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 07, 2011

  • Perry 2.0?

    By Beth Reinhard, National Journal

    After a series of stumbles, Texas Gov. Rick Perry is looking to reboot his presidential campaign with a $17 million fundraising haul, an appearance before a like-minded audience of Christian conservatives, and a steadier performance in next week’s Republican primary debate.

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  • Obama to Run Against ‘Do-Nothing’ Congress If Jobs Legislation Fails

    By Julianna Goldman, Bloomberg

    Phil Schiliro, then the White House congressional liaison, put his boss on notice last year. One hurdle stood between him and the start of his re-election campaign: lifting the debt ceiling.

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  • Emergency, Outrage, Impotence: Three Economic Truths Dawn on Obama

    By Jim Tankersley, National Journal

    President Obama told America on Thursday that the economy is sliding backward, that economic frustration is growing nationwide, and that he can’t get Congress to do anything about it by himself. No revelations there, except for the fact that it took Obama so long to articulate what his constituents have known intuitively for a long time now.

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  • What is Sarah Palin’s next act?

    By Dan Balz, Washington Post

    Sarah Palin has always played by her own rules in politics, but with the announcement Wednesday that she will not run for president in 2012, the former Alaska governor was for once bowing to the obvious.

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  • Making Case for Jobs Bill, Obama Cites Europe’s Woes

    By Jackie Calmes, New York Times

    In perhaps his most sober remarks about the economy this year, President Obama on Thursday described the weakening economy as “an emergency” and made the case for his jobs bill as “an insurance policy against a possible double-dip recession.”

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Oct 06, 2011

  • Steve Jobs and America's decline

    By Greg Ip, The Economist

    Earlier this year a Federal Reserve official tried to tamp down worries about inflation by noting that, while food and petrol were getting more expensive, you could now buy an iPad that was twice as powerful for the same price as the previous model. The remark, soon lampooned as “Let them eat iPads”, predictably drew derision. But it typified a tactic to which American leaders frequently turn when they need a rejoinder to economic doomsaying: cite an Apple product.

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  • Democrats Float Tax on Top Earners

    By Janet Hook, Wall Street Journal

    Senate Democratic leaders on Wednesday proposed a new 5.6% tax on people earning more than $1 million a year to cover the cost of President Barack Obama's $447 billion jobs plan, a move designed to stem Democratic defections from a top White House priority.

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  • Scalia, Breyer weigh in on value of televised arguments

    By Joan Biskupic, USA Today

    In a rare and expansive session with senators Wednesday, Justices Antonin Scalia and Stephen Breyer talked about their work on the Supreme Court, including why they oppose televising oral arguments.

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  • Congress Asks for Obama's Emails on Solyndra

    By Eamon Javers, CNBC

    Barack Obama is the first president to use e-mail, and now he has likely just become the first president to have his emails requested by investigators.

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  • Rubio Takes Tougher Line On Immigration

    By Beth Reinhard, National Journal

    Sitting on top of the Republican party’s wish list for vice president, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio on Tuesday stepped into an issue roiling the 2012 primary, retreating from his past support for tuition breaks for the children of illegal immigrants.

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  • With GOP field set, Romney woos the unconvinced

    By Charles Babington, Associated Press

    With the Chris Christie and Sarah Palin teases over, Mitt Romney is telling Republican activists there's all the more reason to get excited about his presidential campaign. They will keep him waiting a bit longer, it seems.

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  • Democrats shift the definition of ‘rich’ in battle over taxes

    By Lori Montgomery, Washington Post

    As they head into the 2012 campaign, Democrats are changing their definition of what it means to be rich. Forget about families making $250,000 a year. Today, the party is only interested in millionaires.

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  • Take This Job

    By Major Garrett, National Journal

    Note to President Obama: When Mitch McConnell wants to introduce your jobs bill, it’s not a good sign. The American Jobs Act won’t suffer the ignominy of your 2012 budget—defeated 0-97 on a motion to proceed—but it won’t pass and McConnell, the GOP leader, knows it. That’s why he’s calling Majority Leader Harry Reid’s bluff and seeking a vote now.

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  • Have a Nice Election: The 2012 contest is shaping up to be really ugly

    by John Dickerson, Slate

    Remember when people wanted the president to get angry? Reporters poked him to let off a little steam over AIG bonuses. There were calls again during the BP oil spill. Now Obama gets mad all the time. On Tuesday, he called out House Majority Leader Eric Cantor. Last Saturday, the venue was the Congressional Black Caucus dinner. Claiming Republicans don't want to pass anything that would give the president a victory, he has taken to saying: "Give me a win? Give me a win? Give me a break."

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  • Obama Attempts Campaign Course Correction

    By Julianna Goldman, Bloomberg

    Phil Schiliro, then the White House congressional liaison, put his boss on notice last year. One hurdle stood between him and the start of his re-election campaign: lifting the debt ceiling. While President Barack Obama couldn’t control the European financial crisis or the Arab Spring, the fight over the nation’s borrowing limit was forewarned. Yet the White House didn’t engage immediately; got pulled into fruitless negotiations over a broader budget deal; and finally had to make major concessions at the brink of default.

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Oct 05, 2011

  • New Jersey Gov. Christie: 'Now Is Not My Time'

    By Beth Reinhard and Alex Roarty, National Journal

    Attention Republican voters: We now return to our regularly scheduled programming. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie on Tuesday did what his previous denials about a presidential bid failed to accomplish: put an end to the incessant speculation about him running for president in 2012.

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  • Push for President Obama’s jobs bill illustrates the art of beating a dead horse

    By Sam Youngman, The Hill

    It might help to think of the American Jobs Act as Elvis. The King made $60 million last year even though he died in 1977. The lesson: Just ’cause something is dead doesn’t mean it can’t be effective.

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  • Bernanke Urges Congress to Do More on Economy

    With David Wessel, Wall Street Journal

    Ben Bernanke urged U.S. lawmakers to do more to help the economy; however, he was careful to not send any new signals about a possible QE program, WSJ economics editor David Wessel reports on Markets Hub. Photo: Reuters.

  • Rep. Wolf Blasts Grover Norquist

    By Susan Davis, National Journal

    Americans for Tax Reform President Grover Norquist is normally greeted with open arms by House Republicans seeking the anti-tax activist’s endorsement and advice. But not by Virginia Republican Rep. Frank Wolf on Tuesday.

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  • Beyond Rick Perry hunting camp, offensive names litter U.S. landscape

    By Nia-Malika Henderson, Washington Post

    The revelation that Rick Perry’s family leased a hunting camp commonly known in rural Texas by a little-known racial epithet raises these questions: How many such places exist and where are they? The short answer is all across the country, not only in people’s memories, but also listed as such on maps, mostly in rural areas, according to a scholar who studies place names.

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