The Note's Must-Reads for Tuesday December 25, 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' Carrie Halperin and Jordan Mazza


The Hill's Kyle Balluck: " Ben Affleck will not run for Senate" Actor-director Ben Affleck will not run for the Senate in Massachusetts, he announced late Monday. "I love Massachusetts and our political process, but I am not running for office," Affleck wrote on his Facebook page. LINK

The Los Angeles Times' Alana Semuels: " Newark Mayor Cory Booker aims for higher office" The crowd in the Upper West Side bookstore practically cooed when the mayor of Newark, looking like the college football tight end he once was, strode into a book signing and gave the audience a bashful smile. Cory Booker, here because he wrote the forward to a book about homelessness, spent the next half-hour talking about his father's roots in poverty and the kindness of humankind, throwing in references to friends such as entertainer Tyler Perry and author Alice Walker, and, presumably because this is New York, using some Yiddish. LINK


ABC News' George Stephanopoulos: "Asa Hutchinson: Gun Control Not Part of 'Ultimate Solution' to Gun Violence" Asa Hutchinson - the former congressman who will lead the effort by the NRA to place armed security guards in schools across the country following the Newtown, Conn. shooting that left 20 children and six adults dead - told me this morning on "This Week" that gun control efforts would not be part of the "ultimate solution" to gun violence. LINK


The Washington Times' Dave Boyer: " Court filings surge in FOIA cases during Obama years" A study has found that more federal court complaints were filed during the first term of the Obama administration to force the government to abide by the Freedom of Information Act than were filed against the administration of President George W. Bush in his second term. The Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC) at Syracuse University said the FOIA filings in the last two years of Mr. Bush's second term and the last two years of Mr. Obama's first term showed a jump of 28 percent - from 562 to 720. LINK


The Wall Street Journal's Staff: " Cliff Negotiations Take Holiday Break" Congressional leaders and the White House are taking a holiday break in negotiations over how to avoid year-end spending cuts and tax increases, and may not take up the issue in earnest again until just before New Year's Eve. LINK

The Washington Post's Lisa Rein: "Federal workers feel unease over potential layoffs, furloughs unleashed by 'fiscal cliff'" Federal employees have been skeptical for months that the biggest cuts to government spending in history could really happen. But with the "fiscal cliff" a week away, workers are now growing increasingly alarmed that their jobs and their missions could be on the line. LINK


Politico's Kevin Robillard: "Republicans Fearful of 2013? Nearly three-quarters of Republicans are fearful about their own lives in 2013 - a huge jump of over 50 percent since 2006, according to a poll released Monday. LINK


The New York Times' Annie Lowrey: "A Campaign on U.S. Debt Gains Steam" Maya MacGuineas has been ringing alarms about the nation's growing debt for 15 years, imagining a day when a president and a Congress might finally work together to curb deficit spending. After watching President Obama and Speaker John A. Boehner once again come close to agreeing on a plan, only to see a deal slip away, she is troubled but undeterred. LINK


"Sen. Michael Crapo Arrested for DUI" LINK

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