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!

May 06, 2014

  • Nigerian Government Vows to Find Kidnapped Girls

    With Martha Raddatz, ABC News

    The promise comes after the U.S. urges Nigeria to find the 300 girls kidnapped by Islamic extremists three weeks ago.

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  • Obama Aides Tell Executives to Skip Forum

    By Peter Baker, The New York Times

    The White House has pressured the chief executives of some of America’s largest energy, financial and industrial corporations into canceling plans to attend an international economic forum in Russia to be hosted by President Vladimir V. Putin this month, the latest effort to isolate Moscow in retaliation for its intervention in Ukraine.

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  • When religion meets politics, U.S. justices sharpen their pencils

    By Joan Biskupic, Reuters

    When the U.S. Supreme Court upheld Christian prayers at local government meetings on Monday, the justices wrote in exalted terms about balancing legislative prayer and religious neutrality.

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  • Supreme Court Declines to Consider Gun-Rights Case

    By Pete Williams, NBC News

    The Supreme Court declined again Monday to take up a hotly contested issue of gun rights that has divided the nation's federal and state courts.

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  • Tea party vs. establishment as primary season opens

    By Dan Balz, The Washington Post

    A major subplot of this year’s midterm elections is the competition between the Republican establishment and the GOP’s tea party wing. The establishment is fighting back, but has the tea party already won?

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May 05, 2014

  • US Troops Train in Former Soviet States: Commander Says 'We're Ready'

    With Martha Raddatz, ABC News

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  • Former U.S. Ambassador to Moscow Warns of War in Ukraine

    By Michael Crowley, TIME Magazine

    Michael McFaul, who served as President Obama’s ambassador to Moscow until February, has warned that the Ukraine crisis is approaching a state of war that could trigger a large scale invasion by Russian military forces.

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  • US Troops in the Shadow of Russia

    With Martha Raddatz, ABC News

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  • GOP Poised to Control More State Legislatures

    By Beth Reinhard, Wall Street Journal

    Four years after Republicans grabbed their largest number of legislative seats since the Great Depression, the party is positioned to gain House and Senate majorities in more states, putting energy regulation, social issues and taxes in play even as Washington remains gridlocked.

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  • Liberal donors eye new long-term investments in states and new voters to boost Democrats

    By Matea Gold, The Washington Post

    A group of wealthy liberal donors who helped bankroll the Center for American Progress and other major advocacy groups on the left is developing a new big-money strategy that could boost state-level Democratic candidates and mobilize core party voters.

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May 02, 2014

  • So Far, U.S. Sanctions Over Ukraine May Be Inflicting Only Limited Pain on Russia

    By Peter Baker and Andrew E. Kramer, The New York Times

    As it tries to punish Moscow for its intervention in Ukraine, the White House asserts that the sanctions it has imposed have had a “significant impact” on Russia’s economy, but their real effect so far, according to economic specialists, appears to be more psychological than tangible.

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  • US Troops Head to Latvia as Russia Progresses Against ‘Helpless’ Ukraine

    By Martha Raddatz, ABC News

    Pro-Russian mobs have taken control of more government buildings in Ukraine, as Russian President Vladimir Putin demanded the Ukrainian government pull back its troops from the southeastern part of the country.

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  • Could ACA Sign-up Data Signal Voter Turnout Boost?

    By Alexis Simendinger, Real Clear Politics

    If Democratic candidates assume most minorities who enrolled for health insurance through the Obamacare marketplaces are happy about getting covered -- a reasonable hypothesis -- where might those fans of the law prove politically helpful, if they turn out to vote for Democrats in November?

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  • For GOP, runoffs could complicate key Senate races

    By Charles Babington, Associated Press

    As Republicans try to win control of the Senate in the 2014 elections, they may be forced to confront runoffs in key states that could expose conservative-vs.-establishment rifts and allow relatively tiny numbers of voters to pick the nominees.

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  • Midterm Political Wave May Be Only a Ripple

    By Janet Hook, Wall Street Journal

    Democrats and Republicans are at war over the 2014 midterm elections, but they agree on one thing about the national political terrain: Voters are seething with anti-Washington hostility and a mistrust of government that seems to scream “Throw the bums out!”

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May 01, 2014

  • Obama Resists GOP Call to Better Arm Ukraine

    By Alexis Simendinger, Real Clear Politics

    President Obama shares Republican senators’ commitment to tough sanctions against Russia and assistance for the Ukrainian people, but opposes supplying military weapons and lethal aid to Ukraine, the White House repeated on Wednesday.

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  • Lies, Damned Lies, and Garden-Variety Self-Deception

    By John Dickerson, Slate Magazine

    Has the Benghazi “smoking gun” been found? Some White House critics believe that new documents wrestled from the White House by Judicial Watch, a conservative watchdog group, prove that the Obama administration concocted a cover-up: Political advisers pushed a false story that the murder of four Americans grew out of a protest against an anti-Islamic video in order to hide a policy failure that might hurt the president in an election year.

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  • This Is What the US' Boldest Show of Force Toward Russia Looks Like

    With Martha Raddatz, ABC News

    ABC News' Martha Raddatz visits troops in the region where the US has sent troops amid tensions.

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  • Poll: Americans Want to Pull Back From World Stage

    With Janet Hook, Wall Street Journal

    Americans in large numbers want the U.S. to reduce its role in world affairs even as a showdown with Russia over Ukraine preoccupies Washington, a Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll finds. Janet Hook reports.

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  • Why the rich are rattled

    By Doyle McManus, Los Angeles Times

    The Milken Institute Global Conference, an annual gathering of investment bankers plus a smattering of social entrepreneurs, scientists and Hollywood stars, is a sea of expensive suits and beautiful shoes — a convention not of the top 1% but of the top 0.1%.

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