The Note's Must-Reads for Friday, April 05, 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, Carrie Halperin and Jordan Mazza

GUN CONTROL ABC News' Alexandra Dukakis: "Washington Has 'Cold Feet' on Gun Control, Says Obama Adviser" White House senior adviser Dan Pfeiffer doesn't understand why Congressional support for universal background checks for gun purchases is waning. LINK

The Wall Street Journal's Janet Hook and Kristina Peterson: "GOP Senators Pushed to Join Gun Filibuster" Opponents of new gun restrictions have mobilized during Congress's two-week spring recess to pressure lawmakers to block gun legislation, which the Senate is expected to consider after it returns next week. LINK

The New York Daily News' Ginger Adams Otis, Dan Friedman and Matthew Lysiak: " Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy signs bill with gun-control laws among the toughest in nation" As Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy signed a sweeping new bill Thursday that gives his state some of the toughest firearm laws in the country, families of Newtown victims made a heartfelt plea to save national gun-control legislation. "We are under no illusion that making these changes will end gun violence or prevent all mass shootings," relatives of nine of the 26 victims of the Dec. 14 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School wrote in a letter to U.S. senators. LINK

The Los Angeles Times' Mark Z. Barabak and Melanie Mason: " States move quickly, divergently on gun laws" Even as momentum for new gun legislation wanes in Washington, lawmakers across the country are fashioning their own response to the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary, resulting in a patchwork that tightens restrictions in some places and eases them in others. While varied, the measures show how much more nimble states can be than the federal government. LINK

IMMIGRATION REFORM The Hills' Molly K. Hooper: " First key fight in immigration battle is what to name the reform bill" One of the first political issues negotiators must tackle in crafting an immigration reform bill is among the most important: what to name it. It's a decision that will bruise egos, create legacies and deeply affect subsequent messaging battles. LINK

BUDGET The New York Times' Jackie Calmes: " In Obama Budget, Social Programs Face a Cutback" President Obama next week will take the political risk of formally proposing cuts to Social Security and Medicare in his annual budget in an effort to demonstrate his willingness to compromise with Republicans and revive prospects for a long-term deficit-reduction deal, administration officials say. In a significant shift in fiscal strategy, Mr. Obama on Wednesday will send a budget plan to Capitol Hill that departs from the usual presidential wish list that Republicans typically declare dead on arrival. LINK

GAY MARRIAGE Politico's Katie Glueck: " Bill Nelson endorses gay marriage" Sen. Bill Nelson, one of the last Democratic hold-outs against gay marriage, reversed course on Thursday. "If we are endowed by our Creator with rights, then why shouldn't those be attainable by Gays and Lesbians?" the Florida senator wrote in a statement provided to the editorial board of the Tampa Bay Times. "Simply put, if The Lord made homosexuals as well as heterosexuals, why should I discriminate against their civil marriage? I shouldn't, and I won't. LINK

NORTH KOREA Bloomberg's Terry Atlas & David Lerman: " Obama Avoids Trading Threats With North Korea's Kim" President Barack Obama is leaving it to other U.S. officials to respond publicly to North Korea's hostile rhetoric, as his administration balances a display of military resolve against the risk that its actions will escalate tensions with dictator Kim Jong Un. LINK

The Washington Times' Shaun Waterman and Guy Taylor: " Obama administration brushes off latest North Korean nuke threat" The Obama administration appeared eager Thursday to downplay the North Korean military's latest threat that it has the final authority to carry out "cutting-edge, smaller, lighter and diversified" nuclear strikes on the United States. Read more: LINK

CYBER ATTACKS USA Today's Jim Michaels: "Pentagon seeking 'rules of engagement' for cyber-war" The Pentagon is putting the finishing touches on rules that will give military commanders clearer authority if they have to respond to an enemy cyber-attack, military officials and cyber-security experts say. LINK

OTHER The Washington Post's Paul Schwartzman: " Maryland's leftward swing" Benefits for illegal immigrants. Same-sex marriage. Strict regulations on gun purchases. Over the past two years, Maryland has enacted laws that represent a dramatic liberal shift, even for a state long dominated by Democrats. Driving the progressive swing is Gov. Martin O'Malley (D) and the Maryland General Assembly, which now embraces legislation that it previously rejected. Emboldened by victories in statewide referendums, the governor and his allies have imposed tax increases, repealed the death penalty and approved a system to provide more than $1 billion in subsidies to a potential offshore wind farm. LINK

ABC NEWS VIDEO "North Korea on High Alert" LINK

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