The Note’s Must-Reads for Thursday, September 15, 2011

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

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

PRESIDENT OBAMA: The Washington Times’ Dave Boyer: “ Obama targets Republicans for blocking Dream Act” President Obama told an Hispanic audience Wednesday night he will do “everything in my power” to enact the Dream Act, which would prevent the deportation of illegal immigrants studying at American colleges or having served in the military. LINK

The Washington Post’s Carol Leonnig and Steven Mufson: “ Obama green-tech program that backed Solyndra struggles to create jobs” A $38.6 billion loan guarantee program that the Obama administration promised would create or save 65,000 jobs has created just a few thousand jobs two years after it began, government records show. LINK

The Wall Street Journal’s Carol E. Lee and Laura Meckler: “ Obama Plan Won’t Include Changes to Social Security” President Barack Obama’s new deficit-reduction proposal will leave out changes to Social Security, and may exclude any increase in the Medicare eligibility age, people familiar with the discussions said Wednesday. “As the president has consistently said, he does not believe that Social Security is a driver of our near- and medium-term deficits,” White House spokeswoman Amy Brundage said in a statement.   LINK

The Los Angeles Times’ Peter Nicholas: “ Obama sinking in North Carolina, but he hasn’t written it off” When Robert Gibbs, then a Barack Obama campaign aide, went to bed on election night in 2008 he knew his boss had won the presidency. But the first thing he did the next morning was check to see if Obama carried a state that was a major focus of the campaign: North Carolina. Obama prevailed, winning by fewer than 14,000 votes to become the first Democrat to carry North Carolina since Jimmy Carter in 1976. LINK

FOREIGN AFFAIRS: USA Today: “ Panetta: U.S. will pursue Pakistan-based militants” Defense Secretary Leon Panetta expressed frustration with Islamabad, warning that the U.S. will not allow the attacks on U.S. forces from Pakistan-based insurgents like the Haqqani network to continue. Pointing to the 20-hour assault against the U.S. Embassy and NATO headquarters in Kabul that finally ended Wednesday, Panetta said it is unacceptable that the Haqqanis are able to launch such deadly attacks and then flee to safe havens across the border in Pakistan. LINK

G.O.P.: The New York Times’ Jeff Zeleny: “ G.O.P. Sees Bellwether in Two Democratic Defeats” The Republican Party on Wednesday seized on the outcome of two special Congressional elections as fresh evidence that voters are souring on President Obama and are prepared to hold Democrats accountable for the rising level of voter dissatisfaction over the direction of the country. LINK

The Hills’ Vicki Needham: “ GOP increases pressure on Obama to move trade deals” Republicans took to the Senate floor Wednesday to urge the Obama administration to immediately send three pending free-trade agreements to Capitol Hill.  The floor speeches are part of a campaign by the GOP to pressure the White House to reach an agreement with House leadership on passing a worker-aid program that would free up the trade deals for congressional votes, a move supporters argue will create jobs in the stagnating economy.  LINK

SPECIAL ELECTION / REGIONAL: The New York Daily News’ Bruce Gyory: “ Bob Turner’s defeat of David Weprin in NY-9 was no GOP home run: It was moderates’ latest revenge” Not so fast in reading Bob Turner’s victory over David Weprin in the special election for Congress as a resounding victory for the Republicans. I gave the same caution to Democrats back in May, against reading too much into Democrat Kathy Hochul’s victory in the 26th Congressional District in western New York. The Republican pundits will thump their chests. LINK

Politico’s Dan Hirschhorn & Jake Sherman: “ Dems schvitzing over NY-9 results” Democrats awoke Wednesday to a disturbing new political reality — a world in which the Jewish vote couldn’t be taken for granted anymore. And in the wake of a New York City special election where a Republican won in the heart of urban Jewish Democratic power, the stunning outcome has set off alarms that President Barack Obama’s chilly relationship with Israel could jeopardize the party’s hammerlock on a key constituency. LINK

The Boston Globe’s Mark Arsenault and Noah Bierman: “ Massachusetts House approves casino gambling” The Massachusetts House last night overwhelmingly approved casino gambling, bolstering confidence among lawmakers that slot machines and Las Vegas-style table games will be coming to the Commonwealth.  The bill, which passed 123-32 just after 9 p.m., would authorize three “resort” casinos and one slots-only gambling parlor in Massachusetts. The Senate expects to take up the measure later this month and Governor Deval Patrick has signaled initial support.   LINK

ABC NEWS VIDEOS:DCCC Chairman Dismisses Magnitude of GOP Win in N.Y.” LINKSpecial Elections Results Show Voters Rejecting Obama, Says NRCC ChairmanLINK

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