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 14, 2011

  • On supercommittee, growing doubts about reaching a debt deal

    By Lori Montgomery and Rosalind S. Helderman, The Washington Post

    With just 10 days left before a Thanksgiving deadline, members of the congressional “supercommittee” appear increasingly pessimistic about the odds of forging a debt-reduction deal, despite a new offer by Republicans to raise taxes.

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  • Hints of Hope as Deficit Deadline Approaches

    By Janet Hook and Naftali Bendavid, The Wall Street Journal

    Despite sharp divisions within Congress's special deficit-cutting panel, members of both parties say its goal of trimming at least $1.2 trillion from federal deficits over 10 years remains within grasp, and President Barack Obama tried to provide an additional push Friday.

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  • Political Paralysis Worsens European Debt Crisis

    by Tom Gjelten, NPR

    Barely two weeks ago, it appeared that European leaders had a package to contain their debt crisis. Greece's problems would be managed, with private bondholders taking a hit on their investments and a new bailout to help the government meet its obligations. A European rescue fund would protect Italy and Spain from any risk spreading from Greece.

    Listen to the report
  • Telling the Stories of War Through Many Voices

    By Jennifer Conlin, The New York Times

    EVEN for a woman who has been known to jump out of helicopters, this fall has been “particularly crazy,” says Martha Raddatz, the senior foreign affairs correspondent for ABC News.

    Read the profile of Martha Raddatz
  • White House Eyeing Republicans for Fed Board

    by David Wessel, The Wall Street Journal

    The White House considers naming a Republican to fill one of two vacancies on the Federal Reserve Board.

    Watch video
  • Obama Talks Up Free Trade and Jobs at Asia-Pacific Meeting

    by Jackie Calmes, The New York Times

    With the weak domestic economy and his re-election hopes as the backdrop, President Obama made job creation the theme of an annual trade summit meeting on Sunday as the United States, for the first time in nearly two decades, hosted leaders of Pacific Rim nations.

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  • On Asia-Pacific trip, Obama's focus is on China

    By Peter Nicholas and Christi Parsons, Los Angeles Times

    At virtually every point in President Obama's  nine-day Asia-Pacific trip, he is expected to deliver a message aimed squarely at China: that the U.S. will recommit to the region and serve as a reliable counterweight to Beijing's growing military and economic might.

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  • McManus: Facing a nuclear Iran

    By Doyle McManus, Los Angeles Times

    The United Nations report on Iran's nuclear program released last week should end the debate, if any debate remained, over whether Iran is moving toward acquiring the ability to build a nuclear weapon. In cautious but convincing detail, the U.N.'s International Atomic Energy Agency listed evidence that Iran is still conducting research that would lead to an atomic bomb, much of it in secret military laboratories. And Iran has refused to answer the U.N.'s questions or allow U.N. inspectors to see much of what it's doing, the easiest way to refute its critics' charges.

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  • Standing Up for Heroes

    by Martha Raddatz, ABC News

    I wanted to share some personal thoughts about ABC News’ commitment to honor our veterans with the new ongoing project called "Standing Up for Heroes."

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  • Abramoff's Shocking Allegations

    by Eamon Javers, CNBC

    Convicted former lobbyist Jack Abramoff makes shocking allegations about Congressional insider trading.

    Watch the report

Nov 11, 2011

  • The Vacuum

    by Yochi J. Dreazen, National Journal

    If you want a clear sense of why the Republican presidential candidates have been largely ignoring foreign policy, look no further than the most recent Gallup Poll asking Americans to identify their top concern. For nearly four years—from April 2004 to January 2008—a plurality of voters pointed to Iraq. In the late-October survey, however, just 1 percent of Americans said it was the country’s most important problem. Of those respondents, not a single one was a Republican.

    Read more in the National Journal
  • Debate Remainders: Autos and Audiences

    By Beth Reinhard, National Journal

    First, the autos.  A supporting role in last night's Republican primary debate was played by the host state of Michigan, home to the American auto industry.  This state is personal for frontrunner Mitt Romney. He was born there. His father served as governor. He launched his last presidential campaign from the Henry Ford Museum of Innovation in Dearborn, wrapping himself in the Americana that the auto industry represents.

    Read more in the National Journal
  • Cain's best damage control: Release everything

    By Gloria Borger, CNN

    When you consider the array of public men who have been forced, in one way or another, to come clean on their bad behavior, the list is not insubstantial: a president (Bill Clinton), presidential candidates (John Edwards, Gary Hart), governors (Mark Sanford, Eliot Spitzer), senators (John Ensign, David Vitter). And that's just the top tier.

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  • Romney readies Iowa ad as Cain, Perry address woes

    by Charles Babington, Associated Press

    Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney is preparing for a higher profile in Iowa, where he possibly could land a knockout punch if two top rivals don't quickly fix their campaign problems and back-of-the-pack contenders such as Newt Gingrich don't move quickly to energize voters.

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  • Activist's Antitax Pledge Looms Large in Debt Talks

    by Naftali Bendavid, The Wall Street Journal

    As Congress's special deficit-cutting committee struggles to reach a deal before a Thanksgiving deadline, one powerful figure looming over the proceedings isn't even a member—Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform.

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  • White House thinks Obama has regained 'upper hand' with GOP on economy

    By Sam Youngman, The Hill

    President Obama has regained the “upper hand” on economic issues with voters, according to White House officials, who warned Republicans that running against tax cuts for the middle class is a “very dangerous place to be.”

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  • Obama and Veterans: Can a Hawkish Dove Gain Their Support?

    by Alexis Simendinger,

    Sen. John McCain, a former Navy pilot and prisoner of war, captured the lion's share of the millions of ballots cast by active-duty military and veterans in 2008. His leg-up with that demographic was no secret well before Election Day. Now comes a question for 2012: Will a Republican presidential nominee do as well or better challenging commander-in-chief Obama among military voters?

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Nov 10, 2011

  • Why Crises Mount, Persist: Who Should Pay?

    With David Wessel, Wall Street Journal

    Both in U.S. and Europe, the financial crisis like so many others before is being prolonged by delays in deciding who gets stuck with the losses.

  • Obama orders steps to help veterans find jobs

    By Christi Parsons and Lisa Mascaro, Los Angeles Times

    President Obama used his executive authority to announce a few small steps to help military veterans find jobs, part of a campaign to show that he is fighting unemployment while Congress remains in political gridlock over how to boost hiring.

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  • Debt-reduction talks at an impasse despite ‘breakthrough’

    By Lori Montgomery and Felicia Sonmez, The Washington Post

    A senior Democrat on Wednesday hailed a decision by congressional Republicans to embrace higher taxes as “a breakthrough” in the year-long battle over the national debt. But that development only seemed to intensify partisan bickering over the shape of a debt-reduction blueprint.

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