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 11, 2012

  • Obama's 'Buffett Rule'

    With Eamon Javers, CNBC

    CNBC's Eamon Javers breaks down President Obama's tax policy that would ensure millionaires pay the same effective tax rate as the middle class.

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  • Game Over

    By John Dickerson, Slate

    Over to you, Governor Romney. Rick Santorum has left the Republican presidential race, ending the most successful run by an improbable GOP candidate since publisher Steve Forbes' run in 1996. At the start of the presidential campaign, few in political circles would have predicted that a senator who had lost his last race by 17 points, who had no money, no pollster, and few endorsements, would win 11 contests.
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Apr 10, 2012

  • Rick Santorum to Drop Out of the Presidential Race

    By Aaron Blake and Nia-Malika Henderson, Washington Post

    Rick Santorum announced Tuesday that he is suspending his presidential campaign, all but bringing to a close the 2012 GOP presidential contest and effectively handing the nomination to Mitt Romney. “We made a decision over the weekend that, while this presidential race for us is over — for me — and we will suspend our campaign effective today, we are not done fighting,” Santorum said at a campaign event in Gettysburg, Pa., the site of the historic and pivotal Civil War battle.
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  • Health-Care Law Will Add $340 Billion to Deficit, New Study Finds

    By Lori Montgomery, Washington Post

    President Obama’s landmark health-care initiative, long touted as a means to control costs, will actually add more than $340 billion to the nation’s budget woes over the next decade, according to a new study by a Republican member of the board that oversees Medicare financing.
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    A pharmacist sorts medicine (CNN, File Photo)

  • The Buffett Rule Won’t Get You a Job

    By Jim Tankersley, National Journal

    On the seventh and final page of its background report on the "Buffett Rule," out this morning, the Obama administration finally dives into what it calls “the economic rationale” for imposing a new minimum tax rate on millionaires. If you’re an unemployed American, that placement should be your first red flag. The second should be the rationale itself.
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  • Obama Holds Key Leads on Romney, as Economy Malaise Looms over Reelection Bid

    By Dan Balz and Jon Cohen, Washington Post

    With the general-election campaign beginning to take shape, President Obama holds clear advantages over Mitt Romney on personal attributes and a number of key issues, but remains vulnerable to discontent with the pace of the economic recovery, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll.
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  • Obama to Make Case for ‘Buffett Rule’

    By Jackie Calmes, New York Times

    Previewing the message that President Obama will take to Florida on Tuesday, his economic team released a brief report making the case for his “Buffett Rule,” a proposal that would ensure the wealthiest Americans pay at least 30 percent of their income in federal taxes.
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  • Veterans Return Home to Face Unemployment Battle

    With Julianna Goldman, Bloomberg News

    Bloomberg's Julianna Goldman reports that as tens of thousands of young veterans come home from the wars, many are struggling to find work with civilian employers who don’t recognize their skills, haven’t shared their experiences and aren’t sure what to make of them.
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Apr 09, 2012

  • ‘Super PAC,’ Eyeing General Election, Aims Blitz at Obama

    By Jeff Zeleny and Jim Rutenberg, New York Times

    American Crossroads, the biggest of the Republican “super PACs,” is planning to begin its first major anti-Obama advertising blitz of the year, a moment the Obama re-election campaign has been girding for and another sign that the general election is starting in earnest. With an anticipated bank account of more than $200 million, officials at American Crossroads said they would probably begin their campaign this month.
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    President Obama addresses members of the press at the White House (CNN, File Photo)

  • Martin Killing Resonates in Conn. Town Still Trying to Heal Racial Fissures

    By Krissah Thompson and Michael A. Fletcher, Washington Post

    No one died in what became known here as “the incident.” But that has not kept the raw racial fissures that ran through this blue-collar town six years ago from resurfacing in light of the national attention focused on the killing of Trayvon Martin. As in the Martin case, there were dueling stories in Stratford, accusations of racism and what many saw as criminal suspicions rooted in faulty racial assumptions.
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  • Jobs Report Leaves Obama, Romney Campaigns Wary

    By Charles Babington, Associated Press

    The nation's steady-but-modest job growth presents political challenges for both of November's all-but-certain presidential rivals. Republican Mitt Romney needs an ailing economy to fully exploit his image as a "Mr. Fix-It" who can restore the nation's financial health, as he turned around the troubled 2002 Winter Olympics. President Barack Obama needs job-creation momentum to convince voters that things are moving in the right direction, even if millions of people remain unemployed.
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  • Tulsa Shooting: Two Suspects Arrested

    With Pierre Thomas, ABC News

    Race and revenge may have fueled the rampage that killed three African-Americans.

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  • Both Parties Wooing Seniors

    By Janet Hook, Wall Street Journal

    President Barack Obama and Democrats are counting on regaining support from older voters who switched to the GOP in 2008 and 2010 by attacking Republican plans to revamp Medicare. But Mitt Romney is proving to be a formidable competitor in this battle. The Republican presidential front-runner has drawn large shares of older voters during the primaries, and recent polls show him ahead of Mr. Obama among seniors in swing states such as Ohio, Pennsylvania and Florida.
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Apr 06, 2012

  • 120,000 Added Jobs in March, Less Than Expected

    With David Wessel, Wall Street Journal

    The U.S. economy added 120,000 jobs last month, less than expected and an indication that momentum could be slowing. Phil Izzo and David Wessel have the details.

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  • A ‘War on Women’ or a Battle for their Votes?

    By Karen Tumulty and David Nakamura, Washington Post

    Is there a “war on women” going on? That is a matter of dispute between the parties these days. But one thing is certain: There is a battle raging over them. If that wasn’t clear after weeks of argument over contraceptive coverage, it became so Thursday, when caterpillars and country clubs got dragged into the fray.
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  • Rob Portman's the One

    By Major Garrett, National Journal

    Mitt Romney will be the Republican nominee, Wisconsin sealed the deal, and he will pick Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio as his running mate. Write it down. And harangue me mercilessly this summer if I am wrong.
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  • Back to the Drawing Board

    By Todd S. Purdum, Vanity Fair

    Mitt Romney still has only a bit more than half the delegates he’ll need to become the Republicans’ official nominee in Tampa this summer, but after his sweeping victories in Wisconsin, Maryland, and the District of Columbia, no one can any longer doubt that the nomination is—really, finally—his. Just ask that famously sloppy political operator Barack Obama, who has suddenly trained his sights on Romney as if the general election were well under way—which, come to think of it, it is.
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  • White House Women's Forum Could Capitalize on Gender Gap

    By Alexis Simendinger, RealClearPolitics

    President Obama is hosting a White House "forum on women and the economy" Friday, and aides are denying up and down that politics is afoot. Planned two weeks ago and featuring panels about business, women’s education, the workplace, health care, and violence against women, the event is a chance for the president to deliver a speech directed at women -- and for the administration to tout its record on “women’s economic security . . . through all stages of life.” At least 10 female administration officials are scheduled to moderate.
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    President Obama hosts a "forum on women and the economy" at the White House (CNN)

  • Jobless Benefits Claims Drop to Lowest Levels Since 2008

    By Michael A. Fletcher, Washington Post

    The number of Americans filing for jobless benefits dropped to its lowest level in four years last week, the government reported Thursday, adding to a growing sense among economists that job creation is continuing at a healthy clip. Jobless claims fell to 357,000 in the week ended March 31, the lowest number since April 2008.
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  • Justice Kagan--Giving Liberals a Rhetorical Lift

    By Joan Biskupic, Reuters

    During three days of arguments over the Obama healthcare plan, Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan put on a display of rhetorical firepower, reinforcing predictions that the newest liberal justice is best equipped to take on the conservative, five-man majority controlling the bench.
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