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FROM THIS EPISODE

Three weeks after the election, there's been only one high-level meeting about the "fiscal cliff," despite warnings about a return to recession.  What are the prospects of both parties reaching a deal?  Would it be so bad if they didn't? Also, a mass rally in Egypt against President Morsi, and the exhumation of Yasser Arafat's remains.

Banner image: President Barack Obama (2nd R) meets with (L-R) Treasury Secretary Geithner, House Speaker Boehner and Senate Majority Leader Reid to discuss the fiscal cliff and a balanced approach to the debt limit and deficit reduction, November 16, 2012. Official White House Photo by Pete Souza

Producers:
Christian Bordal
Anna Scott
Katie Cooper

Reporter's Notebook Arafat Exhumed 8 MIN, 45 SEC

After his death eight years ago, Yasser Arafat was buried under several meters of concrete to make sure his remains could never be desecrated. Today, at his widow's request, they were exhumed as part of a French murder investigation. Samples were taken from Arafat's corpse today, as planned, but a military ceremony had to be cancelled. We get an update from correspondent Maher Abukhater, who's in Ramallah for the Los Angeles Times, and from Dan Ephron, Jerusalem Bureau Chief for Newsweek and the Daily Beast.

Guests:
Maher Abukhater, Los Angeles Times (@latimesworld)
Dan Ephron, Newsweek/Daily Beast

Making News Mass Rally Held against Egypt's Morsi 7 MIN, 23 SEC

Egypt's first elected President, Mohammed Morsi, has been trying to contain the fallout from last week's seizure of virtually absolute power. Last night he met with angry judges, but today tens of thousands of protesters converged in Cairo's Tahrir Square accusing him and the Muslim Brotherhood of betraying last year's revolution. Matt Bradley is Cairo correspondent for the Wall Street Journal and Dow Jones Business Wires.

Guests:
Matt Bradley, Wall Street Journal (@MattMcBradley)

Main Topic What if the US Goes over the 'Fiscal Cliff?' 34 MIN, 30 SEC

Just after the election three weeks ago, leaders of both parties posed for pictures at the Obama White House and vowed to avoid another dramatic confrontation over the so-called "fiscal cliff" looming at the end of the year. Making a real deal is another matter, with both sides back to familiar public posturing with no reports of progress in private.  This week, the President is conducting a very public campaign to raise taxes on three million families who make more than $250,000 year. At the same time, Republicans have been drawing their own lines in the sand. Would actually going over the "cliff" be so bad after all? Would it really send the economy spinning back into recession? Would it set off a scramble to resolve long-term issues once and for all?  We hear predictions of financial disaster, and from the "Thelma and Louise Caucus," which says the best action is no action at all.

Guests:
Lori Montgomery, Washington Post (@loriamontgomery)
Nancy Cook, National Journal (@nancook)
Frank Newport, Gallup Poll (@galluppoll)
Daniel Gross, Daily Beast (@grossdm)
Doug Holtz-Eakin, American Action Forum (@djheakin)

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