The Note's Must-Reads for Thursday, December 26, 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 and Jordan Mazza

ELIOT SPITZER ABC News' Shushannah Walshe: " Spitzers Ending Marriage That inspired 'The Good Wife'" Former New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer and his wife, Silda Wall Spitzer, announced Tuesday that their marriage of more than 20 years is over. She stood by him throughout his career, including a tense 2008 news conference where he resigned 48 hours after revelations that he had frequented a high-end prostitution service. The announcement lasted just minutes, but the iconic image of the stoic though ashen-faced wife standing next to another failed politician would help launch a television show, inspiring CBS' "The Good Wife." LINK

The New York Daily News' Barry Paddock and Bill Hutchinson: " Eliot Spitzer Spotted Celebrating Christmas With Family Of Lis Smith, His New Lover Dressed To Impress" Less than 24 hours after announcing the end of his marriage, former Gov. Eliot Spitzer wasted no time Wednesday in cozying up to his new girlfriend's family. The 54-year-old disgraced ex-governor traveled with his 31-year-old new love Lis Smith - the spokeswoman for Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio - to her parents' Westchester home Christmas morning. Smith, who was Spitzer's flack during his failed run for city controller this summer, looked dressed for a late-night soiree in Manhattan instead of a modern-family gift exchange in the suburbs. LINK

IMMIGRATION The Wall Street Journal's Laura Meckler: " Immigration-Bill Pressures Backfire" Supporters of an immigration overhaul, looking for allies in the Republican-led House, concluded months ago that a top prospect would be Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy. His California district is 37% Hispanic. It is dominated by big farms that rely on immigrant labor. Mr. McCarthy has strong ties to Silicon Valley, where companies are eager for more high-tech visas. His perch as No. 3 House Republican gives him a voice in leadership and sway over what legislation comes to the floor. LINK

USA Today's Alia Beard Rau: " Ariz. Eases Driver's License Rule For Some Immigrants" Arizona will grant driver's licenses to undocumented immigrants allowed to remain in the country as family members of military personnel, even as it continues to defend a separate decision denying licenses to "dreamers," immigrants who entered the country illegally as children. The Arizona Department of Transportation said this week that undocumented spouses, children and parents of military personnel granted "parole in place" under a new U.S. Department of Homeland Security policy will be eligible for driver's licenses. LINK

PRESIDENT OBAMA The Los Angeles Times' Maeve Reston: " Obama Visits Troops, Spends A Low-Key Christmas With Family" President Obama and his wife, Michelle, made their customary Christmas visit to greet troops at Marine Corps Base Hawaii, offering thanks and encouragement to some 580 service members before spending the evening at home with friends and family. The ocean-front Marine base at Kaneohe Bay - where Obama also works out, plays golf and goes to the beach with his family - is a five-minute drive from the Obamas' vacation rental in Kailua. LINK

The New York Times' Ashley Parker: " Obamas Celebrate Christmas in Hawaii" President Obama took a break from opening gifts and singing carols with his family on Christmas Day, and spoke to about 580 military troops in Hawaii, where he and his family are spending their winter break, thanking them for their service. Joined by his wife, Michelle, the president arrived in the "chow hall" of the Marine Corps Base Hawaii in Kaneohe Bay, as the troops were finishing up their Christmas dinner. On Christmas Eve, Mr. Obama had placed holiday telephone calls to United States service members from each branch of the military, including the four members who were wounded in a military mission in South Sudan last weekend. LINK

The Hill's Justin Sink: " Israel To S. Africa: Obama's Year In Travel" Presidents historically shift their focus to the international stage in their second terms, finding greater flexibility and more power without the constraints a hostile Congress can put on domestic policy. But world affairs can also prove unpredictable and tumultuous, as President Obama found in 2013. While the president crisscrossed the globe, he was confronted with an international community increasingly skeptical of the U.S. LINK

HEALTH CARE Politico's Joanne Kenen and Jason Millman: " HHS Offers Help For People Who Miss Obamacare Deadline" People who can't finish the online signup for Obamacare health insurance by midnight Tuesday because of problems with and a surge of last-minute shoppers can seek extra time to finalize their application and still get covered by Jan. 1, the Obama administration said Tuesday afternoon. It's the latest in a series of extensions granted by the administration, which is making a final push to enroll people in coverage taking effect next week. LINK

The Washington Times' Tom Howell Jr.: " Supreme Court Position On Obamacare Birth Control Mandate A Tough Call" When the Supreme Court next year decides whether the Obama administration can force for-profit companies to insure birth control, the punditry around abortion or the "war on women" will be overshadowed by legal precedent and acts by Congress that weigh religious liberty against government mandates, legal scholars say. How the nine justices will rule on the contraception mandate - an outgrowth of President Obama's signature health care law - is anyone's guess, after federal appeals courts across the country could not agree on whether the government could force larger employers to insure a range of contraceptives as part of their health care plans. LINK

NSA The Washington Post's Ellen Nakashima: " If Not The NSA, Who Should Store The Phone Data?" A measure that President Obama is considering as a way to curb the National Security Agency's mass storage of phone data is already facing resistance - not only from the intelligence community but also from privacy advocates, the phone industry and some lawmakers. Obama last week suggested that he was open to the idea of requiring phone companies to store the records and allowing the government to search them under strict guidelines. Currently, the agency stores those records itself, part of a sprawling collection program that came to light through documents shared by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden. LINK

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