7:43am

Mon August 1, 2011
Opinion

Weekly Standard: It's Obama's Economy

President Barack Obama pauses as he speaks from White House briefing room, Sunday, July 31, 2011 in Washington, about a deal being reached to raise the debt limit.
Carolyn Kaster AP

Stephen F. Hayes is a senior writer for The Weekly Standard.

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7:43am

Mon August 1, 2011
Opinion

New Republic: 'Debt Ceiling' Doesn't Mean Anything

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., gives a thumbs up as he walks to the Senate floor to announce that a deal has been reached on the debt ceiling on Capitol Hill in Washington, Sunday, July 31, 2011.
Harry Hamburg AP

Walter Shapiro is a special correspondent for The New Republic.

Twenty-six years ago — as part of the price for raising the federal debt ceiling to a shocking $2 trillion — Congress, in a wave of fiscal self-flagellation, approved the Gramm-Rudman bill. If a spendthrift Congress failed to meet prescribed deficit targets, then Gramm-Rudman would slice the budget with the across-the-board subtlety of Sweeney Todd.

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6:59am

Mon August 1, 2011
Education

Kentuckians Prepare for Japanese Teaching

The March earthquake and tsunami in Japan devastated parts of that country and shook the economy around the world. It did not, however, shake the resolve of several Kentuckians who are headed to Japan this weekend to start new jobs. The Japan Exchange and Teaching (JET) Program hires English-speaking college graduates to teach in Japanese public schools. Adrienne Ledbetter is from Bowling Green and is headed to a city near Mt. Fuji that recently faced a food crisis after authorities found radiation-tainted beef.

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6:55am

Mon August 1, 2011
All Politics are Local

Beshear With Big Lead Over Williams

Less than a week before the annual Fancy Farm picnic, a new poll shows Democratic Governor Steve Beshear with a crushing 24-point lead over Republican challenger David Williams in the Kentucky 2011 gubernatorial race. According to the survey of 512 likely voters, Williams, who is the state Senate President, has a likability problem that is holding him back among likely voters.

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6:52am

Mon August 1, 2011
Business and the Economy

LEX/LOU Rail Line in Jeopardy

Plans for a possible rail line connecting Louisville, Lexington and Frankfort are moving forward, but that progress could soon stop. The man behind the concept is leaving his job. Executive director of the Kentucky Capital Development Corporation Ralph Tharp first released his plans for the line earlier this year. But his contract with the corporation will not be renewed. Tharp says he has the support of mayors along the route and he will continue to work on the project until his contract expires in October.

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4:59am

Mon August 1, 2011
Books News & Features

Brattleboro: Vermont's Hotbed Of Fictional Crime

Archer Mayor exposes the seedy underbelly of Brattleboro, Vt., in his mystery novels. But it's a challenge to bring out the dark side; Brattleboro, and Vermont in general, the author says, are "inordinately pleasant" places.
Ken Gallager

Brattleboro, Vt., is a bucolic town — pricked with picturesque church steeples — and home to a vibrant arts community. So it's an unlikely setting for gruesome murder and gritty crime, but that's just what goes on in Archer Mayor's Brattleboro-based Joe Gunther detective series.

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4:59am

Mon August 1, 2011
Arts & Life

Life-Like Mannequins Inspire Real-Life Shoppers

Originally published on Tue August 2, 2011 12:41 am

These sculpted clay heads reflect the variety of realistic and abstract designs in today's mannequins.
Grace Hood for NPR

A mannequin maker in Colorado is helping retailers boost clothing sales by creating more life-like models. These are custom-made mannequins that look like the real people who shop in stores — or the way shoppers imagine themselves.

In a Disney Store in Southern California, an employee helps a young customer wave a purple wand at a talking mirror. It's part of the store's redesign, which includes playful child-size mannequins that encourage shoppers to interact with the merchandise. The mannequins appear to curtsy and jump after balloons.

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4:59am

Mon August 1, 2011
Middle East

Protests In Israel Target High Housing Costs

A tent camp has been set up on the promenade that lines Rothschild Boulevard, one of Tel Aviv's most expensive residential streets.
Uriel Sinai Getty Images

Domestic protests have dominated the headlines in Israel in recent weeks, as strikes over the high cost of living have spread across the country. But while the local media have termed it Israel's own Arab Spring, the protesters say they are far from calling for revolution.

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4:45am

Mon August 1, 2011
Politics

Path Ahead For Debt Legislation Remains Uncertain

After weeks of mounting anxiety and collapsed deals, Congressional leaders and President Obama reached an agreement Sunday night to end the debt ceiling crisis. Those leaders will attempt to sell that deal to fellow lawmakers Monday, and if all goes well, a bill increasing the debt ceiling by nearly a trillion dollars could await the president's signature Tuesday.

That's the day the Treasury Department had said the nation's first-ever default could occur if Congress failed to act.

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