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 21, 2013
Texas Sen. Cruz Shrugs Off Canadian CitizenshipBy Charles Babington and Will Weissert, Associated Press
Sen. Ted Cruz, seemingly eyeing a presidential run in 2016, calls his renunciation of Canadian citizenship no big deal, even though questions about candidates' birthplaces have flared in recent elections.Read more
A Better Way to Save for Retirement?By Michael A. Fletcher, Washington Post
Declaring the nation’s private-sector retirement system “broken,” the Center for American Progress is adding its voice to the growing call for a new kind of investment vehicle to shore up retirement security for workers.Read more
UAW president to speak at MLK event in D.C.By David Shepardson, Detroit News
United Auto Workers President Bob King will speak Saturday at an event to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C.Read more
Aug 20, 2013
U.S. Reconsiders Weapons Supply, Aid to EgyptWith Julianna Goldman, Bloomberg News
Bloomberg News' Julianna Goldman reports that five weapons programs provided by the United States to Egypt are under review as pressure increases on the U.S. government to end military aid to the nation after violent unrest.Watch more
Egypt's Military Government Arrests Opposition LeaderWith Martha Raddatz, ABC News
The military escalates its crackdown as Congress debates whether to cut off aid.Watch more
Once-Despised Egyptian Military Finds Favor After Short-Lived DemocracyBy Nancy A. Youssef and Amina Ismail, McClatchy Newspapers
Soha Sayed was once an iconic face in a nation weary of an Egyptian government dominated by the military.
Her husband, an accidental revolutionary, was fatally shot during the country’s 2011 uprising that pressed for democracy.
Widowed, she called for former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak’s conviction for her husband’s death.
“Nothing,” she insisted, “could happen here without Mubarak knowing.”Read more
Obama Holds Closed-Door MeetingWith John Harwood, CNBC Watch more
America's Libertarian MomentBy Molly Ball, The Atlantic
Libertarianism is on the march. From the rapid rise to prominence of first-term Senator Rand Paul to the state-level movements to legalize gay marriage and marijuana, the philosophy of fiscal conservatism, social liberalism, and restrained foreign policy seems to be gaining currency in American politics. But it's nothing new, of course. (New York Times Magazine, 1971: "The New Right Credo: Libertarianism.") A lonely band of libertarian thinkers have been propounding this philosophy since the 1960s, when the late thinker Murray Rothbard published his first book, Reason magazine was founded, and, in 1974, Rothbard teamed up with Charles Koch and Ed Crane to found the Cato Institute, one of Washington's most influential think tanks.Read more
Aug 19, 2013
Introducing GovBeat: Politics Beyond the BeltwayBy Reid Wilson, Washington Post
In an era of poisonous partisan stalemate in Washington, the real action is increasingly taking place outside the Beltway, in state capitals, city halls and county offices across the nation. The next big idea that will reform pensions, raise or cut taxes, figure out the riddle of implementing new health care regulations or impact citizens’ right to vote won’t come from Washington — it will come from Sacramento or Des Moines or Montpelier or Tallahassee.Read more
Eligibility challenge: Other Bankruptcy Cases Hint at What's Next for DetroitBy David Shepardson, Detroit News
Detroit’s fight to prove eligibility for bankruptcy could be a long, expensive process with no guarantee of success, if the experiences of other cash-strapped cities are any indication.Read more
NSA Accused Of Repeatedly Violating Privacy RulesWith Tom Gjelten and Audie Cornish, NPR
Documents released to the Washington Post by former National Security Agency analyst Edward Snowden show the agency overstepped privacy rules.Listen here
Iraq Open to U.S. Drone Strikes on TerroristsBy Indira A.R. Lakshmanan, Bloomberg News
Al-Qaeda terror attacks have become such a deadly epidemic in Iraq that the government in Baghdad is seeking U.S. advisers, air surveillance or even drone strikes, Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari said yesterday.Read more
After days of death and protest, Sunday brought quiet to Cairo's streetsBy Nancy A. Youssef, McClatchy Newspapers
Gen. Abdel-Fatah el Sissi, Egypt’s minister of defense and the nation’s strong man, made his first public comments about the violence that led to more than 1,000 deaths, including another 79 Saturday, offering a conciliatory tone to his rivals, supporters of ousted President Mohammed Morsi.Read more
Aug 16, 2013
Scene at Overtaxed Cairo Morgue is Solemn in Aftermath of CrackdownBy Amina Ismail and Nancy A. Youssef, McClatchy Newspapers
On Thursday, as the repercussions of Wednesday’s clearing of sit-ins in support of ousted President Mohammed Morsi sank in for Egyptians, the unprecedented death toll overwhelmed Cairo’s Zeinhoum morgue.
Thump, thump, thump, came the sound. Outside the morgue, the repeated sound punctuated the passage of scores of ambulances inching up, each gently placing a body on the ground yards from the morgue. There was no more room inside it.Read more
How Complicit Is the U.S. in Egypt's Crisis?With Indira Lakshmanan, Bloomberg News
Bloomberg foreign policy correspondent Indira Lakshmanan examines the role of the United States government in Egypt's violent protests and just how much influence it has over the situation.Watch more
His Options Few, Obama Rebukes Egypt’s LeadersBy Mark Landler and Peter Baker, The New York Times
President Obama announced Thursday that the United States had canceled longstanding joint military exercises with the Egyptian Army set for next month, using one of his few obvious forms of leverage to rebuke Egypt’s military-backed government for its brutal crackdown on supporters of the ousted president, Mohamed Morsi.Read more
Obama cancels military exercises with EgyptWith John Harwood, CNBC Watch more
The Incumbent Conundrum: Getting People To Vote For You When They Hate WashingtonBy Amy Walter, Cook Political Report
It's no fun being an incumbent these days. There's the gridlock. The partisanship. The fact that Americans think more highly of athlete's foot than they do a Member of Congress. In fact, a recent NBC/Wall Street Journal poll found that almost two-thirds of Americans would, if they could, vote to defeat and replace every single member of Congress, including their own representative.
Aug 15, 2013
Egypt: After ‘Volatile’ and ‘Saddening’ Day, What Happens Next?By Nancy A. Youssef, McClatchy Newspapers
Egyptian security forces launched a bloody crackdown against the supporters of deposed President Mohammed Morsi early Wednesday morning, firing ammunition and razing their sit-in sites with bulldozers in an attack that killed at least 500 people. McClatchy Middle East Bureau Chief Nancy A. Youssef and special correspondent Amina Ismail answer questions about Wednesday’s events and the outlook for the coming days:
Q: What’s the most striking thing you saw on the streets?
A: I have to say, I have never seen so many dead since my days in Iraq. It was heartbreaking. Bodies piled on top of bodies. That was shocking – and saddening. As an American, I am struck by the challenges Egypt is confronting as it tries to go from a dictatorial state to a democratic one.Read more
The Next Disaster Scenario Power Companies Are Preparing ForWith Tom Gjelten, NPR
In the 10 years since sagging power lines in Ohio sparked a blackout across much of the Northeastern United States and Canada, utility engineers say they have implemented measures to prevent another such event in the country's electric grid.
But there is one disaster scenario for which the power companies are still unprepared: a massive attack on the computer networks that underlie the U.S. electric grid.Read and Listen to more