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 12, 2011

  • Iran Containment Cast in Doubt

    By James Kitfield, National Journal

    The de facto U.S. strategy of containing an Iran on the cusp of acquiring nuclear weapons may have just gotten a lot more dangerous. That strategy of isolating Tehran internationally, and building an anti-Iran alliance along its periphery protected by the U.S. nuclear umbrella, relied on the “rationale actor” theory of international relations. Under such circumstances, the strategy assumed that even an Iran with nuclear weapons could not unduly intimidate its neighbors. Crossing a clear U.S. redline by passing those weapons to allied terrorist groups such as Hezbollah would invite annihilation.

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  • Occupy Main Street?

    By Major Garrett, National Journal

    Some in Washington want to know what the Occupy Wall Street movement “wants.” I don’t pretend to know and—refreshingly—neither do those in the streets, not specifically. They know what they are against—economic inequality—but have yet to begin to define what they are for, why they are for it, and how they might try to achieve it.

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  • Romney Looks Past Rivals as Debate Focuses on Economy

    By Jeff Zeleny and Ashley Parker, New York Times

    Mitt Romney offered a robust defense of the health care plan he signed as governor of Massachusetts and sought to look beyond his Republican presidential rivals at a debate here Tuesday night by presenting himself as the leader who is best prepared to take on President Obama.

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  • Debate Shows Frontrunner Romney Lacks Party Majority

    By Jeanne Cummings, Bloomberg

    Mitt Romney left the stage of last night’s Republican presidential debate on the economy as he entered: a cautious front-runner, not prone to mistakes, who has yet to win the backing of at least 70 percent of his party.

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  • Running the Table: Mitt Romney shows why he’s still the man to beat in the Republican field

    by John Dickerson, Slate

    When you hold a debate at a boardroom table, the business guys are going to do well. Mitt Romney and Herman Cain were the winners at the Bloomberg/Washington Post debate Tuesday night at Dartmouth College. The eight candidates sat “in the round,” discussing only the economy, which gave Romney a chance to repeat with force the things he says every day on the campaign trail. He spoke confidently about his business career and experience. Cain was amiable, as always, and took every opportunity to mention his “9-9-9 plan.” After this debate, it’s fair to say this plan would be his answer to questions about trout fishing.

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Oct 11, 2011

  • Christie Endorses Romney Ahead of Debate

    By Jeff Zeleny and Michael D. Shear, New York Times

    Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey endorsed Mitt Romney’s bid for the Republican presidential nomination on Tuesday afternoon by praising his business and government experience, declaring, “Mitt Romney is the man we need to lead America.”

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  • Two Americans Win Nobel Economics Prize

    With David Wessel, Wall Street Journal

    Profiles Thomas Sargent and Christopher Sims, winners of this year's Nobel Prize in Economics.

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  • GOP debate: Five things to watch

    By Nia-Malika Henderson, Washington Post

    For 90 minutes in New Hampshire tonight, eight Republican presidential hopefuls will sit around a wooden table and take shots at each other and President Obama. The theme of The Washington Post/Bloomberg debate, which starts at 8 p.m, is the economy. As Karen Tumulty, who will be one of the journalists asking questions, wrote, previous debates definitively shifted the momentum of the race. And tonight’s debate will likely set off yet another a new phase.

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  • After Rocky Start, More Study, and Sleep, for Perry

    By Jeff Zeleny, New York Times

    Gov. Rick Perry of Texas struggled through his first three debates, so his aides have staged practice sessions, complete with a stand-in for Mitt Romney. He has stirred outrage among conservatives on immigration, so he is defending his stance on the campaign trail as good economics.

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  • Subdued Perry tries to steady wayward campaign in Iowa

    By Charles Babington, Associated Press

    Rick Perry has lost some of his Texas swagger. Maybe that’s what happens when a governor tops Republican presidential polls the minute he joins the race, only to plummet after a shaky debate performance.

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Oct 07, 2011

  • 'End is in sight' for Libya mission, NATO says

    By Nancy Youssef, McClatchy Newspapers

    NATO defense ministers said Thursday that the alliance would end its six-month mission in Libya once deposed leader Moammar Gadhafi can no longer mount attacks against civilians — a point that they suggested was imminent even though Gadhafi has evaded capture.

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  • With an Eye on Both Obama and Perry, Romney Wades into Foreign Policy Debate

    By Yochi J. Dreazen, National Journal

    When Mitt Romney delivers what his campaign is billing as a major foreign policy address Friday, he will face a pair of difficult challenges: differentiating himself enough from the Obama administration’s handling of national security to avoid antagonizing Republican primary voters, while simultaneously avoiding the kinds of extreme positions which could harm him in a general election.

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  • 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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