The Note’s Must-Reads for Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Jun 29, 2011 4:22am

Compiled by ABC News Digital News Associates and Jacqueline Fernandez, Jayce Henderson, Alicia Tejada and Desk Assistant Amanda VanAllen 

PRESIDENT OBAMA
Bloomberg’s Nicholas Johnston: “Obama News Conference Today Is Likely to Address Debt, Libya, Afghanistan” President Barack Obama will hold a news conference at 11:30 a.m. Washington time today as his administration arrives at a critical juncture in negotiations over the federal deficit and an increase in the debt ceiling. Obama also likely will address his plan for withdrawing U.S. forces from Afghanistan, the attack by the Taliban on a hotel in Kabul and the mission in Libya. It will be the president’s first solo news conference since March 11. LINK

2012 ELECTIONS
New York Daily News’ Aliyah Shahid: “Sarah Palin and President Obama both in Iowa today as 2012 election heats up” President Obama and one of his fiercest critics, Sarah Palin, will both be in Iowa Tuesday. But the politicians each insist their visit to the critical swing state isn't about electioneering. The commander-in-chief will make a stop in Bettendorf to tour the aluminum-producing Alcoa Davenport Works Factory, where he's expected to tout manufacturing as the cornerstone of America's economic success. LINK 

USA Today’s Jackie Kucinich: “Running or not, Palin draws crowds in Iowa” Upon arriving Tuesday to the premiere of a movie about her life, former Alaska governor Sarah Palin shook hands, signed autographs, talked about the importance of Iowa and said she wasn't ready to announce whether she would run for president. LINK

The New York Times’ Kate Zernike: “Power Leads to Tea part Policy Splits” When Tea Party groups celebrated their victories here in November — they had helped take the governor’s office and the legislature — it seemed that one of their priorities, school choice legislation, would have an easy time passing. LINK

NATIONAL DEBT
ABC News’ Sunlen Miller: “Debt Ceiling Clock Ticks Down as Talks Heat Up on Capitol Hill” As the calendar flips closer with each day to the Aug. 2 deadline for action on the nation's debt ceiling, today's fiercely partisan rhetoric on Capitol Hill shows that members of Congress have a lot of work to do before a deal is reached, and that both sides are digging in deeper than ever.  On the Senate floor this morning, Democrats blasted Republican leaders, saying they're "more serious about politics than deficits." LINK

The Hills’ Sam Youngman, Erik Wasson and Alicia M. Cohn: “White House, Republicans play it cool over Aug. 2 debt deadline” Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) insisted Tuesday that an Aug. 2 deadline to reach a debt-ceiling deal is artificial, while another GOP leader said it would likely be extended. The GOP maneuver — playing it cool as the deadline hurtles closer — appears to mirror that of the White House, which has taken pains to seem unhurried despite its warnings of imminent calamity. LINK

The Wall Street Journal’s Naftali Bendavid: “Debt Debate Puts GOP Freshmen in Fix” The first person to query Rep. Sean Duffy at a recent town hall meeting wanted to know if he would vote to raise the government's debt limit.  "Next question," Mr. Duffy deadpanned. LINK

MEDICARE

The Washington Post’s Rosalind Helderman and Paul Kane: “Top Democrats reject new plan to cut Medicare spending” Leading congressional Democrats immediately recoiled Tuesday from a new proposal to cut $600 billion in Medicare spending over the next decade — in part by raising the eligibility age. LINK

Politico’s J. Lester Feder: “Medicaid cuts could come from Democrats” Defenders of Medicaid have been fighting hard against Republican proposals to cut the program, but they’re just waking up to the threat of one proposed by the Obama administration. It’s an idea to change the way federal matching funds work and save money in the process — and it would probably do it by shifting costs to the states. If that happens, Medicaid advocates fear, the states will just pass on the cuts to providers and, ultimately, the patients.  LINK

FOREIGN
Los Angeles Times’ Nazir al-Abdo: “All in for freedom in Syria” My older brother, Bashir, 26, is one of the thousands of people who have been detained by Bashar Assad’s regime in recent weeks. At first, we didn't know what had happened to him. He and two friends had been missing since they went to the northern city of Jisr Al Shoughur on June 10 to secretly film the protests and the army crackdown there. Then, last week, I was watching Syrian state television when my brother suddenly came on the screen. A caption underneath his image said he had confessed to subversive activities. LINK

The Washington Post’s Paul Kane: “Libya mission brings John McCain and John Kerry together again” For 25 years, war has fortified — and nearly destroyed — the ties binding John McCain and John F. Kerry. The two senators, who returned from Vietnam on opposite ends of the war and who split over Iraq, have in recent weeks come together to try to forge a new American foreign policy for the rapidly changing Arab world. LINK

Washington Time’s Stephen Dinan: “Senate panel OKs use of force in Libya” The Senate Foreign Relations Committee voted Tuesday to back President Obama’s deployment of U.S. forces to Libya in a strong bipartisan vote that delivered a critical boost to a White House that has found itself under assault from Capitol Hill. LINK

ABC NEWS VIDEOS
Fred Karger to Michele Bachmann: Do Your HomeworkLINK
Gaffe Factory: Michele Bachmann's Campaign FlubsLINK
Gabrielle Giffords Stands Before CrowdLINK

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