The Note's Must-Reads for Friday, September 6, 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' Will Cantine, Carrie Halperin, Jayce Henderson and Jordan Mazza

SYRIA ABC News' Devin Dwyer: " President Obama Considers Address To Nation On Syria" President Obama is considering a high-profile address to the nation on the need for military intervention in Syria - a speech that could come as early as this week - according to top lawmakers and administration officials. Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes said today there is no speech planned at this point, but that Obama is looking at "multiple opportunities" to make the case directly to Congress and the American people. LINK

The Hill's Julian Pecquet: " Kerry Says Failure To Take Action in Syria Will Empower Islamists" Islamist militants will gain the upper hand in Syria if the United States doesn't strike, Secretary of State John Kerry said Thursday. Kerry told MSNBC host Chris Hayes that lawmakers who are wary of empowering U.S. foes if they vote for military action against Bashar Assad's forces have it backward. He said that if the United States doesn't act, Americans will see more videos such as the one aired by The New York Times on Thursday that purports to show Islamists executing seven captured Syrian soldiers. LINK

The Los Angeles Times' Richard Simon: " Syria Strike May Hinge On Pelosi" President Obama's hopes of winning congressional approval for a U.S. military strike on Syria could come down to the persuasion skills of House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi, a San Francisco liberal who was a leading critic of the war in Iraq. ith a nod to the historical irony, she is arguing to her Democratic colleagues that Syria is different from the earlier conflict. She spoke passionately in an interview about the "human rights catastrophe" in Syria, saying a "limited, targeted" attack "that will be over fast" could prevent the future use of weapons of mass destruction. And she called on Obama to make a more forceful argument for military action. LINK

The Wall Street Journal's Julian E. Barnes and Adam Entous: "Iran Plots Revenge, U.S. Says" The U.S. has intercepted an order from Iran to militants in Iraq to attack the U.S. Embassy and other American interests in Baghdad in the event of a strike on Syria, officials said, amid an expanding array of reprisal threats across the region. Military officials have been trying to predict the range of possible responses from Syria, Iran and their allies. LINK

Bloomberg's Michael Bender, Roxana Tiron & Greg Giroux: " Numbers in Congress Show Obama Far From Approval on Syria" Republican U.S. House Speaker John Boehner and Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi voted the same way just five times in the past three years. Every time, the House has followed their lead. That may change when it comes to Syria. Boehner and Pelosi are among about 20 members - or about 5 percent of the House - publicly supporting a military strike so far. On the other side is an unusual alliance of Tea Party Republicans and antiwar Democrats who make up the bulk of at least 68 lawmakers opposed to military action - 54 Republicans and 14 Democrats, according to a Bloomberg News tally. LINK

The Washington Times' Seth McLaughlin: " Shadow of Benghazi Clouds Obama's Syria Push On Capitol Hill" Lingering frustration over the way President Obama handled the attacks in Libya that led to death of a U.S. ambassador and three other Americans has colored the debate over whether to launch military strikes against Syrian President Bashar Assad. Republican lawmakers said in hearings this week that the two situations are linked because the September 2012 attack on the diplomatic post in Benghazi weakened Mr. Obama's credibility with the public, with the public still seeking answers about what went wrong and why people have not been held accountable for the security shortcomings there. LINK

The Washington Post's Philip Rucker and Ed O'Keefe: " Obama, From Russia, Urges U.S. Lawmakers To Back Strike On Syria" President Obama scrambled with senior advisers Thursday to soften resistance to a military strike against the Syrian government among U.S. lawmakers and some of Obama's most reliable global allies. LINK

Politico's Lucy McCalmont: " Donald Rumsfeld: President Obama 'Did Draw' Red Line" Continuing his criticism of President Barack Obama's strategy on Syria and "lack of leadership," former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld hit the president on his statement Wednesday that he "didn't set a red line." "He did draw it!" Rumsfeld told Fox News's Greta Van Susteren, who informed him of Obama's remarks in Stockholm. LINK

N.S.A. The New York Times' Nicole Perlroth, Jeff Larson, Scott Shane: " N.S.A. Foils Much Internet Encryption" The National Security Agency is winning its long-running secret war on encryption, using supercomputers, technical trickery, court orders and behind-the-scenes persuasion to undermine the major tools protecting the privacy of everyday communications in the Internet age, according to newly disclosed documents. LINK

HEALTH CARE USA Today's Kelly Kennedy: "Medicaid Expansion Gap Could Leave Poor Shortchanged" The decision of some states not to expand Medicaid means that the nation's poorest - those the Affordable Care Act would have helped the most - may not receive any help at all. That's because the 2010 law was written to provide Medicaid coverage for those making less than 100% of the federal poverty level, $23,550 for a family of four, in all 50 states. LINK

ABC NEWS VIDEO " Presidents Obama, Putin Meet At G20 Amid Rising Tension" LINK

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