The Note’s Must-Reads for Thursday, May 12, 2011

By Jayson

May 12, 2011 4:43am

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

PRESIDENT OBAMA / FOREIGN AFFAIRS:
New Daily News’ Aliyah Shahid: “President Obama's Approval Rating Hits Two-Year High Following U.S. Raid on Osama Bin Laden” It's amazing what killing the world's most-wanted terrorist will do for a president's poll numbers. President Barack Obama's approval rating has jumped to 60%, hitting a two-year high, according to a new Associated Press-GfK poll. The survey — fresh off the heels of the U.S. killing of Al Qaeda chief Osama Bin Laden on May 1 – also shows that more than half of Americans believe Obama deserves to win a second term in the White House. LINK

The New York Times’ Mark Landler: “Obama Seeks Reset in Arab World” For President Obama, the killing of Osama bin Laden is more than a milestone in America’s decade-long battle against terrorism. It is a chance to recast his response to the upheaval in the Arab world after a frustrating stretch in which the stalemate in Libya, the murky power struggle in Yemen and the brutal crackdown in Syria have dimmed the glow of the Egyptian revolution. LINK

2012 ELECTION:
The New York Times’ Jeff Zeleny: “Weighing a White House Bid as Opening a Door to Past Pain” Cheri Daniels has made no secret of her distaste for politics. She did not campaign for her husband, Mitch Daniels, during two races for governor. She did not fully move into the governor’s mansion after his election. She has never delivered a political speech. LINK

The Wall Street Journal’s Jonathan Weisman and Patrick O’Connor: “Romney Aims to Inoculate Himself on Health Care” Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney on Thursday will address his most glaring political liability—his work as governor to establish universal health-care coverage in Massachusetts—in a speech aides say will attempt to shift attention to how he would replace President Barack Obama's health-care law. LINK

NATIONAL DEBT CEILING:
The Washington Post’s David Fahrenthold: “Battle over national debt ceiling has negotiation experts shaking their heads” Amateurs. That’s the frustrated conclusion that America’s professional negotiators have reached, after watching Washington’s politicians begin their own negotiation over the national debt ceiling. LINK

The Hills’ Erik Wasson and Russell Berman: “GOP Throws Right Hooks in Escalating Fight over Budget, Debt” House conservatives said Wednesday the budget deficit should be cut in half and spending should be reduced by as much as $381 billion next year in exchange for a higher debt ceiling. Separately, GOP appropriators spelled out deep non-defense spending cuts for agencies in order to meet the $46 billion in reductions promised in the House 2012 budget resolution. Appropriations also vowed to move nine of the 12 spending bills through the lower chamber by the August recess. LINK

FOREIGN AFFAIRS:
LA Times’ Michael Oren: “Middle East Peace: The Wrong Pact” The world shared the American people's gratitude for the special forces who rid us of Osama bin Laden, but there was one flagrant exception. "We condemn the assassination of an Arab holy warrior," declared Ismail Haniyeh, the prime minister of the Hamas regime in Gaza, who also deplored "the continuing American policy … of shedding Muslim blood." LINK

Bloomberg’s Jeff Bliss and Justin Blum: “Osama Bin Laden Journal Said to Outline Plots” Osama bin Laden outlined his thinking for mounting attacks with mass casualties and playing U.S. politicians off one another in a handwritten journal, letters and other documents recovered by the Navy SEALs who killed the al-Qaeda leader, a U.S. official said.  Bin Laden used the journal, which is between 10 to 20 pages long, to brainstorm ideas about making attacks more deadly and choosing specific targets, such as trains, the official said. LINK

USA Today’s Fredreka Schouten: “Pakistan, Libyan rebels tap into lobbying firms” Within weeks of the first protests in February, Libyan forces opposed to Col. Moammar Gadhafi moved swiftly to establish a transitional government to challenge his authority. LINK

ELECTIONS:
ABC News: “Newt Gingrich Announces 2012 Presidential Campaign via Twitter” Newt Gingrich, the architect behind the 1994 Republican revolution, officially announced he's running for president via Twitter. Gingrich, a former House speaker, is the first major candidate to declare a run for president with a tweet. "Today I am announcing my candidacy for President of the United States. You can watch my announcement here. he wrote to his 1.3 million followers on Twitter. LINK

OTHER:
Politico’s Dan Berman: “Four things to watch when Big Oil testifies” It’s a tradition in Washington: the annual Capitol Hill version of the perp walk for Big Oil. This time, Senate Democrats are hauling the top executives of five major private oil companies to the Finance Committee to rap them on the knuckles for making so much money — and benefiting from U.S. tax incentives — while charging hardworking Americans $4 for a gallon of gas.  LINK

The Boston Globe’s Noah Bierman: “House approves probation overhaul” The Massachusetts House unanimously passed a bill yesterday intended to eliminate patronage in the state Probation Department, but rejected Governor Deval Patrick’s demand that he be given control of the troubled agency. The measure, which would allow state judges to retain control of the Probation Department, passed by a veto-proof 152-0 margin, giving the Legislature a huge boost in its power struggle with the governor over how best to repair the department. LINK

ABC NEWS VIDEOS:
“Mick Mulvaney: 'Level Playing Field' on Subsidies” LINK
“Md. Governor Takes on NJ Counterpart” LINK
“Newt Gingrich Announces Race Via Twitter” LINK

BOOKMARKS:
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