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 05, 2011

  • Obama Pitches Jobs Bill and Appeals to Donors

    By Jackie Calmes and Jennifer Steinhauer, The New York Times

    President Obama on Tuesday combined fund-raising and campaigning for his jobs bill in the home state of the Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry and the Congressional district of a House Republican leader, and he did not shy away from telling donors that they and Texas’ oil companies should pay more taxes for the nation’s good.

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  • In Egypt, Panetta urges end to emergency law

    By Nancy Youssef, McClatchy Newspapers

    Defense Secretary Leon Panetta urged the head of Egypt's ruling military council on Tuesday to lift a controversial emergency law that U.S. defense officials said would "cast a shadow" over next month's crucial parliamentary elections.

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  • Mitt Romney, waiting for yes

    By Gloria Borger, CNN

    So now that the Republican Party has dated just about everyone in the field, the question remains: What about the fellow your parents tried to fix you up with in the first place? Does he look any better now? Are you ready to get serious about him?

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  • In Texas, Obama presses GOP for vote on jobs plan

    By Christi Parsons, Los Angeles Times

    Appearing on stage with a laid-off social studies teacher here this afternoon, President Obama suggested that opposing his full jobs bill is tantamount to opposing her gainful employment. House Republicans should call a vote on his bill in its entirety, Obama said, so that Americans can see where every member of Congress stands on it.

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  • "Now Is Not My Time"

    by John Dickerson, Slate

    It was the strangest case of autocorrect in history. Chris Christie kept saying, "No," but Republican dreamers in green rooms and board rooms kept hearing, "Please ask me again." On Tuesday the New Jersey governor finally put an end to the requests that he run for president. "New Jersey, whether you like it or not you're stuck with me," he said at a packed press conference from the state capital.

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Oct 04, 2011

  • New General Takes on War in Afghanistan

    With Martha Raddatz, ABC News

    General Allen picks up where predecessor Petraeus left off in ongoing war. 

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  • White House Emails Show Deep Tension Over Solyndra

    By Eamon Javers, CNBC

    Tensions over the now-bankrupt solar company Solyndra were deeper within the Obama Administration than had been previously revealed, according to newly disclosed White House emails. 

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  • Benchmark for Antonin Scalia: 25 years on court

    By Joan Biskupic, USA Today

    As the Supreme Court raised the curtain on its new term Monday, Chief Justice John Roberts heralded the 25th anniversary of the justice who has become a showman of the bench, Antonin Scalia. 

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  • Obama focuses latest jobs pitch on hiring teachers

    By Christie Parsons, Los Angeles Times

    Unwilling to concede that his jobs act has no chance of passage, President Obama on Tuesday breaks out a new weapon: a laid-off single mother who wants nothing more than to go back to teaching public schoolchildren. 

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  • Primary Date of Jan. 21 Adds Urgency for Christie

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

     Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey is under even more pressure to make a decision about running for president after South Carolina’s move Monday to schedule its Republican primary for Jan. 21.

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  • Republicans Looking For A Fighter Against Obama

    By Beth Reinhard, National Journal

    Largely overlooked in Chris Christie’s ballyhooed speech at the Reagan Library last week was his off-the-cuff remark that encapsulates why some Republicans are panting for him to run for president.

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  • The GOP Race to the White House

    With John Harwood, CNBC

     The details on whether New Jersey Governor Chris Christie will run for the Republican seat in 2012.

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  • Rick Perry slips, Herman Cain rises in bid for GOP nomination, poll finds

    By Dan Balz and Jon Cohen, Washington Post

     After a quick rise in the race for the Republican presidential nomination, Texas Gov. Rick Perry has experienced an almost equally dramatic decline, losing about half of his support over the past month, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll.

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Oct 03, 2011

  • Afghanistan: America's Longest War

    With Martha Raddatz, ABC News

    The cost of a decade at war.

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  • Market Wisdom 101

    By Jim Tankersley, National Journal

    Cult classics have a nice way of putting complex modern problems in perspective. You may not find a better key to understanding the wild ups and downs of the stock market over the past two months than Douglas Adams’s seminal 1979 science-fiction tome, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. The book features the tale of an advanced alien race—stick with us here—that builds a supercomputer for the sole purpose of generating an answer to the “Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe, and Everything.” After 7.5 million years, the computer spits out its answer: 42.

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  • Congress' dysfunction long in the making

    By Charles Babington, Associated Press

    Why does Congress barely function today? The legislative branch of the world's most powerful nation is now widely scorned as it lurches from one near-catastrophe to the next, even on supposedly routine matters such as setting an annual budget and keeping government offices open.

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  • Obama campaign team memo blasts 2012 Republican candidates

    By Sam Youngman, The Hill

    President Obama's campaign said in a memo Monday that the Republican candidates vying for the president's job are running to the extreme right of the party, embracing policies that Americans oppose.

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  • In GOP presidential race, voters have their own timetable

    By Dan Balz, Washington Post

    If political events have proved anything so far this year, it is the need for patience and caution in projecting the future. Voters may have their own ideas. The loose-knit group of strategists, activists, talking heads and others known as the political community has been in a hurry all year to get the Republican presidential race shaped and charted. But that is work reserved to the voters. In due time, voters will clarify and resolve everything, but not this month or next.

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  • Obama Campaign Borrows From Bush ‘04 Playbook

    By John Harwood, New York Times

    The last time an incumbent president faced re-election, George W. Bush exploited social and national security issues to offset his economic vulnerabilities. Over the next year, President Obama will try the same thing.

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  • Success Battling Terrorists, but Scant Glory for It

    By Jackie Calmes, New York Times

    The killing of an American-born Al Qaeda leader in Yemen on Friday will probably bolster the high marks Americans give President Obama for dealing with terrorism and foreign policy. Yet his overall approval ratings are likely to remain depressed, underscoring the economy’s drag on his prospects for re-election.

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