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 09, 2011

  • 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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  • Obama Takes Steps to Aid Veterans in Job Search

    By Alexis Simendinger, RealClearPolitics

    President Obama offered a sobering statistic Monday: Of 14 million Americans without jobs, more than 850,000 are military veterans. "We're determined to change that," he said.

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  • Obama: 'Veterans did their jobs ... time for Congress to do theirs'

    By Sam Youngman and Vicki Needham, The Hill

    President Obama on Monday announced new initiatives to help veterans find work, blasting Republicans in the process. In pressing the Senate during a Rose Garden event to pass a package of tax incentives for businesses that hire unemployed veterans, Obama castigated Republicans for voting against his jobs bill and said “there's no good reason to oppose this bill. Not one.”

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  • Cain accuser says she came forward on her own

    By Nia-Malika Henderson, Washington Post

    The woman accusing GOP presidential contender Herman Cain of unwanted sexual advances said she was not paid or promised any employment in exchange for making her allegations publicly.

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Nov 07, 2011

  • In Fight for Jobs Bill, Are Americans Tuning Obama Out?

    By National Journal Staff

    President Obama's call to action on his jobs plan hasn't yet drawn the same concentrated response as when he asked voters to put pressure on lawmakers to vote on the debt-ceiling deal. His summertime appeal yielded a flood of calls to the Hill, jamming phone lines. The people spoke and, because of that and a plethora of other reasons, Congress voted.

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  • Five questions for the week in politics

    By Nia-Malika Henderson, Washington Post

    Another busy week in presidential politics. Will Mitt Romney make a play as he heads to Iowa? And as Bachmann speaks to evangelicals, can she make the case that she’s a viable candidate?

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  • Nicaragua, Guatemala: '80s Rebels Seek Leadership

    By Laura Sullivan and Tom Gjelten, NPR

    Nicaragua isn't the only country in Central America holding elections today. In Guatemala, people are also headed to the polls to choose a new president. And in both countries, the elections are fraught with history.

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  • America’s Deadly Dynamics With Iran

    By David Sanger, The New York Times

    Commuting to work in Tehran is never easy, but it is particularly nerve-racking these days for the scientists of Shahid Beheshti University. It was a little less than a year ago when one of them, Majid Shahriari, and his wife were stuck in traffic at 7:40 a.m. and a motorcycle pulled up alongside the car. There was a faint “click” as a magnet attached to the driver’s side door. The huge explosion came a few seconds later, killing him and injuring his wife.

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