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 27, 2011

  • Taxpayers' Billions: Missing in Baghdad

    With Eamon Javers, CNBC

    A report on the billions of dollars in cash, sent to Iraq from the New York Fed, are missing.

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  • Paul Ryan Slams Obama Over Economy, ‘Divisive Rhetoric’.

    By Naftali Bendavid, Wall Street Journal

    Rep. Paul Ryan delivered a blistering speech Wednesday criticizing President Barack Obama for dividing Americans and offering unworkable solutions to the country’s economic problems.

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  • Sneak Preview of Fall Attractions? Romney Visits NoVa

    By Beth Reinhard, National Journal

    Virginia Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling thanked Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney for taking “time away from his campaign’’ on Wednesday to come to this Washington, D.C., suburb, but the gratitude was certainly mutual. Sure, Romney offered a jolt of media exposure to the local and state candidates running on the Nov. 8 ballot who joined him at the party’s Fairfax County headquarters. But as the Republican front-runner himself pointed out, northern Virginia will undoubtedly be a battleground once again in the 2012 general election.

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  • Black Voters’ Support for Obama Is Steady and Strong

    By Helene Cooper, New York Times

    Abdul Malik seems the prototype of a disenchanted Barack Obama voter. Mr. Malik, 48, lost his job as a grading and landscape worker a year and a half ago, another victim of the housing bust. Since then, he has been searching for something, anything, to help make ends meet.

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  • Economy, Politics Fan American Discontent

    With David Wessel, Wall Street Journal

    The 30% of Americans with four-year college degrees are less likely to be unemployed and make more money than the others, but they're just as pessimistic about the economy and the direction of the country. David Wessel explains on The News Hub.

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  • In Ohio, praise and questions for Herman Cain

    By Dan Balz, Washington Post

    First impressions are important in politics, and no one has introduced himself better in the campaign for the Republican presidential nomination than businessman Herman Cain.

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Oct 26, 2011

  • Inside Rick Perry's 20/20 Tax Plan

    With John Harwood, CNBC

    A discussion of the Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry's tax reform plan.

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  • Republican candidates offer a diverse set of economic plans

    By Perry Bacon Jr. and Karen Tumulty, The Washington Post

    At a moment when the fragility of the economy ranks at the top of American concerns, sharp differences have begun to emerge in how the leading GOP presidential contenders would solve the problem — illuminating not only a diversity in approach, but a striking contrast in the candidates’ governing philosophies.

     

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  • Obama Touts Two Lists: Campaign Promises Kept, and To-Do

    By Alexis Simendinger, RealClearPolitics

    President Obama is keeping his own report card, and gives himself an "incomplete." At multiple stops in California Monday and Tuesday while raising money for his campaign, the president told audiences that he keeps a list of his 2008 campaign promises in his desk drawer. "About once a week I take it out and make a check," he said Tuesday in San Francisco before heading off to Denver. He boasted that he has successfully tackled about 60 percent of that list in less than three years.

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  • Perry calls for sweeping tax cuts, benefit changes

    By Charles Babington and Kasie Hunt, Associated Press

    Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry proposed dramatic tax and spending changes Tuesday, saying he would let Americans choose between a 20 percent flat tax and the current system, allow private Social Security accounts and slash government spending and regulation.

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  • Romney Targeted in High-Dollar Ad Onslaught

    By Beth Reinhard, National Journal

    For now, the attacks on the Republican front-runner for president are mostly confined to snarky Internet videos, e-mails and Twitter posts. But the big-dollar war on Mitt Romney is coming, just as surely as winter. Millions of dollars raised by his Republican opponents and the so-called super PACS, as well as by groups on the extreme left and right of the political spectrum, will be hurled in his direction.

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  • Hard times: How the economic slowdown has changed consumer spending in America

    By The Economist

    AMERICANS are spending less on clothes and eating out and more on household fuel bills and healthcare, according to data from the Bureau of Labour Statistics. Between 2007 and 2010, average annual consumer spending per unit—defined as a family/shared household or single/financially independent person—fell by 3.1% to $48,109. Average prices over this period have risen by 5.2%, so real consumer spending has fallen by almost 8%.

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  • Obama: From hope and change to change and hope for the best

    By Sam Youngman, The Hill

    President Obama’s campaign has gone from hope and change to change and hope. He wants to change the conversation to what the Republicans are saying and hope voters find him to be the lesser of two evils.

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  • Obama Taps Into Hollywood in West Coast Swing

    By Jackie Calmes, New York Times

    With a morning taping of NBC’s “The Tonight Show” on Tuesday, President Obama makes his fourth appearance on the couch opposite the host Jay Leno, in between mining for California gold at fund-raisers in Los Angeles and San Francisco.

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  • Obama Taps Into Hollywood in West Coast Swing

    By Jackie Calmes, New York Times

    With a morning taping of NBC’s “The Tonight Show” on Tuesday, President Obama makes his fourth appearance on the couch opposite the host Jay Leno, in between mining for California gold at fund-raisers in Los Angeles and San Francisco.

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  • New Poll Finds a Deep Distrust of Government

    By Jeff Zeleny and Megan Thee-Brenan, New York Times

    With Election Day just over a year away, a deep sense of economic anxiety and doubt about the future hangs over the nation, according to the latest New York Times/CBS News poll, with Americans’ distrust of government at its highest level ever.

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Oct 25, 2011

  • Perry Looks Outside His Circle to Boost Campaign

    By John Harwood, Jim Rutenberg and Jeff Zeleny, The New York Times

    Gov. Rick Perry of Texas is taking significant steps to redefine his candidacy as his battle for the Republican nomination intensifies, including unveiling a tax overhaul plan that would give people the option of paying a 20 percent flat tax on income.

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  • 10 Questions for Rick Perry

    By John Harwood, The New York Times

    Gov. Rick Perry of Texas is seeking to jump-start his Republican presidential campaign by proposing a new tax system: a 20-percent flat rate on individual and corporate income, down from the current 35 percent top rate, and elimination of existing taxes on estates, capital gains and dividends. He sat down with John Harwood of The Times and CNBC to discuss the plan, his challenge to a Republican rival, Mitt Romney, and other issues. What follows is a condensed, edited transcript of their conversation.

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  • Perry Adds Veteran Advisers to Campaign

    By Jeff Zeleny, The New York Times

    Gov. Rick Perry is expanding his tight circle of Texas advisers to adapt to the growing needs – and to deal with the growing pains – of his Republican presidential candidacy.

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  • The Cain Mutiny

    By John Dickerson, Slate Magazine

    Herman Cain has captured lightning in a bottle. That's the political cliché for the blast of popularity he's experiencing. But in Iowa, a state that has traditionally rewarded well-organized campaigns, the question is whether Cain is all lightning and no bottle. His supporters and political consultants are trying to get him to spend time and energy in the state, but he has a different plan.

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