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!

Sep 30, 2014

  • Intruder ran farther into White House than previously disclosed

    By Brian Bennett and Chris Parsons, Los Angeles Times

    The intruder who broke into the White House this month made it beyond the front door and past an armed guard, then ran about 100 feet inside, much farther than previously disclosed, a federal law enforcement official said Monday.

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  • Many Missteps in Assessment of ISIS Threat

    By Peter Baker and Eric Schmitt, The New York Times

    By late last year, classified American intelligence reports painted an increasingly ominous picture of a growing threat from Sunni extremists in Syria, according to senior intelligence and military officials. Just as worrisome, they said, were reports of deteriorating readiness and morale among troops next door in Iraq.

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  • Netanyahu links Islamic State, Hamas in UN speech

    By Hannah Allam, McClatchy News

    Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu appears to have adopted a simple strategy for deflecting international criticism of Israel’s summer offensive, which killed more 2,000 Palestinians in Gaza: Tie it all to the Islamic State.

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  • Ted Cruz finds a core of support among social conservatives frustrated with GOP

    By Sebastian Payne and Robert Costa, The Washington Post

    While there is not yet a front-runner in the early race for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) is quickly becoming the favored contender of social conservatives, riding a recent wave of fiery speeches and standing ovations at right-wing conferences.

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  • This Year’s Mitt Romney

    By John Dickerson, Slate Magazine

    Romney 2012 could really have benefited from the speculation about Romney 2016. When Mitt Romney was a Republican presidential candidate, he had to suffer boomlets of enthusiasm for other contenders as GOP Wise Men rooted around for alternatives—what about Gov. Chris Christie? Was Jeb Bush going to run? Mitch Daniels? Now that Romney is not running, he’s the object of desire.

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Sep 29, 2014

  • 2011 White House Security Breach Left Obamas Angry at Secret Service

    By Peter Baker, The New York Times

    President Obama and his wife, Michelle, were angry at the Secret Service for the way it handled a 2011 incident in which a gunman fired shots that hit the White House while one of their daughters was at home, The Washington Post reported on Saturday night.

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  • ISIS, Khorasan, and al Qaeda: 'We Have to Know Our Enemy'

    With Martha Raddatz, ABC News


    More ABC news videos | ABC Entertainment News

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  • Boehner’s comments on ground troops reflect views of GOP lawmakers

    By Ed O'Keefe, The Washington Post

    Going further than he has before, House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) said Sunday that the United States might one day need to deploy U.S. combat troops to counter the threat of the Islamic State terrorist group in Iraq and Syria.

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  • President Obama will go out with a war cry

    By Doyle McManus, Los Angeles Times

    Anyone who wondered how Barack Obama was going to spend the last two years of his presidency got an answer last week: He'll be fighting a war.

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  • A Record of Resilience at Vanguard of American Presidential Politics

    By John Harwood, The New York Times

    Obscured in all the talk about Hillary Rodham Clinton and the 2016 race is a historical achievement unrelated to gender.

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Sep 26, 2014

  • Victories For LGBT, Civil Rights Among Holder's Legacy

    With Carrie Johnson, NPR

    Attorney General Eric Holder announced his resignation on Thursday. He says he will step down as soon as the Senate confirms his successor.

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  • Obama Lauds Holder But Mum as to Successor

    By Alexis Simendinger, Real Clear Politics

    President Obama on Thursday reluctantly accepted Attorney General Eric Holder’s resignation after nearly six years, suggesting during a White House tribute that he will nominate a successor whose passion for “equal justice under the law” similarly exemplifies the president’s expectations for “the people’s lawyer.”

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  • ISIS Executioner Identified, FBI Chief Says

    By Pierre Thomas, Jack Date, Mike Levine and Jack Cloherty, ABC News

    The FBI knows the identity of the masked, English-speaking ISIS militant who has been videotaped apparently murdering American hostages - and believes a second man featured in the latest video from ISIS is likely from somewhere in North America, FBI Director James Comey said today.

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  • When Campaigns Poison Compromise

    By Amy Walter, Cook Political Report

    There’s a reason why the people who run campaigns are rarely the people responsible for implementing policy. The job of a campaign operative is to work in absolutes – you win or you lose, there’s no gray area. The job of a policy operative, of course, is to look for the gray, to look for solutions within the increasingly narrowing options of our polarized political system.

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  • Bill in a Box

    By Todd Purdum, POLITICO

    Hillary Clinton’s campaign-in-waiting has a priceless asset, a super weapon strong enough to strike fear in her most determined rival. It also has a dangerous liability, a burden able to drag her into dead ends and drive her to distraction. It’s Clinton’s peculiar fate that both just happen to be her husband.

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Sep 25, 2014

  • Eric Holder To Step Down As Attorney General

    By Carrie Johnson, NPR

    Eric Holder Jr., the nation's first black U.S. attorney general, is preparing to announce his resignation Thursday after a tumultuous tenure marked by civil rights advances, national security threats, reforms to the criminal justice system and 5 1/2 years of fights with Republicans in Congress.

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  • Use of force against Islamic State is justified, Obama tells U.N.

    By Christi Parsons and Kathleen Hennessey, Tribune Newspapers

    President Obama emphatically defended his decision to expand the air campaign against violent extremists in the Middle East, vowing before world leaders Wednesday that he would speak “the language of force” with terrorists who threaten America and its friends around the world.

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  • How Obama’s War Against ISIS Just Keeps Growing

    By Michael Crowley, TIME

    Barack Obama’s war against ISIS has come a long way from Sinjar Mountain. It was six weeks ago, on Aug. 7, that the President announced his first airstrikes against the militant group Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS). It was a profound decision for a President long determined to avoid military action in the Middle East—and for a war-scarred country resistant to foreign interventions.

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  • Occupy Wall Street

    By John Dickerson, Slate

    My Twitter feed and my email inbox are in tension. Conservatives have been passing around a story on Twitter from the Washington Free Beacon, which has been doing great work unearthing new items from Hillary Clinton’s past. The paper found a 1971 letter from Clinton to radical socialist organizer Saul Alinsky. The argument is that Clinton, who wrote her thesis on Alinsky’s methods and his approach to alleviating poverty, retains her college-era radicalism. But at the same time, the Republican National Committee is filling my inbox with emails plinking Clinton for her relationships with celebrities, fat cats, and financiers as part of her work with the Clinton Global Initiative, which holds its annual gathering this week in New York. The GOP committee asserts that Clinton’s coziness with the wealthy and powerful are going to cause her trouble with the liberal Elizabeth Warren wing of her party. The only way this tension could be reconciled is if Clinton appears at the Clinton Global Initiative and protests herself.

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  • Iraq looms large again for Hillary Clinton as she weighs another White House bid

    By Karen Tumulty, The Washington Post

    When Hillary Rodham Clinton sat down on a Manhattan stage with CNN’s Sanjay Gupta, the planned topic for discussion was babies’ brains and how to improve infant development around the globe.

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