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With Republicans running the House and Democrats in charge of the Senate, the current session of Congress is scrambling to take care of unfinished business.  With less than two weeks remaining, can it avoid another government shutdown and save breaks for taxpayers both rich and poor?

Also, Ashton Carter is reported to be nominated as Defense Secretary, and now you can be a digital citizen of the world with an ID card issued by tech-savvy Estonia. We talk to a man who has one.

Photo: MoneyBlogNewz

Ashton Carter Reported to Be Nominated as Defense Secretary 6 MIN, 30 SEC

President Obama reportedly will name the first Defense Secretary to come of age after the Vietnam War. Aston Carter is 60, a physicist, historian and former Rhodes Scholar who will replace former Nebraska Senator, Chuck Hagel. Yochi Dreazen is managing editor for news at Foreign Policy magazine. 

Yochi Dreazen, Foreign editor for Vox (@yochidreazen)

Will Washington Flirt with Disaster or Punt until Next Year? 33 MIN, 59 SEC

The lame duck Congress has until next week to prevent a government shutdown. At the moment, that sounds unlikely. But tea-partiers outraged about the President's immigration action could upset the best laid plans of Republican leaders. Meantime, the President's threatened veto of a tax break extension has Democrats who still run the Senate at odds with the White House. That could delay next year's taxpayer refunds.  We look at the options, including short-term fixes for long-term problems.

Jodi Schneider, Congressional Quarterly
Harry Stein, Center for American Progress (@HarrySteinDC)
Andy Roth, Club for Growth (@andyroth)
Maya MacGuineas, Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget (@MayaMacGuineas)
David Lightman, McClatchy Newspapers (@LightmanDavid)

Bloomberg on House Republicans proposing to revive tax breaks for 2014
Stein on the growing consensus to improve tax code
Club for Growth on not extending the Tax Extenders bill
MacGuineas on how a deal on tax extenders would add to the debt
Lightman on this week's likely House vote on tax deal

The World’s First "E-resident" on the Benefits of Digital Citizenship 9 MIN, 39 SEC

Since the Internet was created, there have been problems with online identification. We all know about fraud and identity theft. The New Yorker's most often-copied cartoon shows a canine at a computer saying, “On the Internet, nobody knows you're a dog.” Now that may be changing — in tiny Estonia. The country that gave the world Skype is now issuing digital ID cards to anybody who wants one. Edward Lucas, senior editor at the Economist, took them up on it. He's now the first “E-resident” of Estonia.

Edward Lucas, The Economist (@edwardlucas)

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