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 26, 2014

  • 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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  • Diplomatic Note Promises Immunity From Iraqi Law for U.S. Advisory Troops

    By Peter Baker, The New York Times

    The Obama administration said on Monday that it has accepted from the Iraqi government the same sort of immunity agreement for newly dispatched Special Operations troops that it refused to accept in 2011, when it opted to withdraw all American troops from Iraq rather than keep a residual force behind.

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  • Terrorists Team Up in Syria to Build Next Generation of Bombs

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

    An alliance has been building inside war-ravaged Syria, with al Qaeda-linked terrorists there now working alongside hardened operatives from the prolific al Qaeda affiliate in Yemen to develop a new generation of bombs that could be smuggled aboard commercial planes, ABC News has learned.

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  • Day after Kerry praised Egyptian leader, court gives 7 years to jailed journalists

    By Nancy A. Youssef, McClatchy Newspapers

    On Sunday, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry visited Cairo, where he voiced strong support for the Egyptian government, saying he believed Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi would bring about democratic reforms.

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  • Crying Poor

    By John Dickerson, Slate Magazine

    On Monday morning, at a White House summit on policies to help working families, Vice President Joe Biden reflected on his wealth. He said that while he wore a “mildly expensive suit” and was vice president of the United States of America, he didn’t own a stock or a bond, and as a senator, was the poorest member of the club. This bit is a longstanding part of Biden’s shtick, but was interpreted—most loudly by the Republican National Committee—as a dig at possible presidential rival Hillary Clinton. The former secretary of state has been having trouble talking about her considerable wealth, ever since she described herself as “dead broke” upon leaving the White House.

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Jun 23, 2014

  • Key Supreme Court Decisions in 2014

    By The New York Times

    The Supreme Court on Monday released a decision allowing, with limits, the E.P.A. to curb power-plant gases. Below, how the justices have decided other major cases this term and the implications of their decisions.

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  • Relief Over U.S. Exit From Iraq Fades as Reality Overtakes Hope

    By Peter Baker, The New York Times

    Standing in Al Faw palace in Baghdad, surrounded by an artificial lake and the ragged remnants of eight years of war, Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. felt a surge of emotion on that day in December 2011.

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  • War lite -- Obama's limited Iraq goals

    By Doyle McManus, Los Angeles Times

    The United States is stepping into its third Iraq war in 24 years. But if President Obama has his way, this one will be fought under different rules.

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  • Mississippi’s Cochran, facing tea party threat in runoff, defends his Senate seat like a hawk

    In this college town’s leafy square on Saturday, Sen. Thad Cochran, fighting for his political life, talked up his hawkish view of foreign policy.

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  • GOP Infighting Shows No Sign of Easing Up

    By Patrick O'Connor and Janet Hook, Wall Street Journal

    The battles that played out in Republican primaries this spring have done little to resolve the party's divisions, with differences over both tactics and policy still stark.

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