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!

Nov 17, 2011

  • Romney's Tea Party Firewall in Iowa

    By Beth Reinhard, National Journal

    Republican frontrunner Mitt Romney remains at the top of the polls in Iowa and many of his more tea-party friendly rivals are struggling to overcome major campaign gaffes. Eventually, those tea party activists will come around to Romney in their zeal to defeat President Obama, right?

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  • In debt talks’ new phase, blame game overshadows fiscal blueprint

    By Lori Montgomery and Paul Kane, Washington Post

    Negotiations over the national debt entered a troubling new phase Wednesday on Capitol Hill as lawmakers appeared to spend more time trading blame for the impasse than in talks aimed at developing a blueprint to reduce borrowing.

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  • Deficit Stalemate Signs Rise

    By Naftali Bendavid and Janet Hook, Wall Street Journal

    One week before Congress's deficit-cutting supercommittee hits its deadline, and with signs of stalemate increasing, lawmakers Wednesday grappled with the consequences of possible failure.

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  • Gingrich on Defensive Over Freddie Mac Fees

    By Jeff Zeleny and Trip Gabriel, New York Times

    For roughly six years, Newt Gingrich worked closely with high-level officials at the government-sponsored mortgage company Freddie Mac. As a highly paid consultant, he coached them on how to win over the conservatives who consider their company an anathema, spoke to their political action committee and offered general advice as they worked to stave off various threats to Freddie Mac’s survival, several people familiar with his role there said Tuesday.

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  • Obama says U.S. to reassert role as Pacific power

    By Christi Parsons, Los Angeles Times

    Confronting anxiety about China's growing political and economic clout, President Obama announced a strategic shift by the United States to reassert its role as the dominant military power in the Pacific as it pulls back from post-Sept. 11 wars.

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  • Newt Gingrich, on the rise, says, ‘Hopefully, I’m going to be more disciplined’

    By Karen Tumulty, Washington Post

    For months, Newt Gingrich has had a front-row seat from which to observe what happens when a Republican presidential candidate emerges from the pack to be touted as the next great insurgent hope and the conservative alternative to Mitt Romney.

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  • A Marine Base for Australia Irritates China

    By Jackie Calmes, New York Times

    Fresh from announcing an expanded American military presence in Australia, a plan that has angered China, President Obama came to this remote northern town that will be the base of operations and told American and Australian troops it is “the perfect place.”

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  • Bloomberg Poll: Republicans Conflicted on Romney

    By Julie Hirschfeld Davis, Bloomberg

    Republican primary voters are torn between their confidence in Mitt Romney’s professional competence and doubts about his political character.

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  • Will 'New Newt' prevail?

    By Doyle McManus, Los Angeles Times

    When Richard M. Nixon ran for the Republican presidential nomination in 1968, he faced a daunting problem: A lot of voters just didn't like him. Nixon had made his name in politics as an angry, partisan hatchet man, famous for lashing out against Democrats and the news media. To win the presidency, he needed to find a way to soften that too-harsh image.

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  • Newt Gingrich, on the rise, says, ‘Hopefully, I’m going to be more disciplined’

    By Karen Tumulty, Washington Post

    For months, Newt Gingrich has had a front-row seat from which to observe what happens when a Republican presidential candidate emerges from the pack to be touted as the next great insurgent hope and the conservative alternative to Mitt Romney.

    Read more
  • Deserters Attack Syrian Air Force Base, Symbol of Assad and Torture

    By Martha Raddatz and Rym Momtaz, ABC News

    The Syrian government reeled from two blows today, as the members of the Arab League voted to suspend the country, and as defectors from the Syrian military mounted an assault on a military base associated with torture and with the Assad family's long hold on power.

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Nov 16, 2011

  • Hoyer Slams Perry’s Proposal for Part-Time Congress

    By Naftali Bendavid, Wall Street Journal

    Rep. Steny Hoyer (D., Md.), the second-ranking Democrat in the House, reacted angrily Tuesday to the suggestion by Texas Gov. Rick Perry that Congress become a part-time institution.

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  • Eying China, U.S. Expands Military Ties to Australia

    By Jackie Calmes, New York Times

    President Obama and Prime Minister Julia Gillard of Australia announced plans on Wednesday for the first sustained American military presence in Australia, a relatively small deployment that is still a major symbol of American intentions to use regional alliances to counterbalance a rising China.

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  • DC Shooting Suspect Could Be Threat to Obama, Police Say

    By Pierre Thomas, ABC News

    ABC News has learned authorities are increasingly concerned that a man sought in connection with a bizarre shooting incident on the Washington Mall last week may pose a threat to President Obama.

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  • Is he ready? Cain's comments raise some questions

    By Charles Babington, Associated Press

    Many Republican voters are drawn to Herman Cain's forceful campaign style. But an examination of his comments and proposals raises questions about his grasp of issues he would face if elected president.

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  • Swings of Fortune Continue as G.O.P. Candidates Return to the Trail

    By Jeff Zeleny and Trip Gabriel, New York Times

    A Republican presidential race that has been dominated by debate appearances and television interviews took a turn back to the rigors of retail politicking on Tuesday, with candidates making their cases directly to voters who are struggling to find clarity in an unusual boom-to-bust primary campaign.

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  • Kruegar on Concerns About Manufacturing Jobs

    With David Wessel, Wall Street Journal

    Alan Kruegar, chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers, addresses concerns about manufacturing jobs, in a conversation with WSJ's David Wessel at the CEO Council.

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  • Super Committee, Super Lie

    By Major Garrett, National Journal

    When I left the White House beat to cover Congress, I told people what the biggest difference was between the two beats. People in the White House and Congress lie to you, I would say; the difference is that on the Hill it’s not the same lie told by the same seven people. That was true until the super committee was created. Now, instead of politicians lying to their constituents and reporters, they are lying to themselves. Not rationalizing, or trimming the truth, or speaking in euphemisms. Lying. Bald. Faced. Lying.

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Nov 15, 2011

  • U.S. Consumer Confidence Less Vulnerable to Super-Committee Failure

    By Catherine Hollander and Jim Tankersley, National Journal

    Washington is focused on the super committee, but the rest of the country is paying far less attention to the special panel charged with finding at least $1.2 trillion in deficit savings by Nov. 23. And that's good news, or at least not bad news, for the economy. The super committee's inability to forge a consensus won't trigger anything close to the confidence slide set off by the summer's debt-ceiling debate because the public just isn't paying attention, economists and a National Journal data analysis suggest.

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  • Justices' review of health care law adds to election tumult

    By Joan Biskupic, USA Today

    The Supreme Court's announcement Monday that it will hear challenges to the Obama-sponsored health care law opens the most important chapter in the legal battle over the law, amid the tumult of election-year politics.

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