The Note's Must-Reads for Friday November 30, 2012

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' Carrie Halperin, Jayce Henderson and Will Cantine


ABC News' Dana Hughes: " Secretary of State Hilary Clinton: Fiscal Cliff is a National Security Issue" Secretary of State Hillary Clinton warned Thursday that a failure to pass a budget deal would have dangerous consequences for the global economy and weaken America's standing in the world. LINK

The Wall Street Journal's Telis Demos and David Benoit: " Deal Makers Scramble as Cliff Nears" Deal makers and their clients are hustling to sell chunks of stock or whole companies before possible tax increases in the new year. LINK

The Wall Street Journal's Janet Hook and Corey Boles: " GOP Rejects Offer From Obama" President Barack Obama made and opening bid in budgets talks with Republicans that calls for a $1.6 trillion tax increase, a $50 billion economic-stimulus program and new power to raise the federal debt limit without Congressional approval, a broad set of demands Republicans viewed as a step back in talks to avoid looming tax increases and spending cuts. LINK

ABC News' Chris Good: " Fiscal Cliff Analogy of the Day: The Fiscal Cliff as the Movie 'Speed'" Driving the federal government is like driving a city bus, which, according to Sandra Bullock's character, is like driving a really big Pinto: The steering is unwieldy, and sometimes a timing mechanism will make it explode if it goes under 55 mph and no compromise is reached by Dec. 31. John Boehner (Keanu Reeves) and President Obama (Sandra Bullock) must now work together to avert disaster in this epic thrill ride through Washington, D.C.! LINK

The New York Times' Jonathan Weisman: " G.O.P. Balks at White House Plan on Fiscal Crisis" Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner presented the House speaker, John A. Boehner, a detailed proposal on Thursday to avert the year-end fiscal crisis with $1.6 trillion in tax increases over 10 years, $50 billion in immediate stimulus spending, home mortgage refinancing and a permanent end to Congressional control over statutory borrowing limits. LINK

The Washington Post's Lori Montgomery and Paul Kane: " Obama makes fresh demands on 'fiscal cliff'" President Obama offered Republicans a detailed plan Thursday for averting the year-end "fiscal cliff" that calls for $1.6 trillion in new taxes, $50 billion in fresh spending on the economy and an effective end to congressional control over the size of the national debt. The proposal, delivered to the Capitol by Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner, mirrors previous White House deficit-reduction plans and satisfies Democrats' demands that negotiations begin on terms dictated by the newly-reelected president. LINK

Politico's Jake Sherman and Manu Raju: " Democrats bet Republicans cave on taxes" Democrats are increasingly confident that rank-and-file Republicans will cave on taxes and force House GOP leaders to pass a tax cut plan for families who earn less than $250,000. It's a risky gambit with about a month before the country hits the fiscal cliff of tax increases and spending cuts. But Democrats, feeling like they have serious leverage, believe the only path for a deal is to pass a middle-class tax cut package to pave the way for larger fiscal negotiations in 2013 over taxes and spending. LINK

Bloomberg's Julie Hirschfeld: " Cliff-Skeptics in Both Parties Deepen Fiscal Challenges" President Barack Obama says going over the fiscal cliff by missing the deadline for a deficit reduction deal by year's end would be a "rude shock" for Americans. Republican House Speaker John Boehner says it would be a "fiasco." Yet a small and potentially influential group of lawmakers in both parties is emerging as fiscal-cliff skeptics, willing - and some even arguing - to take the dive. Their attitude may make striking a compromise a messy and drawn-out process. LINK

The Hill's Russell Berman, Mike Lillis, Erik Wasson and Bernie Becker: " Boehner, House GOP reject debt deal offer from White House" Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) on Thursday rejected a White House offer to avoid the "fiscal cliff" that would include $1.6 trillion in tax increases, $400 billion in spending cuts and a more permanent increase in the debt ceiling, Republican aides said. Aides said the offer was made by Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and Rob Nabors, a top White House adviser, during their meeting with Republican leaders in the Capitol. LINK

The Washington Times' Susan Crabtree: " Obama plans campaign-style trip to push higher taxes" President Obama is hitting the hustings in a campaign-style push for tax increases, and his first stop is Pennsylvania - a battleground state with the kinds of Republicans who he thinks could be amenable to being swayed by grass-roots pressure.Since his re-election three weeks ago, Mr. Obama has stuck to his campaign message that raising taxes on high earners is the best way to reduce the nation's soaring deficits and avoid veering off the so-called "fiscal cliff." LINK


The Los Angeles Times' Shashank Bengali: " Bradley Manning takes stand in WikiLeaks hearing" Pfc. Bradley Manning swiveled in the witness chair, smiling and occasionally talking over his lawyer. In his Army dress-blue uniform, he appeared even younger than his 24 years. It was difficult to reconcile the bespectacled Manning's relaxed, almost chatty demeanor with the vast charges against him - perpetrating one of the biggest leaks of classified material in U.S. history. LINK


ABC News' Matt Negrin: " Obama and Romney Eat Lunch: The Screenplay" This is not the way Mitt Romney wanted to walk into the White House, but at least he gets a free lunch out of it. President Obama is treating the former presidential candidate to a midday meal in his private dining room today, and absolutely no press will be allowed, because that would just be too much fun. So we're left to imagine what the onetime nemeses will discuss while munching on whatever they're munching on. While we're at it, here's the screenplay. LINK


USA Today's David Jackson: " Obama's Personal E-Mails Raised Millions" "Join me for dinner?" … "It's officially over" … "It doesn't have to be this way" … "Wow" … "Hey." These were some of the come-hither e-mail subject lines that President Obama's campaign team used to raise money - and they worked. "Most of the $690 million Obama raised online came from fundraising e-mails," reports Joshua Green in Bloomberg Businessweek. LINK


" Vice President Biden Shops at Costco, Calls for Extension of Middle Class Tax Cuts" LINK " Boehner on Fiscal Cliff: 'White House Has to Get Serious" LINK


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