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 06, 2011

  • Democrats shift the definition of ‘rich’ in battle over taxes

    By Lori Montgomery, Washington Post

    As they head into the 2012 campaign, Democrats are changing their definition of what it means to be rich. Forget about families making $250,000 a year. Today, the party is only interested in millionaires.

    Read more
  • Take This Job

    By Major Garrett, National Journal

    Note to President Obama: When Mitch McConnell wants to introduce your jobs bill, it’s not a good sign. The American Jobs Act won’t suffer the ignominy of your 2012 budget—defeated 0-97 on a motion to proceed—but it won’t pass and McConnell, the GOP leader, knows it. That’s why he’s calling Majority Leader Harry Reid’s bluff and seeking a vote now.

    Read more
  • Have a Nice Election: The 2012 contest is shaping up to be really ugly

    by John Dickerson, Slate

    Remember when people wanted the president to get angry? Reporters poked him to let off a little steam over AIG bonuses. There were calls again during the BP oil spill. Now Obama gets mad all the time. On Tuesday, he called out House Majority Leader Eric Cantor. Last Saturday, the venue was the Congressional Black Caucus dinner. Claiming Republicans don't want to pass anything that would give the president a victory, he has taken to saying: "Give me a win? Give me a win? Give me a break."

    Read more
  • Obama Attempts Campaign Course Correction

    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. While President Barack Obama couldn’t control the European financial crisis or the Arab Spring, the fight over the nation’s borrowing limit was forewarned. Yet the White House didn’t engage immediately; got pulled into fruitless negotiations over a broader budget deal; and finally had to make major concessions at the brink of default.

    Read more

Oct 05, 2011

  • New Jersey Gov. Christie: 'Now Is Not My Time'

    By Beth Reinhard and Alex Roarty, National Journal

    Attention Republican voters: We now return to our regularly scheduled programming. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie on Tuesday did what his previous denials about a presidential bid failed to accomplish: put an end to the incessant speculation about him running for president in 2012.

    Read more
  • Push for President Obama’s jobs bill illustrates the art of beating a dead horse

    By Sam Youngman, The Hill

    It might help to think of the American Jobs Act as Elvis. The King made $60 million last year even though he died in 1977. The lesson: Just ’cause something is dead doesn’t mean it can’t be effective.

    Read more
  • Bernanke Urges Congress to Do More on Economy

    With David Wessel, Wall Street Journal

    Ben Bernanke urged U.S. lawmakers to do more to help the economy; however, he was careful to not send any new signals about a possible QE program, WSJ economics editor David Wessel reports on Markets Hub. Photo: Reuters.

  • Rep. Wolf Blasts Grover Norquist

    By Susan Davis, National Journal

    Americans for Tax Reform President Grover Norquist is normally greeted with open arms by House Republicans seeking the anti-tax activist’s endorsement and advice. But not by Virginia Republican Rep. Frank Wolf on Tuesday.

    Read more
  • Beyond Rick Perry hunting camp, offensive names litter U.S. landscape

    By Nia-Malika Henderson, Washington Post

    The revelation that Rick Perry’s family leased a hunting camp commonly known in rural Texas by a little-known racial epithet raises these questions: How many such places exist and where are they? The short answer is all across the country, not only in people’s memories, but also listed as such on maps, mostly in rural areas, according to a scholar who studies place names.

    Read more
  • With Christie Out, Republican Race Begins for Real

    By Jeff Zeleny, New York Times

    Memorandum to Republican activists, voters and donors: Your presidential field is set. It’s time to start sizing up the candidates, learning to love at least one of them and preparing to head toward the voting booth.

    Read more
  • High court mulls Ala. death row challenge of missed deadline

    By Joan Biskupic, USA Today

    The lawyer for an Alabama death row inmate told the Supreme Court on Tuesday that the convict should not be barred from appealing because he missed a deadline as a result of a mail mishap.

    Read more
  • Bernanke tells Congress to cut out the brinkmanship over budget

    By Neil Irwin and Lori Montgomery, Washington Post

    Ben S. Bernanke went to Congress on Tuesday with a message: Cut out the brinkmanship over tax and spending policy and slash budget deficits more than planned — but don’t do it so fast that it undermines economic growth.

    Read more
  • 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.

    Read more
  • 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.

    Read more
  • 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?

    Read more
  • 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.

    Read more
  • "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.

    Read more

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. 

  • 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. 

    Read more
  • 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. 

    Read more