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!

Apr 23, 2012

  • Corzine, Amid Scandal, Is Among Obama's Top Bundlers

    by Alexis Simendinger, RealClearPolitics

    Jon Corzine -- under federal and congressional investigation following accusations that the securities firm he headed illegally took clients' funds before collapsing -- is among President Obama's top re-election campaign bundlers, raising at least $500,000, according to the campaign’s filing Friday with the Federal Election Commission

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  • Does the Tea Party Have a Second Act?

    With Naftali Bendavid, The Wall Street Journal

    Tough challenges to Republican Sens. Orrin Hatch and Richard Lugar will signal whether tea-party activists and their allies still have the power they wielded in 2010. Naftali Bendavid has details on The News Hub.

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Apr 20, 2012

  • At Least He Didn’t Call Him Moneybags

    By John Dickerson, Slate

    Yesterday President Obama said he "wasn't born with a silver spoon in his mouth." This line was widely interpreted as a not-so-subtle dig at Mitt Romney, the wealthy son of a wealthy father. At first glance, that seemed plausible, though perhaps too subtle. The president's campaign would like you to think Romney was born with silver tea, soup, demitasse, grapefruit, and runcible spoons—not to mention that funny silver ladle we use just on Thanksgiving—in his mouth. But upon second look, the president wasn't talking about his Republican challenger. He was just talking.
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  • Work in Progress

    By Greg Ip, The Economist

    When Paul Ryan released his proposed federal budget a year ago, Mitt Romney greeted it coolly. He congratulated the House Budget Committee chairman for “setting the right tone”, but pointedly declined to endorse any of its details. The coolness was understandable. Mr Ryan’s budget was political dynamite. It proposed to slash income-tax rates, especially for the rich and businesses, and replace traditional Medicare with vouchers for the elderly to buy health insurance.
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  • Secret Service Scandal: Ousted Agent 'Checked Out' Palin

    With Pierre Thomas, ABC News

    An agent involved in a sex scandal joked about the former governor on Facebook.

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  • Rubio: Arizona Immigration Law Is Not a Model for the Nation

    By Beth Reinhard, National Journal

    Florida Sen. Marco Rubio said Thursday that he does not view Arizona’s crackdown on illegal immigration as a “model,’’ distancing himself from presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, who has embraced the legislation. The Cuban-American senator, who spoke at the University of Phoenix/National Journal's Next America forum in Washington, is viewed as a top name on Romney’s vice presidential shortlist.
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    Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla. (CNN)

  • Poll Shows Romney's Recovery Begins

    With Laura Meckler, Wall Street Journal

    Simon Constable and Bob O'Brien discuss the latest Wall Street Journal poll results with Laura Meckler, and John Bussey finds signs of U.S. manufacturing still happening, in South Carolina.
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Apr 19, 2012

  • In Wariness on Economy, Poll Finds Opening for Romney

    By Jeff Zeleny and Allison Kopicki, New York Times

    A rising number of Americans see improvement in the economy, but a persistent wariness about their own financial circumstances is allowing Mitt Romney to persuade voters that he could improve their economic prospects more than President Obama, according to the latest New York Times/CBS News poll.
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    GOP Candidate Mitt Romney (CNN)

  • Government Scandals Consume Washington

    With Julianna Goldman, Bloomberg News

    Bloomberg's Megan Hughes, Julianna Goldman and Peter Cook report on the continuing investigations into GSA spending on lavish trips and gifts and Secret Service and military members entertaining prostitutes during President Obama's trip to Colombia.
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  • New Photos Raise New Questions About Whether the Military Can Police Itself

    By Yochi J. Dreazen, National Journal

    Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has apologized for grisly new photos showing American soldiers posing with the body parts of Taliban suicide bombers and promised that “anyone found responsible for this inhuman conduct will be held accountable.” If similar recent events are any indication, those punishments will be a long time coming.
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  • Who is Mitt Romney and What Does He Believe?

    By Dan Balz, Washington Post

    Mitt Romney has turned his attention to November’s presidential election, and the Republican establishment is beginning to fall in line behind him. Endorsements for him have grown from a stream to a flood this week, including from big names such as House Speaker John A. Boehner (Ohio), Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) and Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels.
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  • Panetta Apologizes for Photos

    With Martha Raddatz, ABC News

    Secretary of Defense sorry for photos of U.S. soldier with enemies' remains.

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Apr 18, 2012

  • Obama Seeks More Oil Market Oversight

    By Alexis Simendinger, RealClearPolitics

    Are gasoline prices rising in the United States because of illegal excess market speculation? The White House on Tuesday offered no evidence to support that hypothesis, but President Obama, worried about climbing prices at the pump, nevertheless urged lawmakers to adopt legislation he said would protect consumers and beef up the government's watchdog surveillance of oil trades.
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  • Romney Campaign Backs Away from Nugent's Obama Remark

    By Sam Youngman, Reuters

    Republican candidate Mitt Romney's campaign called for civility on Tuesday after aging rock star Ted Nugent made an apparent threat against President Barack Obama before an audience of U.S. gun lobbyists.
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  • Secret Service Prostitution Scandal Roils DC

    With Pierre Thomas, ABC News

    A prostitution scandal involving the Secret Service has grown in scope, with the disclosure that U.S. agents and military personnel had been with at least 20 women in hotel rooms before President Barack Obama arrived in Colombia for a summit with Latin American leaders.

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  • Latino Voters Take Center Stage in Both Presidential Campaigns

    By Karen Tumulty, Washington Post

    With the GOP presidential nomination no longer in doubt, President Obama and Mitt Romney this week are urgently turning their focus to Hispanic voters — a group whose alienation from Republicans threatens GOP prospects for winning the White House and has given the Obama campaign an early opportunity to lock in the support of a key constituency.
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  • As Gas Prices Cast Cloud, Obama Calls for Scrutiny on Market

    By Helene Cooper, New York Times

    With his re-election prospects influenced by the price of gasoline, President Obama on Tuesday demanded more “cops on the beat” to crack down on oil market manipulation, calling on Congress to bolster federal supervision of oil markets and to increase penalties for subverting markets.
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Apr 17, 2012

  • Obama Push on Oil Markets Seen as More Political Than Practical

    By Coral Davenport, National Journal

    Under continued attack from Republicans for high oil and gasoline prices, President Obama unveiled on Tuesday a slate of measures to crack down on financial speculation in energy-futures trading, which Democrats say helps drive up prices. But while a Rose Garden announcement gave the president a platform to be seen calling for action on fuel prices, it’s not clear whether financial speculation is even a major contributor to oil and gasoline prices—or whether the administration’s proposals could have any real impact on the price at the pump.
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    Gas Prices (CNN, File Photo)

  • Raise the Minimum Wage

    By Deborah Solomon, Bloomberg News

    Here’s an unhappy observation about the minimum wage: Congress last increased the rate in stages in 2006, topping it out at $7.25 an hour in 2009, or $15,080 a year. That amount, when adjusted for inflation, is actually lower than what a minimum-wage worker earned in 1968 and is too meager to offer anyone the chance to climb out of poverty, let alone afford basic goods and services.
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  • "Trust" to Join "Fairness" as Obama Buzzword, Sources Say

    By Alexis Simendinger, RealClearPolitics

    If the White House gets its political way, "trust" will be a word President Obama and his surrogates use in the next few weeks as often as Obama has talked about "fairness," and Mitt Romney, once dubbed as hollow to the core, will increasingly be ID'd as a card-carrying ultra-conservative who bobbles into Etch A Sketch moments because his core is causing him problems.
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