Morning Edition music commentator Miles Hoffman is the author of The NPR Classical Music Companion, now in its tenth printing from the Houghton Mifflin Company. Before joining Morning Edition in 2002, Hoffman entertained and enlightened the nationwide audience of NPR's Performance Today every week for 13 years with his musical commentary, "Coming to Terms," a listener-friendly tour through the many foreign words and technical terms peculiar to the world of classical music.

3:51am

Thu November 22, 2012
Music

'Don Giovanni' To 'Nixon In China': Holiday Feasts In Opera

Originally published on Thu November 22, 2012 4:45 am

President Nixon pardons a turkey in 1969. There's quite a celebratory banquet scene in the John Adams opera, Nixon in China.
Nixon White House Photographs Series The U.S. National Archives via Flickr

As you prepare to feast upon cranberry sauce, pumpkin pie and your choice of entree this Thanksgiving, there's also an operatic feast to be had.

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3:49am

Thu November 22, 2012
The Salt

A Readable Feast: Poems To Feed 'The Hungry Ear'

Originally published on Thu November 22, 2012 4:45 am

Still Life with Fruit and Nuts, by Robert Seldon Duncanson
Courtesy National Gallery of Art, Washington

This Thanksgiving, as hearty aromas fill the house, take a moment to savor a different kind of nourishment — poetry about food.

The Hungry Ear, a new collection, celebrates the pleasures and the sorrows of food with poems from Pablo Neruda, Sylvia Plath and dozens more. Poet Kevin Young cooked up — or edited — this readable feast. He tells NPR's Renee Montagne that, much like the best meals, the best poems are made from scratch.

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3:25am

Thu November 22, 2012
Business

On Thanksgiving, Stores Serve Up A Side Of Shopping

Originally published on Thu November 22, 2012 7:11 am

Walmart associate Angel Campos stocks Christmas decorations Wednesday ahead of the pre-Black Friday event at the Wal-Mart Supercenter store in Rosemead, Calif.
Damian Dovarganes AP

Gray Thursday may become the new Black Friday. Many big retailers have moved up the beginning of their shopping season, traditionally the Friday after Thanksgiving, to Thursday evening.

Brick-and-mortar retailers are feeling pressure from online retailers, which have given consumers an earlier shopping option.

"In the past, online retailers have had Thanksgiving Day all to themselves," says Marshal Cohen, retail analyst with the NPD Group. "And what that means is by the time Black Friday comes around, a lot of consumers have already spent a bunch of money."

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3:23am

Thu November 22, 2012
It's All Politics

Before The Showdown: The Long Road To The Fiscal Cliff

Originally published on Thu November 22, 2012 4:45 am

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., prepares to announce a debt ceiling deal in July 2011. That deal laid the foundation for the across-the-board spending cuts set to take effect on New Year's Day, 2013.
Harry Hamburg AP

New Year's Day typically inspires hope and new beginnings. But this next one may be cause for trepidation. Tax cuts for all income levels expire on Jan. 1, 2013, and most federal programs will face a 10 percent haircut — because Congress failed to agree on a deficit-reduction plan.

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12:03am

Thu November 22, 2012
Movie Interviews

We Ask A Historian: Just How Accurate Is 'Lincoln'?

Originally published on Thu November 22, 2012 10:20 pm

Lincoln biographer Ronald White lauds the accuracy of Daniel Day-Lewis' depiction of the 16th president.
DreamWorks

A great many families going to the movies over this Thanksgiving weekend will probably see Lincoln, Steven Spielberg's new film starring Daniel Day-Lewis and an impressive cast.

Based on a biography by Doris Kearns Goodwin, but scripted by playwright and screenwriter Tony Kushner, it's been very well-reviewed, but here's a question: How true to history is it?

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6:41pm

Wed November 21, 2012
It's All Politics

Why Have There Been So Many Contested Elections?

A Palm Beach County election worker counts ballots in Riviera Beach, Fla., on Nov. 9. Rep. Allen West contested the results of the election in Florida's 18th District for two weeks before conceding. Since 2000, the number of contested elections has more than doubled.
J Pat Carter AP

After two weeks of dispute with St. Lucie County elections officials, Florida Rep. Allen West conceded the race for Florida's 18th Congressional District to Democrat Patrick Murphy on Tuesday.

Allen's post-election battle was the most high-profile this year, but the phenomenon is by no means unusual. In today's political climate, candidates don't like to concede, even after the votes have been counted. Increasingly, they are taking their cases to the courts, says Joshua Douglas, an assistant professor of law at the University of Kentucky.

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6:36pm

Wed November 21, 2012
It's All Politics

Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr.'s Bad End Is Just The Latest For A Snake-Bit District

Originally published on Tue December 4, 2012 7:20 pm

Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. of Illinois, seen here in October 2011, resigned from Congress on Wednesday.
Charles Dharapak AP

Talk about your snake-bitten congressional districts.

The Thanksgiving-eve news that Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. was resigning from Congress after reports that he has bipolar disorder and is the subject of a criminal probe of his spending of campaign funds, is just the latest in a series of bad endings for those who have represented Illinois' 2nd Congressional District in Washington.

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5:29pm

Wed November 21, 2012
Shots - Health News

With Routine Mammograms, Some Breast Cancers May Be Overtreated

Originally published on Wed November 21, 2012 6:01 pm

A mammographer prepares a screen-film mammography test for patient Alicia Maldonado at a hospital in Los Angeles.
Damian Dovarganes AP

The endless debate over routine mammograms is getting another kick from an analysis that sharply questions whether the test really does what it's supposed to.

Dr. H. Gilbert Welch, coauthor of the analysis of mammography's impact, which was just published in The New England Journal of Medicine, tell Shots that the aim was to "get down to a very basic question."

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5:20pm

Wed November 21, 2012
Monkey See

Rob Delaney Talks About Gratitude, Perspective, Spaceships And A Career With Teeth

Originally published on Wed November 21, 2012 5:57 pm

A screenshot from Rob Delaney's standup special, "Live At The Bowery Ballroom."

Full disclosure: The first thing I said when I saw that Rob Delaney would be talking to NPR's Audie Cornish on today's All Things Considered was that I was curious to see whether he had ever said anything on Twitter — where he has almost 670,000 followers (including me) as of this writing — that they thought they could read on the radio. It's an exaggeration. But not by that much.

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