Fresh Air Interviews
1:14 pm
Tue July 31, 2012

Facing The Fiscal Cliff: Congress' Next Showdown

Bill Ingalls/NASA Getty Images

Originally published on Wed August 1, 2012 12:35 am

In December, Congress is poised for another showdown on the deficit and taxes. If Congress doesn't act, 2013 will mark the end to Bush-era tax cuts that have been in place for a dozen years, and the beginning of automatic cuts to domestic and defense programs that would total $1.2 trillion over 10 years. The Congressional Budget Office says the combination of higher taxes and deep spending cuts could create a 4 percent reduction in economic output, a number big enough to throw the country into another recession.

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Music
1:14 pm
Tue July 31, 2012

Boban i Marko Markovic: Irresistible Party Music

Boban i Marko Markovic Orkestar performs onstage in 2008.
Roger Kisby Getty Images

A dozen years ago, if someone told me that one of the liveliest, most inventive party albums of the year would come from a band originally associated with wedding celebrations and beer festivals, I would have been all, "Yeah, sure, you bet." If it was further explained that the band's roots were much closer to polka than rock, funk or hip-hop, I would have responded, "Don't push it." But nowadays, I'm familiar with the Boban i Marko Markovic Orkestar, whose retrospective Golden Horns will lighten the heart and lift the feet as surely as anything you'll hear in 2012.

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A Prairie Home Companion

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Bill Littlefield, nationally known author and veteran sports commentator, hosts NPR's Only A Game, produced by NPR Member station WBUR in Boston.

Since 1993 Littlefield has provided audiences with a weekly tour through the world of sports. The show covers a wide range of sports topics, from the basics like wins and loses to issues such as racism, sexism, and sports opportunities for the disabled. Only A Game is as likely to feature a tale about a day at the race track with the residents of a retirement home as it is a story about the World Series or the World Cup.

A native of Berkeley Heights, N.J., Peter Sagal attended Harvard University and subsequently squandered that education while working as a literary manager for a regional theater, a movie publicist, a stage director, an actor, an extra in a Michael Jackson video, a travel writer, an essayist, a ghost writer for a former adult film impresario and a staff writer for a motorcycle magazine.

Award winning journalist Neal Conan hosts Talk of the Nation, the national news-talk call-in show from NPR News. Conan brings decades of news and radio experience to the program, which reaches 3.4 million listeners per week on more than 330 NPR member stations. The program features the popular Political Junkie segment on Wednesdays, with the irrepressible Ken Rudin.

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