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!

Nov 10, 2011

  • Panel Is at Impasse, but Obama Sees No Reason to Step In

    By Jackie Calmes, New York Times

    The White House’s expectations for the special Congressional committee on deficit reduction, never high, have been all but dashed now that the panel has reached a partisan impasse less than two weeks before it is supposed to recommend a compromise plan.

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  • An ‘Oops’ From Perry in G.O.P. Presidential Debate

    By Jeff Zeleny and Ashley Parker, New York Times

    A day after an embarrassing stumble raised new questions about his presidential candidacy, Gov. Rick Perry of Texas said Thursday that he had no intention of leaving the race, and he tried using humor to deflect a fresh round of stinging Republican criticism.

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Nov 09, 2011

  • Republicans offer tax deal to break debt impasse; Democrats dismiss it

    By Lori Montgomery, Washington Post

    Congressional Republicans have for the first time retreated from their hard-line stance against new taxes, offering to raise federal tax collections by nearly $300 billion over the next decade as part of a plan to tame the national debt.

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  • Clinton recants part of new book

    By John F. Harris, POLITICO

    Former president Bill Clinton announced Tuesday night that he is trying once daily to say out loud “either ‘I don’t know’ or ‘I was wrong.’”

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  • Virginia elections may be a warning sign for Obama

    By Karen Tumulty, Washington Post

    Tuesday’s legislative elections in Virginia appeared likely to add more evidence — as if national Democrats needed it — that the terrain of the political map will be significantly more rugged for President Obama next year.

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  • Voter Tide Still Not Turning Against Cain

    By Beth Reinhard, National Journal

    One day after Sharon Bialek put a name and a face to the allegations of sexual harassment that have loomed over presidential candidate Herman Cain for more than a week, many voters are still giving him the benefit of the doubt.

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  • Voter Tide Still Not Turning Against Cain

    By Beth Reinhard, National Journal

    One day after Sharon Bialek put a name and a face to the allegations of sexual harassment that have loomed over presidential candidate Herman Cain for more than a week, many voters are still giving him the benefit of the doubt.

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  • High court weighs hearing arguments on health-care law

    By Joan Biskupic, USA Today

    The case is shaping up to be the most contentious at the Supreme Court in more than a decade, but everyone involved agrees at least on one point: They need to know as soon as possible whether the new health-care law is constitutional.

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  • White House: IAEA report 'raises concerns' about Iran’s nuke work

    By Sam Youngman, The Hill

    Obama administration officials said Tuesday that a new report by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) “raises concerns” about Iran’s nuclear program, but cautioned that it does not draw any conclusions about when Iran might be capable of building a nuclear bomb.

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  • Top Obama Aide Relinquishes Some Duties

    By Helene Cooper, Jeff Zeleny and Mark Landler, New York Times

    A year before Election Day, President Obama has realigned the West Wing to consolidate power among his closest and most trusted campaign advisers, putting Pete Rouse, a confidant with decades of Capitol Hill experience, at the center of White House operations.

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  • Countdown to the Debate: How GOP Debates Have Factored in the Race

    With Major Garrett, National Journal

    As he prepares to host the CBS News-National Journal presidential debate on Nov. 12, Major Garrett talks about how he's approaching the task. Garrett will moderate the Republican debate, which will focus on foreign policy and national security issues, alongside CBS News' Scott Pelley.

    Watch
  • I'm the Victim Here

    by John Dickerson, Slate

    For a person claiming to have been falsely accused, Herman Cain knows how to sling an accusation. Since allegations of his past sexual harassment have surfaced, Cain has blamed the media, Rick Perry, the Republican establishment, disgruntled former colleagues, "a troubled woman," the "machine that wants to keep a businessman out of the White House" (the Antichamber of Commerce?) and the Democratic machine (proof of how screwed up this Democratic machine is: It's apparently trying to stop Herman Cain from getting the nomination).

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Nov 08, 2011

  • Supreme Court expresses doubts about police GPS use

    By Joan Biskupic, USA Today

    Police use of GPS tracking clearly makes Supreme Court justices nervous — as the many scenarios they posed Tuesday showed.

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  • U.N. Finds Signs of Work by Iran Toward Nuclear Device

    By David E. Sanger and William J. Broad, The New York Times

    United Nations weapons inspectors released a trove of new evidence on Tuesday that they say makes a “credible” case that “Iran  has carried out activities relevant to the development of a nuclear device” and that the project may still be under way.

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  • Republican Women Voters and Herman Cain

    By Susan Davis, National Journal

    The Wall Street Journal has an interesting teaser on their latest WSJ/NBC News poll coming out tonight on how Republican voters view 2012 GOP contender Herman Cain following multiple allegations of sexual harassment towards women.

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  • Supreme Court wrestles with sticky Jerusalem passport case

    By Joan Biskupic, USA Today

    In a dispute that evokes Arab-Israeli tensions and important divisions of federal power, Supreme Court justices voiced doubt Monday that Congress could override the president and require U.S. passports of children born in Jerusalem to list the place of birth as Israel.

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  • Does Ohio hold the key to Obama’s 2012 hopes?

    By Dan Balz, Washington Post

    President Obama’s political advisers employed a creative and ultimately successful strategy on their way to victory in 2008. They enlarged the electoral map, pouring resources into states Democrats had lost for decades in an effort to provide multiple paths to the necessary 270 electoral votes. The strategy was designed, in part, to avoid having the election decided in Ohio or Florida.

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  • This Time, Cain's Accuser Has a Name and a Face

    By Beth Reinhard, National Journal

    Nothing about the Herman Cain campaign has unfolded as expected, so it’s anybody’s guess what will happen next. But by presenting a name, a face, and details — unlike the three other women who have accused him of sexual harassment — Sharon Bialek will make it a lot harder for voters to ignore the allegations. Her nationally televised press conference on Monday ensures that this is not, as Cain declared recently, “end of story.’’ Not even close.

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  • Longtime Obama aide to take 'expanded' role in West Wing

    By Christi Parsons, Los Angeles Times

    White House Chief of Staff Bill Daley will be turning over some management duties in the West Wing to Pete Rouse, a senior counselor to the president who helped recruit Daley for the job ten months ago.

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  • White House Chief of Staff Daley Cedes Day-to-Day Operations

    By Julianna Goldman and Hans Nichols, Bloomberg

    White House Chief of Staff Bill Daley yesterday ceded day-to-day operations to Peter Rouse, a senior adviser to President Barack Obama who had served as interim chief of staff before Daley assumed the job 11 months ago, according to an administration official.

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