The Note's Must-Reads for Friday August 30, 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, Will Cantine and Jordan Mazza

SYRIA ABC News' Arlette Saenz: "How Obama Can Bypass Congress on Syria Strike" Bipartisan pressure is mounting for President Obama to seek congressional authorization for any military strike against Syria, but history has shown that presidents - including Obama - have been willing to forgo formal approval of lawmakers on Capitol Hill before taking military action. The constitution gives Congress the power to declare war, but Congress has not formally declared war since World War II. LINK

USA Today's Susan Davis: "Obama prepares for possible action against Syria" President Obama prepared Thursday for the possibility of launching a U.S. military action against Syria within days, even as Britain opted out in a vote by Parliament. Advisers said the president would be willing to retaliate against Syria alone. LINK

The Wall Street Journal's Carol E. Lee, Adam Entous, and Siobhan Gorman: "U.S. Prepares for Solo Strike On Syria After Britain Balks" The Obama administration laid the groundwork for unilateral military action in Syria, a shift officials said reflected the U.K.'s abrupt decision not to participate and concerns that President Bashar al-Assad was using the delayed Western response to disperse his military assets. The push for a quick international strike to punish Syria for what the U.S. said was a chemical-weapons attack appeared in disarray on Thursday, after British lawmakers defeated a government motion in support of military action. LINK

The New York Times' Mark Landler, David E. Sanger and Thom Shanker: " Obama Set For Limited Strike On Syria As British Vote No" President Obama is prepared to move ahead with a limited military strike on Syria, administration officials said Thursday, despite a stinging rejection of such action by America's stalwart ally Britain and mounting questions from Congress. The negative vote in Britain's Parliament was a heavy blow to Prime Minister David Cameron, who had pledged his support to Mr. Obama and called on lawmakers to endorse Britain's involvement in a brief operation to punish the government of President Bashar al-Assad for apparently launching a deadly chemical weapons attack last week that killed hundreds. LINK

The New York Times' Michael R. Gordon: " Aim Of U.S. Attack: Restore A 'Red Line' That Became Blurred" The goal of the cruise missile strikes the United States is planning to carry out in Syria is to restore the smudged "red line" that President Obama drew a year ago against the use of poison gas. If carried out effectively, the strikes may also send a signal to Iran that the White House is prepared to back up its words, no small consideration for an administration that has proclaimed that the use of military force remains an option if the leadership in Iran insists on fielding a nuclear weapon. LINK

The Washington Post's Karen DeYoung: " Obama has Power, Determination To Make Own Decision On Syria, Administration Says" The administration insisted Thursday that President Obama has both the authority and the determination to make his own decision on a military strike against Syria, even as a growing chorus of lawmakers demanded an opportunity to vote on the issue and Britain, the United States' closest ally, appeared unlikely to participate. Britain's sudden withdrawal came after Prime Minister David Cameron, deserted by rebels in his own Conservative Party, lost a parliamentary vote for provisional authorization for military action in Syria. LINK

Politico's Austin Wright: " White House Offers Hill No Timetable On Syria" White House officials offered few details and no timeline for a possible attack on Syria during a 90-minute conference call on Thursday evening for members of Congress, according to a congressional source who participated in the call. The call appears to have done little to change anybody's mind. Members issued statements afterward reiterating their long-held views on Syria. LINK

SNOWDEN LEAKS The Hill's Julian Pecquet : " Leaked documents reveal US sees Israel as a spying threat" The Obama administration views Israel as one of the top spying threats facing its intelligence services, leaked documents reveal. A secret budget request obtained by The Washington Post from former NSA contractor Edward Snowden lumps Israel alongside U.S. foes Iran and Cuba as "key targets" for U.S. counterintelligence efforts. LINK

THE I.R.S. & SAME-SEX MARRIAGE The New York Times' Annie Lowrey: " Gay Marriages Get Recognition From The I.R.S" All same-sex couples who are legally married will be recognized as such for federal tax purposes, even if the state where they live does not recognize their union, the Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service said Thursday. It is the broadest federal rule change to come out of the landmark Supreme Court decision in June that struck down the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act, and a sign of how quickly the government is moving to treat gay couples in the same way that it does straight couples. LINK

The Washington Post's Josh Hicks and Ruth Tam: " IRS Shifts To Equal Tax Treatment For Same-Sex Marriages" Same-sex married couples will be allowed to file joint federal tax returns, the same as married heterosexual couples, the Treasury Department and Internal Revenue Service announced Thursday. The new policy, a response to a Supreme Court ruling in June that overturned a key provision in the Defense of Marriage Act, allows same-sex married couples to claim marriage-related exemptions, credits and deductions even if they live in jurisdictions that don't recognize gay unions. Like heterosexual spouses, gay couples will be required to declare "married filing jointly" or "married filing separately." LINK

Politico's Lauren French: " Same-Sex Couples Will Get Federal Tax Recognition" The Treasury Department and Internal Revenue Service announced on Thursday that legally married same-sex couples will receive the same tax treatment and benefits as heterosexual couples, a decision that follows the Supreme Court ruling this summer that overturned the Defense of Marriage Act. This tax treatment will apply even if a gay couple lives in a state that does not recognize same-sex marriage so long as they were married in a state or country that does. LINK

ABC NEWS VIDEO "Obama: 'No Interest' in 'Open-Ended Conflict in Syria'" LINK

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