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!

Aug 20, 2014

  • Rights Of Protesters, Media Misunderstood In Ferguson

    With Carrie Johnson, NPR

    Authorities in the Missouri city are barring protesters and the media from recording their actions, arresting photographers and reporters and insisting that marchers walk instead of stay in one place.

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  • Shared Vision, Varying Styles

    By Peter Baker and Matt Apuzzo, The New York Times

    The two men in open-collar shirts sat facing each other, papers and a BlackBerry strewn on a coffee table, sober looks on both their faces. One leaned forward, gesturing with his left hand, clearly doing the talking. The other sat back in his chair, two fingers pressed to his temple as he listened intently.

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  • Why Obama can’t go there

    By Todd S. Purdum, Politico

    It’s a paradox of Barack Obama’s presidency: The first African-American to run the country finds himself in the tensest racial confrontation of his tenure but is constrained from addressing the nation’s original sin in anything but the loftiest, most dispassionate terms.

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  • Key to peace in Gaza

    With Elise Labott, CNN

    CNN's Elise Labott breaks down how the reconstruction of Gaza is the key to preventing a repeat of the conflict.

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Aug 19, 2014

  • President Obama chooses his words carefully on Michael Brown

    By Christi Parsons and Kathleen Hennessey, Los Angeles Times

    As they watched police in military gear spread tear gas in a St. Louis suburb in recent days, White House aides knew President Obama would be expected to weigh in on race.

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  • What Washington Can, And Can't, Do In Ferguson

    With Carrie Johnson, NPR

    U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder visited the White House to brief President Obama on the latest federal response to unrest in Ferguson, Mo. FBI agents are set to finish canvassing for witnesses to the shooting of Michael Brown, and more federal peacemakers will arrive to try to ease tensions.

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  • Obama’s Mission Creep in Iraq

    By Michael Crowley, CNN

    In 2003, George W. Bush was too quick to declare that “major combat operations in Iraq have ended.” In 2014, Barack Obama may be too slow to admit that they are just beginning.

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  • Exclusive: White House meets with big biz on immigration

    By Anna Palmer and Carrie Budoff Brown, Politico

    Senior White House officials are in talks with business leaders that could expand the executive actions President Barack Obama takes on immigration.

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  • Alaska GOP wrestles over spot in top 2014 Senate race

    By Susan Davis, USA Today

    Three Republicans face off Tuesday at the end of a bruising battle for the right to take on Democratic Sen. Mark Begich in the fall, one of the most critical races for determining control of the Senate.

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Aug 18, 2014

  • Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon ‘Thunderstruck’ by Images of Ferguson Police

    With Martha Raddatz, ABC News

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  • Obama heading back to the office for mid-vacation work break

    By Christi Parsons, Los Angeles Times

    President Obama is interrupting his two-week vacation for a trip back to Washington, where aides say he'll take part in a few meetings on crises at home and abroad.

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  • Rick Perry’s redemption tour hits a big obstacle with indictment

    By Dan Balz, The Washington Post

    Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s political redemption tour hit a massive speed bump late Friday when he was indicted on two felony counts of abusing the powers of his office. The indictment also triggered a Texas-size partisan brawl over whether the charges were legitimate or politically motivated.

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  • How Big a Surprise Was Maliki’s Resignation?

    With Indira Lakshmanan, Bloomberg News

    Bloomberg’s Indira Lakshmanan reports on Iraq’s political situation in the wake of former Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s stepping down.

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  • Obama tests the bounds of lame-duckery

    By Doyle McManus, Los Angeles Times

    There are two words every president, including Barack Obama, hates to hear: "lame duck."

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Aug 15, 2014

  • Attorney General Holder: Ferguson Scenes Cannot Continue

    By Carrie Johnson, NPR

    Attorney General Eric Holder says federal investigators have already conducted interviews with eyewitnesses to the shooting of an unarmed African-American teenager in Ferguson, Mo., even as he pledged new assistance from the Justice Department to quell "extreme displays of force" and militarization by heavily armed local police there.

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  • Libertarians make their voices heard on police in Ferguson, Mo.

    By Dan Balz, The Washington Post

    The killing of 18-year-old Michael Brown by a police officer in Ferguson, Mo., has produced a rare and surprisingly unified response across the ideological spectrum, with Republicans and Democrats joining to decry the tactics of the city’s police force in the face of escalating protests.

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  • Libertarians make their voices heard on police in Ferguson, Mo.

    By Dan Balz, The Washington Post

    The killing of 18-year-old Michael Brown by a police officer in Ferguson, Mo., has produced a rare and surprisingly unified response across the ideological spectrum, with Republicans and Democrats joining to decry the tactics of the city’s police force in the face of escalating protests.

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  • Pentagon says U.S. airstrikes won’t break Islamic State’s ability to wage war

    By Nancy A. Youssef, McClatchy Newspapers

    The United States’ senior military officer in charge of operations said Monday that U.S. airstrikes in Iraq have not affected the overall military effectiveness of the Islamic State and aren’t likely to, as long as protecting American lives and rescuing a trapped minority sect are the primary U.S. missions there.

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  • What hand will al-Maliki play in Iraq?

    By Elise Labott, CNN

    While senior U.S. officials say they are now less worried about Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki launching a coup to stay in power, they still predict he'll try to obstruct the political process to keep his designated successor, Haider al-Abadi, out of office.

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  • The Clintons break bread and build ties with Julian Castro, stoking talk of a 2016 ticket

    By Ed O’Keefe and Philip Rucker, The Washington Post

    As she expands her political network in advance of an expected presidential run, Hillary Rodham Clinton and her husband have been cultivating an important ally who some believe could become her vice presidential running mate.

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