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The Two-Way
2:03 am
Thu January 29, 2015

Obama's Budget Would Undo Broad Cuts Made During Recession

President Obama speaks to the media March 1 after meeting with congressional leaders at the White House. President Obama said that no agreement was reached with Republicans to avoid the sequester, which l triggered automatic domestic and defense cuts. Obama hopes to reverse those cuts in the budget he's preparing for Fiscal 2016.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

When President Obama meets with House Democrats tonight during their retreat in Philadelphia, officials say he'll lay out the details of his budget proposal, which will include reversal of large cuts to federal spending instituted in 2013, reports NPR's Mara Liasson.

Those spending cuts, known as the sequester, hit both the defense and domestic budgets and were the result of congressional gamesmanship when the parties couldn't agree on spending priorities.

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Economy
12:14 am
Thu January 29, 2015

For Long-Haul Drivers, Cheap Gas Means A Sweeter Commute

Jed Brown drives 100 miles each day to work between Pennsylvania and West Virginia. Cheaper gas is making his commute more manageable, but he doesn't expect the low prices to last.
Uri Berliner NPR

Originally published on Thu January 29, 2015 1:03 am

With wages still stuck for many Americans, the big drop in gas prices is the equivalent of an unexpected cash bonus for the nation's drivers.

The average American household is expected to save $750 this year from lower gas prices, according to the Energy Department.

But Thomas Kinnaman, an economist at Bucknell University in Lewisburg, Pa., says it's instructive to look beyond the word "average."

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Business
12:14 am
Thu January 29, 2015

And So We Meet, Again: Why The Workday Is So Filled With Meetings

PW Illustration Ikon Images/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu January 29, 2015 1:03 am

The ouster of Bryan Stockton from his CEO perch at Mattel this week came as the toy maker's best-known brands like Barbie stagnate and it loses business to Web-based games.

Stockton himself said last year that Mattel lacked an innovative culture and blamed it in part on something specific: bad meetings. That's a common and persistent corporate ailment.

Scott Ryan-Hart is a cartographer for the Ohio Department of Transportation, where a typical meeting can last more than two hours.

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Shots - Health News
12:12 am
Thu January 29, 2015

Insurance Choices Dwindle In Rural California As Blue Shield Pulls Back

Lori Lomas, an insurance agent with Feather Financial in Quincy, California, has noticed that her clients in San Francisco have many more health carrier options than her mountain neighbors.
Pauline Bartolone for KXJZ

Originally published on Thu January 29, 2015 1:03 am

After the insurance exchanges set up under the Affordable Care Act first went live in late 2013, Lori Lomas started combing the website of Covered California on a hunt for good deals for her clients. Lomas is an agent at Feather Financial, in the Sierra Nevada mountain town of Quincy, California; she's been selling health policies in rural communities for more than 20 years.

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The Salt
2:28 pm
Wed January 28, 2015

Coffee Horror: Parody Pokes At Environmental Absurdity Of K-Cups

Originally published on Wed January 28, 2015 5:55 pm

You want a cup of decaf. Your significant other is craving the fully caffeinated stuff. With the simple push of a button, Keurig's single-serving K-Cup coffee pods can make both of you happy.

But those convenient little plastic pods can pile up quickly, and they're not recyclable. And that's created a monster of an environmental mess, says Mike Hachey. Literally.

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