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 15, 2011

  • Justices' review of health care law adds to election tumult

    By Joan Biskupic, USA Today

    The Supreme Court's announcement Monday that it will hear challenges to the Obama-sponsored health care law opens the most important chapter in the legal battle over the law, amid the tumult of election-year politics.

    Read more
  • Costume Shot Unnecessary, Obama Says

    By Jackie Calmes, New York Times

    Is the “silly shirts” photo of Asia-Pacific leaders now history? To the chagrin of White House photographers but the relief of the 21 leaders at the annual Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum that took place over the weekend, President Obama, as the host this year, packed away for good the two-decade tradition of having the group pose for a “family photo” in some garb representative of the host country.

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  • Sweet and Sour Newt

    By John Dickerson, Slate Magazine

    Newt Gingrich, who may be on his way to becoming the Republican front-runner  is going to find this piece stupid. Fundamentally stupid, frankly. It might be the biggest abomination since Chamberlain's appeasement. That's the way the former speaker sees most things. Talk of tax increases is "maniacally stupid," he said in Iowa today, where he also called the deficit supercommittee “one of the dumbest things” he’s ever seen in Washington.

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  • Waterboarding Produces Another Romney Flip-Flop?

    By Beth Reinhard, National Journal

    Front-running Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney never got a chance in Saturday's debate to weigh in on whether he views waterboarding as torture. (Rick Perry, Michele Bachmann and Herman Cain said no, Ron Paul and John Huntsman said yes.) Romney's campaign spokesman, Eric Fehrnstrom, said on Twitter during the debate: "He wasn't asked but it's not torture.''

    Read more in the National Journal
  • Romney's team prepares for Obama, too

    By Jeff Zeleny and Jim Rutenberg, The New York Times

    As Mitt Romney prepares for Republican contests in Iowa, New Hampshire and beyond, his aides have been traveling the country filming stories for the battle they hope will follow against President Obama, spotlighting unemployed Americans who have given up on hope and change.

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  • Romney campaign: Obama has "Mitt-obsession"

    By Nia-Malika Henderson, The Washington Post

    Mitt Romney can’t exactly say himself that his path to the Republican nomination seems inevitable. So his campaign is phrasing it another way: Obama and the Democrats are singularly focused, to the point of obsession, on Mitt Romney, to the absolute exclusion of every other candidate in the race.

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  • U.S. Consumer Confidence Less Vulnerable to Super-Committee Failure

    By Jim Tankersley, National Journal

    Washington is focused on the super committee, but the rest of the country is paying far less attention to the special panel charged with finding at least $1.2 trillion in deficit savings by Nov. 23. And that's good news, or at least not bad news, for the economy.

    Read more in the National Journal
  • War savings and debt reduction, take two

    By Lori Montgomery, The Washington Post

    The congressional “supercommittee” is looking to count as budget savings as much as $700 billion that the nation no longer plans to spend on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan over the next decade, an accounting gimmick that has drawn fire from both Democrats and Republicans.

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  • Deficit Deal a Moving Target

    By Naftali Bendavid and Janet Hook, The Wall Street Journal

    With time running out for Congress's special deficit-reduction committee, the two sides Monday were grappling for ways to inch closer on the crucial issue of taxes.   The parties are looking for ways to include smaller tax increases than Democrats had previously sought but more than Republicans want. In addition, Democrats last week proposed keeping upper-income tax rates at 35%, the level set in the Bush-era tax cuts.

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  • Justices' review of health care law adds to election tumult

    By Joan Biskupic, USA Today

    The Supreme Court's announcement Monday that it will hear challenges to the Obama-sponsored health care law opens the most important chapter in the legal battle over the law, amid the tumult of election-year politics.

    Read more
  • Supreme Court to review Obama's health care law

    By Pete Williams, NBC News

    Can Americans be forced to buy health insurance?  That's the question the Supreme Court will decide next year as it takes on a challenge to the Obama administration's health care law. 

    Watch the report
  • Costume Shot Unnecessary, Obama Says

    By Jackie Calmes, The New York Times

    Is the "silly shirts" photo of Asia-Pacific leaders now history?  To the chagrin of White House photographers but the relief of the 21 leaders at the annual Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum that took place over the weekend, President Obama as the host this year, packed away for good the two-decade tradition of having the group pose for a “family photo” in some garb representative of the host country.

    Read more
  • New Questions About Insider Trading in Washington

    By Eamon Javers, CNBC

    New questions about members of Congress profiting from insider stock trading. 

    Watch the report

Nov 14, 2011

  • Supreme Court to hear dispute on health care law

    by Joan Biskupic, USA Today

    The Supreme Court announced Monday that it will hear a dispute testing the constitutionality of the Obama-sponsored health care overhaul, a move that opens the most important chapter in the legal battle over the law.

    Read more
  • ‘Oops’ Moment Takes On a Life of Its Own

    by John Harwood, The New York Times

    I knew our CNBC presidential debate had broken through when my daughter called from college to shout: “Dad, you’re on my two favorite Web sites!”

    Read more and watch video
  • It's Newt's Night

    By Beth Reinhard, National Journal

    Presidential candidates usually lay low the day of a debate, but Newt Gingrich spent a lot of time today in the public eye, tailgating at Furman University and opening a campaign office. And why not? Who knows how long this moment will last.

    Read more in the National Journal
  • At Debate, GOP Candidates Take Aim at Obama, But Also Hit Bush

    by Yochi J. Dreazen, National Journal

    The eight Republican presidential candidates who took part in the first foreign policy debate lobbed rhetorical grenades at President Obama, alternately accusing him of bankrupting the U.S., putting the CIA under the control of the ACLU, threatening Israel’s security and failing to stop Iran’s nuclear program.

    Read more in the National Journal
  • Gloria Cain speaks out about sexual harassment allegations

    By Nia-Malika Henderson, The Washington Post

    In her first televised interview ever, Gloria Cain, wife of Republican presidential hopeful Herman Cain, sat down with Fox News and said that the allegations of sexual harassment against him don’t square with the man she knows.

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  • Can Gingrich seize an unexpected moment?

    By Dan Balz, The Washington Post

    Newt Gingrich strolled onto the campus of Furman University in Greenville eight hours ahead of Saturday's Republican debate looking very pleased. A campaign that once seemed to have passed him by has come full circle. Can he take advantage of an opportunity that almost no one, except the former speaker, might have expected?

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  • GOP candidates hammer Obama on his Iran policy during South Carolina debate

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

    With the International Atomic Energy Agency warning in a new report that Iran may be proceeding with developing a nuclear weapon the leading Republican candidates for president accused President Obama of not being forceful enough to prevent that from happening.

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