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 07, 2011

  • 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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  • Two Decades After Anita Hill, Voters Shrug at Sex Harassment

    By Beth Reinhard, National Journal

    Scores of interviews with Iowa Republicans over the weekend turned up scant outrage over the sexual harassment allegations leveled against presidential candidate Herman Cain. That's partly because of the good will he's engendered among voters, and partly because of a widespread mistrust of the media, which has been extensively airing the allegations.

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  • Presidential Crystal Balls

    By Doyle McManus, Los Angeles Times

    Unemployment is mired at 9%, and President Obama's poll ratings are mired too. Democrats are dispirited. Republicans are fired up and ready to go. Activists on both the right and the left are demanding change.

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  • Political Wrap

    With John Harwood, CNBC

    The details on GOP candidates battling over the economy.

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  • Cain rejects questions on sex assault accusations

    With John Dickerson, CBS News

    Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain stresses that he will not answer any more questions about allegations of sexual assault.

  • Analysis: Cain turmoil major distraction for GOP

    By Charles Babington, Associated Press

    Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain's halting response to sex harassment allegations is causing a major distraction in the GOP race and drawing attention away from his rivals' efforts to gain ground or announce initiatives.

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Nov 04, 2011

  • Last Man Standing?

    By Beth Reinhard and Alex Roarty, National Journal

    The question of which Republican candidate would emerge as the more conservative, more preferable alternative to Mitt Romney has loomed over the 2012 primary campaign for months. A passel of potential rivals have either taken a pass (Haley Barbour, Mike Huckabee, and Sarah Palin) or self-destructed (Michele Bachmann and Rick Perry). Now, Herman Cain’s spectacularly bungled response to accusations of sexual harassment threatens to torpedo his recent surge, too.

    Read more in the National Journal
  • Will Herman Cain survive the scandal?

    By Karen Tumulty and Aaron Blake, The Washington Post

    There is no law of political physics that predicts what happens when the most unconventional type of presidential campaign collides with the most timeworn kind of Washington scandal.

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  • Woman Said to Have Felt Hostility at Work After Complaining About Cain

    By Jim Rutenberg and Jeff Zeleny, The New York Times

    One of the women who accused the Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain of sexual harassment while working for him at the National Restaurant Association in the late 1990s complained that the workplace turned hostile after she alleged that he made advances toward her during a work-related outing, several people familiar with her account at the time said in interviews.

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  • DNC highlights Romney’s support of ‘personhood’ bill

    By Nia-Malika Henderson, The Washington Post

    The Democratic National Committee is hitting Mitt Romney over his support of life at conception legislation, which is on the ballot in Mississippi, and could crop up on ballots across the country.

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  • Obama Urges European Solution to Debt Crisis

    By Helene Cooper, The New York Times

    President Obama plunged Thursday into the fast-moving European debt crisis, arriving here to exhort European leaders to get their financial house in order.

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  • Annie Get Your Gun

    by Yochi J. Dreazen, National Journal

    In late October, a bomb tore through a team of American Special Operations troops on a raid against an enemy target in Kandahar province. The blast killed three, including a young female officer, Lt. Ashley White, who was attached to the elite troops during the strike and died at their side.

    Read more in the National Journal
  • Israel Faces Questions About News Reports of Eyeing Iran Strike

    By Isabel Kershner and David E. Sanger, The New York Times

    Israel's top leadership has spent the week answering and evading questions about widespread reports that it is once again considering a strike on Iran's nuclear complexes, while President Obama said Thursday that he and his allies would maintain “unprecedented international pressure” on Tehran to keep it from producing a nuclear weapon.

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  • Debt-reduction supercommittee talks appear to be at an impasse

    By Lori Montgomery, The Washington Post

    Washington’s latest exercise in debt reduction appeared to be at an impasse Thursday, as members of a special congressional committee barreled toward a Thanksgiving deadline with no movement on the fundamental question of whether to raise taxes.

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Nov 03, 2011

  • What about Afghanistan?

    By Doyle McManus, Los Angeles Times

    Republicans usually enter a presidential campaign with a built-in advantage on at least one issue: national security. Historically, voters trust the GOP to be tougher than Democrats on defense and foreign policy.

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  • Obama rips Republicans for House vote on 'In God We Trust' motto

    By Sam Youngman, The Hill

    President Obama invoked God on Wednesday as he criticized Congress for voting on commemorative coins and a resolution reaffirming “In God We Trust” as the national motto in all public buildings, public schools and other government institutions.

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  • U.S. Economic Outlook: Plateau or Promise?

    With David Wessel, Wall Street Journal

    Is the U.S. losing its place as the world leader in inventions and technological innovation?

  • The John Kerry Moment?

    By Major Garrett, National Journal

    Failure, it turns out, is an option. In fact, it sounds more and more like an imperative. “I’m worried you’re going to fail,” Erskine Bowles, the Democratic chairman of President Obama’s debt- and deficit-reduction commission, told the super committee on Tuesday. Hours earlier, Rep. Mick Mulvaney, R-S.C., told a National Journal panel on the 2012 election that he fully expected the super committee to fail and expected all of the underlying political and policy issues to be settled, at least in part, by the 2012 election.

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  • Cain Says Perry Is Orchestrating a Smear Campaign

    By Jeff Zeleny, Michael D Shear and Jim Rutenberg, New York Times

    A defiant Herman Cain accused Gov. Rick Perry of Texas, a Republican rival, of orchestrating a smear campaign to destroy his presidential candidacy, as additional accusations emerged Wednesday that Mr. Cain made unwanted sexual overtures to women while he led the National Restaurant Association more than a decade ago. 

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  • Job Creation: Are Policies Geared to Startups the Answer?

    by Alexis Simendinger, RealClearPolitics

    President Obama on Tuesday proclaimed November 2011 to be National Entrepreneurship Month, a benign and routine ritual that stroked a favored cause, but nevertheless a timely nod to the heart of the economy’s job creation dilemma.

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