The Note’s Must-Reads for Thursday, March 06, 2014

By Jayce Henderson

Mar 6, 2014 4:04am

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’ Jayce Henderson, Will Cantine and Janine Elliot

PRESIDENT OBAMA
Boston Globe’s Jeremeny C. Fox and Joshua Miller: “Obama rallies Boston Democrats” President Obama hobnobbed Wednesday night with big-money Democratic donors during a whirlwind visit to the Hub that added to traffic snarls during evening rush hour and drew protesters on issues foreign and domestic. Obama first joined roughly two dozen supporters who gave up to $32,400 at a Democratic National Committee roundtable discussion at the Charles Hotel in Cambridge, according to a committee official. The event was closed to reporters. LINK

UKRAINE
Politico’s Edward-Isaac Dovere: “Democrats Slow To Defend Obama On Ukraine” President Vladimir Putin is the one who moved troops into Crimea — but to Republicans, President Barack Obama is the one to blame. GOP lawmakers have been out in force pointing the finger at Obama for a lack of leadership. Democrats, meanwhile, bemoan the partisan comments but have not been defending the White House’s handling of the situation in Ukraine. What politicians in the U.S. say in opposition — or don’t say in support — matters in Moscow, said Michael McFaul, who just returned from five years as Obama’s ambassador to Russia. LINK

USA Today’s Oren Dell: “Russian troops looming over all in Crimea” Alexei Goncharenko drove for hours from Odessa through a fog-filled night to come to Crimea in hopes of helping his fellow Ukrainians to a peaceful end to the armed takeover of the province that is roiling Ukraine. Upon arriving in Simferopol, the Russian-speaking provincial councilman and his convoy of cars came upon a crowd of armed men and pro-Moscow protesters outside a Ukrainian coast guard base. Cossack militiamen smoking cigarettes eyed cars passing through.  LINK

HEALTH CARE
Wall Street Journal’s Louise Radnofsky: “Obama Gives Health Plans Added Two-Year Reprieve” The Obama administration further postponed a provision of the Affordable Care Act on Wednesday, the latest in a series of changes that have delayed or pared back the health overhaul so much that many of its ambitious goals won’t be achieved during its first years in full effect. Democrats sought to create a new health-care landscape when they passed the law in 2010, with millions of uninsured Americans gaining coverage, employers facing fines if they didn’t insure workers and skimpy health plans disappearing. LINK

HILLARY CLINTON
ABC News’ Greg Holyk: “Two-Thirds Would Consider Clinton – Ahead, for Now, of GOP Prospects” Two-thirds of Americans in the latest ABC News/Washington Post poll say they’d consider supporting Hillary Clinton for president, far more than the current take-a-look numbers for a range of potential Republican candidates – some of them less popular, others just less known. As potential Republican candidates make their appearances at the Conservative Political Action Committee Conference starting today, 25 percent of Americans say they’d “definitely” support Clinton if she ran for president and 41 percent say they would consider her. The rest, 32 percent, rule her out – fewer than did so in 2006-7, in advance of her losing run for the 2008 Democratic nomination. LINK

The Los Angeles Times’ Maeve Reston: “Hillary Clinton highlights pragmatism in approach to Russia” Hillary Rodham Clinton defended her record as secretary of State against Republican criticism that she had been too accommodating to Russia, arguing Wednesday that she had taken a tough but pragmatic approach so the U.S. could attain its goals. In remarks at UCLA’s Royce Hall, Clinton assertively brushed aside opponents’ suggestions that she and the Obama administration effectively invited Russian President Vladimir Putin’s recent incursion into Ukraine by failing to blunt his aggression. LINK

SENATE DEMS BLOCK JUSTICE DEPT. NOMINEE
The New York Times’ Jonathan Weisman and Michael D. Shear: “Democrats In Senate Reject Pick By Obama” Senate Democrats on Wednesday rejected President Obama’s nominee to lead the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division in an embarrassing rebuke of the president on the choice of a key legal adviser and one that left senior White House officials “furious” with members of their own party. The nominee, Debo P. Adegbile, was litigation director of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund when it represented Mumia Abu-Jamal on an appeal of his death sentence for killing a Philadelphia police officer decades ago. He could not overcome a campaign by Republicans, conservative activists and law enforcement organizations still infuriated by the murder of the officer, Daniel Faulkner. LINK

The Washington Post’s Wesley Lowery and Ed O’Keefe: “Senate Democrats Help Block Obama Nominee For Civil Rights Post” The Senate on Wednesday dealt an embarrassing setback to President Obama when several politically vulnerable Democrats defected to help Republicans defeat the nomination of Debo P. Adegbile to be chief of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. Adegbile’s nomination had revived the racially charged legacy of the murder of a Philadelphia police officer more than three decades ago — a case in which, long after the trial, Adegbile played a small role — and the vote exposed the anxiety facing many red-state Democratic senators as the midterm elections approach. LINK

The Hill’s Alexander Bolton and Ramsey Cox: “Senate rejects Justice nominee in stinging defeat for Obama” The Senate rejected President Obama’s nominee to lead the Justice Department’s civil rights division on Wednesday in a stunning 47-52 vote in which seven Democrats abandoned their leadership. The vote was all the more remarkable for the five Democrats in tough reelection races this year who voted in vain to move Debo Adegbile’s nomination forward. Their votes now become ammunition for Senate Republicans, who argued Adegbile was unfit to serve because of his legal work in support of Mumia Abu-Jamal, who was convicted of killing Philadelphia. LINK

AMERICAN CONSERVATIVE UNION
The Washington Times’ Meredith Somers: “ACU at 50: Strong and looking ahead” The year the American Conservative Union began, Ronald Reagan was a newly minted Republican, Nikita Khrushchev had been recently ousted as leader of the Soviet Union, and the U.S. was just beginning to deepen its involvement in the Vietnam War. Fifty years later, the U.S. is extricating itself from war in Afghanistan, Russia’s leader is extending his reach into Ukraine, and the tea party is exerting its influence among Republican voters. LINK

ABC NEWS VIDEO
Congressmen Clash at IRS Scandal HearingLINK
‘Close It Down’: Shouting Match Erupts in CongressLINK

BOOKMARKS
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ABC News Politics: LINK
George Stephanopoulos’ Blog: LINK
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