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Lame Duck Session Begins With Low Productivity

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Lawmakers were only in Washington two out of the 14 weeks before the election. Now that they're back, they're not getting much done either.

Last week, House lawmakers only had two vote series, six votes on bills that many say are of no consequence, and one struck the word lunatic from federal codebooks.

Currently bottled up in the House is a reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act and the Farm Bill. Besides the Bush-era tax cuts, a series of tax credits for renewable energy firms are also set to expire at year's end, which Connolly bemoans.

"We have a well deserved reputation for the 112th Congress being one of the least productive Congress in history," he says.

This week, the region's senators were also frustrated that Republicans defeated a United Nations convention on disabilities.

NPR

'Kingdom' Examines Afghanistan Through The Prism Of The Karzai Family

Journalist Joshua Partlow was in Afghanistan from 2009 to 2012, a time of corruption, government dysfunction and civilian hostility to U.S. military operations. His new book is A Kingdom of Their Own.
NPR

Long Absent In China, Tipping Makes A Comeback At A Few Trendy Restaurants

Viewed for decades as capitalist exploitation, tipping is now encouraged at some upscale urban restaurants catering to wealthy young customers. Restaurateurs insist it's strictly voluntary.
NPR

Do Fact Checks Matter?

Voters' minds are stubborn, and politicians habitually spout falsehoods. That doesn't mean fact-checking is a failure, though.
NPR

This Afternoon, Elon Musk Unveils His Plan For Colonizing Mars

In a speech at the International Astronautical Congress in Guadalajara, Mexico, the billionaire tech entrepreneur is expected to detail his vision for sending humans to the Red Planet.

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