The Note's Must-Reads for Wednesday, January 29, 2014

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' Jayce Henderson, Will Cantine and Jordan Mazza

STATE OF THE UNION ADDRESS ABC News' Alisa Wiersema: " Meet The State Of The Union Guest Who Got The Most Applause" U.S. Army Ranger Sergeant First Class Cory Remsburg had the longest standing ovation of the night at the State of the Union Tuesday night. Remsburg, who has met President Obama on three separate occasions, was almost killed by a roadside bomb explosion in Kandahar, Afghanistan in 2009. The explosion left Remsburg in a three-month coma and rendered him partially paralyzed and brain-damaged, according to the White House. LINK

USA Today's Melanie Eversley: " Soldier At State Of The Union Touches Twitterverse" The Twitterverse reacted emotionally Tuesday night to President Obama's introduction of a soldier in the audience who was severely injured in Afghanistan. As the president and Army Sgt. 1st Class Cory Remsburg exchanged a thumbs-up sign and the audience gave him a standing ovation, Twitter users who up to that point were making fun of facial expressions and what people were wearing suddenly turned serious and tweeted praise for the soldier left blind in one eye and disabled. Remsburg suffered shrapnel in his brain on Oct. 1, 2009, from a roadside bomb in Afghanistan. LINK

USA Today's Gregory Korte: " Obama Unveils New Retirement Savings Plan: 'MyRA'" A new savings plan will allow Americans to buy savings bonds in a starter retirement account that "guarantees a decent return with no risk of losing what you put in," President Obama said Tuesday evening in his State of the Union address. "Today, most workers don't have a pension. A Social Security check often isn't enough on its own. And while the stock market has doubled over the last five years, that doesn't help folks who don't have 401(k)s," he said. LINK

The Wall Street Journal's Damian Paletta and Anne Tergesen: " Obama Announces New Retirement Accounts" President Barack Obama said he would direct the Treasury Department to create a new type of retirement savings account for millions of Americans that would include a government guarantee. Mr. Obama announced the creation of the investments in his State of the Union address Tuesday, and he is expected to provide more details Wednesday in a speech in Pittsburgh. The accounts, called "myRAs," would be structured like a Roth individual retirement account. Similar to savings bonds, the investments would be backed by the federal government. LINK

The Wall Street Journal's Julian E. Barnes: " In Obama's State Of The Union Address, A Warning On Iran" President Barack Obama acknowledged Tuesday that talks with Iran over its nuclear program will be difficult and "may not succeed," but said that for the sake of national security, the U.S. must try to negotiate a deal with Tehran. In his State of the Union address, Mr. Obama defended the U.S. overture to Iran, his most important foreign-policy push of the year and one of the few new foreign-policy initiatives in a speech heavy on domestic proposals. LINK

The Boston Globe's Matt Viser: " Obama Vows Executive Steps To Narrow Economic Gap" President Obama lamented on Tuesday night the growing income gap and deep economic anxiety lingering across the country, saying he is prepared to take a series of executive actions to circumvent Congress wherever possible to try to prop up the middle class. As Obama began framing his final three years in office - and attempted to turn around his troubled presidency - his State of the Union address amounted to a populist plea to a deeply divided Congress and to a nation that has grown increasingly disenchanted with his performance. LINK

The Hill's Amie Parnes and Justin Sink: " Obama flexes executive power in measured State of Union address" In a State of the Union address less partisan and pointed than many expected, President Obama on Tuesday said he was eager to work with Congress but willing to go it alone. Obama promised to unleash a torrent of new executive actions after a difficult year in which his agenda languished in Congress and his approval ratings plummeted. But he did so in a genial tone, and with a speech that included praise for some of his longtime foes. Obama used Speaker John Boehner's (R-Ohio) humble background as the "son of a barkeep" as a touchstone for his call to improve economic mobility for the poor and middle class. LINK

The Los Angeles Times' Kathleen Hennessey and Christi Parsons: " In State of the Union, Obama focuses on America's economic divide" Hoping to leave a bruising year in the rearview mirror, President Obama vowed Tuesday to work with Congress when possible but around it when necessary to push ahead with a series of mostly modest steps aimed at helping low- and middle-income families share in the economic recovery. In his State of the Union address, Obama shook off his earlier recession-era rhetoric to envision an increasingly robust economy. He warned Congress not to impede that progress, and swore he would work to shrink the gap between rich and poor left by the years of job losses and depressed wages. LINK

The New York Time's Peter Baker: " In State of the Union Address, Obama Vows to Act Alone on the Economy" After five years of fractious political combat, President Obama declared independence from Congress on Tuesday as he vowed to tackle economic disparity with a series of limited initiatives on jobs, wages and retirement that he will enact without legislative approval. Promising "a year of action" as he tries to rejuvenate a presidency mired in low approval ratings and stymied by partisan stalemates, Mr. Obama used his annual State of the Union address to chart a new path forward relying on his own executive authority. LINK

The Washington Post's David Nakamura and David Fahrenthold: " In State of the Union, Obama vows to expand opportunity, with or without Congress" President Obama sought Tuesday to restore public confidence in his presidency after a dispiriting year, pledging to use his White House authority with new force to advance an agenda that Congress has largely refused to support. In his fifth prime-time State of the Union address, Obama made clear that instead of trying to fix the mess in Washington, he was now promising to find ways around it. LINK

GOP RESPONSE ABC News' Jordyn Phelps: " Republican State Of The Union Response Gets Personal" Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers struck a decidedly personal note in the official Republican response Tuesday night to President Obama's State of the Union address. McMorris Rodgers, R-Wash., the highest ranking female member of the House of Representatives and the first in her family to graduate from college, spoke in length about her life story in building the Republican case that President Obama's address fell short in connecting with the real problems facing Americans. LINK

Politico's Ginger Gibson and Seung Min Kim: " Republicans Bash Obama for Overstepping Bounds" President Barack Obama said if Congress won't help him get things done, he'll do it on his own - and congressional Republicans aren't pleased. Many in the GOP said they don't intend to sit quietly if Obama starts signing executive orders. LINK

NEW YORK REP. MICHAEL GRIMM ABC News' Abby D. Phillip: " NY Congressman Threatens To Throw Reporter Off Balcony - On Camera" Rep. Michael Grimm, R-N.Y., threatened to "break" a local reporter in half and throw him off the balcony in the Capitol rotunda during a post-State of the Union interview turned toxic. Grimm, who is under federal investigation over his 2010 campaign financing, refused to answer a question from NY1 reporter Michael Scotto about the investigation. But as the cameras continued rolling, Grimm returned to physically confront Scotto, and according to a transcript posted by NY1, threatened him. LINK

USA Today's Susan Davis: " New York Congressman Threatens Reporter On Air" Rep. Michael Grimm, R-N.Y., was caught on camera Tuesday threatening NY1 reporter Michael Scotto when he attempted to ask Grimm about an ongoing federal investigation into his campaign finance operation. "I'm not speaking about anything that is off-topic, this is only about the president's speech," Grimm said, before walking off camera. Grimm quickly returned in front of the camera, and the exchange was partially caught on film. cotto is heard saying, "that's a valid question," while Grimm was on tape saying, "You're not a man," and "I could break you in half." Grimm then walked away. The exchange, aired by NY1, quickly picked up steam on social media late Tuesday. LINK

The Wall Street Journal's Mara Gay: " Michael Grimm Clashes With NY1 Reporter" NY1, the television news station, accused Staten Island's Rep. Michael Grimm of physically threatening one of its reporters after President Barack Obama's State of the Union address. In a video posted late Tuesday evening, NY1 reporter Michael Scotto asked Mr. Grimm to comment on a matter other than Mr. Obama's speech. Mr. Grimm, a Republican up for re-election, abruptly ended the interview and walked away, telling Mr. Scotto, "I'm not speaking to you off-topic, this is only about the president." LINK

New York Daily News' Adam Edelman and Joseph Straw: " New York Rep. Michael Grimm threatens reporter after being asked about fundraising allegations" Embattled New York Republican Rep. Michael Grimm threatened to "break" a NY1 reporter and throw him off a balcony after President Obama's State of the Union address Tuesday night. The confrontation occurred on Capitol Hill when reporter Michael Scotto followed up questions about the President's speech by pressing the congressman on a federal investigation into his fund-raising. "Congressman Michael Grimm does not want to talk about some of the allegations concerning his campaign finances … but as you saw he refused to talk about that," Scotto said as Grimm began to walk away. Hearing Scotto's comment, Grimm turned and walked toward the NY1 reporter. LINK

'DUCK DYNASTY' STAR ATTENDS UNION ADDRESS The Washington Times' Jacqueline Klimas: " For GOP lawmakers, 'Duck Dynasty' stars biggest draw at Obama's speech" Stars from "Duck Dynasty" stole the show before President Obama arrived at the State of the Union Tuesday night. Rep. Vance McAllister, Louisiana Republican, brought the show's star Willie Robertson as his guest to the State of the Union. Mr. Robertson endorsed Mr. McAllister leading up to the special election in Louisiana and gave the newly-elected member a big bear hug in December to congratulate him on his victory. LINK

BOOKMARKS The Note: LINK ABC News Politics: LINK George Stephanopoulos' Blog: LINK ABC News on Twitter: @ThisWeekABC | @ABCPolitics ABC News Mobile: LINK ABC News Apps: LINK ABC News YouTube: LINK

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