:
The New York Times’ Mark Landler and Helene Cooper: “President Heads West to Sell His Deficit Plan” After weeks of tussling and political gamesmanship in Congress over federal spending, President Obama will take his message on the road this week, traveling to the West Coast to promote his deficit-cutting plan. LINK

FOREIGN AFFAIRS:
The Washington Post’s Craig Whitlock: “U.S. secretly backed Syrian opposition groups, cables released by WikiLeaks show” The State Department has secretly financed Syrian political opposition groups and related projects, including a satellite TV channel that beams anti-government programming into the country, according to previously undisclosed diplomatic cables. LINK

LA Times’ Rajan Menon: “The Future of Libya” The fighting in Libya has reached a stalemate: Moammar Kadafi has proved far more resilient than his adversaries anticipated, and he has also exposed the limits of what can be accomplished by war from afar. If NATO decides to end the standoff by attacking his forces with greater ferocity, there's only one nation (you guessed it) with the requisite power. LINK

BUDGET / DEBT CEILING:
The Washington Post’s Philip Rucker: “As debt ceiling vote nears, the pressure’s on House Republican freshmen” They ran against debt. They swore and swore again that they’d cut up the nation’s credit card. But now the 87 freshmen House Republicans are facing intense pressure from administration officials and even some natural allies on why they should — indeed, why they must — vote to allow the federal government to go even deeper into debt. LINK

The Wall Street Journal’s Neil Kind Jr. and Luca Di Leo: “Geithner Says GOP to Act on Debt Cap” Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said Republican leaders have assured the White House they are prepared to lift the debt ceiling in time to avoid disruptions to capital markets and a potential credit default. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said Republican leaders have assured the White House they are prepared to lift the debt ceiling in time to avoid disruptions to capital markets and a potential credit default. LINK

The Washington Times Sean Lengell: “Senate budget chief open to using Ryan plan as ‘framework’” After more than a week of harshly criticizing the Republicans’ 2012 budget plan, Democrats are cautiously signaling a willingness to compromise with Republicans on long-term spending. However, the Democratic majority in the Senate still has little enthusiasm to partially privatize Medicare and cut trillions of dollars in government programs. LINK

2012 ELECTION / OTHER:
ABC News’ Michael Falcone: “Donald Trump’s Political ‘Pit Bull’: Meet Michael Cohen” The man behind Donald Trump's possible 2012 presidential campaign is a registered Democrat who voted for Barack Obama in 2008. Not only that, but Michael Cohen, an executive at the Trump Organization who doubles as Trump's chief political adviser, once volunteered for 1988 presidential candidate Michael Dukakis and worked for a Democratic member of Congress. LINK

Politico’s Keach Hagey & Byron Tau: “Once shunned, Al-Jazeera has fans in Obama W.H.” In the halls of American power, the Arab Spring has brought Al-Jazeera in from the cold. Seven years after then-Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld called the broadcaster’s reporting “vicious, inaccurate and inexcusable” and President George W. Bush joked about bombing it, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton praised it as “real news” in her recent Senate testimony. LINK

The New York Daily News’ Lukas Alpert: “Donald Trump refers to LaGuardia Airport as ‘third world’, says he’s bigger than Mitt Romney” Now it's The Donald versus New York. With his poll numbers up, the perpetual publicity hound sought to gain further traction Sunday by attacking his hometown – dismissing LaGuardia Airport as "Third World." LINK

ABC NEWS’ VIDEOS:
Donald Trump for President?LINK
America’s Fiscal FutureLINK

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