The Note’s Must-Reads for Thursday, June 23, 2011

By Jayson

Jun 23, 2011 3:35am

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 Jayce Henderson, Claudia Morales, and Desk Assistant Amanda VanAllen

PRESIDENT OBAMA / AFGHANISTAN:
ABC News’ Jim Sciutto, Mark Bruce and Devin Dwyer: “Obama Orders Start to US Troop Withdrawal From Afghanistan” President Obama has ordered the U.S. military to withdraw 10,000 troops from Afghanistan by the end of the year and pull out another 23,000 by the summer of 2012, part of what he called "the beginning, but not the end, of our effort to wind down this war." LINK

The New York Times’ Mark Landler and Helene Cooper: “Obama Will Speed Pullout From War in Afghanistan” President Obama declared Wednesday that the United States had largely achieved its goals in Afghanistan, setting in motion a substantial withdrawal of American troops in an acknowledgment of the shifting threat in the region and the fast-changing political and economic landscape in a war-weary America. LINK

The Boston Globe: “Mass. Lawmakers call for more aggressive withdrawal from Afghanistan” The time is now for an accelerated removal of US troops from Afghanistan, several House members from Massachusetts said tonight in reaction to President Obama’s speech detailing a gradual drawdown of forces there. LINK

The Los Angeles Times’ Michael Muskal and Michael Memoli: “Obama speech reflects unease at home after a decade of war” President Obama announced his troop withdrawal from Afghanistan on Wednesday night, but the real surprise was how much time he spent clothing his decision in domestic concerns with an eye to U.S. politics. LINK

Wall Street Journal’s Carol Lee: “Obama’s Tough Balancing Act” President Barack Obama's decision to start returning U.S. troops from Afghanistan is a gamble that that he can balance two competing realities: demands from the Pentagon that he leave enough boots on the ground to finish the job, and demands from Congress and the American public that he end the longest war in the nation's history. LINK

HOUSE / CONGRESS:
The Hill’s Russell Berman: “House sets up Friday vote on limiting funding for Libya mission” The House is expected to vote Friday on legislation to limit funding for the U.S. military mission in Libya after Republican leaders scrambled to re-write an initial proposal by Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio). LINK

The Washington Times’ Stephen Dinan: “A do-nothing Congress could solve deficit woes, CBO says” Inside the latest long-term budget analysis from Congress‘ chief scorekeeper is a stunning bit of news: If Congress did nothing, the government’s deficit problems would be mostly solved. LINK

GOP:
The Washington Post’s Nia-Malika Henderson: “GOP hopefuls stake out Afghanistan positions” As President Obama called Wednesday night for scaling down troop numbers in Afghanistan over the next year, differences over how to approach the conflict emerged among GOP presidential hopefuls, with some calling for a faster withdrawal and others arguing for a more conditions-based drawdown. LINK

Politico’s Jonathan Allen: “GOP challenges Obama’s war powers” House Republican leaders have launched the most serious challenge to the war-making power of the presidency in more than a decade, proposing to cut off funding for U.S. direct military engagement in Libya. LINK

ECONOMY / U.S. DEBT CEILING:
The Washington Post’s Neil Irwin: “Federal Reserve, acknowledging slowdown, reins in forecasts for economic growth” The economic recovery is slowing and the outlook for next year has gotten worse, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke said Wednesday, backing away from the view that the slowdown of the past few months was merely temporary. LINK

Bloomberg’s Laura Litvan and Heidi Przbyla: “Members of Biden Group Oppose Short-Term Extension of U.S. Debt Ceiling” Negotiators seeking a bipartisan plan to reduce federal deficits are focused on finding a way to agree on a long-term boost in the U.S. debt limit rather than temporary increases, a top Senate Democrat said. LINK

ABC NEWS VIDEO:
Afghanistan Troop Withdrawal: Obama Outlines PlanLINK
Albany to Vote on Same-Sex MarriageLINK

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