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!

Jul 02, 2013

  • Putin: We'll Never Hand Over Snowden

    With Eamon Javers, CNBC

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  • Muslim Brotherhood Calls Supporters to Streets After Military Sets 48-Hour Deadline

    By Nancy A. Youssef and Amina Ismail, McClatchy Newspapers

    The Muslim Brotherhood early Tuesday called on its supporters to take to the streets to protect the “legitimacy” of President Mohammed Morsi after a second day of massive protests demanded the resignation of the country’s first democratically elected president.

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  • Did the Economy Falter in Second Quarter?

    By David Wessel, Wall Street Journal

    Last week’s news about the U.S. economy was all about Federal Reserve officials pounding the markets over the head to convince them they had misinterpreted Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke‘s recent news conference. This week, attention –both inside and outside the Fed — turns back to the economy itself.

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  • No, It's Not Sexist to Describe Women Politicians' Clothes

    By Molly Ball, The Atlantic

    I first found out I wasn't supposed to write about women politicians' clothes in 2006. Profiling the Democratic nominee for Nevada governor for the Las Vegas Review-Journal, I had described her as habitually wearing a "shapeless skirt suit."

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Jul 01, 2013

  • EU 'Bugging Out' Over Spying Accusations

    With Eamon Javers, CNBC

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  • Job Title Key to Inner Access Held by Snowden

    By David E. Sanger and Scott Shane, The New York Times

    Intelligence officials refer to Edward J. Snowden’s job as a National Security Agency contractor as “systems administrator” — a bland name for the specialists who keep the computers humming. But his last job before leaking classified documents about N.S.A. surveillance, he told the news organization The Guardian, was actually “infrastructure analyst.”

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  • All 3 Government Branches Assert Their Powers, But Partisan Impasses May Re-emerge Soon

    By Charles Babington, Associated Press

    For all the talk of Washington gridlock, the three branches of government are asserting their powers this week, and sometimes surprising their closest observers.

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  • No, the Voting Rights Act Is Not Dead

    By Molly Ball, The Atlantic

    When the Supreme Court handed down its verdict on the Voting Rights Act on Tuesday, analysts had little doubt about what it meant: By sending the landmark civil-rights legislation back to Congress, the Court had essentially acted to kill it.

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  • Amid D.C. Gridlock, Has Supreme Court Stepped In?

    Woven into the Supreme Court’s spirited legal opinions about marriage equality and voting rights last week was the germ of an idea other powerbrokers raised in their own ways simultaneously: When Congress and the executive branch are at loggerheads, is there a perceived invitation for the court -- and other institutions with clout -- to march on in?

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  • Immigration Backers Outspent Opponents 2.5 to 1

    By Reid Wilson, National Journal's Hotline

    Backers of comprehensive immigration reform legislation that passed the Senate by a 68 to 32 margin on Thursday have outspent opponents of the Gang of Eight's bill by a huge margin, according to an analysis of advertising data from across the country, money that provided cover to key Democrats and Republicans who voted in favor of the bill.

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Jun 28, 2013

  • Senate Passes Sweeping Rewrite of Immigration Laws

    By Alan Gomez and Susan Davis, USA Today

    The U.S. Senate passed a sweeping immigration bill Thursday that would allow the nation's 11 million unauthorized immigrants to become U.S. citizens, overhaul the country's immigration system and spend billions to secure the southwest border with Mexico.

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  • Key Republicans To Watch In House Immigration Debate

    By Amy Walter, Cook Political Report

    Last week’s failure of the farm bill in the House brought to light the fragility of the GOP coalition in the House. Republicans may have a 17-seat majority, but it’s a majority in name only. The factions within the conference have made it almost impossible to corral even a majority of the majority (the so-called Hastert Rule) on bi-partisan pieces of legislation. As one former senior House staffer joked with me the other day, the only way the House will support legislation backed by the White House is when there is a new occupant at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

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  • The Supreme Court's Pleasant Surprise for Affirmative-Action Advocates

    By Molly Ball, The Atlantic

    The Supreme Court's decision on affirmative action Monday wasn't much of a decision. In a 7-1 vote, the justices sent the case, Fisher v. University of Texas, back to a lower court for reexamination (Justice Kagan recused herself).

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  • Will the GOP Embrace Marriage Equality?

    By John Dickerson, Slate Magazine

    It was a busy week in existential threats to the Republican Party. Two issues that various Republicans have said require the party to evolve or die have been thrust into the national spotlight: Immigration reform is on its way to passing the Senate, and the Supreme Court offered two major victories for the supporters of marriage equality.

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  • Defense Officials Indicate NSA Leaks Have Had Consequences

    With Tom Gjelten, NPR

    Washington is still trying to determine how much damage has been done as a result of Edward Snowden's revelations about NSA surveillance. Snowden allegedly encrypted the files he took with him, but some officials fear Chinese or Russian intelligence services gained access to Snowden's computers.

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Jun 27, 2013

  • Analysis: Supreme Court In No Rush to Grant National Gay-Marriage Right

    By Joan Biskupic, Reuters

    When the U.S. Supreme Court declined on Wednesday to rule on whether gay men and lesbians have a fundamental right to marry, it delivered an implicit message to those seeking such a right: Don't hurry back.

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  • A Scramble to Change Federal Rules After Gay Rights Ruling

    With Pete Williams, NBC News

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  • Court Underscores Political Shift on Same-Sex Marriage

    By Dan Balz, The Washington Post

    The Supreme Court met the moment Wednesday. With public attitudes shifting dramatically in favor of same-sex marriage, the justices used a pair of rulings to give additional momentum to one of the most rapid changes in social policy in the nation’s history.

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  • Ruling Opens Immigration System To Gay Couples

    By Alan Gomez, USA Today

    Gay and lesbian couples will for the first time be able to secure green cards for their foreign spouses after the Supreme Court struck down a section of federal law that denied federal benefits to legally married same-sex couples.

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  • Court Rulings on Gay Marriage and Voting Rights Test GOP Makeover

    By Beth Reinhard, National Journal

    House Speaker John Boehner spent at least $2.3 million to defend the federal law banning same-sex marriage -- a cause dear to the Republican base -- but you couldn't tell from his muted reaction when the U.S. Supreme Court struck it down.

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