5:00pm

Mon November 21, 2011
Politics

Four Reasons The Supercommittee Isn't So Super

Originally published on Mon November 21, 2011 5:12 pm

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., a member of the congressional supercommittee on the deficit, fends off reporters as he arrives to meet in the Capitol Hill office of Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., on Monday.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

When the bipartisan supercommittee on the federal debt was formed four months ago, there was more than a little skepticism that the 12-member group could come up with $1.2 trillion in savings and avoid a severe round of automatic government budget cuts.

On Monday, with the deadline fast approaching and no plan in sight, it looked like the skeptics were on the verge of being proved right.

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4:57pm

Mon November 21, 2011
The Two-Way

Supercommittee Admits It's Failed To Reach A Deal

The co-chairs of the Supercommittee made it official, minutes ago: They said they have failed to reach an agreement over a deficit reduction package.

The AP reports:

"Democratic Sen. Patty Murray and Republican Rep. Jeb Hensarling say that despite 'intense deliberations' the members of the panel have been unable 'to bridge the committee's significant differences.'

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4:57pm

Mon November 21, 2011
The Salt

Farm-Fresh Food May Have Shaped The Modern Mouth

Originally published on Tue November 22, 2011 10:04 am

Anthropologists say early humans who hunted and gathered had longer jaws to hold all those teeth.
iStockphoto.com

Got a mouthful of metal and stack of orthodontic bills? You can thank your farmer ancestors for them.

That's according to an anthropologist who says the switch from chewing wild game to eating corn, rice and wheat could have shortened the human jaw so that teeth don't fit in it as well.

When agriculture took off in some parts of the world, it had a lot to offer people: Farmed foods are a more reliable source of calories, and are easier to chew and digest. But they also may have helped transform the jaw bone before the teeth could catch up.

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4:20pm

Mon November 21, 2011
Middle East

In Iran, Secret Plans To Abolish The Presidency?

Originally published on Mon November 21, 2011 9:27 pm

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

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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4:20pm

Mon November 21, 2011
Politics

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

Originally published on Mon November 21, 2011 7:30 pm

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

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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4:08pm

Mon November 21, 2011
Three Books...

Presidents And Pilgrims: 3 Boundary Pushing Books

Originally published on Mon November 21, 2011 9:27 pm

Donna Neary flickr.com

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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4:03pm

Mon November 21, 2011
Politics

Obama's Hands-Off Approach To The Supercommittee

Originally published on Mon November 21, 2011 4:03 pm

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

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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4:00pm

Mon November 21, 2011
Planet Money

Buying A Savings Bond Is About To Get Harder

Originally published on Wed May 23, 2012 11:15 am

U.S. Treasury Department

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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3:57pm

Mon November 21, 2011
Shots - Health Blog

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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3:55pm

Mon November 21, 2011

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