Related Content: PBS NewsHour

The Tax Cut Debate: The Latest Train Wreck Waiting To Happen

Gwen's Take

As I prepared for a PBS NewsHour discussion about the prospects of extending and expanding the year-old payroll tax holiday, I knew the challenges that lay ahead. And that was before the Senate confirmed my pessimism by rejecting not one, but two, proposals to grant Americans year-end tax relief late Thursday.

This time, I hoped for a little more nuance. After all, both sides say they agree that now is not the time to allow a tax cut to lapse that has saved many families as much as $1,000 this year. Plus, the proposal now on the table would boost those savings to $1,500, while cutting payroll taxes for small businesses as well. What’s not to like at holiday time?

PBS NewsHour: How Effective Is Justice Department Crackdown on Counterfeit Goods Dealers?

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The Justice Department used Cyber Monday, the biggest online shopping day of the year, to shut down 150 websites that were allegedly peddling fake shoes, sporting goods and handbags. Gwen Ifill discusses the crackdown on counterfeit goods with author Larry Downes and Steve Tepp of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

PBS NewsHour: Obama's Student Loan Relief Plan

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President Obama outlined a plan to speed up help for millions of Americans struggling with the cost of higher education. Gwen Ifill discusses the president's effort to ease the burden of student loans with "Generation Debt" author Anya Kamenetz and Jeff Selingo of the Chronicle of Higher Education.

PBS NewsHour: Cain's 9-9-9 Plan, 'Romneycare' Scrutinized at Dartmouth Debate

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Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and former Godfather's Pizza chief executive Herman Cain took center stage at the Republican primary debate at Dartmouth College on Tuesday night. Gwen Ifill and Political Editor David Chalian recap the debate.

PBS NewsHour: 'Underwear Bomber' Trial Opens in Detroit

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Opening arguments were heard Tuesday in a Detroit courtroom in the trial against Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the Nigerian man known as the "underwear bomber" who stands accused of trying to blow up an American airplane on Christmas Day 2009. Gwen Ifill reports.

PBS NewsHour: Anita Hill Reflects on 20 Years Since Clarence Thomas Hearings

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Twenty years ago, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas' Senate confirmation process sparked a national debate about sexual harassment when Anita Hill, his former special assistant, accused him of inappropriate behavior. Gwen Ifill and Hill discuss her new book, "Reimagining Equality: Stories of Gender, Race and Finding Home."

PBS NewsHour: Google's Schmidt on the 'Winners and Losers' in Search Rankings

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Google is being investigated as to whether it may be violating anti-trust law in how it ranks websites when consumers do searches. Gwen Ifill talks to Google's Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt as part of the Atlantic and Aspen Ideas Forum.

PBS NewsHour: Immigration, Affirmative Action on New High Court Docket; Health Reform Awaited

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The U.S. Supreme Court returned to work Monday and the court has a docket full of controversial cases on topics ranging from obscenity to strip searches to warrantless surveillance. Gwen Ifill previews the new term with The National Law Journal's Marcia Coyle and Scotusblog.com's Tom Goldstein.

PBS NewsHour: Political Checklist: Shifting GOP Primary Calendar and Rick Perry's Sign Problem

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Senior correspondents Judy Woodruff and Gwen Ifill and Political Editor David Chalian are back for another edition of the Political Checklist. This week they consider whether the accelerated Republican primary calendar benefits the front-runner candidates at the expense of candidates who need more time to make their case to Republican voters.

They also discuss a potential problem for Texas Gov. Rick Perry's campaign: The Washington Post has a story about the presence of a racially charged sign on a stone outside of a property Perry rented for hunting for many years in Texas. Judy thinks this will be a problem for the campaign, while Gwen questions why the Perrys didn't remove the rock.

PBS NewsHour: Cities Hit Hard by Slump, Adding to Cloudy Economic Picture

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As the nation's economic woes mount, evidence of continuing trouble can be found in city revenues, the housing market and high unemployment rates. Gwen Ifill discusses the big picture with Patchwork Nation Director Dante Chinni, Howard Wial of the Brookings Institution and Christopher Hoene of the National League of Cities.