The Note's Must-Reads for Thursday, July 18, 2013

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' Jordan Mazza, Amanda VanAllen, Will Cantine, and J.P. Lawrence


Politico's Tal Kopan: " Allen West: 'Race-Baiters' Pushing Trayvon" Former Rep. Allen West on Wednesday slammed "faux leaders" and "race-baiters" for turning the death of Trayvon Martin into a racial issue, calling out Rev. Al Sharpton and Attorney General Eric Holder for their comments. During an interview on "Kilmeade & Friends" on Fox News Radio, West was asked if the verdict was an opportunity to talk about race in America. LINK

The New York Daily News' Adam Edelman: "Former President Jimmy Carter says jury in George Zimmerman trial 'made right decision'" Former President Jimmy Carter weighed in on the George Zimmerman trial Tuesday, parting from many other Democrats in praising the jury for their "not guilty" verdict. "I think the jury made the right decision based on the evidence presented," Carter told Atlanta station WXIA-TV. LINK


The New York Times' Jeremy Peters: " Senate Reaches Deal To End Fight Over Student Loan Interest Rates" Senators negotiating a bipartisan deal to keep student loan rates low reached a deal on Wednesday night that could end the partisan feud on Capitol Hill that has threatened to permanently double interest rates. Two Senate aides said that the new proposal, which had been the subject of tense negotiations since the rates doubled on July 1, would include both a cap on federal Stafford and PLUS loans and a relatively low interest rate pegged to Treasury notes. LINK

USA Today's Susan Davis: "Senators reach deal on student loan interest rates" A bipartisan group of senators reached a deal Wednesday evening to offer college students better rates on loans this fall but higher rates in future years. The agreement comes one day after lawmakers met with President Obama at the White House. LINK


ABC News' Arlette Saenz: "Should U.S. Boycott Russian Olympics Over Snowden?" If it were up to one U.S. senator, the U.S. Olympic team won't be going for the bronze, silver, or gold in the Winter Olympic Games in Russia in 2014. Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said Tuesday that the U.S. should send a clear message to Russia by boycotting the Olympic Games in Sochi next February if the country grants asylum to NSA leaker Edward Snowden, who is currently cooped up in a Moscow airport. LINK

The Hill's Justin Sink: "White House signals Obama may snub Putin over Snowden asylum" The White House for the second day in a row signaled President Obama could scrap planned one-on-one talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin next month in Moscow if Edward Snowden is granted asylum in that country. White House press secretary Jay Carney on Wednesday refused to elaborate on the president's autumn travel plans, admitting it was possible he was being "deliberately vague." LINK


The Washington Post's Josh Hicks: " House Democrats, GOP Press Competing Views Before Another Hearing On IRS Controversy" The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee's top lawmakers on Wednesday continued their war over the Internal Revenue Service's targeting of conservative groups seeking tax-exempt status. On the eve of another hearing on the matter, Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) released a transcript in which an IRS employee says the agency's chief counsel's office, headed by a President Obama political appointee, helped develop its problematic guidelines for reviewing "tea party" cases. LINK

Bloomberg's Richard Rubin: " IRS's Lerner Slowed Tea Party Review, Republicans Say" Lois Lerner, who oversaw tax-exempt organizations at the Internal Revenue Service, slowed the consideration of anti-tax Tea Party groups' applications, House Republicans said in a letter today. The Republicans, who want more information from the agency, cited statements made to congressional investigators by IRS employees. LINK


The LA Times' Lisa Mascaro and Christi Parsons: "Key players in immigration debate step back" Sen. Marco Rubio played a crucial role in orchestrating passage of the bipartisan immigration overhaul in the Senate last month, but the Florida Republican and potential 2016 presidential contender has bowed out of the messy battle as it moves to the House. Key senators behind the immigration bill admonished top business leaders in a session at the Capitol this week to put more pressure on reluctant House Republicans, but Rubio was notably absent. LINK


The Boston Globe's Noah Bierman: " Faced with rules change, GOP relents on Obama nominees" Senate Democrats scored a key victory for several White House nominees Tuesday, using the threat of rule changes to force Republicans to withdraw their opposition and end a long-simmering standoff. The deal led to the immediate approval of Richard Cordray to head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the agency that was championed by Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and is a key component of the overhaul shepherded by then-Representative Barney Frank following the financial crisis. LINK


The Washington Times' Stephen Dinan: " Third court overturns Obama recess appointments" A third federal appeals court ruled Wednesday that President Obama violated the Constitution last year when he made recess appointments to the National Labor Relations Board, adding more weight to the case as it goes before the Supreme Court in the justices' next session. The Fourth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, in a 2-1 decision, said that the president can only make recess appointments after Congress has adjourned "sine die," which in modern times has meant when it breaks at the end of each year. LINK


The Wall Street Journal's James T. Areddy: "U.S. Seen Losing to China as World Leader" People in the U.S. and China view each other with increasing suspicion, and many others around the world see the U.S. losing its place to China as the leading economic and political power, a new public opinion poll shows. According to a survey of around 38,000 people in 39 countries released on Thursday by the Washington-based Pew Research Center, majorities or pluralities in 23 of the nations surveyed said China either has replaced or eventually will oust the U.S. as the world's top superpower. LINK

ABC NEWS VIDEOS "President Obama Announces Confirmation of Consumer Watchdog" LINK

"Obama Admin Not Expecting 'Long-Term Problems' With Russia Over Snowden Asylum" LINK


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