The Note's Must-Reads for Wednesday July 31, 2013

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, Will Cantine, Jordan Mazza and J.P. Lawrence

BRADLEY MANNING USA Today's Jim Michaels: " First Take: Manning case redefines meaning of traitor" The trial of Army Pfc. Bradley Manning challenged the traditional definition of what defines a traitor. The classic case of a mole leaking sensitive documents to a foreign country has been replaced by a junior analyst who can release troves of information to the public with a few key strokes. Is the law up to the challenge? LINK

TAX REFORM ABC News' Matthew Larotonda and Mary Bruce: " Obama Offers Republicans New 'Grand Bargain' in Tennessee" Saying he wants to "break through the political logjam in Washington," President Obama today offered Republicans a new "grand bargain" economic program that would couple corporate tax reform with funding for programs to create middle class jobs. "I don't want to go through the same old arguments where I propose an idea and the Republicans just say no because it's my idea," the president told workers at an Amazon shipping warehouse. "So I'm going to try offering something that serious people in both parties should be able to support: a deal that simplifies the tax code for our businesses and creates good jobs with good wages for the middle-class folks who work at those businesses." LINK

Bloomberg's Richard Rubin: " Obama Entrance Into Tax Rewrite Draws Republican Rebuke" Max Baucus was right. The Senate Finance chairman predicted two weeks ago that an effort by President Barack Obama to start "beating the drums for tax reform" might backfire with Republicans. Even before Obama's speech in Tennessee yesterday on corporate taxation, Republicans were panning the president's ideas and the top minority member on Baucus's committee, Orrin Hatch, was arguing that the president was trying to "undermine" a rewrite of the U.S. tax code. LINK

The Washington Times' Dave Boyer: " GOP pans Obama 'grand bargain' on taxes" Republican lawmakers blasted a proposal by President Obama on Tuesday to cut corporate taxes in exchange for more spending on job-training programs, calling it a revival of a failed plan that would raise taxes initially. "It's just a further-left version of a widely panned plan he already proposed two years ago - this time, with extra goodies for tax-and-spend liberals," said Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, Kentucky Republican. "The tax hike it includes is going to dampen any boost businesses might otherwise get to help our economy." LINK

The Wall Street Journal's John D. Mckinnon and Colleen McCain Nelson: " Obama Offers New Deal on Corporate Taxes, Jobs". A White House proposal to pair a corporate tax overhaul with new domestic spending elevated the contentious issue of tax policy to the fore in budget negotiations and appeared to give a shot of momentum to changes long supported by some of the largest U.S. companies. The proposal, laid out Tuesday in a speech by President Barack Obama, raised the prospect that corporate taxation would now be high on the list of items under discussion as the White House and congressional Republicans negotiate federal spending levels for next year and the terms for raising the debt ceiling, both of which must be resolved within months. LINK

The Washington Post's Zachery A. Goldfarb and David Nakamura: " Obama's Plan To Link Corporate Tax Reform, Jobs Spending Is Quickly Rejected By GOP" President Obama on Tuesday proposed spending more on creating jobs in exchange for an overhaul of business taxes. But the idea quickly devolved into the type of partisan finger-pointing that shows why any agreement will be so difficult. With great fanfare, Obama and his aides promoted what they called a new "grand bargain" that would sidestep disagreements and focus on a longtime Republican goal: a rewrite of the business tax code to lower corporate rates. LINK

PEACE TALKS The New York Times' Michael R. Gordon: " Kerry Says Goal Is Mideast Peace Deal Within 9 Months" Secretary of State John Kerry said Tuesday that Israeli and Palestinian negotiators would convene again in the Middle East within two weeks and that their goal would be to work out a comprehensive peace agreement within nine months that would lead to an independent Palestinian state. "The parties have agreed to remain engaged in sustained, continuous and substantive negotiations on the core issues," Mr. Kerry said at the State Department, flanked by Tzipi Livni, Israel's justice minister, and Saeb Erekat, the chief Palestinian negotiator. LINK

GAY RIGHTS The Washington Post's Juliet Eilperin: " Advocates Launch Campaign To Bar Workplace Discrimination Against Gays" A coalition of civil rights groups is launching a $2 million campaign aimed at mobilizing support for the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, which has languished on Capitol Hill for nearly two decades. The coalition, called Americans for Workplace Opportunity, is targeting 13 senators in 11 states in hopes of replicating the strategy gay marriage advocates have used to push successful state ballot initiatives. LINK

ABC NEWS VIDEO "Author Says America Must Look Inward to Fix Foreign Relations" LINK

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