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!

Aug 27, 2012

  • Poll: Obama, Romney neck-and-neck ahead of party conventions

    By Dan Balz and Jon Cohen, The Washington Post

    The Republican National Convention opens this week with President Obama and presumptive nominee Mitt Romney running evenly, with voters more focused on Obama’s handling of the nation’s flagging economy than on some issues dominating the political debate in recent weeks.

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Aug 24, 2012

  • SEC can't agree on a fix for money-market funds

    By David Wessel, The Wall Street Journal

    Nothing the government can do will prevent every future financial crisis; they have been with us since the advent of money and financial markets. But the government is even having trouble fixing things that made the last crisis so devastating.

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  • Ex-Navy SEAL faces legal jeopardy for writing about bin Laden raid

    By Pete Williams, NBC News

    What legal consequences could a former U.S. Navy SEAL face for writing a book about the still-classified 2011 raid that killed Osama bin Laden?

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  • Caught in the cross fire

    By Beth Reinhard, National Journal

    It’s a scary time to be a woman,” says “Jenni,” the young star of one of President Obama’s television ads airing in Virginia and other swing states. “We need to attack our problems, not a woman’s choice.” To hear Democrats tell it, the Republican Party is waging a “war on women” in which abortion rights, birth control, and Planned Parenthood services are under siege.

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  • Romney’s bumpy road to Tampa turns with Bain record dump

    By By Lisa Lerer and Julianna Goldman, Bloomberg News

    When Shaun Boyd, a reporter with the CBS affiliate station KCNC in Denver, Colorado, began her report yesterday on her sit-down with Mitt Romney, she told her audience: “The one stipulation to the interview was that I not ask him about abortion and Todd Akin.”

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Aug 23, 2012

  • Basketball legends boost Obama campaign cash

    By Laura Meckler, The Wall Street Journal

    President Barack Obama combined his personal passion for basketball with his professional need for campaign cash with a high-dollar fund-raising dinner and some hoops with some of his most talented supporters.

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  • Could Hurricane Isaac derail the GOP convention?

    By Nia-Malika Henderson and Rosalind S. Helderman, The Washington Post

    It’s deja vu all over again: Four years ago, Hurricane Gustav threatened Republican National Convention plans. This year, it’s Hurricane Isaac.

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  • Recession imminent if ‘fiscal cliff’ of tax hikes, budget cuts not averted, CBO says

    By Steven Mufson and Lori Montgomery, The Washington Post

    The U.S. economy will hurtle into a recession if Congress fails to avert a series of tax increases and budget cuts due in January, the Congressional Budget Office said Wednesday, warning that a fiscal impasse would have consequences even more dire than previously forecast.

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Aug 22, 2012

  • NBC/WSJ Poll has bad news for both candidates

    By Eamon Javers, CNBC

  • Pelosi aims for Dems to retake House, eyes old speaker post

    By Susan Davis, USA Today

    Standing before a room of donors at a breakfast fundraiser for Rep. Betty Sutton, one of her party's vulnerable incumbents, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi defined the stakes of the 2012 election this way: "Everything is at stake. Civilization as we know it today," she said, catching herself with a laugh. "That's all. So, no pressure."

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  • Ann Romney in charge of conveying Mitt's warm and fuzzy side

    By Beth Reinhard, National Journal

    While Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s running mate is dominating the run-up to the Republican convention, the woman he chose as his life partner could matter much more to the ticket’s success. Romney’s choice of Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., thrills conservative Republicans, but those voters are not the presumptive nominee’s biggest problem. His biggest problem is that regular voters don’t like him as much as Obama. That's especially true of women, and that’s why the stakes are high for Ann Romney’s speech on the crucial opening night of the convention.

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  • Akin reiterates intent to stay in race

    By Naftali Bendavid, The Wall Street Journal

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  • Patients would pay more if Romney restores Medicare savings, analysts say

    By Jackie Calmes, The New York Times

    Mitt Romney’s promise to restore $716 billion that he says President Obama “robbed” from Medicare has some health care experts puzzled, and not just because his running mate, Representative Paul D. Ryan, included the same savings in his House budgets.

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Aug 21, 2012

  • Crucial Senate Race in Uproar

    By Naftali Bendavid and Louise Radnofsky. The Wall Street Journal

    Fearing a likely election victory is now in doubt, Republican leaders and candidates on Monday called on Missouri Rep. Todd Akin to abandon his bid for a crucial Senate seat because of his suggestion that women's bodies can avert pregnancies in cases of "legitimate rape.''

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  • GOP cuts support after Mo. lawmaker Akin's rape remarks

    By Susan Davis, USA Today

    A growing controversy over his comments about rape victims has placed Rep. Todd Akin, R-Mo., under pressure from senior Republican officials to bow out of his Senate race today so the GOP can nominate someone with better odds of defeating Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill.

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  • Independents favor cooperation, are dissatisfied with political system

    By Jon Cohen and Dan Balz, The Washington Post

    President Obama and Mitt Romney are waging one of the most partisan campaigns in recent memory, energizing their bases with heated rhetoric and harsh tactics. But among political independents, some of the most prized voters in the electorate, speaking more softly about the other side may be a key to winning their support.

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  • Obama defends tenor of his campaign, slams Romney

    By Charles Babington, Associated Press

    Denounced by his Republican rival for divisiveness, President Barack Obama on Monday defended the tone of his campaign in a combative election year and insisted it's actually Mitt Romney's ads that are "patently false." But Obama did distance himself from a particularly provocative negative ad by a political group that supports him.

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  • Obama Campaign This Time Around: Brutal... And Purposely So

    By Major Garrett, National Journal

    President Obama's reelection effort isn't the toughest, or most aggressive, in American history. It only looks and feels that way compared with the gauzy memories most have of the lilt, sunshine, and post-partisan pixie dust of 2008.

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Aug 20, 2012

  • A look at "The Ryan Effect" on the 2012 campaign

    By John Dickerson, CBS News

    The presidential campaigns paused for the day on Sunday. President Obama attended church in Washington, while Mitt Romney attended services in New Hampshire. It's been a busy week since Romney named Paul Ryan as his running mate. "The Ryan Effect" has put some oxygen into the race.

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  • Afghan policeman kills U.S. service member on joint patrol

    By Martha Raddatz and Muhammad Lila, ABC News

    A U.S. service member was killed in southern Afghanistan today on a patrol with Afghan security forces when one of the Afghans turned his weapon on the Americans, the latest in a rash of what the ISAF is now calling “insider” attacks on American troops.

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