The Note’s Must-Reads for Monday, April 25, 2011

By Jayson

Apr 25, 2011 3:51am

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, Claudia Morales, Jacqueline Fernandez and Amanda VanAllen

PRESIDENT OBAMA:
Bloomberg’s Julianna Goldman: “Obama drafting possible U.S. sanctions against Syrian officials” The Obama administration is considering options to hold Syrian President Bashar al-Assad accountable for the increasingly violent crackdown against anti- government protesters, including possible sanctions, an administration official said. One of the options under consideration is an executive order for President Barack Obama to sign that would institute sanctions against Syrian officials, the administration official said, speaking on the condition of anonymity. LINK

TERRORISM:
The Washington Post’s Peter Finn: “WikiLeaks discloses new details on whereabouts of al-Qaeda leaders on 9/11” On Sept. 11, 2001, the core of al-Qaeda was concentrated in a single city: Karachi, Pakistan. At a hospital, the accused mastermind of the bombing of the USS Cole was recovering from a tonsillectomy. Nearby, the alleged organizer of the 2002 bombing in Bali, Indonesia, was buying lab equipment for a biological weapons program. LINK

HOUSE / SENATE:
The New York Times’ Carl Hulse: “Lawmakers Seek to Unclog Road to Confirmation” Hoping to unclog the Senate and spare scores of presidential appointees from what is often a grueling confirmation process, leading lawmakers in both parties are moving to cut the number of administration posts that are subject to Senate approval. LINK

The Washington Time’s Ben Wolfgang: “’Moribund’” Senate frustrates members from both parties” A few days after 10 of his colleagues wrapped up a trip to the Asian gambling hub Macau, Sen. Mark Kirk warned that the Senate has become “moribund” and is not doing enough to address the nation’s many challenges. LINK

DEBT LIMIT:
The Wall Street Journal’s Jamilia Trindle: “Republicans Skeptical on Raising Debt Limit” Two Illinois Republicans said Sunday they aren’t buying the Obama administration’s argument that the federal debt limit ought to be raised without a fuss. LINK

2012 ELECTION:
Newsweek’s Lloyd Grove: “’Fat Redneck’ for President” Haley Barbour lugs more than his share of baggage into the Republican presidential arena. In an age that favors optics, he looks every second of his 63 years, is recovering from back surgery, and is overweight to the point where even he jokes about being a “fat redneck.” At a time when voters are suspicious of Washington’s unholy alliance with Wall Street and big business, he’s grown rich as a corporate lobbyist, carrying water for the tobacco and oil industries, among other powerful interests. LINK

The Boston Globe’s Matt Viser: “For Obama team, a Mass. touch” For the 10-year-old, the conversation with her father had turned uncommonly serious, even if the topic, politics, was a family staple. “If you leave the Democratic Party,’’ he told her, “you will be leaving your people.’’ Nearly a quarter-century later, Jennifer O’Malley Dillon is still with her people. O’Malley Dillon — who grew up in Franklin, Mass., took her first campaign job working on Scott Harshbarger’s bid to become Massachusetts governor in 1998 and  is now deputy campaign manager in President Obama’s reelection campaign. LINK

OTHER:
The Hills’ Alicia M. Cohn: “State Department Shifts Digital Resources to Social Media” With little fanfare, the State Department has abandoned America.gov – an ambitious digital project launched three years ago to promote Democracy abroad – and shifted its resources to social media projects.  A message on the front page of America.gov forms visitors that as of March 31 is not being updated and will be archived. A notice directs visitors seeking information on U.S. foreign policy to the range of U.S. embassy and consulate websites or State.gov. LINK

Politico’s Marin Cogan: “Freshmen feel the heat back home“ Any lawmaker in a swing district can expect to take criticism from his right flank at a town hall meeting. But at an American Veterans outpost tucked deep in the Pocono Mountains this week, freshman Republican Rep. Lou Barletta took heat from every direction — from Democrats angry with the tax cuts in the GOP budget, to conservatives who thought he caved on the last continuing resolution vote, to a precocious 16-year-old critical of the lawmaker’s environmental record. LINK

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