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!

Jun 30, 2014

  • On eve of court ruling, Americans oppose contraceptive ban: Reuters/Ipsos poll

    By Joan Biskupic, Reuters

    A majority of Americans oppose letting employers, based on their religious views, exclude certain contraceptives from workers’ insurance coverage, says a Reuters/Ipsos opinion poll ahead of a U.S. Supreme Court decision expected on Monday.

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Jun 27, 2014

  • Obama Requests Money to Train ‘Appropriately Vetted’ Syrian Rebels

    By Helene Cooper, The New York Times

    President Obama requested $500 million from Congress on Thursday to train and equip what the White House is calling “appropriately vetted” members of the Syrian opposition, reflecting increased worry about the spillover of the Syrian conflict into Iraq.

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  • U.S. intervention in Libya now seen as cautionary tale

    By Paul Richter and Christi Parsons, Los Angeles Times

    A group of U.S. diplomats arrived in Libya three years ago to a memorable reception: a throng of cheering men and women who pressed in on the startled group "just to touch us and thank us," recalled Susan Rice, President Obama's national security advisor.

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  • Abortion Clinic Protest Ruling to Impact Several States

    With Pete Williams, NBC News

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  • Republicans cheer Supreme Court decision on recess appointments

    By Ed O’Keefe, The Washington Post

    Republican lawmakers on Thursday cheered the U.S. Supreme Court's unanimous ruling that President Obama lacked constitutional authority to make high-level government appointments when he declared the Senate in recess and unable to act on the nominations.

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  • How immigration reform died

    By Seung Min Kim and Carrie Budoff Brown, Politico

    President Barack Obama paused for what felt like an eternity to the immigration reform activists seated around the Roosevelt Room.

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Jun 26, 2014

  • Supreme Court Narrows President's Recess Appointment Power

    By Pete Williams, NBC News

    The US Supreme Court today limited a president's power to make recess appointments when the White House and the Senate are controlled by opposite parties, scaling back a presidential authority as old as the republic.

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  • How the Fate of One Holy Site Could Plunge Iraq Back into Civil War

    By Michael Crowley, TIME Magazine

    When Secretary of State John Kerry visited Baghdad on Monday, he arrived in a city bracing for war with the brutal fighters of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), who have taken control of Iraq’s north and west.

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  • Use of Drones for Killings Risks a War Without End, Panel Concludes in Report

    By Mark Mazzetti, The New York Times

    The Obama administration’s embrace of targeted killings using armed drones risks putting the United States on a “slippery slope” into perpetual war and sets a dangerous precedent for lethal operations that other countries might adopt in the future, according to a report by a bipartisan panel that includes several former senior intelligence and military officials.

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  • Obama Hitting the Road on Female-Voter Empathy Tour

    By Alexis Simendinger, Real Clear Politics

    President Obama has something on his mind -- a message he plans to deliver in Minneapolis Thursday and Friday.

    It’s similar to an idea President George H.W. Bush shared in Pease, N.H., in January 1992. During a town-hall session -- akin to the one Obama will hold in Minnesota this week -- Bush said his White House mail helped him understand the worries of hardworking, everyday Americans.

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  • Tea party cash remains huge despite primary losses

    By Charles Babington and Philip Elliott, Associated Press

    Desperate to knock off GOP incumbents in this year's Republican primaries, the nation's tea party groups have spent millions only to fall short in election after election.

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  • Immigration reform effectively dead until after Obama leaves office, both sides say

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

    The two-year attempt to push immigration reform through Congress is effectively dead and unlikely to be revived until after President Obama leaves office, numerous lawmakers and advocates on both sides of the issue said this week.

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Jun 25, 2014

  • Cops Need Warrant to Search Cellphones, Court Rules

    By Pete Williams, NBC News

    In a sweeping decision in favor of digital privacy, the Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that police almost always need a warrant to search a person’s cellphone, even in the case of someone placed under arrest.

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  • GOP's Sen. Cochran defeats tea party challenger

    With John Harwood, CNBC

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  • The Tea Party Blew It

    By Molly Ball, The Atlantic

    Tuesday's Republican primaries were the Tea Party's last chance. And the Tea Party struck out.

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  • Doubting Putin, Obama Prepares to Add Pressure

    By Peter Baker, The New York Times

    The Obama administration has drawn up plans to escalate sanctions against Russia by targeting its financial, energy and defense industries, but faces resistance from European allies hoping to avoid a broader economic clash with Moscow that would hurt their own businesses.

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  • Wendy Davis' Texas-sized battle

    With Gloria Borger, CNN

    One year after her filibuster against an anti-abortion bill and a meteoric rise to the national stage, Wendy Davis is fighting her most recent battle, an uphill fight to be Texas' next governor. CNN's Gloria Borger profiles the rising Democratic star.

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  • Congrats, America. You have less economic opportunity than you did in 1970

    By Jim Tankersley and Jeff Guo, The Washington Post

    Americans today have more social and educational opportunity than they did 40 years ago -- but they have less economic opportunity, thanks to a bruising recession and the alarming economic trends that preceded it.

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Jun 24, 2014

  • Cochran-McDaniel runoff race turns even nastier on the final day

    By Ed O'Keefe,

    The closing hours of the closely watched Mississippi Republican Senate primary promise to be as nasty and personal as the last several weeks, with the focus Monday partly on a Facebook message from the incumbent's daughter and the response from her father's opponent.

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  • What a primary runoff could tell us about the future of the GOP

    By John Harwood, CNBC

    Tuesday's U.S. Senate runoff in Mississippi provides an important new test of strength between the current leaders of the Republican Party and those who want to pull it further to the right.

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