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Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Bill Targets Spending In N.H. Secretary Of State Races

State lawmakers are considering a bill that would bar candidates for secretary of state and treasurer from forming political committees. The proposal is backed by the Secretary of State's office.

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As featured on NHPR's Morning Edition

If you're a senior on Medicare — or an adult child responsible for a senior on Medicare — here's something you should know: The annual "open enrollment" period for joining or changing prescription drug or private health plans is already under way.

"It's much earlier this year. It started on Oct. 15, and it's going to stop on Dec. 7," says Nancy Metcalf, a senior editor and health expert at Consumer Reports. "So you have your window right now."

Michele Norris, an All Things Considered co-host since December 2002, is stepping away from that post until after the 2012 presidential campaign because her husband has taken a senior position with President Obama's re-election effort.

She is not leaving NPR's airwaves, however. While she will not be involved in coverage of the 2012 election, Norris will continue to report and produce projects for the organization.

In a message just sent to NPR staff, Norris says:

This past week, republican presidential candidate Herman Cain has been hit hard over his 9-9-9 tax overhaul plan. During the last Republican debate, Cain's plan was attacked as regressive, meaning that it would hit the middle-class and poor Americans hardest.

Robert Dreyfuss, a Nation contributing editor, is an investigative journalist specializing in politics and national security.

Putting gobs of lipstick on the Iraq War pig, President Obama announced today that all US forces, except for a tiny number to protect the not-so-tiny US embassy in Iraq, were coming home. Said Obama:

President Obama is on a campaign swing through the West this week, making stops in California, Nevada and Colorado — all states where Hispanic voters will play a pivotal role in next year's election.

Obama has lost popularity with Latinos recently, mostly due to the economy. But Hispanic voters looking for alternatives find problems with the Republican slate as well.

GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain recently said he'd "electrify" the U.S.-Mexico border fence "with a sign on it on the other side that says it can kill you."

David Bosco reports on the new world order for The Multilateralist.

Update at 5:42 p.m. ET. As expected, President Obama announced that his administration was easing the terms of a federal program that would open the doors for homeowners to refinancing their homes no matter how far underwater their mortgage is.

The AP reports that the Federal Housing Finance Administration "estimated an additional 1 million people would qualify. Moody's Analytics say the figure could be as high as 1.6 million."

We wanted to share the following note from Michele Norris, which she sent to our staff and stations today. Listen for Michele's personal message this afternoon on All Things Considered.

Hello everyone,

I need to share some news and I wanted to make sure my NPR family heard this first.

Barry Duncan has an obsession that follows him everywhere he goes. "I see street signs, restaurant menus, objects while I'm walking along, and I'm just reversing them all the time," he tells Guy Raz, host of weekends on All Things Considered.

Duncan is a master palindromist. He creates phrases, sentences, even passages that read the same forward and backward. He's been at it since 1981, when he was working at a bookstore in Philadelphia and stumbled onto a book of wordplay.

January 10 New Hampshire primary now looks likely. NHPR's Josh Rogers reports.

Nevada is bowing to pressure from national party leaders by moving its caucus from January 14th to February 4th. Before the date change, NH was threatening to hold its 2012 presidential primary in December of this year. Steve Duprey, a NH delegate to the RNC, says getting Nevada officials to push back the caucus wasn’t easy.

"It was extensive discussion that allowed us to get there and Rience Priebus the national chairman was very involved – and that’s a great result."

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