The Note's Must-Reads for Friday, April 22, 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, Claudia Morales and Amanda VanAllen PRESIDENT OBAMA: The Washington Post’s Lori Montgomery and Shailagh Murray: “ Obama, GOP in quiet talks to extend tax cuts” The White House and congressional Republicans have begun working behind the scenes toward a broad deal that would prevent taxes from going up for virtually every U.S. family and authorize billions of dollars in fresh spending to bolster the economy. LINK The Washington Time’s Jerry Seper: “ Immigration groups to step up pressure on Obama of reforms” A coalition of community and faith-based pro-immigration groups who helped elect President Obama in 2008 will begin a series of town-hall meetings and news conferences Tuesday in California to tell the president that the nations immigration system is “broken” and to remind him of campaign pledges he made to fix it. LINK USA Today’s David Jackson: “ Obama: We will end ‘manipulation of gas prices” Faced with the prospect of $5-a-gallon gas this summer, President Obama said today his Justice Department is creating a team to "root out any cases of fraud or manipulation in the oil markets that might affect gas prices." LINK

FOREIGN AFFAIRS: ABC News’ Martha Raddatz: “ Obama Approves Use of Armed Predator Drones Over Libya” President Obama has given approval for two armed American Predator drones to operate over Libya, according to Defense Secretary Robert Gates. The U.S. has flown armed drones in Libya for the past several weeks, but they have been used only for surveillance. They will now be used to strike Gadhafi's forces as part of the civilian protection mission. LINK Bloomberg’s Patrick Donahue and Maher Chmaytelli: “ U.S. Deploys Predator Drones for Ground Attacks Against Qaddafi’s Forces” The U.S. deployed armed Predator drones for ground attack missions in Libya , as U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron said that sending European military advisers to help the rebels isn’t a step toward deployment of ground troops. LINK

SENATOR ENSIGN: The New York Times’ Eric Lipton: “ Senator Ensign to Resign Amid Inquiry” Senator John Ensign of Nevada, the subject of an ethics investigation related to his affair with the wife of a former top aide, announced Thursday evening that he was resigning, effectively ending the high-profile Senate inquiry that had already ruined his once-promising political career. LINK

The Wall Street Journal’s Naftali Bendavid: “ Nevada’s Ensign to Leave Senate” Sen. John Ensign, who faced an ethics investigation surrounding an affair with a former campaign staffer, said Thursday he was leaving the Senate effective May 3. LINK BUDGET: LA Times’ Anthony York: “ Republican Legislator Joins Gov. Brown's Road Trip Republican critics called on Gov. Jerry Brown on Thursday to stand up to his union allies in Sacramento as he was joined on his budget tour for the first time by a GOP legislator. LINK

OTHER: The New York Times’ Jim Rutenberg and Megan Thee-Brenan: “ Nation’s Mood at Lowest Level in Two Years, Poll Shows” Americans are more pessimistic about the nation’s economic outlook and overall direction than they have been at any time since President Obama’s first two months in office, when the country was still officially ensnared in the Great Recession, according to the latest New York Times/CBS News poll. LINK

The Hills’ Mike Lillis: President Predicts Pelosi Will Again be Speaker of the House” President Obama this week predicted that Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) hasn't seen her last stint as House Speaker – an indication Democrats remain confident they can win back control of the House sometime in the not-too-distant future. "What can I say about Nancy Pelosi?" Obama told members of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) at the St. Regis Hotel in San Francisco on Thursday. LINK

ABC NEWS VIDEOS: Obama Makes His Tax Case At Reno Town Hall LINK Gerry Connolly: Middle Class Tax Cuts On The Table LINK

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