The Note's Must-Reads for Friday, February 28, 2014

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 , Will Cantine and Jordan Mazza

PRESIDENT OBAMA ABC News' Dan Good: " Obama and Biden Film A 'Workout' Video Together" President Barack Obama and Joe Biden are keeping in shape - and trying to stay out of trouble with their wives. The president and vice president filmed a "workout" video together, part of Michelle Obama's "Let's Move" fitness campaign. The clip opens with Obama sitting in the Oval Office, checking his watch. Biden walks in. "Mr. President, are you ready to move?" Biden asks. Absolutely, Obama says. So the pair jog through the White House hallways, past dogs Sunny and Bo, and along the building's exterior as workout music plays. LINK

The New York Times' Michael D. Shear: " Obama Starts initiative For Young Black Men, Noting His Own Experience" President Obama spoke in unusually personal terms at the White House on Thursday about how he got high as a teenager and was at times indifferent to school as he deplored what he called America's numbness to the plight of young black men. Drawing on the power of his own racial identity in a way he seldom does as president, Mr. Obama sought to connect his personal narrative about growing up without a father to that of a generation of black youth in the United States who he said faced higher odds of failure than their peers. LINK

Politico's Jennifer Epstein: " Obama Launches Program To Boost Minority Youth" President Barack Obama boosted his outreach to boys and young men of color on Thursday as he launched My Brother's Keeper, a public-private partnership focused on supporting of the country's most vulnerable groups and one to which Obama once belonged. "By almost every measure, the group that is facing some of the most severe challenges in the 21st century, in this country, are boys and young men of color," Obama said at a White House event launching the initiative, which has attracted commitments from foundations of more than $200 million over the next five years, as well as the involvement of business leaders and elected officials. LINK

USA Today's Aamer Madhani: " Obama Launches Program To Help Minority Youth" President Obama launched a new government partnership with businesses and philanthropic groups on Thursday aimed at keeping high-risk young men of color on the right path. Obama called it a "moral issue" for the country to help minority youth gain the education and skills they need to succeed as adults and to stay out of jail. "It doesn't take that much, but it takes more than we are doing now," Obama said. "And that's what My Brother's Keeper is about." LINK

The Washington Post's Zachary A. Goldfarb: " Obama Sees Focus On Young Black And Hispanic Men As Focus After Presidency" He has lamented growing up without a father before. He has acknowledged, in speeches and in a best-selling autobiography, his anger and confusion about that fact. He has admitted youthful drug use and the pull of other temptations. But with the ornate East Room of the White House as a backdrop, Barack Obama on Thursday became the first U.S. president ever to publicly utter, "I got high." He said those three, once politically devastating words standing in front of 19 at-risk black and Hispanic teenagers, to remind them that he was once like them. LINK

ARIZONA & GAY RIGHTS Politico's Alexander Burns and MJ Lee: " How Business Went 'DEFCON 1' In Arizona" As Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer prepared to make a career-defining decision - whether to veto a bill that would free business owners to discriminate on the basis of their religious preferences - a letter arrived at her office early this week with a stern warning from some of the biggest names in the local business community. Signed by the heads of four Arizona business consortiums, with board members including officers of Bank of America, Intel and the Arizona Cardinals football franchise, the letter urged Brewer to strike down the measure known as S.B. 1062. The letter raised the prospect that the legislation could stain Arizona's national reputation and touch off a wave of unpredictable litigation thanks to the bill's broad, vague wording. LINK

The New York Times' Adam Nagourney: " Arizona Bill Allowing Refusal Of Service To Gays Stirred Alarm In The G.O.P." When Gov. Rick Scott of Florida was asked early Wednesday whether he supported Arizona legislation that would make it easier for business owners to refuse service to gay people on religious grounds, he demurred, saying he was unfamiliar with the bill. By afternoon, his office issued a statement saying the measure was divisive and should be vetoed. With that, Mr. Scott joined a contingent of establishment Republicans - among them, Mitt Romney, the party's presidential standard-bearer in 2012, and Gov. Jan Brewer of Arizona - who are vocal opponents of same-sex marriage but came out against a bill that had become a rallying point among conservatives in the Arizona State House and across the country. Ms. Brewer vetoed the measure. LINK

The Wall Street Journal's Tamara Audi and Alejandro Lazo: " Arizona Veto Resonates In Other State Fights" Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer's veto of a bill allowing business owners to refuse service on religious grounds will make passage of similar laws in other states more difficult, both supporters and foes of such measures said. "I'm not optimistic," Georgia Republican state Sen. Josh Mc-Koon said of the bill he is sponsoring that is similar to Arizona's failed legislation. "I'm concerned that the hysteria and misinformation over this issue in general, and specifically what happened in Arizona, is going to make it more difficult to get this to the floor so we can have a debate." LINK

Bloomberg's Mark Silva and Mark Niquette: " Gay Rights Gained In U.S. Amid Russian, Ugandan Reversals" At a time of growing public acceptance of gay rights in the U.S., flash points of resistance in Russia and Africa point to the endurance of discrimination over sexual orientation as a political tool. From Moscow to Kampala, punitive new laws against homosexuality have been enacted, solidifying support for the leaders in some quarters, including churches, while drawing criticism from elsewhere in the world. President Barack Obama, who backed same-sex marriage rights in his re-election campaign, has chastised Uganda for passing laws calling for prison sentences for homosexual acts. LINK

NEW JERSEY Gov. CHRIS CHRISTIE The New York Daily News: " Lupica: Chris Christie's is a tale of high hopes and Port Authority dopes" On Election Night less than four months ago, Chris Christie did not just look like the darling of the Republican Party, he looked like the super-sized man of the moment in all of American politics. Christie was as big as he could be in all ways in November, telling us all about it in his victory speech, on the night when he ended up with 60% of the vote against Barbara Buono. "If we can do this in Trenton, N.J.," Christie said, "maybe the folks in Washington, D.C., should tune in their TVs right now and see how it's done." LINK

NSA USA Today's John Swartz: " NSA Surveillance Hurting Tech Firms' Business" It used to be that tech titans such as Cisco Systems and IBM could bank on fertile markets in Asia and Europe in their quest for worldwide financial domination. Not so much anymore. The National Security Agency, and revelations about its extensive surveillance operations - sometimes with the cooperation of tech firms - have undermined the ability of many U.S. companies to sell products in key foreign countries, creating a fissure with the U.S. government and prompting some to scramble to create "NSA-resistant" products. The fallout could cost the tech industry billions of dollars in potential contracts, which has executives seething at the White House. LINK

The Wall Street Journal's Siobhan Gorman: " NSA Chief Opens Door To Narrower Data Collection" The departing National Security Agency chief offered senators an unexpected option Thursday for restructuring the agency's U.S. phone-data collection program: narrow it to obtain only terrorism-related data. The remarks by NSA Director Gen. Keith Alexander were striking because the government's justification for the data-collection program has been that the NSA needs the full database of Americans' call records to uncover otherwise unknown terrorist connections. LINK

GOVERNMENT SHUTDOWN The Washington Post's Ed O'Keefe: " After Government Shutdown, Dozens Of Lawmakers Gave To Charity" From the very outset of the 16-day government shutdown last fall, members of Congress recognized its potential for political damage. Many of them, seeking to contain the possible fallout, pledged to give back some of their federal salaries earned while the government was not functioning. At the time, there were questions about the sincerity and political expediency of the ­pledges and whether it was even possible for lawmakers to decline their pay. Five months later, some answers are beginning to emerge. LINK

TEA PARTY The Hill's Cameron Joseph: " The Tea Party at five years old: Dawning or dimming movement?" As the Tea Party turns five years old, some of its stars gathered Thursday to argue the movement is still growing and not on the wane. Hundreds of activists met in Washington, D.C., to mark the cause's advent, acutely aware their nascent movement faces challenges. But together, they sought to reassure themselves they're as vibrant as ever even in the face of building criticism. LINK

The Washington Times' Seth McLaughlin: " Struggling Tea party movement throws 5-year birthday party, counts achievements" Tea party leaders said Thursday that five years after the movement began, it remains relevant to American politics, even at a time when its legislative accomplishments are slipping and its candidates are struggling to gain traction in Republican primaries. Members of Congress and activists who turned out for the Tea Party Patriots' fifth anniversary celebration, held at the Hyatt Regency Capitol Hill, said they are still a major faction in Congress and hope to add to their limited-government faction in November. LINK

JOBS & ECONOMY The Los Angeles Times' Cathleen Decker: " Arizona measure shows Republican aim to keep focus on jobs, economy" In its swiftness and brute force, Republican opposition to the Arizona measure that would have bolstered the right to deny services to gays sent one message to GOP Gov. Jan Brewer: Veto it. And it sent another to everyone else in the Republican Party: Keep your eyes on the ball. On the cusp of what the GOP hopes will be a November takeover of both houses of Congress, and the start of a 2016 presidential contest that it hopes will end with the White House in its embrace, party leaders appear to have shifted strategy: Instead of ignoring deviations from Republicans' strong suit, they will try to quash them. LINK

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