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!

Nov 06, 2013

  • The Establishment's Man

    By John Dickerson, Slate Magazine

    When one election booth closes, another one opens. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie will secure his re-election today and begin his race for the White House tomorrow. Wherever he falls in the ultimate order of GOP candidates trying to win their party's nomination, he will occupy a familiar historical spot: the untested juggernaut. Christie's advantages for the 2016 presidential race are many: He's a media darling, can raise boatloads of cash, has a plausible nomination story, and he's an exciting and forceful personality. But like other high-expectation candidates, he has also never been tested in the unique crucible of a presidential campaign. Christie is a volatile hothead about to enter a process that makes the most even-tempered fly off the handle. Primaries are irritating, petty, and grueling, and 2016 could be particularly brutish if it turns out to be the grand reckoning in the GOP’s civil war over the soul of the party. As the establishment's man, Christie will face tests a lot more challenging than the Garden State’s Democratic Party.

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  • Chris Christie and Terry McAuliffe: America Loves a Blowhard

    By Molly Ball, The Atlantic

    Voters in New Jersey and Virginia elected two larger-than-life figures in Tuesday’s gubernatorial elections: Chris Christie, the famously tough-talking Republican, and Terry McAuliffe, the gregarious former Democratic National Committee chairman. Taken together, it was a great day for blowhards.

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  • Off-Year Races Really Don't Matter, Except When It's McAuliffe and Clinton

    By Beth Reinhard, National Journal

    Hillary Clinton supporters are crowing that helping to install Democrat Terry McAuliffe as the next governor of Virginia puts her one battleground state closer to the White House in 2016.

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  • Obama Pushing Again for Immigration Reform

    By Alexis Simendinger, Real Clear Politics

    President Obama this week is championing a menu of domestic issues he wants to move through Congress in the weeks left in this congressional session, including most prominently immigration reform.

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  • Reid Says Airport Safety Standards Might Stop Shootings

    By Susan Davis, USA Today

    The Senate's top Democrat said Tuesday that national airport safety standards might prevent shootings similar to Friday's Los Angeles International Airport shooting.

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Nov 05, 2013

  • Obama Says He's Got One More Campaign In Him: The Fight For Obamacare

    By Maeve Reston and Christi Parsons, Los Angeles Times

    President Obama put a new shine on his Obamacare pitch Monday night and asked his most loyal supporters to help him sell it to the American people.

    Obama urged Organizing for Action volunteers to help him spread "far and wide" the good news of the Affordable Care Act, which he said had always been about "making the insurance market better for everybody."

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  • Obama Looks for ACA Support to Counter Critics

    With Julianna Goldman, Bloomberg News

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  • How Obamacare Glitches Could Put Hispanics in Play

    By Beth Reinhard, National Journal

    After two election cycles of Democrats successfully marketing Obamacare to Hispanic voters, the health care law's rocky start could turn into a bargaining chip for Republicans.

    Hispanic adults have supported President Obama's Affordable Care Act at a rate twice that of whites. More than 10 million Hispanics—roughly one-fourth of the total uninsured population—stand to benefit from the law. An outsize proportion of the eligible Hispanics are the healthy millennials who could make or break universal health care.

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  • Obama to Campaign to Ensure Health Law’s Success

    By Jackie Calmes, The New York Times

    On the fifth anniversary of his election, President Obama told a rally of grass-roots supporters on Monday evening that “I’ve got one more campaign in me” — to make sure his signature health care law works.

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  • Antidiscrimination Bill Will Pass, but Without the 'Bandwagon' Effect

    By Fawn Johnson and Elahe Izadi, National Journal

    While the Employment Non-Discrimination Act is now headed toward final passage in the Senate, don’t expect a surge of support from lawmakers. It’s a safe bet that in the end the measure will be supported by less than 70 senators.

    The bill, which bans workplace discrimination based on gender identity or sexual orientation, has not created the “bandwagon effect” sometimes seen in major legislation, in which a slew of supporters piles on once a bill is certain to pass.

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  • System Malfunction

    By John Dickerson, Slate Magazine

    For four years we've watched the public political spat over President Obama's Affordable Care Act, but the Washington Post has given us a view into what it looks like when a political fight gets into the twitch muscles of an administration.

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Nov 04, 2013

  • White House, Lawmakers: No Clemency For Snowden

    By Kimberly Dozier, Associated Press

    The White House and the leaders of the congressional intelligence committees are rejecting former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden's plea for clemency.

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  • Defiant Morsi Declares Himself President at Opening of Trial

    By Nancy A. Youssef, McClatchy Newspapers

    Mohammed Morsi, the Egyptian president who hadn’t been seen in public since the country’s military pushed him from office July 3, defiantly proclaimed himself Egypt's rightful president Monday at the opening session of his trial.

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  • Why Can't Obama Run the Government as Smoothly as His Campaign?

    By Christi Parsons and Kathleen Hennessey, Los Angeles Times

    A year after his reelection triumph, President Obama is facing an awkward question from friends and foes alike: Why can't he run the government as well as he ran his campaign?

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  • Bleak Hopes for Economy

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  • A Plague on Both Your Parties

    By Doyle McManus, Los Angeles Times

    Only two weeks ago, President Obama looked like a man on the rise. He and his party had successfully stared down Republicans in a 16-day government shutdown. Voters were angrier at the GOP than any time since, well, the last government shutdown. A confident-looking Obama declared it was time to get the country back on track with quick action on a budget agreement, immigration reform and a bipartisan farm bill.

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  • New Jersey’s Chris Christie Looks to Send a Message to GOP with his Reelection Campaign

    By Dan Balz, The Washington Post

    When Gov. Chris Christie’s campaign bus made its first stop last week, in front of the Ritz diner, the event had the trappings of both a victory lap and a road test.

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Nov 01, 2013

  • The Obamacare Sabotage Campaign

    By Todd S. Purdum, Politico

    To the undisputed reasons for Obamacare’s rocky rollout — a balky website, muddied White House messaging and sudden sticker shock for individuals forced to buy more expensive health insurance — add a less acknowledged cause: calculated sabotage by Republicans at every step.

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  • Obamacare’s Newest Ills

    By John Dickerson, Slate Magazine

    Obamacare is nerve-wracking for the very people it was intended to help. During the saga, I've been in regular touch with Alice, a Pennsylvania woman trying to sign up for health insurance through the federal exchanges. She is a member of that 5 percent of the population who buys insurance in the individual market. When the Affordable Care Act took effect on Oct. 1, she was anxious to register for new health care coverage, because it is almost certain to be a better deal than her current plan. Instead, like millions of Americans, she has been confused and thwarted over the last month as the government’s website failed her.

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  • Global Internet Infrastructure Makes It Hard To Reel In Spying

    By Tom Gjelten and Audie Cornish, NPR

    The NSA has apparently figured out a secret way to tap into the links between Internet users and Google and Yahoo data centers overseas. The companies say they didn't give the NSA permission, and they are angry. Because the data centers are located outside the United States, the NSA may not be bound by the same laws that govern domestic surveillance. The case shows how difficult it is for policymakers and legislators to oversee NSA surveillance activities.

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