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!

Aug 06, 2013

  • Obama Said to Call for Replacing Fannie, Freddie

    With Julianna Goldman, Bloomberg News

    President Barack Obama will call for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to be replaced with a government mortgage reinsurer that would sustain losses only in catastrophic circumstances. Julianna Goldman reports on Bloomberg Television's "In The Loop."

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  • George W. Bush Undergoes Heart Procedure

    By Peter Baker, The New York Times

    Former President George W. Bush underwent a surgical procedure Tuesday morning in which doctors inserted a stent to open a blocked artery, aides said.

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  • Journalism Needs a Business Model. Can Jeff Bezos Find One?

    By Jim Tankersley, The Washington Post

    My grandfather worked for the Graham family. His last daily newspaper job was at the Post, in the late 1940s, writing features about the liquor board and the rent-control board and all sorts of obscure government agencies with big impacts on people’s lives. The Grahams ran several of those stories on their front page. My Grandpa Jim quit reporting when he wanted to start a family, because, he reasoned, he needed a more stable, fatherhood-friendly job. When he left the Post he moved to Seattle.

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  • Immigration Supporters Plan to Turn Up the Heat on House Republicans

    By Fawn Johnson, National Journal

    House Republicans may not pass an immigration bill before the end of the year, but that doesn't mean the reform effort is dead. The August recess provides immigration reform activists to mobilize support from their activists. Several pro-immigration groups are already preparing to target dozens of House Republicans who may be amenable to some form of legislation providing citizenship for undocumented immigrants.

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Aug 05, 2013

  • Senior U.S. Official: Intercepted Al Qaeda Communications Indicate Planned Attack ‘Big,’ ‘Strategically Significant’

    With Martha Raddatz and Jonathan Karl, ABC News

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  • A Washington Riddle: What Is ‘Top Secret’?

    By David E. Sanger, The New York Times

    LESS than 24 hours after Pfc. Bradley Manning was convicted last week of handing off 250,000 State Department cables and defense documents to WikiLeaks, The Guardian published on its Web site the latest classified material from the leaker of the moment, Edward J. Snowden. That installment included the National Security Agency’s playbook for XKeyscore, a powerful surveillance program enabling the agency’s analysts to monitor and trace Internet searches around the globe.

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  • US Downgrade Marks 2nd Anniversary

    With Eamon Javers, CNBC

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  • Sen. McConnell Already in Hot 2014 Re-election Race

    By Susan Davis, USA Today

    Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., stood before cheering and jeering Kentuckians at the annual St. Jerome Catholic Church picnic on Saturday and made his re-election pitch in consequential terms.

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  • Why Republicans Can’t Relax

    By John Dickerson, Slate Magazine

    If the definition of insanity is trying the same thing over and over and expecting a different result, then House Republicans might look potty. On Friday, the House voted for the 40th time to dismantle the Affordable Care Act. Though each week presents new reasons to not like the bill—premiums up 40 percent in Ohio—the votes are as pointless as ever because the legislation isn’t going anywhere. But this isn't as insane as it looks because the goal isn’t repealing the legislation. The vote is entirely symbolic. The conservative base likes it and we are heading into a non-presidential-election year where the base is important. (Sen. Mike Lee is raising money from his effort to kill the bill.)

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  • Is the GOP self-destructing?

    By Doyle McManus, Los Angeles Times

    We've all grown used to a Congress locked in bitter warfare between two parties, producing gridlock on federal spending and other pressing issues. But the Congress that left Washington last week hit a new high in another category: gridlock among Republicans.

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Aug 02, 2013

  • Threat Closes U.S. Embassies in Muslim World

    With Martha Raddatz, ABC News

    State department responds to "a concerted effort against a U.S. Embassy or Consulate."

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  • The ‘Straight Talk Express’ is back: McCain on his Fears About the Future of the GOP

    With Jeff Zeleny, ABC News

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  • House Passes ‘Stop Government Abuse Act’

    By Ed O'Keefe, The Washington Post

    House lawmakers voted Thursday to place significant limits on the pay and rights of employees of the U.S. government in response to the actions of senior officials at several federal agencies in recent years.

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  • Republican Military Hawks Stand Their Ground

    By Beth Reinhard, National Journal

    Coming to political theater near you: The Republican establishment targets rebel forces battling for libertarianism and isolationism in a twist on the George Lucas classic, The Empire Strikes Back.

    The neoconservatives who have dominated the GOP since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks are increasingly pushing back after an insurgency against government spying and foreign intervention led by Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky. The backlash to the backlash is coming not just from old-guard hawks like Sens. John McCain of Arizona and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Rep. Peter King of New York, but also from rising stars like Sens. Marco Rubio of Florida and Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire and Rep. Tom Cotton of Arkansas--one of the GOP's highest hopes for picking up a Senate seat in 2014.

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  • GOP Faces its Own Divisions on Budget Issues

    By Susan Davis, USA Today

    Republicans in Congress stumbled this week over their party's internal divisions on fiscal issues, leaving the party struggling for direction as it prepares for a bruising fall battle with Democrats over the federal budget.

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  • The Little Group Behind the Big Fight to Stop Immigration Reform

    By Molly Ball, The Atlantic

    The man behind the grassroots movement to stop immigration reform has been busy lately, preparing for the coming fight.

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Aug 01, 2013

  • Senate Panel Presses N.S.A. on Phone Logs

    By Charlie Savage and David E. Sanger, The New York Times

    Senators of both parties on Wednesday sharply challenged the National Security Agency’s collection of records of all domestic phone calls, even as the latest leaked N.S.A. document provided new details on the way the agency monitors Web browsing around the world.

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  • TSA Failing to Discipline its Workers, Audit Says

    With Pete Williams, NBC News

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  • House Republicans Pull Spending Measure, Focus on Bills to Embarrass White House

    By Ed O’Keefe and Lori Montgomery, Washington Post

    House Republicans were unable Wednesday to advance the first measure to fully implement their vision for deep automatic spending cuts in 2014, abruptly pulling a bill that proposed to reduce federal transportation and housing funding by more than $4 billion.

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  • GOP Will Feel Heat at Home in August on Immigration

    By Alan Gomez, USA Today

    As they prepare to leave the Capitol for a month-long August recess, Republican members of the House of Representatives are taking with them legislative summaries and informational packets to tackle tough questions in their districts about immigration.

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