The Note's Must-Reads for Wednesday, May 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' Jayce Henderson, Amanda VanAllen and Carrie Halperin

MILITARY SEXUAL ASSAULT ABC News' Luis Martinez: " New Incident Leads Military to Re-train and Re-credential All Sexual Assault Prevention Coordinators" Another black eye for the military's sexual assault prevention coordinators has led Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel to order that all of the military's sexual assault prevention coordinators and military recruiters to be re-trained, re-credentialed and re-screened. LINK

OBAMA'S SECOND TERM The Hills' Justin Sink: " Controversies threaten President Obama's second-term agenda" At a confrontational press briefing, White House press secretary Jay Carney tried to distance the president from the Internal Revenue Service's admission that it deliberately targeted conservative groups and the Justice Department's subpoena of Associated Press telephone records. Carney flatly denied any White House involvement in either issue, rejected the idea that there had been abuses of power and urged patience as investigations play out. LINK

The Washington Post's Dan Balz: " Obama's second term clouded by controversies" After answering questions Monday morning about two of the controversies that have undermined his administration, President Obama flew off to New York to raise money for the Democratic Party. There, before partisan donors, he reflected on his second term and said he will continue to reach out to Republicans. "I sure want to do some governing," he explained. Obama's words suggest that he believes there is a way to compartmentalize the business of his second term: legislative and other business here, scandals over there. But things are too messy for that right now. A politician who has counted good luck as part of his skill set will need all the breaks he can muster to pull off that bit of political jujitsu. LINK

Politico's Mike Allen and Jim Vandehei: " D.C. turns on Obama" The town is turning on President Obama - and this is very bad news for this White House. Republicans have waited five years for the moment to put the screws to Obama - and they have one-third of all congressional committees on the case now. Establishment Democrats, never big fans of this president to begin with, are starting to speak out. And reporters are tripping over themselves to condemn lies, bullying and shadiness in the Obama administration. Buy-in from all three D.C. stakeholders is an essential ingredient for a good old fashioned Washington pile-on - so get ready for bad stories and public scolding to pile-up. LINK

IMMIGRATION REFORM The Los Angeles Times' Lisa Mascaro and Brian Bennett: " Senators tighten student visa rules in immigration bill" The Senate Judiciary Committee amended the sweeping immigration bill Tuesday to tighten student visa rules in the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombing. The committee, which is trying to get through the 844-page bill by the end of the week, also fended off changes that threatened to derail the delicate compromise reached by a bipartisan group of eight senators who drafted the legislation. LINK

INTERNAL REVENUE SERVICE/AP WIRETAPPING The New York Daily News' James Warren: " Eric Holder blasts IRS scandal, defends seizure of Associated Press phone records" Attorney General Eric Holder on Tuesday termed alleged Internal Revenue Service targeting of conservative groups as "outrageous and unacceptable" and said seizures of phone records of journalists followed national security leaks that "put the American people at risk."

Holder said that he's ordered the FBI and Justice Department to investigate whether the IRS broke any laws in dealing with nonprofit conservative groups that sought tax-exempt status. Reports of being singled out for scrutiny are "outrageous and unacceptable, if not criminal," he said. LINK

USA Today's Aamer Madhani and Kevin Johnson: " Obama administration defends war on leaks" The Obama administration offered a forceful defense of its decision to secretly obtain more than two months of telephone records from Associated Press journalists on Tuesday, while professing the belief that the news media need to be unfettered in their role as government watchdogs. LINK

The Wall Street Journal's John D. McKinnon and Siobhan Hughesbi: " FBI Launches Probe of IRS" Attorney General Eric Holder said Tuesday the Justice Department has opened a criminal probe of the Internal Revenue Service's treatment of tea-party groups, while an investigative report blamed the agency's managers for allowing the practices to continue for more than 18 months. LINK

The Washington Times' Sean Lengell: " IRS audit found political bias so burdensome that targeted groups gave up" The IRS singled out tea party and other conservative groups for "burdensome" scrutiny because of their politically charged names and delayed approving some applications for so long that the groups simply gave up, according to an official government audit, released Tuesday, that has the agency reeling. Members of Congress said the latest revelations suggest that Internal Revenue Service officials withheld information from Congress, and two Republican governors called for a special prosecutor to investigate the matter. LINK

The New York Times' Jonathan Weisman: " Management Flaws at I.R.S. Cited in Tea Party Scrutiny" An inspector general's report issued Tuesday blamed ineffective Internal Revenue Service management in the failure to stop employees from singling out conservative groups for added scrutiny. Congressional aides, meanwhile, sought to determine whether the Obama administration's knowledge of the effort extended beyond the I.R.S. House and Senate aides said they were focusing on an Aug. 4, 2011, meeting in which the I.R.S.'s chief counsel appears to have conferred with agency officials to discuss the activities of a team in the Cincinnati field office that had been subjecting applications for tax-exempt status from Tea Party and other conservative groups to a greater degree of review than those from other organizations. LINK

ABC NEWS VIDEO " AP Phone Records Secretly Obtained by Justice Department" LINK

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