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!

Jun 24, 2013

  • Supreme Court Raises Bar for Affirmative Action in College Admissions

    With Pete Williams, NBC News

     

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  • Plane for Havana Leaves Moscow Without Snowden

    By David M. Herszenhorn, Ellen Barry and Peter Baker, The New York Times

    Edward J. Snowden, the former national security contractor accused of espionage, did not leave Moscow as expected on a flight to Havana on Monday, raising questions about what, if any, alternative travel plans he may have made.

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  • GOP’s Divide on Immigration Best Explained By Two Senators Named Jeff

    By Ed O’Keefe, The Washington Post

    One easy way to grasp the challenges facing the Republican Party on immigration reform is to map the political distance between two GOP senators who have been working diligently on the package that the Senate is expected to vote on this week. The problems begin with the fact that they have not been working together.

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  • Two Bills, Two Lessons for GOP Hopefuls

    By Dan Balz, The Washington Post

    Republicans contemplating a run for the White House in 2016 must be thinking hard about what transpired on Capitol Hill this past week and what it says about the gap between winning their party’s nomination and winning a general election.

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  • Chance for a New Approach on Iran

    By Doyle McManus, Los Angeles Times

    We don't know yet whether Hassan Rowhani, the surprise winner of Iran's presidential election, will turn out to be a reformer or just another frontman for the clerical establishment. He won't even be inaugurated until Aug. 4.

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  • Dems Lack ‘Firepower’ to Defeat Sen. McConnell

    By Jeff Zeleny, The New York Times

    One of the biggest goals of the year for Democrats has been trying to find a candidate in Kentucky who is willing to run against Mitch McConnell, the Senate Republican leader. But the last man who tried to defeat him has new words of advice for his party: good luck.

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  • Can Democrats Win Back the Deep South?

    By Molly Ball, The Atlantic

    A few weeks ago, municipal elections were held in Mississippi. The state Republican Party concentrated its efforts on four traditional GOP strongholds -- Tupelo, Meridian, Starkville, and the picturesque Gulf Coast burg of Ocean Springs.

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Jun 21, 2013

  • Analysis: At U.S. high court, high anxiety over big cases

    By Joan Biskupic, Reuters

    Chief Justice John Roberts clutched a sheaf of papers when he and his black-robed colleagues ascended the mahogany bench on Thursday for one of the last days of the U.S. Supreme Court term.

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  • Border Deal Greatly Improves Chances for Immigration Bill

    By Ed O'Keefe, The Washington Post

    Prospects for the contentious immigration bill that has been working its way through the Senate for months vastly improved Thursday after senators agreed to spend several billion more dollars to fortify the U.S.-Mexico border.

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  • National Polls On Immigration and Guns Don't Tell The Whole Story

    By Amy Walter, Cook Political Report

    The president and the press love to cite national polls as the authority on how Americans see the issues. How many times have you heard about the “90 percent of Americans” who support background checks or the “overwhelming majority” who support a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants?

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  • Congress Kicks the Can

    By Doyle McManus, Los Angeles Times

    It almost seems like distant history now, but it was really just a few short months ago that President Obama and Senate Republicans, spurred by fear of fiscal chaos, did the unthinkable: They went out to dinner and talked civilly about the possibility of a "grand bargain," a compromise that would shrink the deficit through revenue increases and long-term spending cuts.

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  • Bipartisan Senate Group Seeks Deal on Student Loans

    By Susan Davis, USA Today

    A bipartisan coalition of senators is working on a compromise to avert an impending July 1 doubling of subsidized Stafford loan interest rates that would affect as many as 7 million college students.

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  • On Nuclear Cuts, a Split Over Whether Senate Backing Is Needed

    By Peter Baker, The New York Times

    Secretary of State John Kerry called Senator Bob Corker on Tuesday to discuss President Obama’s renewed drive for arms control. On that much, at least, the two agree. Exactly what was said, however, has quickly become a point of contention.

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Jun 20, 2013

  • Senators Reach Deal on Border Security Proposals

    By Ed O'Keefe, The Washington Post

    Senators have reached an agreement that would almost double the number of federal agents along the U.S.-Mexico border, require construction of 700 miles of border fencing and provide money for aerial drones, according to several Senate aides who said the deal should ensure significant Republican support for an immigration measure that is expected to be approved next week.

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  • House Passes Far-Reaching Bill to Limit Abortions

    By Susan Davis, USA Today

    The Republican-led House of Representatives approved a far-reaching bill to ban a woman's ability to seek an abortion after 20 weeks on a mostly party-line 228-196 vote Tuesday.

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  • The National Conversation

    This afternoon, NPR Correspondent Tom Gjelten moderates a panel discussion on the topic of cybersecurity in the private and public sectors as part of series at the Wilson Center. Today's event will open with a keynote address from U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano followed by panelists Francis Taylor, Michael Chertoff and Stephen Flynn in conversation. Gjelten will moderate.

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  • Dissent Festers in States That Obama Seems to Have Forgotten

    By John Harwood, The New York Times

    You might call North Dakota the antithesis of President Obama’s political base.

    Whites make up 90 percent of its population, which is fewer than one million people and mostly in rural areas. Its proportion of people 65 and over exceeds the national average. There was never a chance that North Dakota would give Mr. Obama its three electoral votes.

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  • Is Rand Paul going mainstream, or vice versa?

    By Karen Tumulty, The Washington Post

    Rand Paul seems to be crossing over to the mainstream — or maybe it’s the other way around.

    When Kentucky’s junior senator arrived in Washington just over two years ago, he appeared destined to inhabit the role of perpetual outlier. But now, he’s in the mix on just about everything that is happening, and is talked about as a credible Republican presidential contender in 2016.

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  • Republican Presidential Prospects Lay Groundwork for Invisible Primary

    By Reid Wilson, National Journal's Hotline

    They swear they're focused on more-immediate projects. They insist a White House campaign is the furthest thing from their minds. But with the 2016 invisible primary well under way, some Republican candidates are already lining up the campaign managers they will turn to if and when they decide to run for president.

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Jun 19, 2013

  • G-8 Meeting Ends With Cordial Stalemate on Syria

    By Jackie Calmes and Stephen Castle, The New York Times

    The United States and leaders of other major industrialized nations on Tuesday papered over differences on Syria and the global economy in statements that summarized their two-day annual summit meeting at a secluded lakeside resort here.

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