"I'm optimistic we may still be able to reach an agreement that can pass both houses in time," the president said after meeting with congressional leaders at the White House on Friday. Evan Vucci/AP hide caption

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Obama: 'The American People Are Watching What We Do Here'

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House Speaker John Boehner arrives at the White House on Friday for talks with President Obama and congressional leaders aimed at avoiding the "fiscal cliff." Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Congressional Leaders Hopeful As Fiscal Cliff Deadline Nears

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Feudin' And Fightin' George Jones
Sky King Danny Gatton

A man wears a costume reading "Dad" and "Mom" during a demonstration against gay marriage and adoption by same-sex couples in Nice, France, in October. Valery Hache /AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Same-Sex Marriage And Adoption: Unresolved Issues In France

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Left Bank Air
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Left Bank
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Pocket Symphony
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Air

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Musician Kristina Olsen says Tibetan prayer flags flying over porches near her home in Venice, Calif., became the inspiration for a song. Courtesy of the artist hide caption

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'Prayer Flags,' A Song About Waiting On Heavenly Help

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Think I'm In Love Beck
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Information
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Steve (Matt Damon), a salesman for a large oil company, visits a small town in which he hopes to buy drilling rights. Scott Green/Focus Features hide caption

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Matt Damon On His Promising New Film

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Home of the Blues Johnny Cash
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The Essential Johnny Cash 1955-1983
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Ring of Fire Lucy Kaplansky
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Candlelight Michael Gallant Trio

Pocket versions of the Proclamation of Emancipation were distributed through Union troops to be read to slaves. Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture hide caption

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'Watch Nights,' A New Year's Celebration Of Emancipation

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A fragment of the 2,000-year-old Dead Sea Scrolls is laid out at a laboratory in Jerusalem. More than 60 years after their discovery, 5,000 images of the ancient scrolls are now online. Uriel Sinai/Getty Images hide caption

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Virtually Anyone Can See The Dead Sea Scrolls Now

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Fountain of Youth John Kruth
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Banshee Mandolin
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The London headquarters of EMI, whose sale this year brought the number of major labels from four to three. Simon Dawson/Bloomberg via Getty Images hide caption

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Reflecting On EMI, An Industry Giant Felled In 2012

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No Feelings The Sex Pistols
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Any Colour You Like [Instrumental] Pink Floyd
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