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Cautious Optimism For Behind-The-Scenes Fiscal Dealing

The deadline for the so-called "fiscal cliff" is fast-approaching. The combination of automatic spending cuts and tax hikes go into effect in just three days. NPR's Ari Shapiro talks with host Jacki Lyden about where congressional leaders are on a deal.

'Truth By Repetition': The Evolution Of Political Mudslinging

Two former reporters are now making a living digging up dirt on political candidates. They help their clients find obscured truths on their competition — and on themselves. While name-calling isn't new, there are more ways to spread a damaging message. But as this election showed, that message isn't always factually based.

Ruiz Part Of The New Class Of A Diverse Congress

The freshman class of the 113th Congress is the most diverse in congressional history. As part of a series on who the newbies are, NPR's Karen Grigsby Bates profiles Representative-elect Raul Ruiz, who gave up a career as an emergency room physician to improve life in his California desert community of the Coachella Valley.

Obama: 'The American People Are Watching What We Do Here'

It was hardly the first time the president had been standing at the White House briefing room podium, asking lawmakers to finally, before time runs out, agree to his plan or cut a deal, and spare the world some gratuitous economic pain.

Congressional Leaders Hopeful As Fiscal Cliff Deadline Nears

Even though the top four congressional leaders left their White House meeting with the president separately and silently Friday, they cast the hourlong encounter in a positive light back at the Capitol.