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 21, 2013

  • Texas Sen. Cruz Shrugs Off Canadian Citizenship

    By 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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Aug 20, 2013

  • U.S. Reconsiders Weapons Supply, Aid to Egypt

    With 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.

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  • Egypt's Military Government Arrests Opposition Leader

    With Martha Raddatz, ABC News

    The military escalates its crackdown as Congress debates whether to cut off aid.

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  • Once-Despised Egyptian Military Finds Favor After Short-Lived Democracy

    By 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.”

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  • Obama Holds Closed-Door Meeting

    With John Harwood, CNBC

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  • America's Libertarian Moment

    By 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.

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Aug 19, 2013

  • Introducing GovBeat: Politics Beyond the Beltway

    By 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.

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  • Eligibility challenge: Other Bankruptcy Cases Hint at What's Next for Detroit

    By 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.

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  • NSA Accused Of Repeatedly Violating Privacy Rules

    With 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.

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  • Iraq Open to U.S. Drone Strikes on Terrorists

    By 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.

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  • After days of death and protest, Sunday brought quiet to Cairo's streets

    By 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.

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Aug 16, 2013

  • Scene at Overtaxed Cairo Morgue is Solemn in Aftermath of Crackdown

    By 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.

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  • 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.

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  • His Options Few, Obama Rebukes Egypt’s Leaders

    By 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.

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  • Obama cancels military exercises with Egypt

    With John Harwood, CNBC

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  • The Incumbent Conundrum: Getting People To Vote For You When They Hate Washington

    By 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.

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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.

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  • The Next Disaster Scenario Power Companies Are Preparing For

    With 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.

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