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 13, 2011

  • 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.

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  • 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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  • Republican debate: Five mulligan moments

    By Nia-Malika Henderson, Washington Post

    The Bloomberg/Washington Post debate was a departure from the football-game like atmosphere of prior debates. There were no prize-fighter like introductions of the contenders and no awkward crowd reactions.

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  • 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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