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Election-Year Realities Bring Compromise On Payroll Taxes And More

There'll still be plenty of disagreements. Compromise seems next to impossible on Democratic proposals to raise taxes on the wealthy, for instance. But the congressional Republican leaders are clearly becoming more selective on where they draw the line.

President's 2013 Budget Includes Slight Boost For Arts, Cultural Agencies

Several arts and cultural institutions saw their allotment rise by about 5 percent in President Obama's proposed 2013 budget. The proposed spending of $1.576 billion — in a budget of $3.8 trillion — includes good news for the Smithsonian Institution and the National Endowments for the Arts.

Does Contraception Really Pay For Itself?

The Obama administration claims health insurance companies won't have a problem providing free contraceptive coverage for women who work at religious groups because it is much cheaper for the industry when pregnancies are planned.

Why America Pursues More Perfect Politics

We're a nation in search of the perfect birth, martini, pizza, golf swing, job, dress and financial plan. How do we square the American quest for flawlessness with quirky caucuses and wacky candidate selection?

Poll: Obama Hits 50% Approval, Leads All GOP Rivals, For Now

The poll, released Tuesday, found President Obama's approval rating had bounced back up to 50 percent from 47 percent in January. Not a huge improvement but in presidential politics, getting to at least 50 percent approval is key for an incumbent seeking re-election. The recovering economy gets much of the credit for his rising approval rates.

Mich. TV Ad Battle Pt 2: Santorum Uses Humor To Parry Romney

Rick Santorum's campaign has one of 2012's cleverest political ads. (Of course, we're only less than two months into the year.) The ad, intended to inoculate Santorum against the expected bombardment of negativity from Romney and his superPAC allies, shows a Romney lookalike with a mud-filled paint-gun stalking and shooting at a cardboard cutout of Santorum and missing every time.