The Note's Must-Reads for Friday March 15, 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' Carrie Halperin, Amanda VanAllen, Jordan Mazza and Will Cantine

CPAC ABC News' Michael Falcone: " CPAC 2013 - Why It Matters, Who's Going, What We Will Learn From It" Thursday marks the start of a three-day gathering of conservative leaders and activists from around the country. The Conservative Political Action Conference - CPAC, for short - is organized by the American Conservative Union and has become an annual focal point that brings together establishment figures, new leaders, grassroots types and, in particular, the younger generation of conservatives. It kicks off this morning at the Gaylord National Hotel in National Harbor, Md., just outside Washington, D.C. LINK

USA Today's Martha T. Moore: " CPAC Discusses GOP Immigration Policy" Nobody was laughing at CPAC about the failure of Republicans to win Hispanic votes. Speakers at the conservative gathering said repeatedly that demographics will doom Republicans unless the party can find a way to appeal to Hispanic voters - and changing immigration policy is a necessary first step. LINK

The Wall Street Journal's Sara Murray: " CPAC Debate: How Will GOP Win Elections?" Conservatives were split Thursday on the best way to select candidates who can win, just one of the defining issues where Republicans are at odds in the wake of November's losses. LINK

BUDGET The Hill's Mike Lillis: " Obama asks House Dems to make concessions for big deficit deal" President Obama asked House Democrats on Thursday to give him the political room to make concessions to Republicans on entitlements as part of a deficit-reduction deal. In a meeting with the House Democratic Caucus in the Capitol Visitor Center, Obama said he won't accept anything less than a balanced approach to deficit reduction that includes new tax revenues, according to numerous lawmakers in the room. LINK

The Washington Times' Stephen Dinan: " Sequester do-over: Feds recaptured 4 immigrants released under budget cuts" The Obama administration said Thursday it had rearrested and brought back four of the most dangerous immigrants it released from detention last month in the run-up to the budget sequestration. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Director John Morton testified to Congress that his agency released 10 "level one" offenders, and has gone out and apprehended four of them. He said the other six are nonviolent. LINK

The Washington Post's Michael Gerson: "The GOP and the budget boilerplate gap" It would be a mistake to confuse a budget proposal for a proposed budget, though they bear a superficial resemblance. A budget proposal - of the type that Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) have recently announced - represents the internal agreement reached by a party caucus and the starting point of a high-stakes political negotiation. If a Republican or Democratic budget expert were to craft an actual proposed budget - one that would deserve a vote and could secure a majority in both chambers - it would look very different. LINK

FOREIGN AFFAIRS The Los Angeles Times' Patrick J. McDonnell: " Amnesty International urges caution in arming Syrian rebels" Any government considering arming Syrian rebels should conduct a "rigorous human-rights risk assessment" before proceeding with weapons transfers, Amnesty International said Thursday. The group released a pair of studies detailing abuses by both sides in the Syrian conflict. LINK

The New York Times' Michael Shear: "G.O.P. Divided on Proper Role for U.S. Abroad" For more than three decades, the Republican Party brand has been deeply tied to a worldview in which the aggressive use of American power abroad is both a policy imperative and a political advantage. LINK

GUN CONTROL The Boston Globe's Jennifer Steinhauer: " Senate panel backs bill to reinstate weapons ban" The Senate Judiciary Committee approved a measure on Thursday to reinstate a ban on assault weapons, the first congressional vote on the issue since the ban expired in 2004. The vote to approve the measure - now ostensibly headed for the full Senate - went firmly along party lines; the 10 Democrats on the committee voted yes, and the eight Republicans voted no. LINK

Politico's Manu Raju and John Bresnahan: "Joe Manchin fights uphill battle for gun deal" Sen. Joe Manchin could be President Barack Obama's best hope for a bipartisan gun package this year. LINK

CYBER ATTACKS Bloomberg's Chris Strohm and Hans Nichols: " Obama Presses Xi on Cyber Attacks Amid Focus on Hacking" President Barack Obama told Chinese President Xi Jinping that cybersecurity would be a key part of bilateral talks as the U.S. seeks to protect companies and individuals from computer attacks, a White House official said. During a phone call yesterday, Obama and Xi committed to hold discussions on hacker threats as part of regular conversations on security and economic matters, Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes said. LINK

ABC NEWS VIDEO " Former Rep. Allen West: 'Im Still Alive'" LINK " Bill Gates Urges Boy Scouts To End Gay Ban 'Because It's 2013'" LINK

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