Kim Jong Un crosses line dividing DMZ for historic meeting with S. Korean president
Kim Jong Un crosses line dividing DMZ for historic meeting with S. Korean president
The Note's Must-Reads for Tuesday, March 5, 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' Jayce Henderson, Amanda VanAllen, and Carrie Halperin

BUDGET CUTS: ABC News' Sarah Parnass: " On Day 3 of Sequester, Government Sites Show Few Flight Delays" Wondering if sequestration will make wait times at your airport even longer on your day of travel? Two government websites help passengers plan ahead for lengthy lines or a speedy trip. LINK

USA Today's David Jackson: " Obama: We will manage sequester 'as best we can'" President Obama said Monday that he has "deep concern" about the start of $85 billion in automatic budget cuts, but his team will work to try and ease their effects. "We are going to manage it as best we can, try to minimize the impacts on American families," Obama told reporters before a meeting with his Cabinet. LINK

The Wall Street Journal's Peter Nicholas and Janet Hook: " Obama Tries to Sway Rank-and-File GOP" President Barack Obama, unable to reach a deal on fiscal issues with Republican leaders, has begun courting more junior GOP lawmakers in hopes of creating a coalition to push through a budget deal that includes tax revenue increases. Since Saturday, Mr. Obama has placed calls to several lawmakers, including Republican Sens. Rob Portman of Ohio, Tom Coburn of Oklahoma and Bob Corker of Tennessee. LINK

The Hill's Erik Wasson and Jeremy Herb: " House government funding bill seeks to soften sequester's blow" Republican appropriators on Monday introduced a $982 billion government-funding bill that takes several steps to cushion the Pentagon and other agencies from the blow of $85 billion in sequester spending cuts. It would shift about $10.4 billion into the Pentagon's operations and maintenance account by cutting other defense accounts, including a $3.6 billion reduction in personnel funds, $2.5 billion less in research and development, and $4.2 billion less in equipment procurement. LINK

The Washington Times' Stephen Dinan: " Feds keep hiring with sequesters in place" The sequester cuts are now officially in place, but many government agencies appear to be hiring freely anyway. The U.S. Forest Service on Monday posted help-wanted ads for a few good men and women to work as "recreation aides" this summer, the Internal Revenue Service advertised for an office secretary in Maryland, the U.S. Mint wanted 24 people to help press coins, and the Agriculture Department said it needs three "insect production workers" to help grow bollworms in Phoenix. LINK

ENVIRONMENT / ENERGY: The Los Angeles Times' Neela Banerjee: " Obama's choices to lead EPA and Energy reflect his climate views" President Obama picked a chief for the Environmental Protection Agency who has long worked on combating climate change and an Energy Department secretary closely associated with increasing use of natural gas and renewable energy, further signaling his intention to take on global warming, although not as dramatically as some activists would like. "They're going to be making sure that we're investing in American energy, that we're doing everything that we can to combat the threat of climate change, that we're going to be creating jobs and economic opportunity," Obama said at a White House news conference Monday as he introduced his EPA nominee, Gina McCarthy, and his choice for Energy, Ernest J. Moniz. LINK

The New York Times' John M. Broder and Matthew L. Wald: " Cabinet Picks Could Take On Climate Policy" President Obama on Monday named two people to his cabinet who will be charged with making good on his threat to use the powers of the executive branch to tackle climate changeand energy policy if Congress does not act quickly. Mr. Obama nominated Gina McCarthy, a tough-talking native of Boston and an experienced clean air regulator, to take charge at the Environmental Protection Agency, and Ernest J. Moniz, a physicist and strong advocate of natural gas and nuclear power as cleaner alternatives to coal, to run the Department of Energy. LINK

Politico's Darren Samuelsohn and Darren Goode: " From 'green dream team' to B team" Environmentalists had high hopes four years ago when President Barack Obama loaded his administration's top ranks with Clinton-era energy experts, green-job gurus and even a Nobel laureate. But that "Green Dream Team" - which struggled to sculpt new policies on air and water pollution, clean energy and climate change - has turned over the keys to what is more of a B team in the second term. LINK

ECONOMY: The Washington Post's Lori Montgomery: " Republican goal to balance budget could mean deep cuts to health programs" Anxiety is rising among House Republicans about a strategy of appeasement toward fiscal hard-liners that could require them to embrace not only the sequester but also sharp new cuts to federal health and retirement programs. Letting the sequester hit was just the first step in a pact forged in January between conservative leaders and Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) to keep the government open and the nation out of default. Now comes step 2: adopting a budget plan that would wipe out deficits entirely by 2023. LINK

JEB BUSH: The New York Daily News' Dan Hirschhorn: " 2016 WATCH: Jeb Bush's immigration flip-flop puzzles GOP, sets up possible White House bid" A leading Republican presidential contender appears to have flip-flopped on immigration reform, one of the most emotional issues riling the GOP as it searches for a viable future after its crushing 2012 losses. Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, a favorite of party elites, made the surprise turnabout during an appearance on the "Today" show Monday, when he opposed giving undocumented immigrants citizenship as part of comprehensive immigration reform. LINK

ABC NEWS VIDEOS " Taxpayers' Money Spent on Portraits" LINK

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