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!

Feb 06, 2013

  • Obama Urges Short-Term Delay of Sequester Cuts

    By Alexis Simendinger, Real Clear Politics

    Faced with another Washington-created budget deadline, President Obama asked Congress Tuesday to commit to a new, short-term delay of spending cuts set to hit federal programs on March 1.

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  • Obama Urges Congress to Act to Stave Off Cuts

    By Jackie Calmes and Michael D. Shear, The New York Times

    President Obama on Tuesday called on Congress to quickly pass a new package of limited spending cuts and tax increases to head off substantial across-the-board reductions to domestic and military spending set to begin on March 1, but his appeal for more revenue was dismissed by Republicans.

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  • As Obama Calls For Short-Term Fix to Avert Sequester, CBO Reports Falling Deficits

    By Lori Montgomery and Zachary A. Goldfarb, The Washington Post

    President Obama on Tuesday urged Congress to head off deep automatic spending cuts set to hit the Pentagon and other federal agencies on March 1 and replace them, at least for a few months, with a new debt-reduction package that includes fresh tax revenue.

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  • Tax reform that hits home

    By Doyle McManus, Los Angeles Times

    Would you support a tax reform measure that could help reduce the federal deficit, remove a needless distortion in the economy and make the system fairer?

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  • Republicans Try a Softer Focus — On Life Issues

    By Karen Tumulty, The Washington Post

    After years in which the Republicans’ answer to almost every question was to reduce spending and lower taxes, some of the party’s most influential voices are beginning to suggest that it is time to take a broader — and softer — focus.

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Feb 05, 2013

  • The Debt Ceiling Explained: Why You Should Care

    With David Wessel, Wall Street Journal

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  • President Obama Misses Budget Deadline for Third Straight Year

    By Lori Montgomery, The Washington Post

    For the third year in a row, President Obama on Monday blew the deadline for submitting his budget request to Congress, prompting Republicans to grouse once again about presidential fecklessness on fiscal matters.

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  • Boehner Blasts Obama on Budget

    With Eamon Javers, CNBC

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  • Goldman’s Blankfein to Join Obama Immigration Meeting

    By Julianna Goldman, Bloomberg News

    President Barack Obama will meet today with a dozen chief executive officers including Goldman Sachs Group Inc.’s Lloyd Blankfein and Yahoo! Inc.’s Marissa Mayer as part of his campaign to pressure lawmakers to rewrite the nation’s immigration laws, the White House said.

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  • How Republicans Learned to Love the Mainstream Media

    By Beth Reinhard, National Journal

    If you’re going to declare war on the tea party, The New York Times is a good place to start.

    By laying out plans to protect Senate Republicans and other seasoned candidates from tea-party insurgents on the front page of the Sunday paper, the American Crossroads super PAC effectively alerted the donor class to its new venture, called the Conservative Victory Project.

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  • Gen. Carter Ham: Members of Al Qaida Group Among Benghazi Attackers

    By Nancy A. Youssef, McClatchy Newspapers

    The attackers who killed U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans last September in Benghazi, Libya, represented a variety of Islamist groups and were motivated by a myriad of factors, the top Libyan official investigating the case has told McClatchy.

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  • The CIA And The Hazards Of Middle East Forecasting

    By Tom Gjelten, NPR

    Government agencies do not often acknowledge their own errors, but the CIA has done just that with the declassification of intelligence memoranda on the 1973 Arab-Israeli War.

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Feb 04, 2013

  • Why Immigration Reform in 1986 Fell Short

    By Karen Tumulty, The Washington Post

    When Ronald Reagan signed a comprehensive immigration overhaul in 1986, he confidently predicted: “Future generations of Americans will be thankful for our efforts to humanely regain control of our borders and thereby preserve the value of one of the most sacred possessions of our people — American citizenship.”

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  • EU Wish List for U.S. Policy

    By Naftali Bendavid, Wall Street Journal

    As President Barack Obama’s new foreign policy team takes shape in Washington, European leaders’ hopes for his second term are topped by a U.S.-Europe free trade deal and a new push for Mideast peace.

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  • Broad Powers Seen for Obama in Cyberstrikes

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

    A secret legal review on the use of America’s growing arsenal of cyberweapons has concluded that President Obama has the broad power to order a pre-emptive strike if the United States detects credible evidence of a major digital attack looming from abroad, according to officials involved in the review.

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  • Targeted Killings: Obama’s Endless War

    By James Kitfield, National Journal

    In his Inaugural Address, President Obama offered a paean to peace for a nation wearied by war. Americans will show the courage to strive to resolve our differences with other countries peacefully, he pledged, because no one has a greater stake in a peaceful world than its most powerful nation. “We, the people, still believe that enduring security and lasting peace do not require perpetual war,” Obama said.

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Feb 01, 2013

  • Bipartisan Baloney

    By John Dickerson, Slate Magazine

    In Washington, when senators from the two parties arrive simultaneously at a microphone, you’ve got yourself a “gang.” Threats of bipartisanship soon follow. White papers and frameworks are issued. The lifespan of a gang is well-documented: Its members rush through the marble halls of Congress, trailed by a clot of reporters. Then it’s on to the green rooms before they become extinct. Yet, even in Washington, hope still triumphs over experience. So this week, members of the “gang of eight” came to the microphone pushing immigration reform, and the old folk tales of bipartisanship were once again in the news.

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  • Can Immigration Fix The GOP's Hispanic Problem?

    By Amy Walter, Cook Politics Report

    By now, just about everyone understands that Republicans have a problem with Hispanic voters. The bigger question now is if a bi-partisan immigration bill will be the cure.

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  • Senate Passes Debt Limit Extension

    By Susan Davis, USA Today

    The U.S. Senate approved a bill, 64-34, that would suspend the nation's borrowing authority through May 18. The measure, already approved by the House, will be sent to President Obama, who has pledged to sign it into law.

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  • The Assault-Weapons Ban Isn't Happening—Get Over It

    By Molly Ball, The Atlantic

    First, the bad news for fans of gun control: A new assault-weapons ban probably isn't going to happen. This has become abundantly clear in recent days as top Democrats, including Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy and Vice President Joe Biden, have downplayed the proposal's chances.

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