The Note's Must-Reads for Monday July 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, Jordan Mazza, Will Cantine and J.P. Lawrence

REID-MCCONNELL FEUD Politico's Manu Raju and John Bresnahan: " Harry Reid-Mitch McConnell Relationship Reaches New Low" The once-collegial relationship between Harry Reid and Mitch McConnell has collapsed into a free-for-all of name-calling, finger-pointing and mutual mistrust. The enmity manifested itself in a private confrontation on the Senate floor last month in which McConnell needled Reid over a super PAC - run by the Senate majority leader's former aides - that attacked the GOP leader over the Kentucky airwaves. LINK

The Washington Post's Paul Kane: " Reid-McConnell Clash Latest Evidence That Genteel Senate Has Turned Into A Fight Club" The U.S. Senate, once considered the most exclusive and chummiest club in America, has in recent years been transformed into an ideological war zone, where comity and compromise have lost their allure, while confrontation and showmanship now pay big dividends. "The only way you get something is to become obnoxious," Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) declared during the recent immigration debate, explaining her threat to block the entire process. "We have turned from a Senate to a theater, and I'm tired of being part of a theater. If I wanted to be part of a theater, I would have gone to New York." LINK

The Washington Times' Stephen Dinan: "Reid prepares to light fuse of 'nuclear option' in Senate" Declaring that the country faces a presidential nominations crisis, the Senate's top Democrat vowed Sunday to press ahead with showdown votes this week that could end up rewriting Senate rules to power through President Obama's team, but also threatens to end the comity that is essential to the chamber's operations. Sen. Harry Reid, Nevada Democrat, said he wants to tweak the rules to stop Republicans from being able to filibuster when Mr. Obama nominates someone to fill an executive branch or independent agency job - though Mr. Reid would continue to allow filibusters for judges. LINK

SYRIA The New York Times' Mark Mazzetti and Eric Schmitt: " No Quick impact In U.S. Arms Plan For Syria Rebels" A month ago Obama administration officials promised to deliver arms and ammunition to the Syrian rebels in the hope of reversing the tide of a war that had turned against an embattled opposition. But interviews with American, Western and Middle Eastern officials show that the administration's plans are far more limited than it has indicated in public and private. LINK

The Wall Street Journal's Adam Entous: " Legal Fears Slowed Aid to Syrian Rebels" A string of cautionary opinions from administration lawyers over the last two years sheds new light on President Barack Obama's halting and ultimately secretive steps to provide military support to rebels in Syria's deadly civil war. Members of the so-called Lawyers Group of top legal advisers from across the administration argued that Mr. Obama risked violating international law and giving Syrian President Bashar al-Assad the legal grounds-and motivation-to retaliate against Americans, said current and former officials. LINK

ZIMMERMAN VERDICT ABC News' Chris Good: " Oba ma on Zimmerman Verdict: 'Jury Has Spoken,' Calls for 'Calm Reflection'" President Obama called on Americans to observe "calm reflection" after a Florida jury found George Zimmerman not guilty in the shooting death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin. The White House has rarely commented on the George Zimmerman trial even as it captured national attention. On Saturday, the jury reached its decision, clearing Zimmerman of second-degree murder and manslaughter. LINK

The Los Angeles Times' Andrew Blankstein: " Trayvon Martin protesters blocks freeway, streets; LAPD moves in" The Los Angeles Police Department was trying to get a handle on pockets of protesters blocking traffic in the wake of the Trayvon Martin verdict Sunday night. Police patrol cars and motorcycle units were streaming into areas of Crenshaw Boulevard where some protesters standing in the streets, slowing traffic. LINK

IRS USA Today's Gregory Korte: " IRS scandal becoming increasingly partisan" Low-level IRS employees will be called to testify before a congressional committee this week, even as Democrats move to challenge the very basis of the investigation into the agency's targeting of Tea Party groups. Thursday's hearing of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee - the seventh congressional hearing into the Tea Party affair - may highlight the fracture in the once bipartisan outrage into the scandal. Democrats and Republicans are pushing the investigation of the scandal in two different directions. LINK

ABC NEWS VIDEO San Diego Mayor Apologizes for Mistreating Women LINK

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