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"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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It's All Politics

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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It's All Politics

Congressional Leaders Hopeful As Fiscal Cliff Deadline Nears

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Wayne LaPierre, the National Rifle Association's executive vice president, speaks in response to the Connecticut school shootings, at a news conference in Washington on Friday. Evan Vucci/AP hide caption

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U.S.

Democrats Slam NRA's Response To School Shooting

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Visitors at the Chichen Itza archaeological park in Yucatan state, Mexico, celebrate the end of the Mayan calendar cycle. Even a failed apocalypse has value, in reminding us that life is fragile and unpredictable. Pedro Pardo/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Commentary

The Mayan Apocalypse: Worthwhile, In Hindsight

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Saturday

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The photo that touched many hearts: New York City Police Officer Lawrence DePrimo gives a shoeless man a pair of boots on a frigid night last month. Jennifer Foster/NYPD via Facebook hide caption

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Simon Says

A N.Y. Cop's Good Intentions, Complicated Results

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A flag urges customers to shop locally near a store in Boalsburg, Pa., on Friday. Owners of small stores hope to get a boost from Small Business Saturday. Genaro C. Armas/AP hide caption

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Business

Shopping? Small Retailers Want Your Business, Too

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Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. speaks to constituents in Chicago in 2009. Jackson resigned from Congress on Wednesday, following a hospitalization and an investigation into misuse of campaign funds. Scott Olson/Getty Images hide caption

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Simon Says

Jesse Jackson Jr.: Great Hopes And Disappointments

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President Obama reaches to shake hands with House Speaker John Boehner, during a meeting Friday at the White House to discuss the deficit and economy. Carolyn Kaster/AP hide caption

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Economy

Solving Fiscal Cliff Math Might Come Down To Two

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Food Network star Guy Fieri just opened a new restaurant in Times Square. New York Times restaurant critic Pete Wells isn't a fan, so why did he eat there in the first place? Jeff Christensen/AP hide caption

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Simon Says

If The Pretzel Chicken Isn't Awesome, Why Review It?

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President Obama speaks about the economy and the deficit at the White House on Friday. He says this time around, he has proof that Americans agree with his approach. Carolyn Kaster/AP hide caption

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Politics

Taxing Work Ahead: Have Negotiating Tables Turned?

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From left, Sens. Max Baucus (D-Mont.), Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and Sen. Jim Webb (D-Va.) await President Obama's State of the Union address in January 2011, when a bipartisan seating arrangement symbolically suggested a more cooperative spirit among lawmakers. Brendan Smialowski/Getty Images hide caption

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Simon Says

Making A Case For Closer Contact In Congress

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Children run after a truck loaded with presents for Eid Al-Adha in a refugee camp near Atma, Idlib province, Syria. A powerful car bomb exploded in Damascus on Friday and scattered fighting broke out in several areas across Syria, quickly dashing any hopes that a holiday cease-fire would hold. Manu Brabo/AP hide caption

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Middle East

Little Festivity As Syria's Holiday Cease-Fire Fails

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Frank Tanabe votes via absentee ballot with the help of his daughter, Barbara (left) and wife, Setsuko, in Honolulu on Oct. 17. He died the following week. Irene Tanabe/AP hide caption

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Simon Says

WWII Veteran Fought To Cast His Last Vote

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