The Note’s Must-Reads for Friday, June 17, 2011

Jun 17, 2011 5:17am

Compiled by ABC News Digital News Associates Claudia Morales and Jacqueline Fernandez and Desk Assistant Amanda VanAllen

VICE PRESIDENT BIDEN:
The Washington Post’s Lori Montgomery: “Biden on debt-reduction talks: Negotiators ‘getting down to the real hard stuff’” After six weeks of talks with congressional leaders aimed at restraining the spiraling national debt, Vice President Biden emerged Thursday with a blunt message: Now, the hard part begins. LINK

The Hills’ Mike Lillis and Daniel Strauss: “Rep. Anthony Weiner resigns in third week of 'sexting' scandal” Buckling under pressure from his Democratic colleagues following revelations that he’d sent lewd photos to women over the Internet, Rep. Anthony Weiner said Thursday he’ll step down amid his seventh term on Capitol Hill. “Today I am announcing my resignation from Congress,” the New York Democrat said during a chaotic press conference at the senior center in Brooklyn where he announced the bid for New York City Council that launched his political career. LINK

NY Daily News’ Alison Gendar, Celeste Katz and Rich Schapiro: “Rep. Anthony Weiner's pregnant wife Huma Abedin stays out of spotlight amid husband's resignation” Once again, he was all alone. For the second time in as many weeks, Anthony Weiner's pregnant wife, Huma Abedin, steered clear of her hubby as he faced the cameras. Not a peep has come from the notoriously private Abedin since Weiner's spectacular sexting scandal broke late last month. LINK

Politico’s David Rogers: “Joe Biden: Time to ‘get real’ in deficit talks” Vice President Joe Biden said it’s time for the trading to begin in deficit-reduction talks with Congress, that neither political party can do this alone and world markets must be shown “we can handle difficult decisions” and “it has to be real.” Coming out of his third two-hour plus meeting this week with lawmakers at the Capitol, Biden predicted up to four longer sessions next week with intensified “round the clock” staff work.  LINK 

WEINER
USA Today’s Fredreka Schouten: “Rep. Anthony Weiner resigns in sexting scandal’s 3rd week” Disgraced New York  Rep. Anthony Weiner  resigned his House seat Thursday, after a nearly three-week Internet sex scandal that has left his political career in tatters and Democrats on the defensive ahead of the 2012 elections. LINK

The New York Times’ Raymond Hernandez: “Weiner Resigns in Chaotic Final Scene” Representative Anthony D. Weiner, a once-promising politician whose Brooklyn roots and scrappy style made him a leading candidate to be the next mayor of New York, resigned his seat on Thursday, ending a three-week scandal over his lewd online behavior that startled his constituents and alienated many of his colleagues.  LINK

The Washington Time’s Sean Lengell: “Weiner resigns amid sexting scandal” Embattled Rep. Anthony D. Weiner announced Thursday that he was resigning, capping a nearly three-week scandal involving his sexually charged online relationships with several women that he conceded had made it impossible for him to serve. LINK

HEALTH CARE
ABC News’ Matthew Jaffe: “Mea Culpa: Pawlenty Admits Debate Mistake” Tim Pawlenty tonight admitted that he made a mistake Monday in pulling his "ObamneyCare" punch directed at rival Mitt Romney. After coining the derisory term on "Fox News Sunday," Pawlenty opted to pull back from it at Monday's debate, despite being pressed by CNN's John King, who even went so far as to question the former Minnesota governor's guts. LINK

AFGHANISTAN
LA Times’ Ken Dilanian: “U.S. risks wasting billions more in Afghanistan aid, report says” Reviewing the multibillion-dollar U.S. aid program in Afghanistan two years ago, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton pronounced it a "heartbreaking" failure and promised to make a successful aid program the centerpiece of a revamped strategy to defeat the Taliban.Recent U.S. government reports suggest that the Obama administration instead doubled down on a flawed strategy, pouring large sums into projects that have fueled corruption, distorted local economies and left Afghanistan with technology it won't be able to maintain after NATO forces leave. LINK 

OTHER
The Washington Posts’ Peter Wallsten and Jia Lynn Yang: “White House’s Daley seeks balance in outreach meeting with manufacturers” It was supposed to be the White House’s latest make-nice session with corporate America — a visit by Chief of Staff William M. Daley to a meeting with hundreds of manufacturing executives in town to press lawmakers for looser regulations. LINK 

The Wall Street Journal’s Laura Meckler: “Key Seniors Association Pivots on Benefit Cut” AARP, the powerful lobbying group for older Americans, is dropping its longstanding opposition to cutting Social Security benefits, a move that could rock Washington's debate over how to revamp the nation's entitlement programs. LINK

ABC NEWS VIDEOS
Anthony Weiner Resigns, Audience CheersLINK
Walter Jones: Libya Action is 'Abuse of Power'” LINK
Alexandra Pelosi: 'Can't Do a Weiner Documentary'” LINK

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