The Note’s Must-Reads for Thursday, April 21, 2011

Apr 21, 2011 4:08am

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 at www.abcnews.com

Compiled by ABC News Digital News Associates and Desk Assistants Jacqueline Fernandez,  Claudia Morales, Jayce Henderson and Amanda VanAllen

OBAMA
Bloomberg’s Roger Runningen and Nicholas Johnston: “Obama, at Facebook, Says U.S. Finances Are ‘Unsustainable’” President Barack Obama, on a cross- country trip to sell his deficit reduction plan, said yesterday that the nation’s finances are “unsustainable.” At a campaign-style town hall meeting at the headquarters of Facebook Inc., Obama described the House Republicans’ budget plan as “fairly radical” and said members of both political parties in Washington need to work together to start reducing the federal deficit in a “balanced way.” LINK

LA Times’ Peter Nicholas: Obama Tries to Reconnect With Youthful Supporters at Facebook Town Hall” Hoping to rekindle excitement among younger voters, President Obama spoke at a town-hall meeting hosted by Facebook on Wednesday and asked for help in beating back "radical" Republican budget proposals. He sat on a stage next to Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, who served as moderator and funneled largely friendly questions to a president who makes extensive use of social media in reaching out to voters. LINK

The Hills’ Sara Jerome: Obama Gets Warm Reception From Facebook Crowd” President Obama took his re-election pitch to Silicon Valley Wednesday in an event at Facebook headquarters in Palo Alto, Calif. Billed as a town hall meeting, and set up as an interview with questions culled from the users of Facebook, the event became more of a rally, with Obama winning generous applause from the crowd of Facebook employees and admiration from the star-struck host, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. LINK

The Wall Street Journal’s Jonathan Weisman and Carol E. Lee: “Hurdles Confront Obama’s Campaign” President Barack Obama launched a West Coast political swing here Wednesday that will fatten his campaign coffers, even as he faces new political challenges in the second official week of his re-election effort. LINK

TEA PARTY 
New York Daily News’ Aliyah Shahid: “Majority of Tea Party Supporters Oppose Cuts to Medicare, Medicaid: Poll” The government-blasting Tea Party doesn't want any changes to two of the government's biggest programs.The vast majority of Tea Party supporters – 70% – oppose cuts to Medicare and Medicaid, a new McClatchy-Marist poll found. The results are somewhat in line with the feelings of registered voters as a whole – 80% oppose proposed cuts to those entitlements. LINK

The Washington Time’s Ralph Z. Hallow: “Tea party leaves streets, hits political suites” The tea party protests and parades were much more modest this Tax Day, reflecting the grass-roots movement’s metamorphosis from the mass fist-waving demonstrations of the past two years to something much more precise and targeted — a political “smart” bomb that, for now, shows no signs of becoming a third-party movement. LINK

 

USA Today’s Susan Page: “GOP presidential hopefuls try to defuse their ‘fatal flaws’” Presidential hopeful checklist: Cultivate fundraisers. Drop by Iowa and New Hampshire. Start opining on the big issues. Defuse the pesky personal problem or past policy position that threatens to blow up your campaign. LINK

FOREIGN AFFAIRS:
ABC News’ Gary Langer: “Obama and Libya War: Criticism Grows in Poll” Disapproval of Barack Obama's handling of the situation in Libya has grown sharply in the past month, with the president facing criticism from Americans who oppose U.S. military involvement – but also from some of those who say the mission's aim is too limited. Fifty-six percent support the U.S. military involvement overall, but many fewer, 42 percent, approve of Obama's handling of the situation. While his approval has held nearly steady, disapproval has grown by 15 points in the past month, with fewer undecided. LINK

The New York Times’ Helene Cooper: “Netanyahu Invitation Puts Obama on Spot on Peace Plan” A Republican invitation for Israel’s prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, to address Congress next month is highlighting the tensions between President Obama and Mr. Netanyahu and has kicked off a bizarre diplomatic race over who will be the first to lay out a new proposal to reopen the stalled Israeli-Palestinian peace talks. LINK

OTHER
The New York Times’ Todd Woody: “Wildlife at Risk Face Long Line at U.S. Agency” In February, the Obama administration declared the Pacific walrus to be at risk of extinction because its Arctic habitat was melting. But it declined to list the marine mammal as an endangered species, saying a backlog of other animals faced greater peril. LINK

The Washington Post’s David Fahrenthold: “Even in an era of budget cuts, these government programs won’t die” The programs sound innocuous enough: One spends federal money to store cotton bales. Another offers scholars a chance to study Asian-American relations. Two others pay to market U.S. oranges in Asia and clean up abandoned coal mines. LINK

ABC NEWS VIDEOS:
“Obama Gets Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg To Wear Tie” LINK
“BP Oil Spill: Rep. Woolsey: 'Zero' Done For Prevention” LINK
“Tea Party Congressman Give Boehner Two Thumbs Up” LINK
“Is Sarah Palin Donald Trump's Defender?” LINK

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