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!

Mar 05, 2013

  • Republican Goal to Balance Budget Could Mean Deep Cuts to Health Programs

    By Lori Montgomery, The Washington Post

    Anxiety is rising among House Republicans about a strategy of appeasement toward fiscal hard-liners that could require them to embrace not only the sequester but also sharp new cuts to federal health and retirement programs.

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  • John Kerry Blasts Russia for Aiding Syrian Government

    With Martha Raddatz, ABC News

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  • Jeb Bush's Poorly Timed Flip -Flop on Immigration

    By Beth Reinhard, National Journal

    Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush’s new book was aimed at nudging a reluctant Republican Party toward reforms that would allow illegal immigrants to live and work without fear of deportation.

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  • Big Banks: Too Big to Jail?

    With Eamon Javers, CNBC

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Mar 04, 2013

  • To Obama, GOP's Opposition Is Personal

    By Alexis Simendinger, Real Clear Politics

    So deeply ingrained is the animus aimed at Barack Obama that conservative lawmakers would rather put Americans out of work, sabotage valuable contracts for small businesses, and eject preschoolers from Head Start classrooms rather than give the president a legislative “win.”

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  • Obama, Congress Take Wait-and-Blame Approach on Budget

    By Julianna Goldman, Bloomberg News

    President Barack Obama and congressional lawmakers are taking a wait-and-blame approach as automatic, across-the-board spending cuts begin to trickle through the federal government -- cuts that were never intended to take effect.

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  • Do-Nothing Congress Does Something

    By Doyle McManus, Los Angeles Times

    OK, so Congress hasn't managed to pass a budget, fix the tax code or avert the automatic spending cuts of the dreaded "sequester."

    Are they getting anything done on Capitol Hill? Yes, and you'll probably be surprised to hear where progress is being made: gun control.

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  • As Hacking Against U.S. Rises, Experts Try to Pin Down Motive

    By David E. Sanger, Nicole Perlroth and Eric Schmidt, The New York Times

    When Telvent, a company that monitors more than half the oil and gas pipelines in North America, discovered last September that the Chinese had hacked into its computer systems, it immediately shut down remote access to its clients’ systems.

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  • Kerry Tells Morsi That Egypt Must Change Before U.S. Will Send More Aid

    By Nancy A. Youssef, McClatchy Newspapers

    U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry vowed Sunday to provide $190 million to help Egypt’s government pay its bills, but said any additional money would require that Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi move quickly to resolve the country’s differences with the International Monetary Fund, reform its security services and take steps to provide equal rights for women and religious minorities.

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Mar 01, 2013

  • Seib & Wessel: Sperling on Sequestration Pain

    With David Wessel, Wall Street Journal

    Gene Sperling, a top White House economic adviser, tells the WSJ's David Wessel that the sequester's painful cuts are so drastic they will succeed in bringing both Democrats and Republicans back to the negotiating table.

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  • For Obama and Congress, It's Zero Hour

    By Alexis Simendinger, Real Clear Politics

    Tick, tick, tick . . .

    Friday is the end of the hourglass for President Obama and congressional leaders. They will meet at 10 a.m. to discuss an impasse that has bedeviled them since January, trying -- for the cameras, at least -- to find a way “to reduce our deficit in a balanced way,” as Obama put it Thursday.

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  • Cuts Roll In as Time Runs Out

    By Janet Hook and Damian Paletta, Wall Street Journal

    The federal government enters a controversial new phase of deficit cutting Friday, as an automatic trigger begins slicing budgets in some areas while leaving programs such as Medicare and Medicaid—among the largest drivers of future debt—largely untouched.

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  • Obama Meets Congressional Leaders on Sequester

    By Lori Montgomery and Rosalind S. Helderman, The Washington Post

    Congressional leaders gathered at the White House on Friday to meet with President Obama on ways to avoid the steep budget cuts known as the sequester, but expectations for the meeting were low.

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  • Meet the Man Behind the Conservative Political Action Conference

    By Beth Reinhard, National Journal

    Al Cardenas is a “big tent” Republican: The first Hispanic chairman of the American Conservative Union. A strong proponent of minority outreach and immigration reform. A whistle-blower on conservatives who attack their compatriots.

    “We are at war with liberals and moderates, but it now seems we have added fellow conservatives as the enemy,” he wrote in Human Events one week ago. “If we go down this road, we will destroy our ability to succeed.”

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  • Can Governors Be The Cure For What Ails Politics?

    By Amy Walter, Cook Political Report

    Watching the current state of dysfunction in D.C. these days, it's easy to romanticize the seemingly functional role played by the nation’s Governors.

    Washington is about process. State Capitols are about progress.

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Feb 28, 2013

  • Analysis: In voting-rights case, liberal justices pitch to Kennedy

    By Joan Biskupic, Reuters

    Barely a minute into a U.S. Supreme Court hearing, liberal justices began a strategic barrage of questions that came down to this: Why should a time-honored plank of the 1965 Voting Rights Act be invalidated in a case from Alabama with its history of racial discrimination?

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  • Sequester Spin Gets Ahead of Reality

    By Karen Tumulty, The Washington Post

    The descriptions of the post-sequester landscape coming from the Obama administration have been alarming, specific — and, in at least some cases, hyped.

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  • Scenarios for Future of 'Big Finance'

    With David Wessel, Wall Street Journal

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  • Republican Losses Obscure US Drift to Right

    By Charles Babington, Associated Press

    Republican angst over presidential election losses obscures the fact that many conservative ideals have prospered for decades.

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  • Bloomberg Goes to Washington to Push Gun Laws, but Senate Has Other Ideas

    By Jackie Calmes and Jeremy W. Peters, The New York Times

    Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg of New York met separately on Wednesday with Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. and several senators, a day after his campaign for tougher gun laws was newly fortified by the victory of his preferred candidate in a special Congressional primary election in Chicago where he had spent more than $2 million.

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