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Politics
6:15 am
Sat January 28, 2012

The Smart Politician's Guide To Avoiding Scandal

When former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin addressed attendees at the National Tea Party Convention in Nashville, Tenn., on Feb. 6, 2010, she appeared to have notes written on her left hand.
Ed Reinke AP

Originally published on Fri December 14, 2012 6:06 pm

Politics may be show business for ugly people, but you don't have to be ugly about it yourself.

It's become a cliche to describe the endless series of Republican presidential debates as a reality show. But lately a lot of politicians have been acting as though they were looking to secure a spot on the "now trending" lists of Internet search engines.

Secretly donating sperm to lesbians in New Zealand? Seriously?

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Presidential Race
6:18 pm
Fri January 27, 2012

GOP Candidates Wrangle Over Reagan's Legacy

President Ronald Reagan rides his horse at his Rancho del Cielo, "Ranch in the Sky," located outside Santa Barbara, Calif., in April 1985.
Pete Souza AP

As he campaigns for the Republican presidential nomination, Newt Gingrich almost always works the name of Ronald Reagan into his speeches.

In fact, it's become so common that Gingrich's name-dropping has become an issue itself.

Sometimes Gingrich invokes the name of Ronald Reagan to associate himself with the policies of the former president.

"When I worked with President Reagan, we adopted a lower tax, less regulation, more American energy policy, and it led to 16 million new jobs," Gingrich said at a speech in St. Petersburg, Fla., this week.

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The Salt
6:03 pm
Fri January 27, 2012

Beyond Black Beans And Rice: Cuban Chefs Go Modern

Lobster salad, pineapple sorbet and truffle oil-infused black sesame seeds, as prepared by Cuban Chef Luis Alberto Alfonso Pérez.
Robert Vesco

Ham sandwiches, hot-pressed and gooey with cheese. Neat piles of black beans and rice. Grilled chicken.

This is the simple, filling fare served at Cuban restaurants around the world. And like the iconic, rusty Studebakers that line the streets of Havana, Cuban food hasn't changed much since the 1950s. The communist government's stranglehold on the economy, combined with the U.S. trade embargo, has meant that Cuban chefs haven't picked up the modern cooking techniques, or exotic ingredients, that have invigorated the cuisines of much of the rest of the world.

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Poetry
5:54 pm
Fri January 27, 2012

NewsPoet: Tracy K. Smith Writes The Day In Verse

Tracy K. Smith poses for a portrait outside of NPR headquarters in Washington, D.C., on Friday.
Mito Habe-Evans NPR

Originally published on Wed July 25, 2012 3:40 pm

Today marks the start of an exciting project at All Things Considered called NewsPoet. Each month we'll be bringing in a poet to spend time in the newsroom — and at the end, to compose a poem reflecting on the day's news.

The first poet to participate is Tracy K. Smith. She has received degrees in English and creative writing from Harvard College, Columbia University, and was a Wallace Stegner Fellow in Poetry at Stanford University. Her latest book of poems is titled Life on Mars.

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The Two-Way
5:30 pm
Fri January 27, 2012

'Welcome Home Heroes' Parade For Iraq Vets Set For Saturday In St. Louis

Veterans of the war in Iraq will be honored Saturday morning in St. Louis in what organizers say is the first major welcome home parade in the nation.

Local KSDK-TV reports that "75 floats, two marching bands and the Budweiser Clydesdales" will be involved.

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Education
5:22 pm
Fri January 27, 2012

Higher Dropout Age May Not Lead To More Diplomas

President Obama delivers the commencement address for Kalamazoo Central High School's class of 2007 in Kalamazoo, Mich. The state requires students to stay in school until they turn 18.
Charles Dharapak AP

Originally published on Fri January 27, 2012 6:19 pm

In his State of the Union address, President Obama called on every state to require students to stay in school until they graduate or turn 18. "When students don't walk away from their education, more of them walk the stage to get their diploma," he said.

The White House cited studies that showed how raising the compulsory schooling age helps prevent kids from leaving school. And while some of that is true, some of it is also wishful thinking.

For New Hampshire Deputy Commissioner of Education Paul Leather, the president made the right call in his address.

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Shots - Health Blog
5:22 pm
Fri January 27, 2012

Romney's Unlikely And Persuasive Defense Of The 'Individual Mandate'

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney offered a spirited defense of the individual mandate during Thursday night's GOP presidential candidate debate in Jacksonville, Fla.
Matt Rourke AP

For a candidate who keeps vowing to repeal the 2010 federal Affordable Care Act, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney sure can make a convincing argument on its behalf.

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Planet Money
4:58 pm
Fri January 27, 2012

Rethinking The Oreo For Chinese Consumers

Kraft Foods has reinvented the Oreo for Chinese consumers. It's latest offering in China: straw-shaped wafers with vanilla-flavored cream filling.
Kraft Foods

Everyone knows what an Oreo cookie is supposed to be like. It's round, black and white, and intensely sweet. Has been for 100 years. But sometimes, in order to succeed in the world, even the most iconic product has to adapt.

In China, that meant totally reconsidering what gives an Oreo its Oreoness.

At first, though, Kraft Foods thought that the Chinese would love the Oreo. Who doesn't? They launched the product there in 1996 as a clone of the American version.

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It's All Politics
4:42 pm
Fri January 27, 2012

Obama Revs Up House Democrats For Election-Year Fight

Rep. John Larson, a Connecticut Democrat., introduces President Obama at the House Democratic Issues Conference on Friday in Cambridge, Md.
Haraz N. Ghanbari AP

Originally published on Mon January 30, 2012 10:09 am

President Obama flew out to Maryland's Eastern Shore on Friday to fire up his rank and file in Congress.

House Democrats have spent the past few days in their annual retreat, regrouping and strategizing for the year to come. Lawmakers say their hopes for success — in the economy and in politics — depend on sticking together and sending the same message to Americans.

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The Two-Way
4:30 pm
Fri January 27, 2012

Multiple Views Add Perspective To Colten Moore's Extreme Crash At X Games

Colten Moore lost his hold on his snowmobile in mid-air.
X Games

The cable news networks have been replaying a pretty spectacular crash from Thursday's snowmobile freestyle event at the X Games in Aspen, Colo.

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