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!

Dec 11, 2012

  • Obama Takes Push For Higher Taxes On Wealthy To Workers At Michigan Plant

    By Lori Montgomery and Philip Rucker, Washington Post

    President Obama hit the campaign trail again on Monday — more than a month after the election — firing up a crowd of blue-collar automotive workers with calls to raise taxes on the wealthy and eagerly wading into a local political dispute over the powers of labor unions.

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  • Message to Dems: Do Your Own Job!

    With Eamon Javers, CNBC

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  • Does A Lower Unemployment Rate Mean A Better Labor Market?

    By Michael A. Fletcher, The Washington Post

    The government’s latest jobs report offered both good news and bad news, reflecting an emerging reality of the nation’s economy. The unemployment rate fell from 7.9 percent to 7.7 percent in November, the Labor Department reported Friday, its lowest level in four years. It has dropped more quickly in the past year than in any one-year period since 1995.

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  • The Marriage Plot: Inside This Year's Epic Campaign for Gay Equality

    By Molly Ball, The Atlantic

    On May 9, President Obama sat for an interview in the White House with the ABC News anchor Robin Roberts. Both of them knew what she'd been summoned there to discuss, and Roberts didn't waste any time. "So, Mr. President," she said, "are you still opposed to same-sex marriage?"

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  • Navy SEAL Dies in Afghanistan Rescue Mission

    With Martha Raddatz, ABC News

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Dec 10, 2012

  • No Word On Deal In Washington

    With John Harwood, CNBC

    President Obama and Speaker Boehner spent Sunday together discussing the fiscal cliff.

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  • Time Running Out On ‘Fiscal Cliff’ Deal

    By Lori Montgomery and Paul Kane, The Washington Post

    The contours of a deal to avert the year-end fiscal cliff are becoming increasingly clear. But progress has been slow, and time is running out for leaders to seal an agreement and sell it to restless lawmakers who so far have been given little information.

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  • Stock Market is a Wild Card In Fiscal Cliff Talks

    By Charles Babington, Associated Press

    Congress and the White House can significantly soften the initial impact of the "fiscal cliff" even if they fail to reach a compromise by Dec. 31. One thing they cannot control, however, is the financial markets' reaction, which possibly could be a panicky sell-off that triggers economic reversals worldwide.

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  • SEAL Team Six Member Killed in Raid to Rescue Hostage

    With Martha Raddatz, ABC News

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  • U.N. Ambassador Questioned on U.S. Role in Congo Violence

    By Helene Cooper, The New York Times

    Almost two decades after the Clinton administration failed to intervene in the genocide in Rwanda, the United States is coming under harsh criticism for not moving forcefully in another African crisis marked by atrocities and brutal killings, this time in Rwanda’s neighbor, the Democratic Republic of Congo.

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Dec 07, 2012

  • US Supreme Court To Take Up Same-Sex Marriage Issue

    By Pete Williams, NBC News

    The U.S. Supreme Court agreed Friday to take its first serious look at the issue of gay marriage, granting review of California's ban on same-sex marriage and of a federal law that defines marriage as only the legal union of a man and a woman.

    At the very least, the court will look at this question: When states choose to permit the marriages of same-sex couples, can the federal government refuse to recognize their validity? But by also taking up the California case, the court could get to the more fundamental question of whether the states must permit marriages by gay people in the first place.

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  • McConnell Takes Hard Line

    By Naftali Bendavid, Wall Street Journal

    Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has found shrewd ways to solve some of Washington's most intractable budget standoffs. In the current battle, the Kentucky Republican is taking a notably tougher tone, leading colleagues to wonder about his role as the debate unfolds.

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  • The Military Knows It Has A Morality Problem

    By James Kitfield, National Journal

    It has not been a good year for America’s armed forces. David Petraeus’s extramarital affair dominated headlines; 25 instructors are under investigation for systematic sexual abuse of cadets at Lackland Air Force Base; and a rash of senior officers—at the rank of colonel or higher—have been reprimanded for serious misconduct. Last month, Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, wrote to all four-star generals and flag officers asking for institutional soul-searching. Has the military’s behavior, he seemed to be asking, threatened the “sacred trust” among top officers, the men and women they lead, and the American people? “I know you share my concern when events occur that call that trust into question,” Dempsey wrote in the memo obtained by National Journal. “We must be alert to even the perception that our Nation’s most senior officers have lost their way.”

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  • Hillary Clinton's Exit Plan For Syria's Assad

    With Martha Raddatz, ABC News

    Secretary of state urges end of President Bashar Assad's reign amid worry of chemical warfare.

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  • ANALYSIS: Senate's First African American Republican Tea Party Member?

    By Amy Walter, Elizabeth Hartfield and Chris Good, ABC News

    The announcement that Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC) was resigning at the beginning of 2013, gave political junkies - and plenty of SC politicians - an unexpected early Christmas gift.

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  • In Talks on a Budget Deal, Boehner and Obama Stand Alone

    By Peter Baker, The New York Times

    At House Speaker John A. Boehner’s request, Senate leaders and Representative Nancy Pelosi have been excluded from talks to avert a fiscal crisis, leaving it to Mr. Boehner and President Obama alone to find a deal, Congressional aides say.

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Dec 06, 2012

  • Some In GOP Urge Lawmakers To Back Tax Hikes For Changes In Safety-Net Programs

    By Lori Montgomery and Rosalind S. Helderman, Washington Post

    A growing chorus of Republicans is urging House leaders to abandon their staunch opposition to higher tax rates for the wealthy with the aim of clearing the way for a broad deal that would also rein in the cost of federal health and retirement programs.

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  • Syria civil war: Fears of chemical weapon use

    With Martha Raddatz, ABC News

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  • What should the U.S. learn from Europe's woes?

    By Tom Gjelten, NPR

    As President Obama and Capitol Hill lawmakers assess the need for spending cuts and tax increases against the risk of triggering a new recession, they might look across the Atlantic for insights from those who have already grappled with those budgetary questions.

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  • U.S.-approved arms for Libya rebels fell into Jihadis’ hands

    By James Risen, Mark Mazzetti and Michael S. Schmidt, The New York Times

    The Obama administration secretly gave its blessing to arms shipments to Libyan rebels from Qatar last year, but American officials later grew alarmed as evidence grew that Qatar was turning some of the weapons over to Islamic militants, according to United States officials and foreign diplomats.

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