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 17, 2011

  • 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.

    Read more
  • 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.

    Read more
  • Rick Perry’s jobs plan: Drill, baby, drill

    By Nia-Malika Henderson, Washington Post

    Rick Perry wants Friday to be his big do-over day. After stumbling in Tuesday’s Republican debate and admitting that the format just isn’t his thing, Perry will be all over the airwaves talking up his energy-based jobs plan, which he previewed in an op-ed and on CNBC. Summed up in three words (Herman Cain would love the simplicity), Perry’s plan amounts to this: Drill, baby, drill.

    Read more
  • Solyndra Came Close to Landing Navy Deal

    By Deborah Solomon, Wall Street Journal

    A major investor in Solyndra LLC was instrumental in helping the troubled solar-power firm compete for a potentially lucrative U.S. Navy deal, a previously unreported connection that will likely fuel controversy surrounding the company.

    Read more
  • Simply Appealing: One explanation for the popularity of Herman Cain among Republicans.

    by John Dickerson, Slate

    A weak front-runner is challenged by a come-from-nowhere candidate wielding a tax plan. Then it was Bob Dole, Steve Forbes, and the “flat tax.” Now it’s Mitt Romney, Herman Cain, and the “9-9-9 plan.” Republicans can be forgiven for having flashbacks to 1996.

    Read more
  • Simply Appealing: One explanation for the popularity of Herman Cain among Republicans.

    by John Dickerson, Slate

    A weak front-runner is challenged by a come-from-nowhere candidate wielding a tax plan. Then it was Bob Dole, Steve Forbes, and the “flat tax.” Now it’s Mitt Romney, Herman Cain, and the “9-9-9 plan.” Republicans can be forgiven for having flashbacks to 1996.

    Read more
  • Auto Bailout Done, Obama Looks for Payback

    By Jeff Zeleny and Monica Davey, New York Times

    President Obama arrives here on Friday on another visit to Michigan, seeking not only the electoral votes that are essential to his re-election effort, but a platform for a far bigger message.

    Read more
  • 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.

    Read more
  • 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.

    Read more
  • 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.

    Read more