Morning Must Reads: August 1

In the news: XKeyscore, derailing Obamacare, 1.7% growth, Greece, the upcoming budget battle, and what's prettier in print

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Mark Wilson / Getty Images

The early morning sun rises behind the US Capitol Building in Washington, DC.

  • A top secret National Security Agency program, XKeyscore, allows analysts to search with no prior authorization through vast databases containing emails, online chats and the browsing histories of millions of individuals, according to documents provided by whistleblower Edward Snowden. [Guardian]
    • The safeguards we have been told are in place are not here. [New Yorker]
    • Gen. Keith B. Alexander, director of the National Security Agency, sold the idea of government surveillance programs Wednesday to more than 3,000 cybersecurity specialists in Las Vegas. [WashPost]
    • A majority of Americans – 56% – say that federal courts fail to provide adequate limits on the telephone and internet data the government is collecting as part of its anti-terrorism efforts. [Pew Poll]
    • Snowden leaves Moscow airport. [BBC]
  • How Republicans could actually derail Obamacare. [WashPost]
  • The Commerce Department reported Wednesday that the economy grew at a 1.7% annual rate in the second quarter, enough to ease fears of a full-on summertime economic stall but still a sluggish pace by historic standards. [WSJ]
  • Kyriakos Mitsotakis, Greece’s minister of administrative reform, discusses the government’s plan under which 25,000 civil servants will be moved out of their jobs. [L.A. Times]
  • Obama met with congressional Democrats in both chambers Wednesday to prepare them for the budget battle that will greet them in the fall. Obama said he will reject any fiscal deal that only spares the Pentagon from budget cuts. [Hill]
  • 10 Republicans who could be House speaker [Roll Call]
  • Prettier in print