The Note's Must-Reads for Monday, December 17, 2012

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' Jayce Henderson and Amanda VanAllen

SANDY HOOK TRAGEDY ABC News' Jake Tapper and Matthew Larotonda: " Connecticut School Shooting: Obama Says Nation Faces 'Some Hard Question'" President Barack Obama said at an interfaith prayer service in this mourning community this evening that the country is "left with some hard questions" if it is to curb a rising trend in gun violence, such as the shooting spree Friday at Newtown's Sandy Hook Elementary School. After consoling victims' families in classrooms at Newtown High School, the president said he would do everything in his power to "engage" a dialogue with Americans, including law enforcement and mental health professionals, because "we can't tolerate this anymore. These tragedies must end. And to end them we must change." LINK

The Hills' Alexander Bolton: " Obama calls for action to protect children from gun violence" President Obama promised Sunday evening he would take action in the coming weeks to prevent mass shootings such as the one that took the lives of 20 children in Newtown, Connecticut. The president spoke for nearly 20 minutes at an interfaith vigil for the victims of the rampage at Sandy Hook Elementary School on Friday. LINK

The New York Daily News' Erin Durkin: " New York City's Mayor Michael Bloomberg demands that gun control be President Obama's 'number one agenda' in searing 'Meet the Press' comments" Mayor Bloomberg demanded that President Obama make cracking down on guns his "number one" agenda item after the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School. "It's unbelievable, and it only happens in America, and it happens again and again," Bloomberg said Sunday on "Meet the Press," two days after one of the most deadly mass killings in American history. LINK The New York Times' Mark Landler and Peter Baker: " 'These Tragedies Must End,' Obama Says" President Obama vowed on Sunday to "use whatever power this office holds" to stop massacres like the slaughter at the school here that shocked the nation, hinting at a fresh effort to curb the spread of guns as he declared that there was no "excuse for inaction." In a surprisingly assertive speech at a memorial service for the 27 victims, including 20 children, Mr. Obama said that the country had failed to protect its young and that its leaders could no longer sit by idly because "the politics are too hard." While he did not elaborate on what action he would propose, he said that "these tragedies must end." LINK

The Washington Post's Paul Duggan, David Fahrenthold and Steve Vogel: " Obama in Newton, Conn.: 'You're not alone in your grief' over school massacre" President Obama offered words of solace to a heartbroken and inconsolable community Sunday, meeting with loved ones of the dead from Sandy Hook Elementary School and lamenting at a nationally televised memorial service that the United States has failed in its duty "to keep our children, all of them," safe from harm. "Whatever measure of comfort we can provide, we will provide," Obama vowed, addressing a grief-stricken audience of hundreds in the auditorium of the town's high school. Many more listeners crowded near speakers in the school's gym, while others huddled outside in a cold drizzle, holding candles and weeping at times. LINK

Bloomberg's Julianna Goldman & Margaret Talev: " Obama Says U.S. Hearts 'Broken' for Connecticut Victims" President Barack Obama, his voice breaking and tears forming in his eyes, said the killing of 20 children and six adults at a Connecticut elementary school shows the nation must take "meaningful action" to stem such violence. "There's not a parent in America who doesn't feel the same overwhelming grief that I do," Obama said at the White House, just hours after at least one gunman opened fire at the school in Newtown, Connecticut. "Our hearts are broken today." LINK

GUN CONTROL Politico's Jonathan Allen: " After Connecticut school shooting, Washington quiet on gun control" They've watched mass shootings of college kids and schoolchildren, issued countless statements of sympathy and lived through a colleague taking a bullet to the brain, but Friday's rampage in Newtown, Conn., doesn't appear to have moved many lawmakers any closer to writing new gun laws. Instead, only the fiercest gun-control advocates in the House and Senate are urging change - many looking to President Barack Obama to build public support for new laws so that it becomes more politically risky for Republicans and pro-gun Democrats to stand in their way. It's a sign that they know they can't get anything done on their own. LINK

The Wall Street Journal's Laura Meckler and Gary Fields: " New Calls for Gun Limits" Several lawmakers Sunday called for reintroducing a ban on assault weapons in the wake of Friday's deadly school rampage. President Barack Obama is also likely to propose gun-policy changes, according to two administration officials. LINK

FISCAL CLIFF USA Today's David Jackson: " Signs of a thaw emerge in 'fiscal cliff' talks" After weeks of stalemate, signs of potential progress have emerged in talks to avoid the year-end "fiscal cliff" of tax increases and $1.2 trillion in federal spending cuts over the next 10 years. In talks with President Obama, Republican House Speaker John Boehner offered to back raising the income tax rates for people making $1 million or more if Obama agreed to significant cuts in entitlement program spending, according to two sources close to the negotiations. LINK

The Los Angeles Times' Christi Parsons, Michael A. Memoli and Kathleen Hennessey: " Fault lines also appearing on Democratic side in fiscal debate" For weeks, Democrats in Congress have been relishing the division and sniping within Republican ranks over whether to raise tax rates. But as negotiations over the budget crisis wear on and shift to a debate over spending cuts, the tables are turning. LINK

JOHN KERRY The Washington Times' David Eldridge: " Media reports: Kerry is Obama's pick as Secretary of State" ABC News, citing unnamed sources, reports Sen. John Kerry, Massachusetts Democrat, will be nominated to succeed Hillary Rodham Clinton as secretary of the State Department. Jake Tapper, who posted the report ( just after 6 p.m., said the White House announcement is holding back the official announcement in part because of the national focus on the Newtown, Conn., school shootings. LINK The Boston Globe's Bryan Bender: " John Kerry Seen as well trained for world stage" If John Kerry is nominated by President Obama to be secretary of state, the 69-year-old chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee would draw on a long record of wading into thorny crises, an international Rolodex matched by few others, and a network of former staffers and diplomats who have worked with him and are now seeded throughout the Washington foreign policy establishment. Obama's decision on the position could come as early as Monday. LINK

BOOKMARKS The Note: LINK The Must-Reads Online: LINK Top Line Webcast (12noon EST M-F): LINK ABC News Politics: LINK The Political Punch (Jake Tapper): LINK George's Bottom Line (George Stephanopoulos): LINK Follow ABC News on Twitter: LINK ABC News Mobile: LINK ABC News app on your iPhone/iPod Touch/iPad: LINK

Join the Discussion
blog comments powered by Disqus
You Might Also Like...