The Note’s Must-Reads for Friday, July 8, 2011

Jul 8, 2011 3:43am

Compiled by ABC News Digital News Associates and Jacqueline Ng Fernandez, Jayce Henderson, Alicia Tejada and Desk Assistant Amanda VanAllen 

BUDGET TALKS:
The New Times’ Mark Landler and Carl Hulse: “Still ‘Far Apart’ on Debt, 2 Sides Will Seek Broader Cuts” WASHINGTON — President Obama, convening budget talks at the White House on Thursday, said Republicans and Democrats were still “far apart” but expressed confidence they could agree on an ambitious deal to prevent the government from defaulting on its debt. LINK

USA Today’s Catalina Camia: “Democratic governors raise about $11 million” The Democratic Governors Association is touting its $11 million fundraising haul for the first six months of the year, despite being heavily outgunned by its GOP counterpart. LINK  

NATIONAL DEBT:
ABC News’ Mary Bruce: “Obama On Deficit Meeting With Congressional Leaders: 'Nothing Is Agreed To, Until Everything Is Agreed To'” President Obama said today that he and congressional leaders had “a very constructive meeting” on the deficit this morning but that a deal has not yet been reached. “People were frank. We discussed the various options available to us.  Everybody reconfirmed the importance of completing our work and raising the debt-limit ceiling so that the full faith and credit of the United States of America is not impaired,” Obama said in an appearance in the White House briefing room. “I want to emphasize that nothing is agreed to until everything's agreed to, and the parties are still far apart on a wide range of issues.” LINK

The Hills’ Russell Berman: “Debt showdown set for Sunday” The White House and congressional leaders lurched closer to a climactic showdown over the debt limit Thursday, as President Obama scheduled a Sunday meeting that could determine whether a broad deficit-reduction deal can be reached before time runs out. Obama on Thursday convened a bipartisan summit of eight top lawmakers from the House and Senate. Officials in both parties acknowledged the mounting urgency of forging an agreement in time to avoid a federal default after Aug. 2. LINK

New York Daily News’ Aliyah Shahid: “Debt ceiling talks: Obama proposes cuts to Social Security, GOP's Eric Cantor signals tax compromise” After months of debt-deal stalemate, a grand bargain might be in the works. Eric Cantor, the Republican House Majority Leader, now says he is open to discussing Democratic proposals to close some tax loopholes, while President Obama is reportedly willing to make cuts to Social Security and Medicare. LINK

Politicos’ David Rogers: “Debt talks turn to tax reform” With White House debt talks due to resume Sunday, the next few days will sorely test the mettle of President Barack Obama and Speaker John Boehner as they try to finalize a landmark budget and tax reform deal, held prisoner thus far by the rhetoric of both parties. The two men have set their sights on an estimated $4 trillion 10-year deficit reduction package that demands big spending cuts but ultimately represents a huge bet on putting in place sweeping tax reforms by early next year. LINK

Wall Street Journal’s Carol E. Lee, Janet Hook and Naftali Bendavid: “Sights Set on Grand Debt Deal” President Barack Obama and congressional leaders agreed Thursday to strive for a blockbuster deficit-reduction deal and will spend the weekend determining whether political support is possible for a sweeping plan to curb entitlements and make major tax-code changes.

The Washington Post’s Lori Montgomery and Paul Kane:“Obama calls debt talks ‘constructive,’ invites parties to reconvenue Sunday” Negotiations over the national debt entered a critical phase Thursday as President Obama challenged congressional leaders to embrace an ambitious but politically painful strategy to raise revenue and make changes to popular federal retirement programs. LINK

The Washington Times’ Dave Boyer: “Debt deal remains elusive as liberals issue ultimatum” President Obama and top congressional Republicans said significant differences remain after high-stakes talks Thursday at the White House on the government’s budget and debt woes, although both sides called the talks constructive and agreed to work through the weekend on a renewed push for a deal. LINK

FOREIGN
Bloombergs’ John Bolton: “Confused U.S. Policy to Blame for Libya’s Muddle: John Bolton” Casey Stengel reportedly once asked, after becoming manager of the hapless New York Mets, “Can’t anybody here play this game?” Much the same question applies to the U.S.-NATO military intervention in Libya, now in its fourth excruciating month.  Although it is sensible for the allies to remove the dangers posed by Muammar Qaddafi’s threatened return to international terrorism, to date there is little positive to say about the political leadership of the operation. LINK

Los Angeles Times’ Kim Geiger: “House criticizes Libya mission but preserves funding” The House of Representatives sent a mixed message Thursday on U.S. involvement in Libya, voting to block direct American support for rebel forces but refusing to cut off funding to the NATO mission. It was the second instance in recent weeks in which the Republican-dominated House voiced disapproval of President Obama's policies in Libya but stopped short of voting to withdraw all funds. Lawmakers refused last month to authorize U.S. Military involvement in the conflict, but rejected a bill aimed at cutting off money for drone strikes in Libya. LINK

OTHER:
The Washington Post’s Jason Ukman: “Execution of Mexican national prompts concern about impact” Humberto Leal Garcia Jr., the Mexican national convicted of raping and killing a 16-year-old San Antonio girl, was executed on Thursday night. For the state of Texas, the execution was a matter of justice. For a majority of the Supreme Court, the decision not to stay the execution was a matter of legal obligation. But for diplomats, the execution was at least in part a matter of international credibility. LINK

ABC NEWS VIDEOS:
Rep. Yarmuth: If Bachmann is GOP Candidate, 'President Obama Would Win All 50 States'LINK
Obama: 'Nothing Is Agreed To, Until Everything Is Agreed To'LINK
Rep. Yarmuth: Irresponsible for White House to Give Congress 'Fait Accompli' Debt AgreementLINK

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