As politicians go, California Rep. Xavier Becerra has a relatively low profile considering that he's been in Congress for 18 years. He's the vice chairman of the Democratic Caucus, the former head of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus and the first Latino to serve on the powerful Ways and Means Committee.
When the Democrats had the House majority, Nancy Pelosi appointed him to the new post of assistant to the speaker. And earlier this month, she chose him to join the supercommittee tasked with finding a way to cut $1 trillion from the federal deficit.
It's that time of year again; when the peaches are sweet and the blackberries are ripe on the bush. So how about skipping straight to dessert?
Chris Kimball hosts public television's America's Test Kitchen, where he and a team of full-time cooks test recipes to perfection. He says that when it comes to summertime desserts, it's important to highlight the best aspects of what's in season.
"You take the principle ingredient, usually fruit," he says, "and you let it shine."
Monday marks 15 years since President Clinton signed an overhaul of the nation's welfare system into law. The president said the measure wasn't perfect, but provided a historic opportunity to fix a system that didn't work.
"Today we are ending welfare as we know it," he said in a Rose Garden ceremony on Aug. 22, 1996. "But I hope this day will be remembered not for what it ended, but for what it began."
What it was supposed to begin was a program that would get the poor into the workforce and end their dependence on public aid.
On a balmy August evening in Concord, N.H., the smells of summer float through the air: cooking meat, freshly cut grass and bug spray. A few hundred Ron Paul supporters have gathered under a white tent to hear their candidate speak at the opening of his state campaign headquarters.
They're excited about the Texas congressman's close second-place finish at the Republican presidential straw poll in Ames, Iowa. They're also a little frustrated that it hasn't been getting more attention.
If you glance around university corridors or scientific meetings, it's obvious that African-Americans are uncommon in the world of science. A study in Science magazine now finds that the black scientists who do start careers in medical research are at a big disadvantage when it comes to funding.