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4:58 pm
Sun December 30, 2012

A Tough Year For Unions, With Few Bright Spots Ahead

Despite huge protests at Michigan's state capitol building in Lansing, Republican lawmakers in the state made the union stronghold the 24th right-to-work state in the country.
Rebecca Cook Reuters via Landov

Originally published on Sun December 30, 2012 5:55 pm

This year was a tough one for organized labor.

In June, Scott Walker — the Wisconsin governor who banned collective bargaining for public employee unions — survived a recall election.

And, despite huge protests in Michigan, the union stronghold became the 24th right-to-work state, banning unions from requiring workers to sign up. That came just 10 months after Indiana passed a similar law.

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It's All Politics
3:48 pm
Sun December 30, 2012

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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It's All Politics
3:16 pm
Sun December 30, 2012

McConnell Appeals To Biden To Break Through Fiscal Cliff Logjam

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

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

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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Music
12:03 pm
Sun December 30, 2012

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

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

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

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It's All Politics
10:58 am
Sun December 30, 2012

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

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

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

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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Kee Facts: A Few Things You Didn't Know
7:50 am
Sun December 30, 2012

Close The Year Out With Some Best-Selling Last Words

iStockphoto.com

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

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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Best Music Of 2012
7:03 am
Sun December 30, 2012

IMHO: A Survey About The Year In Music

The crowd at Orbital's performance at Moogfest in October.
Adam Kissick for NPR

Originally published on Fri January 4, 2013 6:26 pm

We asked musicians, music industry folks, writers, programmers and DJs — fans all — to tell us how they saw 2012 in music. We sent them five questions asking what began and what fell apart, what made them happy and what disappointed them. They told us about bands that broke up, albums they fell in love with, trends that waxed and waned, tools and ideas that came and went. They rue the movement of some sounds into the mainstream and celebrate the partnering of others. They took our questions seriously, and they've got jokes.

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Music
6:45 am
Sun December 30, 2012

Investigating The Anatomy Of The Musical Earworm

Originally published on Sun December 30, 2012 12:45 pm

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

Unless you spent December avoiding the mall, the television, higher ends of the FM dial and those cute carolers that come to your door, there's a pretty good chance you heard one of these.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG MONTAGE)

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #1: (Singing) Sleigh bells ring, are you listening?

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #2: (Singing) Silver bells, silver bells...

MARIAH CAREY: (Singing) All I want for Christmas is you...

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Commentary
5:12 am
Sun December 30, 2012

On Your Plate In 2013, Expect Kimchi And Good-For-You Greens

Commentator Bonny Wolf expects Asian cuisine such as kimchi fried rice to become even more popular in 2013.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Sun December 30, 2012 5:14 pm

Weekend Edition food commentator Bonny Wolf offers her predictions of what we'll eat in the new year.

Asia is the new Europe. It's been gradual: from pan-Asian, Asian fusion and Asian-inspired to just deciding among Vietnamese, Korean, Tibetan and Burmese for dinner.

Should we have the simple food of the Thai plateau or the hot, salty, sour foods of southern Thailand?

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Business
5:11 am
Sun December 30, 2012

Retail Workers Bear Brunt Of Sluggish Holiday Sales

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

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

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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