The Note's Must-Reads for Friday, June 13, 2014

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, Will Cantine, Jordan Mazza and Cristian Roscher

IRAQ The New York Daily News' Dan Friedman, Larry McShane: " Al Qaeda-inspired militant group vows to march on Baghdad; Obama mulls options as violence escalates" Rampaging Islamic jihadists surged within 60 miles of Baghdad as the U.S. scrambled Thursday to airlift hundreds of Americans to safety in the worst crisis in Iraq since the invasion a decade ago. Less than three years after pulling U.S. forces from Iraq, President Obama pondered his options as the Al Qaeda-inspired forces seized control of several cities - and warned the capital was next. LINK

The Los Angeles Times' Paul Richter & David Cloud: " Obama weighs direct action against insurgents in Iraq" Facing the threat of sectarian conflict engulfing the Middle East, President Obama indicated Thursday that he may order direct military action in Iraq, a step he has ruled out since the U.S. ended its long war there. A number of former administration officials and private analysts have been urging drone or airstrikes on the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), an Al Qaeda-inspired militant group whose fighters were sweeping toward Baghdad. In an Oval Office appearance, Obama said the militants' gains indicate "Iraq's going to need more help" from the United States and other nations. LINK

The Wall Street Journal's Carol E. Lee, Jay Solomon and Adam Entous: " U.S. Weighing Direct Military Assistance to Iraq" WASHINGTON-President Barack Obama and his administration signaled they are preparing to re-engage militarily in Iraq, a remarkable U-turn for a president who campaigned in 2008 on ending the war there and has cited the removal of U.S. troops as one of his top successes. LINK

Politico's Edward-Isaac Dovere: " Why Barack Obama can't get out of Iraq" President Barack Obama finally found a strategy to get out of Afghanistan. Now he's getting pulled back into Iraq. Scrambling Obama's attempt just two weeks ago to move American foreign policy past Bush-era Middle East engagements, the Al Qaeda-linked insurgency that's capturing city after Iraqi city threatens to drag him back into an old conflict that could hang over the rest of his term. LINK

CANTOR DEFEAT The New York Times' Peter Baker: " Obama's Odds With Congress: Bad to Worse" One day in April, President Obama called Representative Eric Cantor, the House majority leader, to wish him a happy Passover. However the call started, it went downhill from there. LINK

The Washington Post's Ed O'Keefe and Robert Costa: " McCarthy consolidating support for House majority leader as race for whip intensifies" The defeat of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (Va.) in a Republican primary was an astounding triumph for the tea party movement, but there was little evidence Thursday that the insurgency could take advantage of it by getting one of their own elected to the suddenly vacant leadership position. In the race to replace Cantor, who will step down from his leadership post at the end of July, House Republicans began coalescing around Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (Calif.), who is more aligned with the establishment wing of the party. LINK

The Boston Globe's Noah Bierman: " Eric Cantor Forgot The Basic Lesson Of Politics: Know They Voter" A few blocks from the office of House majority leader Eric Cantor sits the National Archives, with its motto for all to see: "What is Past is Prologue." Cantor must have seen it countless times. He may have even thought about it as he watched fellow Republicans fall victim to Tea Party insurgents. But on Tuesday, the day of his historic defeat in a Republican Party primary, he was seen in a Capitol Hill branch of Starbucks, not home in suburban Richmond. His plan was to arrive back in the district in time for a victory party - one that never came, as he was felled by little-known David Brat. LINK

GOP The Hill's Russell Berman: " Sessions out, McCarthy rises" Rep. Pete Sessions (R-Texas) ended his bid to become the next House majority leader on Thursday night, leaving Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) as the only candidate to replace Rep. Eric Cantor (R-Va.), who was defeated in a historic primary loss on Tuesday. "After thoughtful consideration and discussion with my colleagues, I have made the decision to not continue my run for House majority leader," Sessions said in a statement. LINK

IMMIGRATION USA Today's Byron Harris: " Detention centers overflow with kids crossing border" Taxpayers are footing the bill for relocating what could be as many as 90,000 children this year from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras who are crossing the U.S. border without their parents. About 1,100 are being housed temporarily at a facility at Lackland Air Force Base here. "Every night, there's about 300 to 400 kids that come in without parents. This is just in the lower Rio Grande Valley," said Rep. Henry Cuellar, D-Texas. LINK

HILLARY CLINTON The Washington Times' Jennifer Pompi: " Hillary Clinton To Drudge, Rove: Do Your Worst" After eight years as first lady and four as secretary of state, Hillary Rodham Clinton has had to deal with harsh words about everything from her hairstyle to her politics to her marriage. But she's not going to let digs about her health and age bring her down. "I am so used to these people. They're like a bunch of gamers," she said when asked about recent pokes at her physical and mental well-being on NPR's "Fresh Air," Politico reports. LINK

IOWA SENATE RACE ABC News' Kyle Blaine: "' Chicks', 'Skanks' and 'Hags': Heated Opener in Iowa Senate Race" Just over a week into the campaign, the Iowa Senate race between Republican Joni Ernst and Democrat Rep. Bruce Braley has intensified, with both camps coming under fire over controversies involving sexist language. It all began when the Braley campaign released a TV advertisement last Thursday, featuring a baby chick as a way to illustrate how they said Ernst never made a "peep" about cutting pork while serving in the Iowa State Senate. LINK

ABC NEWS VIDEOS " President Says, 'I Don't Rule Anything Out' When It Comes to Drones in Iraq" LINK " Gov. Rick Perry Likens Homosexuality to Alcoholism" LINK

BOOKMARKS The Note: LINK ABC News Politics: LINK George Stephanopoulos' Blog: LINK ABC News on Twitter: @ThisWeekABC | @ABCPolitics ABC News Mobile: LINK ABC News Apps: LINK ABC News YouTube: LINK

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