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Four Reasons The Supercommittee Isn't So Super

The panel's inability to tackle its assigned responsibilities should have come as no surprise, some political observers say. In fact, failure may have been built into the process from the beginning.

Supercommittee Unlikely To Make Deadline

Failure of the supercommittee to find the $1.2 trillion in cuts it was charged to identify are expected to trigger automatic budget cuts that start in 2013. Meanwhile, many in Congress assumed the group would include in its bill extensions of a payroll tax cut and unemployment benefits — both of which will expire at the end of December unless Congress acts to extend them. NPR's Tamara Keith speaks to Robert Siegel with the latest from Capitol Hill.

Former Romney Aides Deleted Electronic Footprint

Before Mitt Romney left the Massachusetts governor's office, 11 of his aides purchased more than a dozen computer hard drives and the administration wiped a server clean. The Boston Globe first reported the story last week. Aides to Romney's Republican predecessors describe the actions as unprecedented. Romney defended his administration at a campaign appearance on Saturday. And his campaign has filed a public records request for contacts between the administration of Romney's successor, Democratic Governor Deval Patrick and President Obama's reelection campaign.

Supercommittee's Failure Could Have Super Political Fallout

Coming as it does now less than a year before the 2012 general election, the failure of the panel to achieve at least $1.2 trillion in deficit reduction means each major political will now be focused on trying to persuade voters its rival party is more responsible for the breakdown.