It's All Politics
8:40 am
Wed January 4, 2012

Gov. Perry: 'Here we come South Carolina!!!'

Though he said last night that he would go home to reassess his bid for the presidency — a signal that he might drop out of the race — this message just popped up on the personal Twitter page of Texas Gov. Rick Perry:

"And the next leg of the marathon is the Palmetto State...Here we come South Carolina!!!"

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The Two-Way
8:09 am
Wed January 4, 2012

Bucking GOP, Obama Will Recess Appoint Consumer Agency Chief

Richard Cordray testifies during his confirmation hearing on Capitol Hill in September. His nomination to head the consumer watchdog agency was blocked by Senate Republicans.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

President Obama will use what's known as a recess appointment to name Richard Cordray the head of the country's new consumer watchdog agency.

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Television
7:59 am
Wed January 4, 2012

Pamela Adlon: From 'Hill' Kid To 'Californication'

Pamela Adlon plays Marcy Runkle on Showtime's Californication. This season, her character is going through what she describes as a "sexual renaissance."
Jordin Althaus Showtime

Originally published on Wed January 4, 2012 8:51 am

When Pamela Adlon meets her daughters' middle-school-aged friends, she asks them nicely not to watch Californication, the show she's starred in for the past five seasons.

"I say, 'I'd appreciate if you don't watch my show and you don't Google me,' " she tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross.

But Adlon, who plays the brash, unapologetic, sexually charged Marcy Runkle on the Showtime series, says she knows that's not going to stop anyone.

"I am not embarrassed," she says. "I know they Google me."

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The Two-Way
7:56 am
Wed January 4, 2012

Man Uses iPad, Not Passport, To Gain Entry To U.S.

A Canadian man has been making headlines because he used an image of his passport saved on his iPad — instead of the official document itself — to cross the U.S.-Canadian border two times.

Martin Reisch, 33, says he forgot his passport when he left for a car trip across the border in Quebec. But he had an iPad with him, and it contained a scan of his passport. So Reisch gave the device to the U.S. border officer, along with his drivers' license, and the explanation that he was merely driving to Vermont, to drop off some Christmas presents.

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Election 2012
7:35 am
Wed January 4, 2012

Not Everyone Is Basking In Iowa's Afterglow

Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann, who got just 5 percent of the vote in Iowa's caucuses, referred to herself Tuesday as the "true conservative who can and who will defeat Barack Obama in 2012." On Wednesday, she bowed out of the race.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Wed January 4, 2012 1:33 pm

Iowa proved a road to victory for Mitt Romney, but it was a road to nowhere for Michele Bachmann.

"Last night, the people of Iowa spoke with a very clear voice, and so I have decided to stand aside," Bachmann said Wednesday at a West Des Moines news conference. The Minnesota congresswoman decided to end her 2012 presidential bid after finishing sixth in Tuesday's caucuses in Iowa — the state where she was born and where, just five months ago, she won a Republican straw poll in Ames.

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The Two-Way
7:31 am
Wed January 4, 2012

Orders To U.S. Factories Increased By 1.8 Percent In November

The United States saw an 1.8 percent uptick in orders to factories in November, marking a four-month high and signaling continued economic recovery. The Commerce Department also revised the data for Ocotber, which recorded a 0.2 percent drop.

Bloomberg reports:

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The Two-Way
7:14 am
Wed January 4, 2012

Afghan President Says He Supports Talks With Taliban

Afghanistan's president said his country would back a deal, which might allow the Taliban to open an office in Qatar where they could hold peace talks with the United States and Afghanistan.

"Afghanistan agrees with negotiations between United States of America and the Taliban which will result in the establishment of an office for Taliban in Qatar," President Hamid Karzai said on Wednesday.

The AP adds:

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Election 2012
7:10 am
Wed January 4, 2012

Confident Romney, Bolstered Santorum Head To N.H.

Rick Santorum and his wife, Karen, attend a rally Tuesday night in Johnston, Iowa.
Scott Olson Getty Images

Originally published on Wed January 4, 2012 9:33 am

The photo finish in Iowa — officially, Mitt Romney bested Rick Santorum by only eight votes — has catapulted Santorum into the front ranks of Republican presidential hopefuls.

"This is huge news for Santorum," says Charlie Arlinghaus, who directs a conservative think tank in New Hampshire. "I don't think there's a way to spin the results without saying he's the big winner tonight."

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The Two-Way
7:00 am
Wed January 4, 2012

Chinese Year Of The Dragon Postage Stamp Deemed 'Too Ferocious'

What A Difference A Year Makes: China's Year of the Dragon stamp, left, is decidedly more fearsome than last year's model, of a rabbit.
Webo/China Post

To welcome the Year of the Dragon, China's postal service plans to release commemorative postage stamps featuring the fabled beast. But many customers are finding the image to be a little over the top.

Here are some reactions cited by China's Xinhua news agency:

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Education
6:35 am
Wed January 4, 2012

Rise In Spanish Speakers Has School Trying To Adapt

Fifth-graders Miquel Vasquez, Luis Hernandez, Erica Medrano and Victor Vasquez are part of Vardaman Elementary School's growing Hispanic student population.
Annie Gilberson for NPR

Originally published on Wed January 4, 2012 5:52 pm

Year over year, the number of Spanish-speaking kindergarteners at Vardaman Elementary School in northeast Mississippi has been on the rise.

Census numbers show the South has the fastest-growing Hispanic population in the country. Now, Vardaman Elementary is about to become Mississippi's first predominantly Latino primary school, and that's posing special challenges when it comes to finding teachers who can help Spanish-speaking students adapt to the American classroom.

Vardaman Takes Its Own Approach

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