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!

Jul 28, 2014

  • House, Senate negotiators reach deal on veterans bill

    By Ed O'Keefe, The Washington Post

    House and Senate negotiators have reached a tentative agreement to deal with the long-term needs of the struggling Department of Veterans Affairs and plan to unveil their proposal Monday.

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  • Did Immigration Sink Another Republican Candidate?

    By Molly Ball, The Atlantic

    The political world was mildly surprised on Tuesday, when David Perdue—a billionaire former CEO and cousin of a former governor who has never held elected office—won the Republican nomination for Senate in a runoff in Georgia. Perdue was up against Jack Kingston, a longtime congressman from Savannah; Kingston had been ahead in every public poll since the first round of balloting back in May.

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  • Everyone says turnout is key. So why does it keep going down?

    By Dan Balz, The Washington Post

    Tens of millions of dollars will be spent this year in an effort to boost turnout in the November elections. But the longer-term trends suggest that any marginal increase in what is expected to be a low-turnout election won’t have much effect on one of the chronic problems of America’s politics.

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  • For Chris Christie, New Jersey pension battle presents a test for 2016

    By Karen Tumulty, The Washington Post

    There was a faint ripple of applause as Chris Christie’s black SUV pulled up to the waterfront gazebo, and it was all but drowned out by a loudspeaker blaring the Beach Boys.

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Jul 25, 2014

  • U.S., Ukraine say Russians increase shipments of heavy war equipment to separatists

    By Matthew Schofield and Nancy A. Youssef, McClatchy Newspapers

    Three Ukrainian border guard brigades were said to be close to eating grass to survive, running out of ammunition and food, trapped on the eastern edge of their country between Russian separatists to their west and fire coming in from Russia to their east.

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  • Central American leaders want Washington’s help with immigration crisis

    By David Nakamura and Ed O'Keefe, The Washington Post

    Leaders of the Central American nations at the other end of the U.S. border crisis came to Washington on Thursday to discuss the response and placed much of the blame on the United States.

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  • Guatemalan president: Central America needs at least $2 billion ‘to attack the root of the problem’

    By Ed O'Keefe and Marlon Correa, The Washington Post

    The president of Guatemala believes the United States should provide at least $2 billion in aid to Central American countries in order "to attack the root of the problem" causing recent waves of illegal immigration.

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  • Bob Dole Talks 2016: 'I Don't Think We've Seen the Republican Candidate Yet'

    With Jeff Zeleny, ABC News

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  • Giving Them the Business

    By John Dickerson, Slate Magazine

    The minute David Perdue won the Republican primary in Georgia, Democrats hit send on an email attacking his business career. At nearly 2,500 words, the blast arrived in my inbox from American Bridge, a liberal opposition research firm, outlining the jobs Perdue had cut and outsourced as a business executive. “Georgia, Meet Mitt Romney Lite,” was the headline.

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  • Economy, Not Foreign Policy, Will Be Hillary's Biggest Challenge in 2016

    By Amy Walter, Cook Political Report

    Given the horrible set of events unfolding overseas, it’s understandable that Hillary Clinton’s tenure as Secretary of State is getting lots of attention. If she runs in 2016, we should expect to see attack ads featuring her handing the “reset” button to Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. However, while foreign policy is in on the front burner today, the bigger challenge for Hillary Clinton in 2016 – or frankly any Democratic candidate – is the state of the economy.

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Jul 24, 2014

  • As Much of the World Frowns on Israel, Americans Hold Out Support

    By Helene Cooper and Somini Sengupta, The New York Times

    As Israel’s incursion into Gaza enters its third week and Palestinian civilian deaths mount, reaction in the United States has been muted, with polls through last weekend showing most Americans still supportive — in part, analysts say, because of the failures of the Arab Spring to spread democracy in the Middle East. But in a situation long familiar, Israel is losing the public relations war outside the United States.

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  • Egypt’s anti-Muslim Brotherhood stance makes it odd choice as cease-fire broker

    By Nancy A. Youssef, McClatchy Newspapers

    To understand the reluctance of Hamas to accept a cease-fire plan mediated by Egypt, one needs to look no further than the coverage Egypt’s state-owned news media offers of the Israel-Hamas fight over Gaza.

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  • Did the U.S. Miss Signs Portending Airliner Shoot-down?

    By Alexis Simendinger, Real Clear Politics

    The violence in eastern Ukraine with Russia that took down a civilian airliner was not “contained,” President Obama said last week.

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  • House Republicans unveil plan to deal with border crisis

    By Ed O'Keefe and Robert Costa, The Washington Post

    A House Republican plan to address the influx of illegal immigrants at the U.S.-Mexico border would cost considerably less than President Obama has requested but could get upended by the political forces that long have divided GOP lawmakers.

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  • Ready for Warren? Well, even if you are, the Democratic senator says she’s not

    With Jeff Zeleny, ABC News

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Jul 23, 2014

  • Crises Cascade and Converge, Testing Obama

    By Peter Baker, The New York Times

    Rarely has a president been confronted with so many seemingly disparate foreign policy crises all at once — in Ukraine, Israel, Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere — but making the current upheaval more complicated for Mr. Obama is the seemingly interlocking nature of them all.

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  • Putin has a new headache in Ukraine: Now Europe is watching

    By Doyle McManus, Los Angeles Times

    It's neither pleasant nor polite to say it, but the crash of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 may have been the best thing to happen to President Obama's policy on Ukraine in weeks.

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  • Obamacare Subsidy Loss May Boost Premiums, Chase Insurers

    By Alex Wayne, Bloomberg News

    A future court ruling that Americans in 36 states can no longer get U.S. subsidies for Obamacare’s insurance plans would boost premiums by 76 percent, allowing many to flee the program and chasing away insurers.

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  • What is the 2014 midterm election all about? You decide.

    By Dan Balz, The Washington Post

    What is this election year about? Is it jobs and the economy? Immigration and the border crisis? Obamacare? Women’s health issues? The Veterans Affairs scandal? The minimum wage? A world in turmoil? The image of House Republicans? Anger toward Washington? Power?

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  • House and Senate poised to offer competing border security plans

    By David Nakamura and Karen Tumulty, The Washington Post

    The Senate and House are poised to act on separate emergency border security plans, likely setting up a protracted debate in Washington as the Obama administration warns that it is running out of money to address the child-migrant crisis at the southern border.

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