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3:11pm

Tue December 6, 2011
U.S.

Battle Cry: Occupy's Messaging Tactics Catch On

Many people who've joined the Occupy Wall Street movement say the months of communal living have been the experience of a lifetime. One of the movement's hallmarks — the "people's mic" — has come to represent the movement's collective spirit.

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3:08pm

Tue December 6, 2011
Election 2012

Gingerly, GOP Contenders Address Payroll Tax Cut

Originally published on Tue December 6, 2011 5:36 pm

White House press secretary Jay Carney speaks Monday during his daily press briefing, as a clock counting down the expiration of the payroll tax cut benefit looms in the background.
Alex Wong Getty Images

At the end of this month, a payroll tax cut is set to expire that the White House says would result in a tax increase of about $1,000 per year on most middle-class families. The benefit is popular with the American people, which may be one reason President Obama has been relentlessly promoting it.

The president argues that extending the payroll tax "holiday" through 2012 is vital to the economy. Republicans in Congress are divided over that, but they strongly disagree with the president's plan to pay for it with a surtax on millionaires.

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2:30pm

Tue December 6, 2011
It's All Politics

Judicial Wars Flare As Senate Blocks Obama Nominee

Originally published on Tue December 6, 2011 4:23 pm

Caitlin J. Halligan, then a lawyer for New York State, and attorney David Boies spoke in the Court of Appeals in Albany in 2005. On Tuesday, Senate Republicans blocked Halligan's nomination to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia.
Jim McKnight AP

Senate Republicans have blocked the nomination of Caitlin Halligan to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. A Senate majority of 54 voted to break the filibuster, but that number falls short of the 60 votes needed under Senate rules.

Although Halligan won bipartisan praise from legal and law enforcement groups, Republicans portrayed her as a left-wing activist for positions she took while representing the state of New York as its chief appellate lawyer.

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2:17pm

Tue December 6, 2011
The Two-Way

U.S. Says It Will Use Foreign Aid To Promote Gay Rights

How a country treats its gay and lesbian citizens may now play a role in the foreign aid it receives from the United States.

The New York Times reports that the Obama administration issued a memo telling agencies to find ways to deter countries from criminalizing homosexuality.

The Times adds:

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1:55pm

Tue December 6, 2011
Opinion

The Magic Of Music And A Little Room To Groove

istockphoto.com

Alan Heathcock is the author of the collection Volt.

Last week, my wife suggested we have a dance floor installed in our family room. She was smiling ear-to-ear, wiping sweat from her eyes. Behind her, our three kids took turns showing off their moves as Michael Jackson's P.Y.T. blared over the speakers.

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