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 10, 2013

  • Obama's foreign policy reset

    By Doyle McManus. Los Angeles Times

    The appointment of Susan Rice as national security advisor sends an important signal about the kind of foreign policy President Obama wants to pursue for the remainder of his second term: activist, assertive, occasionally even pugnacious. With three years to shape a legacy in world affairs, Obama wants to play offense, not defense.

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  • Mounting Signs of GOP Rebellion Against Immigration Reform

    By Beth Reinhard, National Journal

    Resistance to a sweeping immigration overhaul is moving from conservative talk shows to the corridors of power.

    The Republican-controlled House of Representatives on Thursday rejected President Obama's policy to stop deporting young people brought to this country illegally as children. With all but six Republicans voting against funding a policy that lets hundreds of thousands of law-abiding but undocumented youth enrolled in high school or the military to stay in this country, the vote spotlighted the long odds facing the much broader Senate bill to allow 11 million illegal immigrants earn citizenship.

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  • Romney Talks About Post-Election Life

    With Gloria Borger, CNN

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Jun 07, 2013

  • Despite Ambivalence, a Strong Embrace of Divisive Security Tools

    By Peter Baker, The New York Times

    Two weeks ago, President Obama went before an audience of generals and spies to declare that “all wars must end” and that he could see a day when even the amorphous struggle with terrorists would essentially come to a close.

    But that day is clearly not here.

    The disclosure of the government’s vast surveillance of American telephone records and foreigners’ e-mail and other Internet communications on Thursday served as a potent reminder that Mr. Obama continues to deploy many of the national security tools he inherited from his predecessor even as he seeks to turn the corner in the way the United States responds to terrorism.

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  • NSA surveillance pits liberty against security

    David Jackson, Susan Davis and Kevin Johnson , USA Today

    Public disclosure of the federal government's effort to track terrorists through the telephone records of average citizens has reinvigorated a national debate over the balancing act between security and liberty.

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  • Cyber Spying Expected To Be Discussed At U.S.-China Summit

    With Tom Gjelten, NPR

    The Pentagon recently released a report directly accusing China of using cyberweapons to gain a military advantage with the U.S. The scope of the problem and the damage done by cyber espionage is not clear. But the issue will be on the agenda when President Obama meets China's new president Xi Jinping in California on Friday.

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  • Obama Will Pitch Health Coverage to Young Latinos

    In California on Friday, President Obama has a message for young, healthy Hispanics who could qualify for help purchasing health coverage in that state: “Get insured!”

    A third of the estimated 2.7 million “young and healthy” Americans who could enroll for benefits under Obamacare beginning Oct. 1 live in just three states: California, Florida and Texas, according to administration officials.

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  • Chris Christie Doesn't Care If You Don't Like Him

    By Amy Walter, Cook Political Report

    Dear national party leaders and pundits: Chris Christie doesn’t care what you think of him.

    Chris Christie’s first priority is to Chris Christie. Not to the national party. Not to conservative leaders. Not to primary or caucus goers in early states.

    It’s what makes him a solid favorite for re-election in New Jersey. But, it’s also what makes him a decided underdog in a 2016 GOP primary.

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  • Senate Democrats Change The Guard

    By Reid Wilson, National Journal's Hotline

    Every decade or so, an electoral wave sends a new generation of politicians to Congress, injecting life and energy into stagnant legislative and policy realms. Such has been the case for the class of Republicans elected in 2010. Their zeal, and the GOP's control of the House of Representatives, has driven much of the Washington debate over the last two years.

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  • Why Didn't the Sequester Bite the Economy?

    What ever happened to the economic pain the sequester was supposed to cause? David Wessel explains.

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Jun 06, 2013

  • In Personnel Appointments, Obama Takes Assertive Tack

    By Peter Baker, The New York Times

    President Obama’s defiant selection of Susan E. Rice as his new national security adviser on Wednesday underscored the newly assertive approach he has taken to appointments ever since he abandoned a potential cabinet nominee named Susan E. Rice.

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  • Obama Seeks Conflict With GOP in Appointing Rice, Power

    By Alexis Simendinger, Real Clear Politics

    President Obama has again practically baited congressional Republicans to wail about his appointees, betting that congressional overreach might put his administration on higher ground after weeks of scandal distractions and legislative fallbacks.

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  • Holder Says He Has No Intention of Stepping Down

    By Pete Williams, NBC News

    Amid calls by some congressional Republicans for his resignation, Attorney General Eric Holder told NBC News Wednesday that he has no intentions of stepping down.

    Holder has been embroiled in a furor over a Justice Department subpoena of Associated Press phone records and an investigation of leaks to Fox News correspondent James Rosen.

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  • The GOP’s Free Pass

    By John Dickerson, Slate Magazine

    Ever since the Obama administration ran aground on a series of scandals, Republicans have been trying hard to go from zero to Watergate. No matter how hard they stomp on the accelerator, the car won't go. On the left, there is a similar desire to go from zero to McCarthy. The main target: Rep. Darrell Issa, chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, who has been investigating the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, and the Internal Revenue Service targeting conservative groups. On Sunday, Issa called White House spokesman Jay Carney a "paid liar," in keeping with the Republican congressman’s general temperament, which is to accuse first and find the facts later. Democrats are trying to promote the idea that Republicans are overplaying their hand with these controversies. Several times, analysts have raised the specter of the 1990s House Republicans who took their party over the cliff with mad passion in the investigations of Bill Clinton.

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  • GOP Seeks Tougher Border Security in Immigration Bill

    By Susan Davis, USA Today

    Momentum to overhaul the nation's immigration laws hit roadblocks in Congress on Wednesday, where leading Republicans said legislation pending in the Senate needs to be much tougher on border security to stand a chance at becoming law.

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  • Mitt Romney to CNN: Rice appointment ‘disappointing’

    With Gloria Borger, CNN

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  • Where's the Enemies List?

    By Doyle McManus, Los Angeles Times

    Who exactly is the enemy in the continuing U.S. war against terrorism?

    In some cases, the answer is: It's a secret.

    When the United States began its war against Al Qaeda after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, the identity of the enemy was clear: Osama bin Laden and his followers, and the Taliban who protected them in Afghanistan. Congress quickly passed a resolution authorizing President George W. Bush to use "all necessary and appropriate force" against anyone who "planned, authorized, committed or aided" the 9/11 attacks, plus anyone who harbored them.

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Jun 05, 2013

  • Obama's Job Approval Intact Despite Scandals: Poll

    With John Harwood, CNBC

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  • Female Senators Express Outrage at Sex Assaults in Military

    With Martha Raddatz, ABC News

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  • Why Congress Likely Will Move Quickly to Curb Sex Assaults in the Military

    By Ed O'Keefe, The Washington Post

    Anyone doubtful that Congress will move quickly this year to address the rise of sexual violence in the military need only review what Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) had to say on the topic Tuesday.

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