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!

Jun 13, 2012

  • Three Iron Truths of the (Not-Fine) Recovery

    By Jim Tankersley, National Journal

    The U.S. economy is not doing fine. Not in the private sector, and especially not in the public sector. President Obama was wrong to say otherwise – that the private sector is fine – last week. Mitt Romney was wrong to suggest laying off teachers and firefighters hasn’t hurt. And congressional Republicans are wrong to say the whole situation would improve if we just had more “certainty” around taxes and regulations.

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  • Obama Campaign’s Rough Patch Concerns Some Democrats

    By Karen Tumulty, Washington Post

    Is it time for Democrats to panic? That’s what a growing number of party loyalists are wondering, amid a rough couple of weeks in which President Obama and his political operation have been buffeted by bad economic news, their own gaffes and signs that the presumed Republican nominee is gaining strength.

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  • Dimon's Big Day on Capitol Hill

    With John Harwood, CNBC and Major Garrett, National Journal

    Major Garrett, National Journal White House correspondent, and CNBC's John Harwood report on the politics behind today's Senate hearing and provide a preview of questions likely to be asked of key witness Jamie Dimon.

    Watch Video on CNBC
  • Dems, GOP Warily Eye News of Falling Family Wealth

    By Charles Babington, Associated Press

    Democrats and Republicans are wary of trying to exploit a new report about the sharp drop in household wealth over the past 20 years. The economic report, released just as the presidential race is heating up, was stunning: The Great Recession shrank Americans’ wealth so much that, in 2010, median family net worth was no more than it had been in 1992 after adjusting for inflation.

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Jun 12, 2012

  • Does Leaking Secrets Damage National Security?

    By Tom Gjelten, NPR

    Last week's assignment of two federal prosecutors to investigate disclosures of national security information might have been the first shot in a new war on leaks. The director of national intelligence is expected soon to announce new measures to fight unauthorized disclosures, and some members of Congress say it could be time for new anti-leaking laws.

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  • Commerce Secretary Takes Medical Leave After Hit-and-Run Crash

    By Adam Nagourney and Helene Cooper, New York Times

    It began Saturday afternoon at a railroad crossing in a run-down commercial neighborhood in suburban San Gabriel, on a street bustling with signs in Chinese characters. A man in a Lexus rolled into the back of a Buick waiting for a train to pass. Two miles and five minutes later, the Lexus smacked into the rear of yet another car, in neighboring Rosemead.

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  • Not Jeb Bush’s GOP

    By John Dickerson, Slate

    Jeb Bush does not want to be vice president. That’s what he says when he's asked directly, but he really proves it when he’s talking about everything else. On issues from budget policy to leadership style to immigration, Bush, one of the most popular national Republicans, is a man out of step with his party. This does not mean he likes President Obama. He wants him out of office.

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  • Obama's Re-Election Woes

    With John Harwood, CNBC

    Depending on what degree the European crisis hits U.S. exports, and depending on the severity of the so-called fiscal cliff, the U.S. GDP could face a huge decrease. Sam Seder, "Majority Report" host; Tony Fratto, former White House deputy press secretary; Jennifer Rubin, Washington Post; and CNBC's John Harwood, offer insight.

    Watch Video on CNBC
  • Commerce's Bryson to Take Leave of Absence

    By Jim Tankersley and Major Garrett, National Journal

    Commerce Secretary John Bryson, involved in separate traffic accidents in California over the weekend, informed President Obama on Monday evening that he is taking medical leave to cope with an unspecified illness. Deputy Secretary Rebecca Blank will serve as acting secretary in his absence. Bryson had a seizure, according to a spokeswoman earlier in the day.

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Jun 11, 2012

  • Ohio's Job Growth Doesn't Guarantee an Obama Win

    By Charles Babington, Associated Press

    The nation's unemployment rate of 8.2 percent may sink President Barack Obama's re-election bid, but one detail brightens his hopes. About 10 battleground states will decide the election, and seven of them have employment levels that beat the U.S. average.

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  • Scott Walker, the Motorcycle Daredevil of the GOP

    By Beth Reinhard, National Journal

    Scott Walker was proven right. In sporting terms, the man who will remain Wisconsin's governor literally bet his house on the premise that his sweeping antiunion measures would survive--and he along with them. He was willing to sunder his state, subject its residents to almost ceaseless turmoil, and force opposing sides to spend millions of dollars in combat to see his gamble through.

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  • A Bad Week for Obama and the Democrats

    By Dan Balz, Washington Post

    All you need to know about the week the Democrats just had can be summed up by noting that both President Obama and former president Bill Clinton, the two best campaigners their party has seen in decades, had to clean up verbal messes they’d made earlier. And, oh yes, Mitt Romney’s campaign raised more money last month than Obama’s — by more than 25 percent.

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    (CNN, File Photo)

  • A 'Fine' Mess. Even Obama Loyalist Winces at Obama's Take on Private Sector

    By Major Garrett, National Journal

    When Jared Bernstein, Vice President Biden's former top economist, began reviewing notes of President Obama's press conference on Friday, he stopped cold when he read "the private sector is doing fine." "It caught my eye," Bernstein told National Journal. Bernstein immediately fired off an email to the intern who took the notes to make sure it was accurate and not a rough or garbled translation. "I thought, 'Did he really say that?'" To his dismay, the intern wrote back that those were Obama's words. Verbatim.

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  • Romney Adviser Takes U.S. Political Debate Overseas

    By Jackie Calmes, New York Times

    A senior economic adviser to Mitt Romney criticized President Obama and his policy toward crisis-torn Europe, and Germany in particular, in an op-ed article in a leading German newspaper on Saturday, raising the question of the propriety of taking America’s political fights into international affairs.

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Jun 08, 2012

  • Romney Outraised Obama in May by Over $16M

    With Julianna Goldman, Bloomberg

    Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney and the Republican National Committee announced today that they raised more than $76.8 million last month, surpassing the amount reported by President Barack Obama and the Democratic Party. Julianna Goldman reports on Bloomberg Television's "Money Moves."

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  • Obama Criticizes Republicans Over Student Loan Rates

    By Jackie Calmes, The New York Times

    After a day of fund-raisers in California, President Obama on Thursday traveled again to swing-state Nevada for the one event of his two-day Western trip that was designated as an official appearance, as opposed to a campaign stop. But it again illustrated that everything is political in an election year.

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  • Romney tops President Obama in fundraising in May

    By Sam Youngman and Deborah Charles, Reuters

    Mitt Romney's presidential campaign significantly outpaced President Barack Obama in fundraising last month, a sign that the challenger could at least match the incumbent in the overall race for campaign cash. Romney and Republican groups raised more than $76.8 million in May, his campaign said on Thursday, topping the more than $60 million Obama and his Democratic allies collected in the scramble for the cash that will fuel the campaigns through the November 6 election.

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  • Will Central Banks Rescue World Economy...Again?

    With David Wessel, Wall Street Journal

    Can, will and should will central banks around the world (Fed, ECB, Asia) rescue the world economy from the politicians--again? David Wessel has details on The News Hub. Photos: Bloomberg/Bloomberg/Reuters.

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  • Tone Poem

    By Yochi Dreazen, National Journal

    Last October, Mitt Romney strode onto a stage in an ornate hall at South Carolina’s Citadel, one of the nation’s oldest military academies, to launch a series of political broadsides against President Obama. “I will never, ever apologize for America,” he thundered. “In Barack Obama’s profoundly mistaken view, there is nothing unique about the United States.” The coming era, Romney vowed, would be an “American Century,” with the U.S. retaining the world’s biggest economy and strongest military. A Romney presidency, he promised, would usher in that era.

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Jun 07, 2012

  • Can Mitt Romney match Wisconsin’s Scott Walker?

    By Dan Balz, The Washington Post

    Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker provided a template for Republicans looking ahead to the presidential race with his victory in Tuesday’s recall election: big money, powerful organization and enormous enthusiasm among his base. Can Mitt Romney match that in November?

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