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3:20 pm
Mon November 21, 2011

With No 'Super' Deal, What's Next In Deficit Debate?

Democratic Sen. Patty Murray, the supercommittee co-chairwoman, arrives to meet in the Capitol Hill office of Democratic Sen. John Kerry with other members of the deficit reduction panel on Monday.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Mon November 21, 2011 6:30 pm

For the not-so-super debt reduction supercommittee, failure is clearly an option.

As the blame-gaming bipartisan congressional committee stumbled toward collapse Monday, washing out on even the most basic show of common purpose, the "what happens next" scenarios began to take shape.

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Middle East
3:20 pm
Mon November 21, 2011

In Iran, Secret Plans To Abolish The Presidency?

A power struggle between Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (right) and the country's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei (left, in portrait) is growing. There are signs that Khamenei may want to eliminate the presidency and replace it with the less powerful position of prime minister.
Joseph Eid AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon November 21, 2011 8:27 pm

The next presidential election in Iran is scheduled for 2013, but doubts are emerging about whether it will actually take place.

A conservative member of Iran's Parliament recently claimed that a secret committee convened by Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has been working on a plan to do away with the office of the presidency.

Meanwhile, the conflict between the supreme leader and President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad continues to sharpen.

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Three Books...
3:08 pm
Mon November 21, 2011

Presidents And Pilgrims: 3 Boundary Pushing Books

Donna Neary flickr.com

Originally published on Mon November 21, 2011 8:27 pm

With Thanksgiving hard upon us, now is a good time to think about our past. History writers can tell the best stories from centuries of human achievement and folly, yet too often they produce recitations of one damned thing after another. A few, though, combine a respect for accuracy with a deep understanding of the longings, fears and triumphs of the people of our past. Such books make magic.

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Politics
3:03 pm
Mon November 21, 2011

Obama's Hands-Off Approach To The Supercommittee

U.S. President Barack Obama delivered remarks before signing legislation that will provide business tax credits to help put veterans back to work on Monday.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Mon November 21, 2011 3:03 pm

President Obama has kept his distance from the supercommittee. Unlike the budget battles earlier this year, there were no bargaining sessions at the White House. No presidential motorcades to Capitol Hill.

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Planet Money
3:00 pm
Mon November 21, 2011

Buying A Savings Bond Is About To Get Harder

U.S. Treasury Department

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 10:15 am

Paper savings bonds used to be a wholesome part of American culture. You bought them when your kids were born, to save for college. You bought them to save for a home.

But starting next month, they'll be a lot harder to get. Banks will stop selling paper savings bonds on January 1, 2012.

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Shots - Health Blog
2:57 pm
Mon November 21, 2011

California Republicans Quietly Embrace Medicaid Expansion

Rep. Kevin McCarthy, the No. 3 Republican in the U.S. House of Representatives, has a very clear record on the Affordable Care Act. He has repeatedly called for its defeat and was one of the co-sponsors of the January repeal measure that easily passed the House but died in the Senate.

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The Two-Way
2:55 pm
Mon November 21, 2011

VIDEO: Flour Children, Or What A Bag Of Flour Can Do To A House

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Performing Arts
2:44 pm
Mon November 21, 2011

At Pop-Up Magazine Shows, No Recordings Allowed

iStockphoto.com

Magazines, documentaries and art are usually meant to be preserved to live on in time. But a group in San Francisco has decided that art, if ephemeral, may be appreciated in a different way.

The group created Pop-Up Magazine, a live magazine that happens once onstage, in one place — and it's not recorded.

Editor Douglas McGray says the idea came from trying to get different kinds of artists in the same room.

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The Two-Way
2:28 pm
Mon November 21, 2011

'Casually Pepper Spraying Cop' Meme Takes Off

Spraying the Declaration of Independence (John Trumbull's "Declaration of Independence").
jockohomo.tumblr.com

Originally published on Wed August 1, 2012 8:56 am

When he walked down a line of seated Occupy protesters Friday at the University of California Davis and shot pepper spray directly at them, campus police Lt. John Pike likely never thought that video of the incident would go viral on the Web, that there would be outrage not only at the school but around the nation, or that "casually pepper spraying cop" would quickly become one of the year's top memes.

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Music Interviews
2:21 pm
Mon November 21, 2011

Yo-Yo Ma's Bluegrass-Inspired 'Goat Rodeo'

Yo-Yo Ma's latest Americana exploration features his work with mandolinist Chris Thile, bassist Edgar Meyer and fiddler Stuart Duncan.
Jeremy Cowart

Originally published on Tue November 22, 2011 12:27 pm

A sense of humor comes through The Goat Rodeo Sessions, the latest Americana exploration for the world-renowned cellist Yo-Yo Ma.

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The Two-Way
1:33 pm
Mon November 21, 2011

Former AIG Exec Sues Federal Government For $25 Billion Over Takeover

The United States government takeover of American International Group saved the company from going under during the financial crisis of 2008. As The Wall Street Journal reported at the time, the government drove a hard bargain — tens of billions would get it an almost 80 percent stake of the company — but the government argued if AIG went down, so would the rest of the economy and AIG argued if the company wasn't pumped with money, it would collapse. The U.S.

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It's All Politics
1:02 pm
Mon November 21, 2011

Supercommittee's Failure Could Have Super Political Fallout

Rep. Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas, left, and Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., center, co-chairs of the Joint Select Committee on a Deficit Reduction, with Sen. Jon Kyl, arrive for a Sept. 2011 meeting,
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Mon November 21, 2011 2:06 pm

With the members of the congressional deficit-cutting supercommittee essentially announcing that they couldn't get to "yes," the nation is only seeing the latest turn of the screw in the partisan paralysis gripping policymakers in Washington. We all know it is far from the last.

Coming as it does now less than a year before the 2012 general election, the panel's failure to achieve at least $1.2 trillion in deficit reduction means each major political will now be focused on trying to persuade voters that the other party is more responsible for the impasse.

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The Two-Way
12:45 pm
Mon November 21, 2011

Reports: Egyptian Cabinet Members Submit Resignations

From NPR's Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson and The Associated Press, both in Cairo:

State TV in Egypt is reporting that Prime Minister Essam Sharaf and his cabinet have submitted their resignations to the nation's military council.

It isn't known, Soraya says, whether the interim government's resignations will be accepted.

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The Two-Way
12:35 pm
Mon November 21, 2011

It's Still OK To Text 'Offensive' Words In Pakistan

Pakistani families walk past an advertisement for a cellular telephone company in Rawalpindi.
Farooq Naeem AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon November 21, 2011 12:40 pm

You can still text the name "Jesus Christ" and the word "naked" if you're a Pakistani with a cellphone.

Also still safe for texting: damn, nude and poop.

Those are among more than 1,600 words and phrases that the Pakistan Telecommunications Agency had reportedly ordered mobile companies in the country to block by today.

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Shots - Health Blog
12:22 pm
Mon November 21, 2011

Does Diabetes Need A Blue Circle To Establish Its Disease Cred?

Is there room for a blue diabetes button?
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue November 22, 2011 10:54 am

Breast cancer has a pink ribbon. Cystic fibrosis has a purple ribbon. Heart disease has a red ribbon.

Would diabetes be easier for people to talk about if it had a blue circle?

Some advocates think so and have been pushing various diabetes groups to unite behind the color blue. The idea has a lot of traction outside the United States.

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