Essential Reads

Essential Reads is your one-stop source for the top stories of the day as reported by your favorite Washington Week panelists. It's a simple way to save time and stay informed about the news you need to know. Check it out every day!

Jan 31, 2013

  • John Kerry Bids Farewell to U.S. Senate

    By Susan Davis, USA Today

    Sen. John Kerry bid farewell to the U.S. Senate on Wednesday, reflecting on a 28-year tenure that began on a wave of anti-war activism, included a failed 2004 presidential run and will begin a new chapter as the nation's top diplomat on Friday.

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  • Nuclear Test Could Open Window on North Korea

    By David E. Sanger and Thomas Shanker, The New York Times

    The world is warning North Korea against going ahead with its third nuclear test, but inside the American intelligence community, some officials are quietly hoping it happens. A test could give them their first real view in years into whether the North has made significant progress toward a weapon that could threaten the United States or its allies.

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Jan 30, 2013

  • Obama Presses Congress on Immigration Reform

    By Alexis Simendinger, Real Clear Politics

    President Obama used a speech in Las Vegas on Tuesday to urge Congress to move swiftly this year -- after decades of false starts -- to repair what he called America’s “broken” immigration system.

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  • Obama Starts Push for Immigration Reform

    By Christi Parsons and Kathleen Hennessey, Los Angeles Times

    President Obama flew to this once-red state, turned blue largely by the votes of Latinos, to launch an effort to overhaul the nation's immigration laws. But in doing so, he carefully avoided ultimatums that might disrupt bipartisan talks underway in the Senate and House.

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  • Immigration reform's new fans

    By Doyle McManus, Los Angeles Times

    Can Republicans find a way out of the political dead end they marched into during the 2012 campaign? Can President Obama make his second term more productive than the final gridlocked years of his first? Can Democrats and Republicans in Congress relearn the forgotten art of compromise after years of angry polarization?

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  • Is Washington Getting Less Dysfunctional?

    By Molly Ball, The Atlantic

    Don't look now, but things are actually getting done in Washington, D.C.

    Witness the last month: We didn't go over the fiscal cliff. We averted (at least for the moment) a debt-ceiling standoff. On Monday, Congress passed, with barely any drama, aid for victims of Hurricane Sandy. And the bipartisan push for comprehensive immigration reform seems to be going awfully well.

     

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  • Immigration Plan Could be Long-Term Boon to GOP

    By Susan Davis and Martha T. Moore, USA Today

    A renewed bipartisan push to rewrite U.S. immigration laws presents Republicans with their clearest opportunity to make up lost ground with one of the fastest growing forces in American politics.

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Jan 29, 2013

  • Obama to Begin Immigration Reform Push in Nevada

    By Alexis Simendinger, Real Clear Politics

    President Obama on Tuesday will ask American workers, employers, lawmakers, and interest groups to help enact a new immigration system this year that would grant undocumented immigrants an earned path to U.S. citizenship.

    The kickoff of Obama’s public campaign for reform, which the president postponed until his second term, will take place in Las Vegas a day after a key, bipartisan group of senators launched a push for immigration changes that Obama hopes can lead to action in the House.

     

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  • Immigration Plan Could be Long-Term Boon to GOP

    By Susan Davis and Martha T. Moore, USA Today

    A renewed bipartisan push to rewrite U.S. immigration laws presents Republicans with their clearest opportunity to make up lost ground with one of the fastest growing forces in American politics.

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  • Marco Rubio Evolved on Immigration Reform

    By Beth Reinhard, National Journal

    rizona Sen. John McCain partnered with liberal Democrat Ted Kennedy in 2005 to offer illegal immigrants a pathway to citizenship, then allied with border security hardliners during a tough 2010 Republican primary. "Complete the danged fence," McCain cracked in a widely publicized television spot.

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  • Obama's Permanent Campaign: Can He Use His Reelection Playbook to Change Washington?

    By Molly Ball, The Atlantic

    A week ago, President Obama launched his second term with a set of lofty goals -- climate change legislation, immigration reform, and gun control among them.

    Around the same time, Obama's former campaign apparatus announced it would morph into a new group called Organizing for Action, a nonprofit group to promote Obama's policy goals.

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  • Rep. Ryan: I Think Sequester Will Happen

    With John Harwood, CNBC

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Jan 28, 2013

  • Before a Departure, a Rare Joint Interview

    By Peter Baker, The New York Times

    They sat side by side, trading laughs and finishing each other’s thoughts. Five years ago, the very prospect of such a moment would have been “improbable,” as one of them put it.

    But now as the improbable partnership between President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton winds down with her pending departure from the cabinet, the two rivals-turned-allies sent a public signal of solidarity on Sunday — at a time when one has run his last election and the other is contemplating one more.

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  • Obama Focuses on Status Quo, Not Left, in Battle With G.O.P.

    By John Harwood, The New York Times

    For all the talk that President Obama has shifted leftward, much of his early second-term energy seeks simply to preserve the status quo.

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  • Can Obama Make History on Immigration?

    By Fawn Johnson, National Journal

    This is actually happening. That’s the viewpoint of Capitol Hill aides, lobbyists, advocates, and politicians who have been involved in the immigration debate for 10, 20, and in some cases 30 years. They are psyched. They are scared. They are sober.

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  • Immigration Debate Gears Up

    By Laura Meckler, Wall Street Journal

    Millions of illegal immigrants would be given a path to citizenship under provisions of an immigration overhaul fashioned by a bipartisan group of senators, an opening shot in what promises to be a fight in Congress this year.

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  • The Fed’s Profits: The Other Side of QE

    By Greg Ip, Economist

    Ever since the Federal Reserve first started buying up financial assets back in 2008, some have fretted about taxpayer exposure. The private debt purchased by the Fed to prop up the financial system might sour. The government bonds it has bought with newly created money, a strategy dubbed “quantitative easing” (QE), could fall in value if interest rates rose.

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Jan 25, 2013

  • Obama Shakes Up White House as He Names Chief of Staff

    By Peter Baker, The New York Times

    President Obama plans to shake up his White House staff on Friday, installing a new team largely made up of familiar faces moved to different positions as he gears up for an intense push on sweeping legislation early in his second term.

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  • U.S. Senate OKs Tweak to Filibuster Rules

    By Susan Davis, USA Today

    The Senate voted Thursday to alter its parliamentary rules to make it easier to move legislation and judicial nominations through the chamber.

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  • One Tough-Talking Nerd: Bobby Jindal Brands Himself as Republican Reformer

    By Beth Reinhard, National Journal

    The speech Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal gave Thursday to a gathering of Republican party leaders, released in advance by his office, was organized by Roman numerals. I. America is not Washington. II. How we win the argument. III. How we win the election. IV. Conclusion. Jindal's delivery resembled that of a nervous student rushing through an oral recitation of a term paper. The audience was as distracted as a room of high school classmates.

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