The Note's Must-Reads for Thursday, August 4, 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 Jayce Henderson and Jacqueline Fernandez

PRESIDENT OBAMA: ABC News’ Devin Dwyer: “ President Obama to Talk Jobs on Bus Tour, but Why Can’t He Create Them?” "Putting Americans back to work." That's the slogan plastered atop the White House website today, signaling President Obama's focus on jump-starting the economy now that the debt-ceiling crisis has passed. LINK

The Washington Post’s David Nakamura: “ At Obama’s birthday party in Chicago, a warm embrace from die-hard supporters” After a month when he was battered by both sides of the political aisle in partisan Washington, President Obama returned to his home town a day before his 50th birthday, the first step in reenergizing his embattled base. LINK

The Washington Times’ Dave Boyer: “ Obama: Congress to blame for economy” The chairs of lawmakers departing for their summer recess had barely cooled Wednesday when the White House tried to shift blame onto Congress for the faltering economy. LINK

FAA: ABC News’ Mary Bruce: “ Obama Urges Congress to End FAA Shutdown Before The End of This Week” President Obama accused lawmakers today of playing politics with the extension to fund the FAA and urged Congress to resolve the shutdown before the end of the week, saying this is another example of a “self-inflicted wound” on the American economy. LINK The Hill’s Keith Laing: “ With debt ceiling raised, FAA funding fight takes center stage” The White House, Senate Democrats and House Republicans ratcheted up their rhetoric Wednesday over a partial shutdown of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) that has left 4,000 workers furloughed. LINK

DEBT DEAL: Politico’s John Bresnahan & Manu Raju: “ Harry Reid’s debt deal post-mortem” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid was so worried that no debt deal was in sight within a week of the default deadline, that he began analyzing whether President Barack Obama could raise the national debt ceiling by invoking the 14th Amendment — an unprecedented move. LINK

The Wall Street Journal’s Aaron Lucchetti, Dan Fitzpatrick and Liz Rappaport: “ How White House Wooed Wall Street in Debt Debate” This week's vote to avert a debt-ceiling crisis brought together a variety of uneasy political alliances. But few were as fraught with tension as the one between Wall Street and the Obama administration. LINK

2012 ELECTION / G.O.P.: The New York Times’ Nicholas Confessore: “ Rivals in G.O.P. Struggle to Woo Bush’s Donors” The calls come at least once a week these days, with growing urgency: friends of the Republican presidential candidates, aides to the candidates, and often the candidates themselves, wondering if Al Hoffman Jr. might be ready to lend a hand. LINK

The Los Angeles Times’ Seema Mehta: “ GOP voters holding out for dream candidate” Reporting from Des Moines— No politician ends up by accident in Iowa. Nor in New Hampshire. So recent appearances in the states by Republicans Chris Christie, Sarah Palin, Rudolph W. Giuliani, George E. Pataki and supporters of Rick Perry are setting off furious speculation about their presidential ambitions and feeding a quadrennial tradition: the search for the elusive ideal candidate, whose attributes seem to exceed those of the flesh-and-blood contenders sweating it out on the campaign trail. LINK USA Today’s Frredreka Schouten and Christopher Schnaars: “ A dozen donors account for bulk of ‘super PAC’ money” Wealthy individuals, corporations and unions are writing big checks to "super PACs," political action committees raising unlimited amounts of cash to influence 2012 presidential and congressional races. LINK

FOREIGN AID: The Boston Globe’s Michael Bailey: “ Kerry makes pitch to maintain foreign aid” In these days of fiscal belt-tightening in the nation’s capital, any pitch to maintain or increase the flow of US dollars to causes and governments overseas can be expected to be roundly jeered. Yet, says Senator John F. Kerry, if the United States wants to preserve its standing on the world’s stage, such investment is vital. LINK

OTHER: The New York Daily News’ Helen Kennedy: “ Pat Buchanan downplays controversy after calling President Obama ‘your boy’ to Rev. Al Sharpton” Pat Buchanan refused to apologize Wednesday for yet another racially-loaded statement, this time referring to the President as "your boy" to Al Sharpton. "Some folks took what I said as some kind of a slur," Buchanan said on MSNBC's "Morning Joe." LINK

ABC NEWS VIDEOS: Election 2012: Mormon Church in SpotlightLINK Airline Inspectors Unpaid; Congress VacationsLINK Obama Tackles JobsLINK

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