3:48pm

Sun December 30, 2012
It's All Politics

Fiscal Cliff Debate: Why The (Very) Few Rule The Many In Congress

Originally published on Sun December 30, 2012 6:15 pm

In the final hours of the latest budget crisis in Washington, several salient facts are increasingly clear.

First, the leaders of the two parties in the Senate might still put together a negotiated deal that would avert the combination of tax increases and spending cuts known as the fiscal cliff. The leaders would start with President Obama's top priorities, modify them to accommodate Republican preferences, throw in some measures that are GOP priorities and take the package to the floor.

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3:20pm

Sun December 30, 2012
It's All Politics

McConnell Appeals To Biden To Break Through Fiscal Cliff Logjam

Originally published on Sun December 30, 2012 7:36 pm

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., walks to a closed-door meeting with fellow Democrats at the Capitol on Sunday.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Senate negotiators failed to reach a deal Sunday on averting the "fiscal cliff," with the chamber adjourning for the night and only one day remaining before a package of spending cuts and tax increases automatically kicks in.

Majority Leader Harry Reid said the Senate will go back in session at 11 a.m. ET Monday. It's at least theoretically possible that negotiators might reach a deal and the Senate will have a package to vote on when it reconvenes Monday, meaning the measure could go to the House — where it may or may not come to the floor for a vote.

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12:03pm

Sun December 30, 2012
Music

It's Never Early To Think About 2013's Best Music

Originally published on Wed January 30, 2013 12:22 pm

Radiohead's Thom Yorke leads Atoms for Peace, his supergroup with Flea, Nigel Godrich, Joey Waronker and Mauro Refosco.
Courtesy of the artist

11:23am

Sun December 30, 2012
It's All Politics

Obama 'Modestly Optimistic' On Cliff Deal; 'He Won,' Says Graham

Originally published on Sun December 30, 2012 12:48 pm

President Obama returned early from his holiday in Hawaii on Thursday for discussions on the "fiscal cliff."
Charles Dharapak AP

President Obama went on the air to levy pressure on Congress Sunday as Senate leaders worked to negotiate a deal to avert the tax hikes and spending cuts known as the "fiscal cliff."

"I was modestly optimistic yesterday, but we don't yet see an agreement," Obama said in an interview with NBC's Meet the Press taped on Saturday. "Now the pressure's on Congress to produce."

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7:50am

Sun December 30, 2012
Kee Facts: A Few Things You Didn't Know

Close The Year Out With Some Best-Selling Last Words

Originally published on Sun December 30, 2012 5:27 pm

iStockphoto.com

People often make lists of the greatest opening lines in fiction, but closing lines really appeal to me. They're your final moments with a book and can help you remember and treasure it forever.

The last weekend of the year seems an appropriate time to consider the final words of our favorite novels and short stories. Here are some that I'm especially fond of:

The Great Gatsby
F. Scott Fitzgerald
"So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past."

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5:11am

Sun December 30, 2012
It's All Politics

Massachusetts Freshman Brings Kennedys Back To Capitol Hill

Originally published on Sun December 30, 2012 4:39 pm

Joseph Kennedy III, son of former Rep. Joseph Kennedy II and grandson of the late Robert F. Kennedy, delivers his victory speech on Nov. 6 in Newton, Mass.
Bizuayehu Tesfaye AP

Last year marked the first time in more than six decades that there was no Kennedy in elected office in the nation's capital.

But that gap ends this week with the inauguration of Rep.-elect Joseph Kennedy III of Massachusetts. The son of former Rep. Joe Kennedy and the grandson of the late Robert F. Kennedy was elected by a 2-1 margin in his first run for office.

There's little denying that Kennedy's election was about more than just him.

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5:11am

Sun December 30, 2012
Business

Retail Workers Bear Brunt Of Sluggish Holiday Sales

Originally published on Sun December 30, 2012 4:51 pm

Pedestrians pass the Dow Jones display ticker in Times Square on Wednesday in New York. U.S. shoppers spent cautiously this holiday season, a disappointment for retailers that slashed prices to lure people into stores and now must hope for a post-Christmas burst of spending.
Frank Franklin II AP

Several large retailers took a leap of faith on what they thought would be a gangbuster holiday season, hiring more seasonal workers this year than last.

Sales during the two months before Christmas weren't all that stunning, however, and that's meant fewer opportunities for seasonal workers.

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5:10am

Sun December 30, 2012
It's All Politics

Conservatives Invoke NAACP Case In Fight For Secret Donors

Originally published on Sun December 30, 2012 9:27 pm

Republican strategist Karl Rove, shown at the Republican National Convention in August, is arguing for continued secrecy for the new class of million-dollar political donors.
David Goldman AP

Here's a question: What do Republican strategist Karl Rove and civil rights icon Rosa Parks have in common?

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5:10am

Sun December 30, 2012
World

Street Signs Intended To Give Pakistani City New Direction

Originally published on Wed March 20, 2013 10:31 am

Street signs in the city of Lahore, Pakistan, are rare. The few that exist are in disrepair, like the one above. Two entrepreneurs are looking to change that and improve navigation in the city.
Dina Temple-Raston

Landlords built Lahore in a haphazard way over centuries. They didn't concern themselves with city grids or sensible mapping. As a result, Lahore is renowned in Pakistan for being almost impossible to navigate.

And that's where Asim Fayaz and Khurram Siddiqi come in.

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5:09am

Sun December 30, 2012
Europe

The Mysterious Disappearance Of The Russian Crown Jewels

Originally published on Wed January 2, 2013 2:49 am

This necklace appears in the 1922 album at the USGS library, but not in the 1925 book on the Russian crown jewels.
www.usgs.gov

The story of the missing Russian crown jewels begins, as so many great adventures do, in a library.

In this case, it was the U.S. Geological Survey Library in Reston, Va.

Richard Huffine, the director, was looking through the library's rare-book collection when he came upon an oversized volume.

"And there's no markings on the outside, there's no spine label or anything like that," he says. "This one caught our eye, and we pulled it aside to take a further look at it."

Researcher Jenna Nolt was one of those who took a look.

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