The Note's Must-Reads for Thursday, February 14, 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 www.abcnews.com

Compiled by ABC News' Jayce Henderson, Amanda VanAllen and Carrie Halperin

PRESIDENT OBAMA: ABC News' Rick Klein: " President Obama Hits Emotional High Note on Guns, not Jobs" President Obama brought his agenda back to the basics in the first State of the Union address of his second term, with a stripped-down economic prescription that bore the scars of four years marked by frustration. But where he's best-positioned to define his presidency is where he found his strongest emotion. Obama's speech will be remembered for high points that drew on the imagery of the audience and this moment in time. LINK

The Wall Street Journal's Jared A. Favole and Melanie Trottman: " Obama Nominates Recess Appointees" President Barack Obama has nominated two of the recess appointees he installed on the National Labor Relations Board last year, setting the stage for a likely battle with Senate Republicans over their confirmations. The White House said Mr. Obama has nominated former Democratic Labor Department official Sharon Block and former Democratic union lawyer Richard Griffin Jr. to the board. LINK

The Washington Times' Dave Boyer: " On the road, Obama told to go home" As President Obama took to the road Wednesday promoting his plan for more federal aid for manufacturers, an industry official said the president could help businesses far more by agreeing on a budget deal with Congress. Jay Timmons, president and CEO of the National Association of Manufacturers, told business leaders in Detroit that the administration's inability to compromise with Republican lawmakers on looming budget cuts is causing manufacturers to pull back from hiring and expansion plans. The latest fiscal deadline in Washington is March 1, when $85 billion of spending cuts are due to take effect. LINK

The New York Times' Nicholas Kulish and Jackie Calmes: " Obama Bid for Europe Trade Pact Stirs Hope on Both Sides" President Obama's call for a free-trade agreement between the United States and the European Union has unleashed a wave of optimism on both sides that a breakthrough can be achieved that would lift trans-Atlantic fortunes, not just economically but politically. LINK

SENATE: The Hill's Jeremy Herb: " Reid challenges GOP to filibuster Hagel nomination for Pentagon" Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) challenged Republican senators Wednesday to launch a filibuster against President Obama's nominee to lead the Pentagon, former Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-Neb.). Reid scolded Republicans for making the threat, and set up a vote to end debate on Hagel for Friday. "This is first time in the history of our country that a presidential nominee for secretary of Defense has been filibustered," Reid said on the Senate floor. "What a shame." LINK

The Los Angeles Times' Michael Memoli: " GOP prevents vote on Hagel as Defense secretary" Senate Republicans refused to allow a vote Wednesday on the nomination of Chuck Hagel to lead the Defense Department, staging the first filibuster against a president's choice to head the Pentagon. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) called the move "a shame" as he announced on the Senate floor that he was unable to reach an agreement with the top Republican on the Armed Services Committee to avoid such a delay. Reid filed a motion to end the filibuster and said he expected to vote on it Friday. LINK

USA Today's Catalina Camia: " Senate gets ready for Chuck Hagel showdown" Chuck Hagel will not get the support of a prominent Republican moderate as the Senate gets ready to consider his nomination as secretary of Defense. Amid talk of a possible filibuster against President Obama's nominee, Sen. Susan Collins said Wednesday she will oppose Hagel, a former Nebraska senator and Republican. LINK

Politico's Kate Nocera and Patrick Reis: " Elizabeth Warren's silent Senate approach" When the newest senators lunched together for the first time last November, their biggest star immediately tried to flee. As a flock of reporters approached Elizabeth Warren, the Massachusetts Democrat turned and engaged fellow freshman Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), in a fake conversation. LINK

ABC NEWS VIDEOS: " Minimum Wage Debate Heats Up Washington" LINK

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