What's Next after the Super Committee Calls It Quits?
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What's Next after the Super Committee Calls It Quits?

Bi-partisanship took another hit yesterday with the failure of the Super Committee to reach agreement on a deficit reduction deal. Polls show that most Americans blame Republicans for the failure, but both sides are still going to have to work together on several big issues before the year ends, including a payroll tax cut and a new extension of unemployment benefits. With the 2012 elections coming up, guest host Sara Terry asks how the political parties will deal with voter discontent over Congress' failure to act. Also, Egypt's military promises faster transition to civilian rule. On Reporter's Notebook, remember those six degrees of separation? Start thinking 4.74.

Banner image: The US Capitol is seen as Republican and Democratic members of the 'Super Committee,' or Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, fail to meet on deficit reduction talks in Washington, DC. Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images

Making News

Egyptian Military Promises Faster Transition to Civilian Rule ()

In Egypt, the country's military leadership has promised to hand over power earlier than expected, no later than July 1, 2012. The announcement comes as protesters continued a renewed revolt across the country. Leila Fadel is Cairo Bureau Chief for the Washington Post.

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Main Topic

Fallout from Super Committee Failure ()

Perhaps to the surprise of no one, the Super Committee has failed. Republicans and Democrats were supposed to come up with a deficit reduction deal, but in the end Republicans once again refused to substantially raise taxes, preferring instead to cut domestic programs, and Democrats stood by their mantra of achieving deficit reduction goals by balancing new taxes and spending cuts. Both sides are trying to figure out how to deal with the consequences: $1.2 trillion in mandated spending cuts set to take effect in January 2013. Who will bear the brunt of those cuts? Military spending is supposed to face huge cuts, but will legislators and lobbyists let that happen? What about other economic issues on the Congressional agenda? What will happen when voters go to the polls a year from now? Will deficit reduction and bi-partisanship failure be on their minds?

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Reporter's Notebook

Six Degrees of Separation Becomes 4.74 ()

The six degrees of separation that began with 296 volunteers in 1967 have narrowed to 4.74 degrees, thanks to the 721 million people on Facebook. In 1967, Yale psychologist Stanley Milgram started an experiment that led to the "six degrees of separation” theory, the notion that the average number of people separating any two people in the world is six. Fast forward nearly 35 years and the separation has narrowed to 4.74, maybe even three. Somini Sengupta covers technology and society for the New York Times.

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