The Note's Must-Reads for Monday, January 10, 2011

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 Digital News Associates and Desk Assistants JAYCE HENDERSON, JACQUELINE FERNANDEZ, CLAUDIA MORALES and MOLLY HUNTER

TUCSON SHOOTING / SECURITY: ABC News’ Michael Falcone, Amy Walter and Z. Byron Wolf: “ Arizona Shooting Touches Off Fierce Debate Over Political Rhetoric” Yesterday’s killing rampage in Arizona that left 6 dead and 20 wounded, including Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, who remains in critical condition at a Tucson hospital, immediately set off a debate about the tone of the country’s political discourse. While the exact motives -- political or otherwise -- of the shooter, who killed a federal judge, a 9-year-old girl, Giffords’ director of community outreach and three others, remain unclear, the political implications are obvious. LINK

The Hill’s Bridget Johnson: “ Joint Conference Wednesday to Discuss Security Concerns” The chairman of the House Democratic Caucus said Sunday that lawmakers will meet for a special joint conference on Wednesday to discuss security measures and concerns in the wake of the shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.) in her home district Saturday. Rep. John Larson (D-Conn.) spoke to reporters after about 800 lawmakers, staffers and family members took part in an hour-and-a-half conference call Sunday afternoon. LINK

The Hill’s Bridget Johnson: “ Armey: Answer On Shooter’s Motive ‘Will Come From Psychology,’ Not Politics” Former House Majority Leader Dick Armey (R-Texas), chairman of the conservative action group FreedomWorks, said Sunday that the shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.) and ensuing calls for more civil political discourse shouldn't discourage grassroots activists. "The fact of the matter is, we still have extremely important critical issues of public policy that must be sorted out," Armey said on ABC's "This Week." "Now, hopefully this will be done in a more civil way. But this incident is no basis by which anybody who sees their duty to America to stand down from that duty, but to redouble it, perhaps with a greater degree of caution, and hopefully with a greater degree of civility. LINK

The Washington Post’s Scott Wilson: “ Obama calls for national moment of silence for Tucson victims” President Obama will observe a moment of silence for the Arizona shooting victims Monday morning, and he called on all Americans to do so at the same time in a show of national unity. LINK

The New York Times’ Marc Lacey: “ Federal Charges Cite Assassination Plan” Prosecutors charged Jared L. Loughner, a troubled 22-year-old college dropout, with five federal counts on Sunday, including the attempted assassination of a member of Congress, in connection with a shooting rampage on Saturday morning that left six people dead and 14 wounded. LINK

The Wall Street Journal’s Jonathan Weisman and Naftali Bendavid: “ In Aftermath of Shooting: Calls for Security, Civility” Saturday's shooting of a congresswoman while she was meeting constituents sparked outreach between party leaders and talk of stepped-up security, against the backdrop of a nascent debate over inflammatory rhetoric in politics. LINK

The Washington Times’ Joseph Weber: “ Weekend rampage brings calls to cool rhetoric, add security for lawmakers” The assassination attempt on Rep. Gabrielle Giffords over the weekend prompted lawmakers on Sunday to blame, in part, the nation's political rhetoric as overheated and also push such issues as congressional security and gun-control laws. LINK

Bloomberg’s Heidi Przybyla: “ Giffords Shooting in Arizona May Soften U.S. Political Rhetoric” The shooting rampage in Tucson, Arizona, that killed six people and left U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords in critical condition is contributing at least momentarily to a cooling of U.S. political rhetoric. LINK

The Boston Globe’s Mark Arsenault and Bryan Bender: “ Agonizing Aftermath” Anguished debate began yesterday about the caustic tone of American political rhetoric after the Arizona shooting spree Saturday that killed six and left Representative Gabrielle Giffords in critical condition. The question argued by politicians and pundits: Did vitriol and violent metaphors in political speech tip an unstable person to pick up a gun? With the answer still unknown, calls to lower the temperature of American discourse came from all parts of the political spectrum. LINK

Politico’s Carrie Budoff Brown: “ Left, right struggle to define Jared Lee Loughner” Liberals and conservatives have rushed to frame Jared Lee Loughner’s motives – in hopes of gaining the upper hand in the debate over the Arizona rampage early, and for months to come. But despite the attempts on both sides, the picture that crystallized this weekend of Loughner was not of someone who identified neatly with politics on the left or the right. LINK

FOREIGN AFFAIRS: USA Today: “ Obama on Sudan: “‘The World Will be watching’” President Obama has issued a statement on Sudan, saying he is pleased that voting has started on a referendum that could divide the African nation into two. LINK

The Boston Globe’s Michele Richinick and Andrea Estes: “ Locally and globally, Sudanese vote on independence” Bona Nyapir, 56, has been fighting for southern Sudan’s freedom since he was 17, when he was wounded in the leg while battling government militia. Yesterday, Nyapir, who eventually fled to the United States, became one of the first southern Sudanese to vote here in the weeklong referendum that will decide whether his war-ravaged homeland becomes an independent nation. LINK

DEFENSE SPENDING: Newsweek’s Douglas Schoen: “ The Risky Rush to Cut Defense Spending” As we begin a new year, the United States is at a major crossroads in foreign policy. The end of 2010 saw North Korea’s assault on the disputed Yeonpyeong Island, the revelation that Pyongyang had developed a secret, highly sophisticated uranium enrichment plant with 2,000 centrifuges, and, of course, the massive WikiLeaks dump that jeopardized diplomacy around the world. LINK

HEALTH CARE: NY Daily News’ Michael Mcauliff: “ Reps Anthony Weiner, Joe Crowley Prepared to Lead N.Y. Delegation In Fight To Keep Obamacare” New York Democrats are positioning themselves as the key defenders of health care reform in the GOP’s House effort to repeal the law next week. Like other Democrats, they've already begun touting the many benefits Republicans want to take back, from tax cuts for small businesses to prescription help for seniors. But being New Yorkers, they've kicked it up a notch - even the normally mild-mannered Bronx Rep. Eliot Engel. LINK

ABC NEWS VIDEO: “Female Hero stopped Shooter From Reloading” LINKTragedy in Tucson” LINK

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