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 15, 2011

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

    By 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.

    Read more in the National Journal
  • War savings and debt reduction, take two

    By Lori Montgomery, The Washington Post

    The congressional “supercommittee” is looking to count as budget savings as much as $700 billion that the nation no longer plans to spend on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan over the next decade, an accounting gimmick that has drawn fire from both Democrats and Republicans.

    Read more
  • Deficit Deal a Moving Target

    By Naftali Bendavid and Janet Hook, The Wall Street Journal

    With time running out for Congress's special deficit-reduction committee, the two sides Monday were grappling for ways to inch closer on the crucial issue of taxes.   The parties are looking for ways to include smaller tax increases than Democrats had previously sought but more than Republicans want. In addition, Democrats last week proposed keeping upper-income tax rates at 35%, the level set in the Bush-era tax cuts.

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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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  • Supreme Court to review Obama's health care law

    By Pete Williams, NBC News

    Can Americans be forced to buy health insurance?  That's the question the Supreme Court will decide next year as it takes on a challenge to the Obama administration's health care law. 

    Watch the report
  • Costume Shot Unnecessary, Obama Says

    By Jackie Calmes, The New York Times

    Is the "silly shirts" photo of Asia-Pacific leaders now history?  To the chagrin of White House photographers but the relief of the 21 leaders at the annual Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum that took place over the weekend, President Obama as the host this year, packed away for good the two-decade tradition of having the group pose for a “family photo” in some garb representative of the host country.

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  • New Questions About Insider Trading in Washington

    By Eamon Javers, CNBC

    New questions about members of Congress profiting from insider stock trading. 

    Watch the report

Nov 14, 2011

  • Supreme Court to hear dispute on health care law

    by Joan Biskupic, USA Today

    The Supreme Court announced Monday that it will hear a dispute testing the constitutionality of the Obama-sponsored health care overhaul, a move that opens the most important chapter in the legal battle over the law.

    Read more
  • ‘Oops’ Moment Takes On a Life of Its Own

    by John Harwood, The New York Times

    I knew our CNBC presidential debate had broken through when my daughter called from college to shout: “Dad, you’re on my two favorite Web sites!”

    Read more and watch video
  • It's Newt's Night

    By Beth Reinhard, National Journal

    Presidential candidates usually lay low the day of a debate, but Newt Gingrich spent a lot of time today in the public eye, tailgating at Furman University and opening a campaign office. And why not? Who knows how long this moment will last.

    Read more in the National Journal
  • At Debate, GOP Candidates Take Aim at Obama, But Also Hit Bush

    by Yochi J. Dreazen, National Journal

    The eight Republican presidential candidates who took part in the first foreign policy debate lobbed rhetorical grenades at President Obama, alternately accusing him of bankrupting the U.S., putting the CIA under the control of the ACLU, threatening Israel’s security and failing to stop Iran’s nuclear program.

    Read more in the National Journal
  • Gloria Cain speaks out about sexual harassment allegations

    By Nia-Malika Henderson, The Washington Post

    In her first televised interview ever, Gloria Cain, wife of Republican presidential hopeful Herman Cain, sat down with Fox News and said that the allegations of sexual harassment against him don’t square with the man she knows.

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  • Can Gingrich seize an unexpected moment?

    By Dan Balz, The Washington Post

    Newt Gingrich strolled onto the campus of Furman University in Greenville eight hours ahead of Saturday's Republican debate looking very pleased. A campaign that once seemed to have passed him by has come full circle. Can he take advantage of an opportunity that almost no one, except the former speaker, might have expected?

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  • GOP candidates hammer Obama on his Iran policy during South Carolina debate

    By Karen Tumulty and Perry Bacon, Jr., The Washington Post

    With the International Atomic Energy Agency warning in a new report that Iran may be proceeding with developing a nuclear weapon the leading Republican candidates for president accused President Obama of not being forceful enough to prevent that from happening.

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  • On supercommittee, growing doubts about reaching a debt deal

    By Lori Montgomery and Rosalind S. Helderman, The Washington Post

    With just 10 days left before a Thanksgiving deadline, members of the congressional “supercommittee” appear increasingly pessimistic about the odds of forging a debt-reduction deal, despite a new offer by Republicans to raise taxes.

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  • Hints of Hope as Deficit Deadline Approaches

    By Janet Hook and Naftali Bendavid, The Wall Street Journal

    Despite sharp divisions within Congress's special deficit-cutting panel, members of both parties say its goal of trimming at least $1.2 trillion from federal deficits over 10 years remains within grasp, and President Barack Obama tried to provide an additional push Friday.

    Read more
  • Political Paralysis Worsens European Debt Crisis

    by Tom Gjelten, NPR

    Barely two weeks ago, it appeared that European leaders had a package to contain their debt crisis. Greece's problems would be managed, with private bondholders taking a hit on their investments and a new bailout to help the government meet its obligations. A European rescue fund would protect Italy and Spain from any risk spreading from Greece.

    Listen to the report
  • Telling the Stories of War Through Many Voices

    By Jennifer Conlin, The New York Times

    EVEN for a woman who has been known to jump out of helicopters, this fall has been “particularly crazy,” says Martha Raddatz, the senior foreign affairs correspondent for ABC News.

    Read the profile of Martha Raddatz
  • White House Eyeing Republicans for Fed Board

    by David Wessel, The Wall Street Journal

    The White House considers naming a Republican to fill one of two vacancies on the Federal Reserve Board.

    Watch video
  • Obama Talks Up Free Trade and Jobs at Asia-Pacific Meeting

    by Jackie Calmes, The New York Times

    With the weak domestic economy and his re-election hopes as the backdrop, President Obama made job creation the theme of an annual trade summit meeting on Sunday as the United States, for the first time in nearly two decades, hosted leaders of Pacific Rim nations.

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