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Editorial Results (free)

1. Obama health adviser apologizes for 'glib' remarks -

WASHINGTON (AP) — MIT economist Jonathan Gruber — an adviser on the president's health care law — told Congress on Tuesday he was glib and "inexcusably arrogant" when he said it was "the stupidity of the American voter" that led to the law's passage. Democrats tried to limit the damage as the GOP raked Gruber at a four-hour hearing, but they acknowledged he has given Republicans a political gift "wrapped in a bow."

2. Reid opposes Obama court pick -

WASHINGTON (AP) — Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, one of the Obama administration's staunchest allies in Congress, announced his opposition Thursday to Michael Boggs' nomination to the federal bench, dealing a strong if not fatal blow to the former Georgia state lawmaker's confirmation hopes.

3. Pipeline, energy bill backers vow to keep up fight -

WASHINGTON (AP) — Supporters of a popular energy savings bill and the controversial Keystone XL oil pipeline say they will keep trying to force Senate action on the measures, even after they were defeated amid partisan gridlock in the Senate.

4. 8 million choose health plans under 'Obamacare' -

Blue or red, a majority of states have exceeded their health care sign-up targets under President Barack Obama's law — something that would have been hard to imagine after last fall's botched rollout of insurance markets.

5. 11 Senate Democrats to Obama: Approve Keystone XL -

WASHINGTON (AP) — Eleven Senate Democrats, including six who face contested re-election races this year, urged President Barack Obama on Thursday to approve the Keystone XL oil pipeline by the end of May.

6. HHS grants extra time to enroll for health care -

WASHINGTON (AP) — People who've started applying for health insurance but aren't able to finish before the March 31 enrollment deadline will get extra time, the Obama administration has announced.

"We are experiencing a surge in demand and are making sure that we will be ready to help consumers who may be in line by the deadline to complete enrollment, either online or over the phone," Health and Human Services spokesman Aaron Albright said Tuesday.

7. Boehner questions Senate unemployment deal -

WASHINGTON (AP) — House Speaker John Boehner questioned the feasibility of a bipartisan Senate deal to renew expired benefits for the long-term unemployed, a remark that seemed to suggest the agreement could be in trouble in the House.

8. Senators strike bipartisan jobless benefits deal -

WASHINGTON (AP) — Chalk up one partisan election-year battle that senators seem likely to resolve when they return from recess later this month — the fight over renewing expired benefits for the long-term unemployed.

9. Congress concerned Iran's oil exports may be up -

WASHINGTON (AP) — Obama administration officials faced the prospect of contentious questioning Thursday from lawmakers about reports that China and India are significantly expanding imports of Iranian petroleum.

10. Obama's N. American agenda hits congressional drag -

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama headed into a summit Wednesday with Mexican and Canadian leaders eager to engage on issues of trade and other neighbor-to-neighbor interests, even as Congress is pushing back against some of his top cross-border agenda items.

11. Trade bills divide Obama, fellow Dems -

WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House says it will continue to press Congress for "fast track" authority to speed approval of trade deals even as election-year politics makes the task harder.

The Obama administration is engaged in two difficult trade negotiations, one with Japan and 10 other Pacific nations, and the other a proposed trans-Atlantic deal with European Union nations. The trans-Pacific talks are closer to completion.

12. Obama, fellow Dems are at odds on big trade bills -

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama wants to put major emerging trade deals with Europe and Asia on a "fast track" to congressional passage. But with midterm elections looming, many fellow Democrats are working to sidetrack them instead.

13. A scramble to sign up the young by health deadline -

WASHINGTON (AP) — "Do you guys have health insurance?" David Bransfield asks each time a group of backpack-toting college students passes by.

Some nod yes. A few promise to stop back after class. Others don't bother removing their headphones.

14. Speaker: Immigration measure will be tough to pass -

WASHINGTON (AP) — House Speaker John Boehner said Thursday it will be difficult to pass immigration legislation this year, dimming prospects for one of President Barack Obama's top domestic priorities.

15. Boehner: 'We're not going to default' on debt -

WASHINGTON (AP) — House Speaker John Boehner promised Thursday that the GOP-controlled House won't miss a late-February deadline to increase the government's borrowing cap.

"Look, we do not want to default on our debt, and we're not going to default on our debt," Boehner said.

16. Boehner: 'We're not going to default' on debt -

WASHINGTON (AP) — House Speaker John Boehner promised Thursday that the GOP-controlled House won't miss a late-February deadline to increase the government's borrowing cap.

"Look, we do not want to default on our debt, and we're not going to default on our debt," Boehner said.

17. Speaker: Immigration measure will be tough to pass -

WASHINGTON (AP) — House Speaker John Boehner said Thursday it will be difficult to pass immigration legislation this year, dimming prospects for one of President Barack Obama's top domestic priorities.

18. Obama, Dems meet as struggle for Senate builds -

WASHINGTON (AP) — When President Barack Obama solicits advice Wednesday from his party's senators, the voices of some Democrats may come through louder than others.

Of the 53 Democratic senators, it's the nearly two dozen facing re-election this year who are causing jitters for Obama and the party. With control of the Senate at stake, many of those Democrats are actively seeking ways to distance themselves from a president who is deeply unpopular in their home states.

19. Obama: Job training must reflect changing economy -

WAUKESHA, Wis. (AP) — Stressing the importance of having job-training programs that work, President Barack Obama on Thursday ordered a "soup to nuts" review of federal workforce training initiatives and pledged to copy the most successful ones.

20. Obama: Job training must reflect changing economy -

WAUKESHA, Wis. (AP) — Stressing the need to train workers for jobs of the future, President Barack Obama kicked off a government-wide review of federal job-training programs Thursday and pledged to expand the ones that work best.

21. New prospects in 2014 for an immigration overhaul -

WASHINGTON (AP) — His agenda tattered by last year's confrontations and missteps, President Barack Obama begins 2014 clinging to the hope of winning a lasting legislative achievement: an overhaul of immigration laws.

22. White House greets budget deal with caution, hope -

WASHINGTON (AP) — There were no champagne corks popping at the White House after Congress passed a two-year budget deal, no declarations of a new era of cooperation in President Barack Obama's second term.

23. Supreme Court will take up new health law dispute -

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court agreed Tuesday to referee another dispute over President Barack Obama's health care law, whether businesses can use religious objections to escape a requirement to cover birth control for employees.

24. Obama: Must help people enroll by mail, in person -

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama urged his supporters Monday to help Americans enroll for health insurance by mail, in person and over the phone, seeking to tamp down expectations that the error-riddled HealthCare.gov website will ever be a panacea for the uninsured — even once it's fixed.

25. Obama meets with Senate Dems on health care -

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama met Wednesday with Senate Democrats facing re-election next year to discuss the problem-plagued health care rollout that could affect their races.

The White House confirmed Obama and Vice President Joe Biden met with 16 senators to describe fixes that are being made to the website for Americans to sign up for insurance under his signature health care law.

26. Healthcare.gov failures surface at Hill hearing -

WASHINGTON (AP) — The leading contractors on the Obama administration's troubled health insurance website told Congress Thursday that the government failed to thoroughly test the complicated system before it went live.

27. Healthcare.gov failures surface at Hill hearing -

WASHINGTON (AP) — The leading contractors on the Obama administration's troubled health insurance website told Congress Thursday that the government failed to thoroughly test the complicated system before it went live.

28. Obama: 'No excuse' for health care signup problems -

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama on Monday said there was "no excuse" for the cascade of computer problems that have marred the rollout of a key element in his health care law, but declared he was confident the administration would be able to fix the issues.

29. No safe bets for Obama despite toned-down agenda -

WASHINGTON (AP) — Regrouping after a feud with Congress stalled his agenda, President Barack Obama is laying down a three-item to-do list for Congress that seems meager when compared with the bold, progressive agenda he envisioned at the start of his second term.

30. Top Midstate residential real estate transactions for Sept. 2013 -

Top September 2013 residential real estate transactions for Davidson, Williamson, Rutherford, Wilson and Sumner counties, as compiled by Chandler Reports.

31. Deal reached to avoid default and open government -

WASHINGTON (AP) — Senate leaders announced last-minute agreement Wednesday to avert a threatened Treasury default and reopen the government after a partial, 16-day shutdown. Congress raced to pass the measure by day's end.

32. Boehner offers debt extension; WH says likely OK -

WASHINGTON (AP) — Facing a fresh deadline, House Speaker John Boehner said Thursday that Republicans would vote to extend the government's ability to borrow money for six weeks — but only if President Barack Obama first agrees to fresh negotiations on spending cuts. Under the Republican plan, the partial government shutdown would continue in the meantime.

33. Obama to seek opening with GOP leaders on shutdown -

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama is hosting top House Republicans to seek an opening in an impasse that has shuttered much of the government and threatens a catastrophic federal default.

The White House meeting, set for Thursday, comes as House GOP leaders are contemplating advancing a short-term debt limit increase designed to calm jittery stock and bond markets and allow more time to untie the knot that has the government partially shut down for a 10th day and facing a first-ever default between Oct. 17 and the end of the month.

34. VA chief: Shutdown could hit millions of vets -

WASHINGTON (AP) — About 3.8 million veterans will not receive disability compensation next month if the partial government shutdown continues into late October, Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki told lawmakers Wednesday. Some 315,000 veterans and 202,000 surviving spouses and dependents will see pension payments stopped.

35. Insurers, others say 'Obamacare' glitches fixable -

WASHINGTON (AP) — The federal government's biggest foray into online commerce has left millions of tech-savvy Americans thoroughly bewildered.

But the insurance industry and others experienced with rolling out new programs say there's still enough time to fix the glitches with President Barack Obama's health care law before uninsured people start getting coverage on Jan. 1.

36. Democrats say it's time for GOP to unite, end shutdown -

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama decided to stay home from economic summits in Asia as Democrats stepped up pressure Friday on congressional Republicans to rein in their tea party faction and reopen the government with no strings attached.

37. Obama hits GOP 'ideological crusade' in shutdown -

WASHINGTON (AP) — Congress hung "Closed" signs on a big swath of the government Tuesday and sent home 800,000 workers in what President Barack Obama labeled an "ideological crusade" by GOP lawmakers determined to gut his health care law. On Capitol Hill, House Republicans answered with a bid to restart a few favored slices of government, including national parks, while still demanding concessions on health care.

38. Top Midstate commercial real estate transactions for August 2013 -

Top August 2013 commercial real estate transactions for Davidson, Williamson, Rutherford, Wilson and Sumner counties, as compiled by Chandler Reports.

39. GOP leaders confounded on stopgap spending bill -

WASHINGTON (AP) — GOP leaders eager to avoid blame for a possible government shutdown next month appear confounded by conservatives' passion for using fast-approaching deadlines to derail the implementation of President Barack Obama's health care law.

40. Obama to sign student loan bill Friday -

WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House says President Barack Obama will sign a bill Friday to lower the costs of borrowing for millions of students.

The bipartisan bill has been awaiting Obama's signature since earlier this month, when the House gave it final congressional approval after a drawn-out process to reach a compromise in the Senate.

41. Obama heads to Phoenix to pitch mortgage reform -

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama is proposing to overhaul the nation's mortgage finance system, including shutting down government-backed Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac — a plan with bipartisan support on Capitol Hill.

42. Boehner calls out Rep. King on immigration insult -

WASHINGTON (AP) — House Speaker John Boehner on Thursday elevated his criticism of fellow Republican Rep. Steve King over King's suggestion that many immigrants in the country illegally are drug runners, calling the comments "deeply offensive and wrong."

43. Backers of surveillance program battle a challenge -

WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House and congressional backers of the National Security Agency's surveillance program warn that ending the massive collection of phone records from millions of Americans would put the nation at risk from another terrorist attack.

44. House GOP, Democrats clash over immigration -

WASHINGTON (AP) — House Republicans took a tentative step toward offering citizenship to some unauthorized immigrants Tuesday, but hit an immediate wall of resistance from the White House on down as Democrats said it wasn't enough.

45. Compromise would restore lower college loan rates -

WASHINGTON (AP) — A compromise deal on student loans that could hold down loan rates in the short term was expected to come to a vote next week, well before students returning to campus this fall have to sign their loan agreements.

46. House GOP seek delay in health care provisions -

WASHINGTON (AP) — House Republicans pressed ahead Wednesday on delaying key components of President Barack Obama's signature health care law, emboldened by the administration's concession that requiring companies to provide coverage for their workers next year may be too complicated.

47. Obama, GOP offer differing visions on immigration -

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama is using his presidential pulpit to press the Republican-controlled House to embrace a path to citizenship for all 11 million people living illegally in the U.S., while a top Republican says those brought to America as children should be given the highest priority for legalization.

48. Q&A: Latest health law fight: Battle of mandates -

WASHINGTON (AP) — If businesses get an extra year to meet a new health care mandate, why not everybody else?

Republicans, seizing on the White House delay for employers, are demanding that the Obama administration give individual Americans an equal break. But the White House says that's just a thinly disguised gambit for dismantling the entire health care overhaul.

49. Senators try again to lower student loan rates -

WASHINGTON (AP) — Senators are back to the starting line in their search for a compromise that would reduce interest rates on student loans after being spooked by the $22 billion price tag that accompanied a potential deal.

50. House Republicans grapple with immigration -

WASHINGTON (AP) — House Republicans on Wednesday confronted the politically volatile issue of immigration, their ranks divided and their way forward unclear even as national GOP leaders pressured them to act.

51. GOP wants delay in health law's individual mandate -

WASHINGTON (AP) — Framing a new argument against President Barack Obama's health care law, congressional GOP leaders called Tuesday for a delay in the law's requirement that individual Americans carry health insurance.

52. Obama: Court rights a wrong; country better off -

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama hailed the Supreme Court's decision to strike down a key provision of the Defense of Marriage Act on Wednesday, declaring the court "has righted a wrong, and our country is better off for it."

53. US: No plans to end broad surveillance program -

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration is weighing whether to charge a government contractor with leaking classified government secrets while it defends a much-criticized National Security Agency surveillance program as an indispensable tool for protecting Americans from terrorists.

54. Top IRS official didn't reveal tea party targeting -

WASHINGTON (AP) — Congress was not told tea party groups were being inappropriately targeted by the Internal Revenue Service, even after acting agency Chief Steven Miller had been briefed on the matter.

55. Gov't probe obtains wide swath of AP phone records -

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Justice Department secretly obtained two months of telephone records of reporters and editors for The Associated Press in what the news cooperative's top executive called a "massive and unprecedented intrusion" into how news organizations gather the news.

56. Obama says he won't tolerate political bias at IRS -

WASHINGTON (AP) — When members of Congress repeatedly raised concerns with the Internal Revenue Service about complaints that Tea Party groups were being harassed last year, a deputy IRS commissioner took the lead in assuring lawmakers that the additional scrutiny was a legitimate part of the screening process.

57. Senator: Obama should 'condemn' IRS targeting -

WASHINGTON (AP) — Republicans say the Internal Revenue Service's targeting of conservative political groups was "chilling", and at least one Republican senator called on President Barack Obama to "personally condemn" the actions.

58. GOP boycotts health care advisory board -

WASHINGTON (AP) — House and Senate Republican leaders told President Barack Obama Thursday that they will refuse to nominate candidates to serve on an advisory board that is to play a role in holding down Medicare costs under the new health care act.

59. White House willing to consider budget flexibility -

WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House now says it's willing to consider legislation that would give the administration the budget-cutting flexibility to avoid furloughs of air traffic controllers.

Those furloughs could result in widespread air traffic delays.

60. GOP sends mixed signals on Obama's outreach effort -

WASHINGTON (AP) — House Republicans are sending mixed signals in agreeing to meet with President Barack Obama for talks over the budget impasse, while Obama is conceding that a political accommodation may be impossible.

61. GOP budget takes aim again at Obamacare, Medicaid -

WASHINGTON (AP) — House Republicans unveiled their latest budget outline on Tuesday, sticking to their plans to try to repeal so-called Obamacare, cut domestic programs ranging from Medicaid to college grants and require future Medicare patients to bear more of the program's cost.

62. Obama presses on with GOP charm offensive -

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama pressed on with his Republican charm offensive Thursday, holding a White House lunch with House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan in an effort to soften the ground for potential talks on a long-term deficit reduction deal.

63. Automatic cuts will have to wait until midnight -

WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House says automatic spending reductions set to kick in will be put off until as close to midnight Friday as possible.

The law, passed by Congress on Jan. 2 simply says that "on March 1, 2013, the president shall order a sequestration for fiscal year 2013." That's budget talk for an $85 billion reduction in defense and domestic spending between now and Oct. 1.

64. Obama, top lawmakers to meet as cuts kick in -

WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House conceded Wednesday that efforts to avoid automatic budget cuts are unlikely to succeed before they kick in and is initiating new talks with congressional leaders to confront seemingly intractable tax-and-spend issues.

65. Obama urges Congress to compromise on cuts -

WASHINGTON (AP) — Facing an end of the week deadline, President Barack Obama said Monday that Congress can avert sweeping across-the-board cuts with "just a little bit of compromise," as he sought to stick lawmakers with the blame if the budget ax falls.

66. Obama calls Boehner, McConnell as budget cuts loom -

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama has called House Speaker John Boehner and Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell about the looming spending cuts set to kick in on March 1.

The calls are Obama's first in weeks to top Republicans in Congress. They come as both parties remain in a stalemate over how to avoid across-the-board automatic cuts that would trim $85 billion from most government accounts.

67. Labor, business agree to principles on immigration -

WASHINGTON (AP) — Business and labor groups announced agreement Thursday on the principles of a key priority for a comprehensive immigration bill: a new system to bring lower-skilled workers to the U.S.

68. Obama to stress jobs; audience's message is guns -

WASHINGTON (AP) — The American public will get a competing mix of rhetoric and imagery in President Barack Obama's State of the Union address Tuesday, a speech that offers a heavy dose on the economy even as it plays out against a visual backdrop dominated by the current national debate over guns.

69. Business, unions negotiating guest worker program -

WASHINGTON (AP) — Business leaders and labor union officials are delving into high-stakes negotiations over a particularly contentious element of immigration reform — a guest worker program to ensure future immigrants come here legally.

70. GOP senators vow to block consumer office nominee -

WASHINGTON (AP) — Renewing a three-year-old fight over bank oversight, Senate Republicans said Friday they will oppose President Barack Obama's nominee to head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau unless the office created after the 2008 Wall Street financial meltdown is significantly changed.

71. White House: Hagel will win Senate confirmation -

WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House on Friday dismissed criticism of Chuck Hagel's hesitant congressional testimony and insisted that it expects the Senate to confirm him as defense secretary.

One day after Hagel was roughed up in a grueling confirmation hearing, White House spokesman Jay Carney said Hagel did a "fine job" and the Obama administration would be stunned if Republicans tried to block the nomination of a decorated Vietnam combat veteran and former two-term GOP senator.

72. Obama decides not to extend term of jobs council -

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama is letting his jobs council expire, cutting off one source of input from business leaders while unemployment remains stubbornly high.

Obama formed the Council on Jobs and Competitiveness in January 2011, when unemployment was about 9 percent. It's now 7.8 percent, though more than 12 million people are out of work.

73. 53 senators urge approval of Keystone XL pipeline -

WASHINGTON (AP) — More than half the Senate on Wednesday urged quick approval of the Keystone XL oil pipeline, ramping up pressure on President Barack Obama to move ahead with the project just days after he promised in his inaugural address to respond vigorously to the threat of climate change.

74. Obama picks top white-collar crime prosecutor for SEC job -

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama will nominate Mary Jo White to lead the Securities and Exchange Commission, tapping an attorney with broad experience in prosecuting white-collar crimes to lead an agency that has a central role in implementing Wall Street reform.

75. Final Keystone pipeline decision still months away -

WASHINGTON (AP) — Nebraska Gov. Dave Heineman's approval of a revised route for the Keystone XL oil pipeline puts the long-delayed project back in the hands of the federal government.

But don't look for a quick decision on the $7 billion project, which would carry oil from Canada to the Texas Gulf Coast if allowed to move forward.

76. White House: Obama wouldn't block GOP debt bill -

WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House says a House Republican bill to extend the government's borrowing authority for three months still faces concerns in Congress but press secretary Jay Carney says that if it reaches President Barack Obama's desk, "he would not stand in the way of the bill becoming law."

77. Top Midstate residential real estate transactions for 2012 -

Top 2012 residential real estate transactions for Davidson, Williamson, Rutherford, Wilson and Sumner counties, as compiled by Chandler Reports.

78. In picking Lew, Obama turns a page at Treasury -

WASHINGTON (AP) — Jack Lew, President Barack Obama's nominee for treasury secretary, is a premier federal budget expert who would take the helm of the government's main agency for economic and fiscal policy just as the administration girds itself for a new confrontation with congressional Republicans over the nation's debt and deficits.

79. House Dems say president can raise debt ceiling -

WASHINGTON (AP) — House Democrats say President Barack Obama should consider invoking a little-known constitutional provision that they say gives him the power to raise the debt ceiling without going through Congress, where Republicans are demanding that a debt ceiling vote be linked to spending cuts.

80. Biden to meet with gun-safety, victims groups -

WASHINGTON (AP) — Seeking to spur fresh action on gun legislation, Vice President Joe Biden is meeting at the White House with victims groups and gun-safety organizations.

Wednesday's meeting is to be part of a series of gatherings Biden is conducting this week at the White House, aimed at building consensus around proposals to curb gun violence following the horrific elementary school shooting in Newtown, Conn. The vice president will meet Thursday with the National Rifle Association and other gun-owner groups. Meetings with representatives from the video-game and entertainment industries are also planned.

81. White House ramping up gun violence discussions -

WASHINGTON (AP) — Facing an end-of-the-month deadline, the Obama administration is calling gun owner groups, victims' organizations and representatives from the video-game industry to the White House this week for discussions on potential policy proposals for curbing gun violence.

82. Boehner on averting fiscal cliff: 'God only knows' -

WASHINGTON (AP) — House Speaker John Boehner signaled on Friday he's still open to negotiations with President Barack Obama on avoiding across-the-board tax increases set to hit taxpayers Jan. 1, but sounded pessimistic about reaching a grand deal with the president.

83. Obama vows to press ahead on fiscal cliff solution -

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama says he'll press ahead with Congress in hopes of preventing across-the-board tax increases set to strike taxpayers Jan. 1 after House GOP leaders unexpectedly put off a vote on legislation calling for higher rates on million-dollar earners Thursday evening.

84. House pushes to complete $633 billion defense bill -

WASHINGTON (AP) — The House pushed to complete a $633 billion defense bill for next year despite Pentagon complaints that it spares outdated but politically popular weapons at the expense of the military's ability to fight.

85. Obama Social Security offer at odds with top Dems -

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama's offer to limit the growth of Social Security benefits would cost the average retiree less than $50 in the first year. But the cuts would grow over time, and that has advocates for seniors worried that Democrats in Congress will break their promise to shield the massive retirement and disability program from cuts in deficit reduction talks.

86. Fiscal cliff efforts ongoing, Boehner offers plan -

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama and House Speaker John Boehner pushed ahead on negotiating a broad deal to avert the "fiscal cliff," even as the GOP leader readied a backup plan Tuesday to pressure the White House with little time left to avoid a double hit on the economy.

87. Dems signal Obama flexibility on spending in talks -

WASHINGTON (AP) — Republican House Speaker John Boehner is offering to let taxes rise on wealthy Americans' investment income and dividends as part of a deal to avert the "fiscal cliff," officials said Monday amid signs that President Barack Obama is ready to make a key concession of his own in urgent, high-level negotiations.

88. Kerry, Hagel front-runners to lead State, Defense -

WASHINGTON (AP) — Democratic Sen. John Kerry, who unsuccessfully sought the presidency in 2004 and has pined for the job of top diplomat, vaulted to the head of President Barack Obama's short list of secretary of state candidates after U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice suddenly withdrew from consideration to avoid a contentious confirmation fight with emboldened Republicans.

89. Narrow 'fiscal cliff' bargain gains currency -

WASHINGTON (AP) — Hopes dimming for a wide-ranging bargain, the White House and many congressional Republicans are setting their sights on a more modest deal that would extend current tax rates for most Americans, raise rates for top earners and leave other, vexing issues for the new year.

90. Top Midstate residential real estate transactions for November 2012 -

November 2012 residential real estate transactions for Davidson, Williamson, Rutherford, Wilson and Sumner counties, as compiled by Chandler Reports.

91. Obama's fiscal cliff strategy is tricky balance -

WASHINGTON (AP) — Playing both sides, President Barack Obama is trying to balance his public pressure campaign on Republicans over the looming "fiscal cliff" with his private negotiations with GOP leaders.

92. No one retreating; cliff talks seem at standstill -

WASHINGTON (AP) — A year-end deadline approaching, quiet negotiations to avoid an economy-rattling "fiscal cliff" yielded no tangible signs of progress on Monday as Republicans pressed President Barack Obama to volunteer spending cuts he will support while the White House insisted the GOP endorse higher tax rates on upper incomes.

93. Debt limit gives GOP leverage, Obama demands fix -

WASHINGTON (AP) — The political fight that took the nation to the verge of defaulting on its debts last year is back, overshadowed by "fiscal cliff" disputes but with consequences far graver than looming tax hikes and steep spending cuts.

94. Grammys spread the love with 6 top nominees -

NASHVILLE (AP) - The Grammy Awards celebrated the diversity of music as six different artists tied for lead nominee - Kanye West, Jay-Z, Frank Ocean, Dan Auerbach of The Black Keys, Mumford & Sons and fun.

95. Makings of a fiscal deal behind the hot rhetoric -

WASHINGTON (AP) — Bluster and hot rhetoric aside, the White House and House Republicans have identified areas of significant overlap that could form the basis for a final agreement after "fiscal cliff" posturing gives way to hard bargaining.

96. Pressuring GOP, Obama takes his fiscal plan to Pa. -

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama is taking his case for avoiding a potentially unsettling "fiscal cliff" to the Philadelphia suburbs, employing campaign-style tactics in hopes of mobilizing public support. The trip comes amid signs of impatience in the negotiations between Republican leaders and the White House.

97. Bickering trumps bargaining on looming 'cliff' -

WASHINGTON (AP) — For the first time since the Nov. 6 election, partisan bickering trumped bargaining Thursday as Democrats and Republicans vied for the political high ground in talks to avoid year-end tax increases and spending cuts that threaten harm to millions of middle class pocketbooks.

98. 'Cliff': Boehner, White House chide each other -

WASHINGTON (AP) — House Speaker John Boehner met with Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner on Thursday and accused Democrats afterward of failing to outline specific cuts to avert the "fiscal cliff" that threatens to send the economy into recession.

99. Senate Dems divided over cuts to benefit programs -

WASHINGTON (AP) — Deep divisions among Senate Democrats over whether cuts to popular benefit programs like Medicare and Medicaid should be part of a plan to slow the government's mushrooming debt pose a big obstacle to a deal for avoiding a potentially economy-crushing "fiscal cliff," even if Republicans agree to raise taxes.

100. Corker offers 'fiscal cliff' solution -

WASHINGTON (AP) — A freshman GOP senator is jumping into the debate on how to avoid a "fiscal cliff" of tax hikes and automatic spending cuts, advocating a mix of tax increases with curbs on Social Security and Medicare benefits.