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 14, 2011

  • Instead of Mitt Romney?

    By Doyle McManus, Los Angeles Times

    There may still be half a dozen contenders for the Republican presidential nomination, but the race has always had room for only two: Mitt Romney and someone who isn't Mitt Romney. After four full-scale debates, that second spot, reserved for a more conservative candidate, is still unfilled; the fiscal firebrands of the tea party haven't found an ideal alternative to Romney, leaving the party's right wing divided. It's beginning to look as if the former Massachusetts governor will win the nomination almost by default -- an odd outcome to a year that began with the tea party triumphant.

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  • Obama Says Facts Support Accusation of Iranian Plot

    By Helene Cooper, New York Times

    President Obama vowed on Thursday to push for what he called the “toughest sanctions” against Iran, saying that the United States had strong evidence that Iranian officials were complicit in an alleged plot to kill the Saudi ambassador to the United States.

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  • In Whole or in Parts, Jobs Bill Likely to Go Nowhere

    by Alexis Simendinger, RealClearPolitics

    There is scant chance that Congress will pass most or perhaps any elements of President Obama’s jobs bill, no matter how many ways the package is sliced into component parts. The $447 billion measure that might have added as many as 1.9 million jobs is going nowhere, if conversations inside the White House and on Capitol Hill are any guide.

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Oct 13, 2011

  • U.S. Talks Tough to Iran, but Holds Off on Harsher Moves

    By Helene Cooper and Mark Landler, New York Times

    Despite issuing harsh calls for Tehran to be held to account, the Obama administration does not plan to shift its policy of pressure on the Iranian government after disrupting what officials said was a plot to assassinate a Saudi Arabian envoy in Washington, administration officials said on Wednesday.

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  • Obama and DNC Raise $70M in Third Quarter

    by Alexis Simendinger, RealClearPolitics

    President Obama blazed past worries about a summer fundraising slump to collect $70 million for his re-election bid and for the Democratic National Committee, his campaign manager advised supporters in an email Thursday. The total was $15 million higher than a $55 million goal the campaign set for the summer quarter.

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  • Michele Bachmann heads to Iowa, as Cain surges

    By Nia-Malika Henderson, Washington Post

    Michele Bachmann’s path since she edged out Rep. Ron Paul in the Iowa straw poll has been marked by steady decline, major staff changes, and the entrance and surge of several candidates who cut into her dominance among social conservatives.

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  • Supreme Court mulls danger, dignity in strip-search case

    By Joan Biskupic, USA Today

    As the Supreme Court considered Wednesday whether people arrested for traffic or other minor offenses can be strip-searched during jail processing, Justice Anthony Kennedy homed in on the competing interests. He referred to the importance of protecting "the individual dignity of the detainee" yet stressed the danger of a county jail, where arrestees are screened, then placed in cells with other prisoners.

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  • Central Banks Strain to Fill Gaps in Fiscal Policy

    By David Wessel, Wall Street Journal

    Political gridlock is preventing rich-country governments from responding to what Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke has delicately described as an economy that is "close to faltering.

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  • Obama Campaign Treating Romney Like Nominee — By Attacking

    By Jackie Calmes, New York Times

    Updated Republicans are months away from their first presidential primaries and caucuses, but the Obama campaign already is giving Mitt Romney the nominee treatment — trying to define him irrevocably as a shape-shifter, with an eye to the 2012 election.

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  • Will Saudis Play Oil Card In Revenge Against Iran?

    By Tom Gjelten, NPR

    In capitals around the world, U.S. diplomats are laying out evidence that elements of Iran's government plotted to assassinate Saudi Arabia's ambassador to the U.S.

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  • Mitt Romney and the Not-Romneys

    By Doyle McManus, Los Angeles Times

    There may still be half a dozen contenders for the Republican presidential nomination, but the race has always had room for only two: Mitt Romney and someone who isn't Mitt Romney. After four full-scale debates, that second spot, reserved for a more conservative candidate, is still unfilled; the fiscal firebrands of the tea party haven't found an ideal alternative to Romney, leaving the party's right wing divided. It's beginning to look as if the former Massachusetts governor will win the nomination almost by default — an odd outcome to a year that began with the tea party triumphant.

    Read more
  • Will tea party purists back imperfect Romney?

    By Gloria Borger, CNN

    After watching the GOP presidential debate the other night, it was hard to avoid this conclusion: Mitt Romney looks more and more like the GOP presidential nominee. He's the best debater. He's got his issues and his rejoinders down pat. He brushes away his opponents like lint on his lapel. And all with such ease.

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  • Romney inevitable? Perry weighs TV ads to slow him

    By Charles Babington and Kasie Hunt, Associated Press

    Mitt Romney seems firmly in command in a Republican presidential field that hasn't figured out how to stop him. Twelve weeks before the first party voting, the GOP establishment is coalescing around the former Massachusetts governor. He has more campaign experience, money and organization than anyone else.

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Oct 12, 2011

  • Obama acknowledges jobs bill will likely be split up

    By Christi Parsons, Los Angeles Times

    President Obama urged senators to pass his entire $447-billion jobs bill tonight but, hours before its expected failure, he acknowledged that he'll probably have to try to pass it piece by piece.

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  • Gjelten: U.S. Foils Plot To Kill Saudi Ambassador

    With Tom Gjelten, NPR

    The Justice Department has charged an Iranian-American man, among others, with plotting to kill the Saudi ambassador to the United States. According to Attorney General Eric Holder, elements of Iran's government directed the plot.

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  • Obama Pushes Jobs Plan as Senate Prepares to Vote

    By Helene Cooper, New York Times

    President Obama continued the drumbeat for his jobs plan on Tuesday, even as White House officials acknowledged that the bill’s prospects in the Senate were tenuous and Mr. Obama himself vowed not to wait for Congress to advance ideas to get American back to work.

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  • Cantor Tells Protesters Wall Street Isn’t the Enemy

    By Susan Davis, National Journal

    House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., tempered the language he used last week regarding protesters tied to the loosely organized, liberal-leaning Occupy Wall Street movement, but maintained that the protesters—and their supportive elected officials—are misguided.

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  • Mitt Romney prospers in Republican debate

    By Dan Balz, Washington Post

    All eyes were on Texas Gov. Rick Perry and businessman Herman Cain in Tuesday’s Republican debate, and both failed to ¬¬seize the moment.

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  • Man said jail strip-search humiliated him

    By Joan Biskupic, USA Today

    Albert Florence was riding in a car with his wife and son on a New Jersey highway in 2005 when he was picked up on a warrant for an outstanding fine, taken to jail and, as part of routine processing, ordered to strip naked.

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  • Republican Debate: 10 Economic Questions for the Candidates

    By David Wessel, Wall Street Journal

    Tonight’s Republican debate comes amid persistent gloom about the prospects for the U.S. — and the global — economy. Here are 10 questions we’d like to hear the candidates answer.

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