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 19, 2014

  • President Obama chooses his words carefully on Michael Brown

    By Christi Parsons and Kathleen Hennessey, Los Angeles Times

    As they watched police in military gear spread tear gas in a St. Louis suburb in recent days, White House aides knew President Obama would be expected to weigh in on race.

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  • What Washington Can, And Can't, Do In Ferguson

    With Carrie Johnson, NPR

    U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder visited the White House to brief President Obama on the latest federal response to unrest in Ferguson, Mo. FBI agents are set to finish canvassing for witnesses to the shooting of Michael Brown, and more federal peacemakers will arrive to try to ease tensions.

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  • Obama’s Mission Creep in Iraq

    By Michael Crowley, CNN

    In 2003, George W. Bush was too quick to declare that “major combat operations in Iraq have ended.” In 2014, Barack Obama may be too slow to admit that they are just beginning.

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  • Exclusive: White House meets with big biz on immigration

    By Anna Palmer and Carrie Budoff Brown, Politico

    Senior White House officials are in talks with business leaders that could expand the executive actions President Barack Obama takes on immigration.

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  • Alaska GOP wrestles over spot in top 2014 Senate race

    By Susan Davis, USA Today

    Three Republicans face off Tuesday at the end of a bruising battle for the right to take on Democratic Sen. Mark Begich in the fall, one of the most critical races for determining control of the Senate.

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Aug 18, 2014

  • Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon ‘Thunderstruck’ by Images of Ferguson Police

    With Martha Raddatz, ABC News

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  • Obama heading back to the office for mid-vacation work break

    By Christi Parsons, Los Angeles Times

    President Obama is interrupting his two-week vacation for a trip back to Washington, where aides say he'll take part in a few meetings on crises at home and abroad.

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  • Rick Perry’s redemption tour hits a big obstacle with indictment

    By Dan Balz, The Washington Post

    Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s political redemption tour hit a massive speed bump late Friday when he was indicted on two felony counts of abusing the powers of his office. The indictment also triggered a Texas-size partisan brawl over whether the charges were legitimate or politically motivated.

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  • How Big a Surprise Was Maliki’s Resignation?

    With Indira Lakshmanan, Bloomberg News

    Bloomberg’s Indira Lakshmanan reports on Iraq’s political situation in the wake of former Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s stepping down.

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  • Obama tests the bounds of lame-duckery

    By Doyle McManus, Los Angeles Times

    There are two words every president, including Barack Obama, hates to hear: "lame duck."

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Aug 15, 2014

  • Attorney General Holder: Ferguson Scenes Cannot Continue

    By Carrie Johnson, NPR

    Attorney General Eric Holder says federal investigators have already conducted interviews with eyewitnesses to the shooting of an unarmed African-American teenager in Ferguson, Mo., even as he pledged new assistance from the Justice Department to quell "extreme displays of force" and militarization by heavily armed local police there.

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  • Libertarians make their voices heard on police in Ferguson, Mo.

    By Dan Balz, The Washington Post

    The killing of 18-year-old Michael Brown by a police officer in Ferguson, Mo., has produced a rare and surprisingly unified response across the ideological spectrum, with Republicans and Democrats joining to decry the tactics of the city’s police force in the face of escalating protests.

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  • Libertarians make their voices heard on police in Ferguson, Mo.

    By Dan Balz, The Washington Post

    The killing of 18-year-old Michael Brown by a police officer in Ferguson, Mo., has produced a rare and surprisingly unified response across the ideological spectrum, with Republicans and Democrats joining to decry the tactics of the city’s police force in the face of escalating protests.

    Read more
  • Pentagon says U.S. airstrikes won’t break Islamic State’s ability to wage war

    By Nancy A. Youssef, McClatchy Newspapers

    The United States’ senior military officer in charge of operations said Monday that U.S. airstrikes in Iraq have not affected the overall military effectiveness of the Islamic State and aren’t likely to, as long as protecting American lives and rescuing a trapped minority sect are the primary U.S. missions there.

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  • What hand will al-Maliki play in Iraq?

    By Elise Labott, CNN

    While senior U.S. officials say they are now less worried about Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki launching a coup to stay in power, they still predict he'll try to obstruct the political process to keep his designated successor, Haider al-Abadi, out of office.

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  • The Clintons break bread and build ties with Julian Castro, stoking talk of a 2016 ticket

    By Ed O’Keefe and Philip Rucker, The Washington Post

    As she expands her political network in advance of an expected presidential run, Hillary Rodham Clinton and her husband have been cultivating an important ally who some believe could become her vice presidential running mate.

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Aug 14, 2014

  • Militants’ Siege on Mountain in Iraq Is Over, Pentagon Says

    By Helene Cooper and Michael D. Shear, The New York Times

    Defense Department officials said late Wednesday that United States airstrikes and Kurdish fighters had broken the Islamic militants’ siege of Mount Sinjar, allowing thousands of the Yazidis trapped there to escape.

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  • U.S. declares Yazidi intervention a success, says rescue mission unneeded

    By Nancy A. Youssef and Anita Kumar, McClatchy Newspapers

    The United States military has concluded that there are too few Yazidi refugees still trapped in the mountains of northern Iraq to warrant mounting a potentially risky rescue, the Pentagon said late Wednesday.

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  • While Some in G.O.P. See Obama’s Competence as Rich Vein to Mine, Others See Little Reward

    By Jackie Calmes, The New York Times

    In the Republicans’ campaign for the grand prize of the midterm elections, control of the Senate, some party strategists say the key to winning a majority comes down to one word — competence — and voters’ perception that President Obama lacks it. Apparently, that is debatable, even among Republicans.

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  • Historic frenemies: Hillary joins the ranks

    By Todd S. Purdum, Politico

    Hillary Clinton’s delineation of her foreign policy differences with Barack Obama — awkward and infelicitous as her words turned out to be — highlighted a time-honored quandary for would-be presidential successors of the same party: how to prove a new White House boss would be different from the old one, without seeming disloyal in the bargain.

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