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 09, 2013

  • Lawmakers Weigh Aggressive Tactic on Immigration

    By Laura Meckler and Kristina Peterson, Wall Street Journal

    Last week, the “New Democrat” coalition of centrist lawmakers sent a letter to House Speaker John Boehner demanding that he bring an immigration bill to the House floor by the end of September. If he doesn’t, they said, they will introduce their own bill.

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  • Campaign Aide: 'Holding my Nose' to Work for McConnell

    By Susan Davis, USA Today

    Jesse Benton, campaign manager for Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, is under fire after a conservative activist released an audio recording of a conversation with Benton in which he expresses personal distaste for running the Kentucky Republican's re-election effort.

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  • The War ON Women Vs. The War FOR Women

    By Amy Walter, Cook Political Report

    National Republicans have launched the latest salvo in the gender gap wars. Using the Anthony Weiner/Bob Filner scandals as ammunition, Republican groups have been carpet-bombing my email box daily.

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Aug 08, 2013

  • Ties Fraying, Obama Drops Putin Meeting

    By Peter Baker and Steven Lee Myers, The New York Times

    President Obama on Wednesday canceled next month’s Moscow summit meeting, ending for now his signature effort to transform Russian-American relations and potentially dooming his aspirations for further nuclear arms cuts before leaving office.

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  • Snowden Saga Sparks Low for U.S.-Russia Relations

    With Julianna Goldman, Bloomberg News

    Bloomberg’s Julianna Goldman reports on the impact of Edward Snowden on U.S.-Russia relations and differences beyond his asylum causing a rift between the two nations. She speaks on Bloomberg Television's “In The Loop.”

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  • Obama, Before a Military Audience, Vows to End Across-the-Board Cuts

    By Jackie Calmes, The New York Times

    President Obama stood at this desert base on Wednesday before nearly 3,000 Marines, sailors and their families — and a captive audience of two Republican adversaries from Congress — and vowed that he would fight to end across-the-board budget cuts that have shaken the military.

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  • Luis Gutierrez: Immigration reform activist and Spanish TV star

    By Ed O'Keefe, The Washington Post

    All summer long, Rep. Luis Gutierrez has been drawing sizable and enthusiastic crowds at immigration rallies nationwide. From California to Nevada to Florida, the congressman from Chicago is received like a rock star: People cheer when he enters the room; they pump their fists and stomp their feet. And when he’s finished speaking, they press forward to get close to him, tugging at his shirt and refusing to leave until he agrees to have his photo taken with them.

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Aug 07, 2013

  • Obama Tells Leno Closure of Embassies Is No Overreaction

    By Jackie Calmes, The New York Times

    For a late-night comic Jay Leno certainly covered some serious ground with President Obama on Tuesday evening.

    Mr. Obama, making his 6th appearance on NBC’s “Tonight Show,” and his fourth as president, told his host that the government is not overreacting in locking down nearly 20 diplomatic posts and issuing a worldwide travel warning after intercepted electronic conversations raised concerns of terrorist attacks abroad.

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  • In Arizona, Obama Touts Housing Rebound

    By Alexis Simendinger, Real Clear Politics

    In a state stomped by the 2008 financial crisis, President Obama sounded upbeat Tuesday when he announced that "our housing market is beginning to heal."

    The White House billed the president’s speech this week at a Phoenix high school as another in a series of economic addresses aimed at the middle class. The timing took advantage of Congress’ month-long August recess and anticipated a partisan collision this fall with the Republican-controlled House over the budget, the nation’s soon-to-expire borrowing authority, and the uncertain fate of the president’s legislative wish list, including immigration reform.

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  • New York Mayor Bloomberg: Detroit is Warning to Every U.S. City

    By David Shepardson, Detroit News

    New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg said every U.S. city needs to heed the lesson of Detroit’s recent bankruptcy filing and urged cities to diversify their economies.

    “Avoiding the hard choices is how Detroit went bankrupt. And it’s the road to ruin for any city,” Bloomberg said in a speech Tuesday in New York. “I believe that the Detroit experience holds lessons for every American city — and that we have an obligation to protect our future by examining those lessons.”

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  • FBI Says Economic Data is Vulnerable

    With Eamon Javers, CNBC

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  • Dick Cheney Keeping Head Down in Daughter's Senate Bid

    By Beth Reinhard, National Journal

    To most people, he's the former vice president of the United States. But in Liz Cheney's underdog campaign for the U.S. Senate from Wyoming, he's "Liz's dad."

    That's the only reference to Dick Cheney in her biography, which briefly mentions his 1978 bid for Congress but not his two terms as arguably the most powerful No. 2 in American history. And it reflects the backseat role he's taking in his daughter's bid to unseat three-term Sen. Mike Enzi -- his former fly-fishing pal -- in the 2014 Republican primary.

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  • Mitt Romney Loss Prompts GOP Advice To Moderate, But Some Republicans Refuse

    By Charles Babington, Associated Press

    After Mitt Romney's 2012 loss, many senior Republicans concluded the party must moderate its image on issues such as immigration and reproductive rights.

    But some GOP lawmakers have done the opposite.

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Aug 06, 2013

  • US Embassy in Yemen Evacuated Amid Terror Threat

    With Martha Raddatz, ABC News

    All non-emergency personnel have been evacuated in response to an al Qaeda threat.

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  • 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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