The Two-Way
5:30 am
Wed September 7, 2011

Reports: Obama To Propose $300 Billion Package Aimed At Boosting Jobs

President Obama on Labor Day in Detroit.
Bill Pugliano Getty Images

President Obama will propose "$300 billion in federal spending and tax cuts" when he addresses the nation Thursday night during a joint session of Congress, The Associated Press and other news outlets are reporting.

The AP says that:

"According to people familiar with the White House deliberations, two of the biggest measures in the president's proposals for 2012 are expected to be a one-year extension of a payroll tax cut for workers and an extension of expiring jobless benefits. Together those two would total about $170 billion. ...

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National Security
2:34 am
Wed September 7, 2011

For Now, Shoes Still Come Off At Airport Security

Homeland Security Department Secretary Janet Napolitano predicted Tuesday that airline passengers in the future will no longer be instructed to remove their shoes at airport security checkpoints, but she said the technology to scan shoe-wearing passengers for bombs does not yet exist and may not be available soon.

No technology meets government standards to screen shoes for explosives at airports while passengers wear them. Officials have not been able to say for certain that this technology will exist in the future, though they are working to develop it.

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Shots - Health Blog
10:01 pm
Tue September 6, 2011

Conservatives Step Up Attacks On Public Funding For Birth Control

A survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation found two-thirds of respondents were in favor of the new requirement for insurance plans to offer prescription birth control without a copay or deductible.
Hamiza Bakirci

It used to be that opposition to publicly funded birth control was linked to abortion.

Either the birth control in question allegedly caused abortion, or the organization providing the birth control (read: Planned Parenthood) also performed abortions. But that's changing.

These days, more and more voices are opposing the provision of birth control for its own sake.

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Election 2012
10:01 pm
Tue September 6, 2011

In GOP Presidential Field, Science Finds Skeptics

A sow polar bear rests with her cubs on pack ice in the Beaufort Sea in northern Alaska, in an undated photo.
Steve Amstrup U.S Fish and Wild Life Service/AP

Republican presidential hopefuls gather Wednesday at the Ronald Reagan presidential library in California for perhaps the first critical debate of the primary election season.

Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who has publicly doubted the science of climate change and says creationism should be taught alongside evolution, is the new front-runner for the GOP presidential nomination. He's not alone in these views. If the topic of science comes up during the debate, the views of all of the GOP presidential candidates will be on display before a national audience.

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10:01 pm
Tue September 6, 2011

Who Will Buy Hulu?

A large-scale promotional campaign launched by Hulu during the 2009 Super Bowl featured Alec Baldwin as a spokesperson.
Courtesy of Hulu

For people who watch TV and movies over the Internet rather than the airwaves or cable, Hulu is one of the most popular sources of content. The company has offered streaming, on-demand access to select television shows and movies since it launched in 2008. Now,the site's owners are looking to cash in, and some big guns — including Google, Amazon, Yahoo and Dish Network — are showing interest.

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Reflecting On Sept. 11, 2001
10:01 pm
Tue September 6, 2011

Afghan Negotiator: Taliban Leaders Still A Mystery

Umar Daudzai is Afghanistan's chief negotiator with the Taliban.
Nishant Dahiya NPR

As war grinds on in Afghanistan, there is increasing talk about finding a negotiated solution. It's a complicated proposition that would presumably involve the Afghan government, the United States, Pakistan, the Taliban and potentially others as well.

One man who would be a key figure in any negotiation is Umar Daudzai.

Afghanistan's President Hamid Karzai has made Daudzai his chief negotiator with the Taliban.

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10:01 pm
Tue September 6, 2011

Baghdad College And America's Shifting Role In Iraq

Students play a basketball game on the campus of Iraq's Baghdad College, in this undated photograph.
Ed Ou The New York Times

Originally published on Wed September 7, 2011 1:57 pm

A school founded by Americans in Iraq before the Saddam Hussein era is an emblem of a time when the United States was known in the Middle East not for military action, but for culture and education. That's the view of Puliter Prize-winning New York Times correspondent Anthony Shadid, who recently wrote an essay about the school, titled "The American Age, Iraq."

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Around the Nation
10:01 pm
Tue September 6, 2011

Faith Community Helps Steady Cathedral After Quake

The National Cathedral has hosted some of the most memorable prayer services and state funerals from the past 100 years. President Obama will speak there on Sunday to mark the 10th anniversary of Sept. 11; he also held his inaugural prayer service at the historic church, like many presidents have done.

But the structure was hit hard by last month's 5.8 magnitude earthquake that rattled the East Coast. Now, it could take years for the landmark to recover.

Crumbling Masonry

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Sweetness And Light
8:00 pm
Tue September 6, 2011

It's A Coin Toss: Presidential Speech Or Football?

Years ago, it was an occasional debate among press box sociologists about which sport was more attractive to members of the two political parties.

The consensus was that football was more for Republicans, baseball for Democrats — the general reasoning being that GOP types were more militarily inclined, as is the gridiron game, and that since football had long been more a college sport, and more Republicans had gone to college, football had a greater Republican tradition.

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WYDOT funding
5:47 pm
Tue September 6, 2011

WYDOT awaits verdict on federal funding for highways

CHEYENNE, WY (wpr) - Wyoming Department of Transportation officials are nervously wondering if Congress will vote to extend federal funding for highway projects, and whether or not budget cuts will be part of any extension.

WYDOT Chief Engineer Delbert McComie says he's heard that if an extension is granted, it could include a 30- to 35-percent budget cut.

"Right now our construction program is based on 85 percent federal funding with a 15 percent state match. So it would have a dramatic effect on us if the bill is not extended or cut back."

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