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!

Oct 18, 2011

  • Republican Debate: Five Things to Watch

    by Nia Malika-Henderson, The Washington Post

    If it seems like it was just a week ago that eight Republican presidential candidates sat around a table for a debate, that’s because it was just a week ago. But with tonight’s CNN/Western Republican Leadership Conference debate, which starts at 8 pm EST, the iron-man-like gauntlet of back-to-back fall debates ends and the candidates won’t have face-to-face meetings until next month. So tonight, the candidates will have two hours to make an impression and land a punch, before another round of debates begins.

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  • A Front-Runner, but the Race Is Long

    by Jeff Zeleny and Ashley Parker, The New York Times

    He has consistently outperformed the rest of the Republican presidential field in debates. He has built a powerful fund-raising machine. He has rolled out one big-name endorsement after another. He has avoided being drawn into distracting sideshows or becoming rattled by his opponents.

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  • Will Deficit Panel Count Savings From Waning Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan?

    by Naftali Bendavid, The Wall Street Journal

    As the deadline approaches for the congressional supercommittee to cut $1.2 trillion or more from the deficit, one question is whether it will count savings from winding down the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

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  • Don’t look down: What if there were another Lehman?

    by Greg Ip, The Economist

    ASKED on October 11th how he might have handled the financial crisis of 2008 differently, Mitt Romney, the frontrunner for the Republican presidential nomination, refused to answer “a hypothetical”. He had good reason to prevaricate. The possibility of another crisis, given the euro zone’s woes, remains; the ability of the federal government to respond has changed drastically

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  • Iraq War Ends With a Whimper, Not a Bang

    by Yochi J. Dreazen, National Journal

    The Iraq War began with Pentagon officials boasting about an initial offensive that would “shock and awe” the enemy, then-President George W. Bush flying a military plane to an aircraft carrier for a high-profile address to thousands of cheering troops, and round-the-clock coverage on the nation’s TV networks. Eight and a half grueling years later, the deeply unpopular conflict is set to end with a whimper, not a bang.

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  • High court to decide if it's a crime to lie about being a war hero

    by Douglas Stanglan and Joan Biskupic, USA Today

    The U.S. Supreme Court is stepping into an emotionally charged dispute over a federal law that makes it a crime to lie about being a war hero.  

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  • Police Expand Philadelphia Dungeon Case

    by Pierre Thomas, ABC News

    Captors allegedly held disabled people captive to collect government checks. 

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Oct 17, 2011

  • White House has "growing sense" Romeny will get GOP nod

    With John Dickerson, CBS/Slate Magazine and Julianna Goldman, Bloomberg News

    Despite Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain's recent surge in popularity, the White House has identified Mitt Romney as the man to beat, according to CBS News Chief White House correspondent Norah O'Donnell.  Watch video

  • Romney's rise challenges tea party's clout in GOP

    by Charles Babington, Associated Press

    Mitt Romney's early success in the Republican presidential race is challenging the tea party's clout. Will it continue to pull the GOP sharply right? Will it slowly fade? Or merge with mainstream Republican elements in a nod to pragmatism, something it's hardly known for?  Read more

  • Gingrich: Romney's Rockefeller Problem

    by Janet Hook, The Wall Street Journal

    Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich has a new take on Mitt Romney’s challenge in cementing his status as frontrunner for the GOP presidential nomination. It’s not that he’s a flip flopper. It’s not that he’s a Mormon. It’s his Nelson Rockefeller problem.  Read more

  • McCain to Pawlenty: "Watch the Money"

    by Jeff Zeleny, The New York Times

    Tim Pawlenty had money on his mind a few weeks before he ended his bid for the Republican presidential nomination two months ago.   Read more

  • A Dedication to King, and the Work Yet to Do

    By Sabrina Tavernise and Helene Cooper

    They came from across the country, some arriving before dawn, carrying folding chairs, cameras and a strong, proud sense of history. Thousands stood and sat together under a bright blue sky Sunday as a memorial to the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. — the first honoring an African-American in the area of the Mall — was dedicated at last.  Read more

  • Obama Heralds King's Return to National Mall

    by Coral Davenport, National Journal

    Barack Obama, the nation’s first black president, on Sunday dedicated a memorial to Martin Luther King Jr. on the National Mall, where nearly 50 years ago the historic march on Washington became a defining moment in the civil-rights movement.    “For this day, we celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s return to the National Mall,” Obama said.  Read more

  • Veterans' unemployment outpaces civilian rate

    by Michael Fletcher, The Washington Post

    As soon as Brian Joseph graduated from high school he joined the Army, where he was trained in a series of jobs that seem to exist only in the military.    He was a multi-channel radio operator. Then he worked as a single-channel radio operator. Later, he worked as a psychological operations specialist, tailoring the U.S. war message to residents of Kosovo and, later, Iraq.  Read more

  • Merkel intenet on keeping Eurozone united

    by Doyle McManus, Los Angeles Times

    Silvio Berlusconi, Italy's impossible prime minister, has committed almost every sin that modern politics affords. He entertains barely-of-age girls as overnight guests and brags about it. He appoints business cronies and television starlets to government jobs. He's under perpetual investigation for corruption.  Read more

  • Daley Struggles to Please Both Wall STreet and Left

    by John Harwood, The New York Times

    William M. Daley might have picked a harder time than autumn 2011 to explain Democrats and Wall Street to each other.   But could you find one?   Nine months into his tenure as White House chief of staff, Mr. Daley feels the chill from former Wall Street colleagues who now see President Obama’s administration as a hostile force.  Read more

  • Occupation Implication

    by Jim Tankersley, National Journal

    Drums are the secret to understanding Occupy Wall Street, both what it is and what it could grow into. Bongos, congas, snares, and toms greet you at either entrance to Zuccotti Park, home to the tarp city of protesters that sprang up last month in Lower Manhattan.  Read more

  • To Isolate Iran, U.S. Presses Inspectors on Nuclear Data

    by David E,. Sanger and Mark Landler, The New York Times

    President Obama is pressing United Nations nuclear inspectors to release classified intelligence information showing that Iran is designing and experimenting with nuclear weapons technology. The president’s push is part of a larger American effort to further isolate and increase pressure on Iran after accusing it of a plot to assassinate Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to the United States.  Read more

Oct 14, 2011

  • New Hampshire debate: The view from the moderator’s chair

    By Karen Tumulty, Washington POst

    I’ve finally caught up on my sleep after moderating Tuesday night’s Washington Post/Bloomberg Republican presidential debate. Given how many of these events there are in this election season, I thought it might be worthwhile to share a bit about what it is like from the chair in which I was sitting.

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  • U.S. considers sanctions on Iran's central bank

    By Christi Parsons and Paul Richter, Los Angeles Times

    The Obama administration said it was "actively" considering sanctioning Iran's central bank in retaliation for an alleged Iranian assassination plot, a move that could severely damage Iran's economy and potentially provoke a strong response from Tehran.

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