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Facing The Fiscal Cliff: Congress' Next Showdown

In December, Congress is poised for another showdown on the deficit and taxes, in what is now being called the fiscal cliff. In his new book Red Ink, David Wessel explains how the federal budget got to the point where it is today — and where to go from here.

'Olimpicamente': In Praise Of Feistiness And Big Feet

Poet Monica de la Torre takes inspiration from Mexican taekwondo champion Maria del Rosario Espinoza. "I am dumbfounded and positively moved by Maria del Rosario's improbable story," the poet says.
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Art Beat With Sean Rameswaram, July 31

Charlotte Dumas in Northwest and bachata in Bethesda.


Fresh Air Remembers Actress Lupe Ontiveros

Lupe Ontiveros, known for her role in the 1997 film Selena, died Thursday at the age of 69. Fresh Air remembers the Latina actress, who was often called on to play the role of the maid, with excerpts from a 2002 interview.

Getting Old Is Hard, Even (And Especially) For Models

Supermodels open up about aging in a youth-obsessed industry in the HBO documentary About Face: The Supermodels Then and Now. "I really insisted that I not be retouched in Playboy," says Carol Alt. "... I'm 49 years old, and that was the point ... I let every bump and flaw show."

A Portrait Of A Country Awash In 'Red Ink'

Wall Street Journal economics writer David Wessel's new book, Red Ink, lays out in unsparing terms the way the U.S. government spends money, who pays what in taxes, and why politicians can't seem to agree on ways to reduce the potentially catastrophic deficit.

Writer Has A Down-Home Feel For Atlanta's Dark Side

Growing up near Atlanta, Karin Slaughter learned that tragic crimes can happen to anyone — even children. She says she sets her crime fiction in Atlanta as a way to honor the city's people and turning points, from the election of its first black mayor to the 1996 Olympics.

'Lifting,' And Lifted By, Words

Poet Ouyang Yu imagines an Olympic event in which he lifts up just one extraordinary word. "The magic of the word is that, when well lifted, it has the power to transform," Yu says.

Matthew McConaughey's Year Of Acting Dangerously

At the very least, fans will remember 2012 as the year the rom-com star revolutionized his career. McConaughey stars in five different independent films, tackling smaller, character-actor roles instead of the suave leading man roles we've come to associate him with.

'Sorry Please Thank You': Technically, We're All Alone

Smartphones and tablets just need a flick of a finger to keep us updated about news and friends anytime, anywhere. As much as we're connected, though, we're also detached. That's a big theme in a new book of short stories by author Charles Yu.