Some 15 percent of the U.S. population lived below the poverty line in 2011, according to a report from the Census Bureau. Tavis Smiley and Cornel West, co-authors of The Rich and the Rest of the U.S., argue that both political parties virtually ignore the issue of poverty.
The Chesapeake Bay once supplied most of the nation's oysters, but overharvesting and disease nearly wiped them out. Now, major public-private efforts to re-establish the oyster as a quality local food product appear to be working. And chefs say the results are sweeter than oysters from other waters.
It's the season of peace and goodwill, but President Obama may have tested the limits of both with comments at his end-of-year news conference. He suggested Republicans would be "crazy" to wage a new debt ceiling fight and seemed to question even his allies' motives on Iran sanctions.
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