The Note’s Must-Reads for Tuesday, November 19, 2013

By Will Cantine

Nov 19, 2013 3:49am

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 www.abcnews.com

Compiled by ABC News’ Amanda VanAllen, Will Cantine, Jayce Henderson and Jordan Mazza

POTUS’ APPROVAL RATING/HEALTH CARE
ABC News’ Gary Langer: “Botched ACA Rollout Hammers Obama; Job Disapproval Reaches A Career High” Barack Obama has been hammered by the botched rollout of the Affordable Care Act, with disapproval of his job performance reaching a career high, opposition to the new healthcare law up sharply and evidence of potential fallout in the midterm elections a year off.  The president’s job approval rating has fallen to 42 percent in a new ABC News/Washington Post poll, down 13 percentage points this year and 6 points in the past month to match the lowest of his presidency.  LINK

USA Today’s David Jackson: “Obamacare Problems: Will Heads Roll?“ The political death watch is on in Washington over health care.  Even supporters of President Obama are calling for personnel changes after the botched Oct. 1 rollout of the new health care law, including massive website problems and angry Americans who have had their insurance policies canceled.  LINK

The Hill’s Justin Sink: “ObamaCare: Pressure Grows For Heads To Roll” Pressure is rising on the president to make heads roll for ObamaCare’s botched rollout. The White House on Monday said departures are always possible but rejected the idea that these would be connected to the fiasco engulfing President Obama’s signature legislation. That official line, offered by press secretary Jay Carney, followed comments from two former advisers to Obama that people responsible should be thrown overboard. LINK

The Los Angeles Times’ Noam N. Levey: “Healthcare Plan Enrollment Surges In Some States After Rocky Rollout” Despite the disastrous rollout of the federal government’s healthcare website, enrollment is surging in many states as tens of thousands of consumers sign up for insurance plans made available by President Obama’s health law. A number of states that use their own systems, including California, are on track to hit enrollment targets for 2014 because of a sharp increase in November, according to state officials. LINK

The Washington Post’s Dan Balz and Peyton Craighill: “Obama’s Ratings Tumble After Health-Care Flaws” The flawed rollout of the Affordable Care Act has pushed President Obama to the lowest point of his presidency, with dwindling faith in his competence and in many of the personal attributes that have buoyed him in the past, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll. Opposition to the new health-care law also hit a record high in the survey, with 57 percent saying they oppose the president’s most significant domestic initiative. Forty-six percent say they are strongly against it. Just a month ago, as the enrollment period was beginning, the public was almost evenly divided in its assessments of the law. LINK

JUDICIAL NOMINEE BLOCKED
ABC News’ Arlette Saenz: “Senate GOP Shoots Down Another Obama Judicial Nominee” Another vote on a judicial nominee, another filibuster by Senate Republicans. For the third time in just as many weeks, Republicans filibustered another one of President Obama’s nominees to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals. The Senate voted 53-38 today on a procedural vote on the nomination of Robert Wilkins to serve on the D.C. Circuit Court, falling short of invoking cloture by seven votes. LINK

The New York Times’ Jeremy Peters: “Obama Pick for Court Is 3rd in a Row Blocked by Republicans” Senate Republicans on Monday blocked President Obama’s third consecutive nominee to the country’s most powerful and prestigious appeals court and insisted they would not back down, inflaming a bitter debate over a president’s right to shape the judiciary. By a vote of 53 to 38, the Senate failed to break a filibuster of Robert L. Wilkins, a federal judge who was nominated to fill one of three vacancies on the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, falling seven votes short of the 60 needed. Two Republicans — Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Susan Collins of Maine — voted with the Democrats. LINK

The Hill’s Ramsey Cox: “Senate GOP Blocks Third Court Nominee” Senate Republicans on Monday blocked a third nominee of President Obama’s to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals. In a 53-38 vote, the Senate failed to get the 60 votes necessary to break a Republican filibuster and move to a final confirmation vote on nominee Robert Leon Wilkins. Sens. Susan Collins (Maine) and Lisa Murkowski (Alaska) were the only Republicans to vote to end the filibuster. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) also switched his vote to “no” to preserve his ability to bring the nomination to the floor again. LINK

The Los Angeles Times’ Michael A. Memoli: “Obama 0 For 3 As GOP Blocks Another Nomination” For the third time in as many weeks, Republicans in the Senate blocked a vote on one of President Obama’s nominees to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, spurring Democrats to renew their threat to change long-standing filibuster rules. As expected, the Senate voted largely along party lines, 53 to 38, to end debate on the nomination of Robert L. Wilkins, currently a U.S. district judge, falling short of the 60 votes needed to proceed to a confirmation vote. LINK

Politico’s Burgess Everett: “Republicans Block Third Obama Judge” Senate Republicans on Monday blocked the third of President Barack Obama’s judicial nominees in as many weeks, driving the Senate closer to another partisan confrontation over the filibuster. By a vote of 38 to 53, Democrats fell seven votes short of the 60 needed to approve Robert Wilkins’s nomination to the D.C. Circuit Court. Wilkins joins Nina Pillard and Patricia Millett as having been rejected by Republicans who argue that the court’s workload doesn’t justify three more members. It may take weeks to get there, but the latest GOP tactic essentially guarantees the Senate will soon endure another draining fight over changing the chamber’s rules by a simple majority by invoking what is called the “nuclear option.” LINK

The Wall Street Journal’s Patrick O’Conner and Janet Hook: “GOP Blocks Federal Appeals Court Pick” Republicans blocked a fourth Obama administration nominee to an influential federal appeals court, bringing the Senate one step closer to a fight over nomination rules that could further sour relations in the chamber. Robert Wilkins, a nominee for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit and a federal trial judge, failed Monday to win the 60 votes needed to clear a procedural hurdle, getting just 53 votes. LINK

The New York Times’ Jeremy W. Peters: “Obama Pick For Court Is 3rd In A Row Blocked by Republicans Senate Republicans on Monday blocked President Obama’s third consecutive nominee to the country’s most powerful and prestigious appeals court and insisted they would not back down, inflaming a bitter debate over a president’s right to shape the judiciary. By a vote of 53 to 38, the Senate failed to break a filibuster of Robert L. Wilkins, a federal judge who was nominated to fill one of three vacancies on the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, falling seven votes short of the 60 needed. Two Republicans — Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Susan Collins of Maine — voted with the Democrats. LINK

IRAN
Bloomberg’s Indira A. R. Lakshmanan and Terry Atlas: “Obama Defends Iran Dealmaking Amid Dispute Over Relief” The Obama administration is on the defensive days before Iran nuclear negotiations are scheduled to resume in Geneva, as critics in Israel and in the U.S. Congress say Iran would concede too little and gain too much from an easing of international economic sanctions. President Barack Obama plans to brief Senate leaders and top members of committees with jurisdiction over the issue tomorrow as part of the administration’s effort to hold off congressional action on further sanctions and give the negotiators more time. LINK

The Hill’s Julian Pecquet and Justin Sink: “Obama, Netanyahu Battle For Sanctions” President Obama is pressing senators to ignore pleading from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and hold off on new sanctions on Iran. Obama will host key senators of both parties at the White House on Tuesday to personally ask them to postpone new action while the administration pursues diplomatic talks with Iran over its nuclear program. LINK

NSA MONITORING
The Washington Times’ Stephen Dinan: “NSA Snooping Programs Taken To Federal Court” A public interest lawyer who says the government is “messing” with his text messages pleaded with a federal judge Monday to halt the government’s electronic snooping programs, in a case that tests whether Americans will be able to challenge the NSA’s phone-records collection in regular courts. The case raises complex but fundamental legal questions about whether federal courts will be able to probe into some of the government’s most secret programs, which Congress and the intelligence community have shrouded. LINK

The New York Times’ Adam Liptak and Jeremy W. Peters: “Congress And Courts Weigh Restraints On N.S.A. Spying” Congressional critics of the National Security Agency program that collects the telephone records of millions of Americans stepped up their efforts as the Supreme Court on Monday turned away an unusual challenge to the scope of the surveillance. The intensifying push against the N.S.A. on both the legal and legislative fronts reflected new pressure being put on the extensive surveillance effort in the wake of revelations by the former N.S.A. contractor Edward J. Snowden, pressure that is running into stiff resistance from congressional leaders of both parties as well as the Obama administration.

ABC NEWS VIDEO
Toronto Mayor’s TV Show to Debut Amid Scandal“  LINK

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