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!

Oct 21, 2011

  • Top Lawmakers Push Debt Panel to Wrap Up

    by Janet Hook, The Wall Street Journal

    Senate and House leaders are becoming more directly involved with the supercommittee responsible for delivering a sizable deficit-reduction plan by Thanksgiving, amid growing concern the panel's members could be deadlocked.

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Oct 20, 2011

  • Rick Perry called Herman Cain “brother.” Why?

    By Nia-Malika Henderson, Washington Post

    When Rick Perry, who has been dogged by allegations of racial insensitivity because of a hunting camp his family leased, called Herman Cain, the only black person on the Las Vegas debate stage Tuesday night “brother,” he raised a racial antennae among some viewers.

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  • Supercommittee’s lack of progress on debt reduction raises alarms on Hill

    By Lori Montgomery and Paul Kane, Washington Post

    With a Thanksgiving deadline fast approaching, a powerful congressional panel devoted to debt reduction is running in rhetorical circles, unable to break the impasse over taxes that has long blocked aggressive action to tame the national debt.

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  • CLASS Act?

    By Major Garrett, National Journal

    CLASS dismissed. With extreme prejudice. The Obama administration has deemed the CLASS Act, a portion of the landmark health care law, a budget-buster. It terminated the program last Friday, less than a month after most of its staff had been dismissed or reassigned and denials flew about the CLASS Act’s demise.

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  • Obama campaign manager: Romney 'has no credibility' on middle-class issues

    By Julianna Goldman, Bloomberg

    President Barack Obama, promoting his jobs plan in Virginia, said a group of 270 companies including ConAgra Foods Inc. and Tyson Foods Inc. has pledged to hire 25,000 military veterans and spouses by the end of 2013.

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  • AP-GfK Poll: Public unsettled on Obama challenger

    By Charles Babington, Associated Press

    Americans have yet to find a Republican they'd clearly prefer over President Barack Obama, although half say the president does not deserve re-election. Among Republicans, the desire to oust Obama is clear, according to a new AP-GfK poll. But it has not resolved divisions over the choice of a nominee. Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney is reasonably popular, but he has not pulled away from the field.

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  • Obama in the Occupy Wall Street camp

    By Doyle McManus, Los Angeles Times

    If you're one of the thousands of demonstrators sleeping in parks, carrying signs and banging on drums to protest Wall Street's hammerlock on American politics, President Obama wants you to know he feels your pain.

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  • Bad Blood Between Perry and Romney Is Longstanding

    By Jeff Zeleny and Michael D. Shear, New York Times

    The hostilities flaring between Mitt Romney and Gov. Rick Perry of Texas have been steadily rising inside both camps and may signal a new, more combative phase in the Republican presidential campaign.

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Oct 19, 2011

  • Unlike in Israel, Missing U.S. Soldiers' Plight Not a National Struggle

    By Yochi J. Dreazen, National Journal

    In the years since their capture in Afghanistan and Iraq, U.S. Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl and Army Staff Sgt. Ahmed Altaie have been largely forgotten by both Washington and the American public. There have been no protests demanding the government make whatever concessions necessary to win their release. Most Americans don’t even know their names.

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  • Hillary Clinton Visits Libya to Meet Rebel Leaders

    By Martha Raddatz, ABC News

    Secretary of State Hillary Clinton touched down in Libya Tuesday afternoon, becoming the first cabinet level official to visit the country since NATO airstrikes began in March and Tripoli fell in late August. A senior State Department official said that the purpose of Secretary Clinton's visit is to congratulate the Libyan people on the ouster of Gadhafi from power, help with transition issues like unifying the rebel fighters and forge a deeper partnership with Libya.

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  • President Obama's strategy on jobs is working — even if Americans aren’t

    By Sam Youngman, The Hill

    It’s certainly not pretty, but darn if it doesn’t appear to be working. President Obama’s newfound message discipline on jobs and his two-pronged attack on the GOP are providing the beleaguered president with new signs of life not long after many were wondering if he had anything left.

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  • Both McConnell and Reid Dismiss Herman Cain’s 9-9-9 Tax Plan.

    By Naftali Bendavid, Wall Street Journal

    GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain’s 9-9-9 tax plan is getting lots of buzz, but congressional leaders of both parties are less than enthusiastic.

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  • Analysis: GOP contenders turn fire on each other

    By Charles Babington, Associated Press

    The Republican presidential candidates tore into each other as never before in their latest debate, mindful that voting starts within 11 weeks and many GOP voters remain up for grabs.

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  • Staying in Vegas? The Hermanator Doesn't Make the Grade

    By Beth Reinhard, National Journal

    Faced with making a giant leap from novelty act to political statesman -- in Las Vegas, of all places -- surging Republican candidate Herman Cain predictably fell short in Tuesday’s debate.

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  • Obama Finds Economy Makes Policies a Hard Sell on Bus Tour

    By Julianna Goldman, Bloomberg

    Lisa Hensley was thrilled when President Barack Obama unexpectedly showed up during the lunch hour at the Countryside Barbeque in Marion, North Carolina, a town of about 8,000 along the Blue Ridge Mountains.

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  • A Fierce Clash for Romney and Perry as Republican Candidates Debate

    By Jeff Zeleny and Jim Rutenberg, New York Times

    Mitt Romney came under intensive attack from his rivals for the Republican presidential nomination at a debate here Tuesday night, with a newly assertive Rick Perry leading a sometimes personal barrage against him on conservative consistency, health care policy and even the immigration status of yard workers at his home.

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  • Republican presidential debate puts Herman Cain to test

    By Karen Tumulty, Washington POst

    The near-weekly ritual of Republican presidential debates took a raucous turn Tuesday night as the unsettled field of candidates ganged up on one another in a series of attacks more intense and personal than any in their previous appearances together.

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  • After sharp GOP debate, campaign shifts focus

    By Dan Balz, Washington Post

    After five debates in six weeks, the race for the Republican presidential nomination will soon shift to a new phase, one focused on states with early primaries and caucuses and dominated by retail campaign skills and television commercials rather than by prepared sound bites and testy exchanges on a debate stage.

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  • Fightin' Words: Rick Perry and Mitt Romney duke it out at the presidential debate in Las Vegas.

    by John Dickerson, Slate

    In order to give the CNN Western Republican Presidential Debate a regional flair, the network created a horseshoe logo. The candidates went one better. They turned the debate into a Wild West bar fight. It started with a scuffle over Herman Cain’s 9-9-9 tax plan, then tipped over tables in a skirmish over Mitt Romney’s health care plan in Massachusetts. The candidates talked over each other, their voices escalating. They accused each other of lying. At one testy point, when Romney was lecturing Rick Perry about interrupting, he put his hand on the Texas governor’s shoulder. He was trying to provoke him. Watch it, Mitt—he could be packing.

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Oct 18, 2011

  • Street Cred: Why Herman Cain keeps trying to say Mitt Romney is Wall Street’s candidate.

    by John Dickerson, Slate

    Mitt Romney can claim a lot of geography. He was born in Michigan, was governor of Massachusetts, worked and lived in Utah, and has a summer place in New Hampshire. Oh, and he’s said to be building in San Diego.

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