Washington (CNN) - The deficit tangle is a web of complex, long-term, financial problems. But no one seems to ask a basic question: Do members of Congress have those kinds of math skills?
Some of them can't do simple math on the spot (example in latest American Sauce podcast: 642-211). Many of them have mixed up "billions" and "trillions". And the vast majority of Congress comes from professions that don't involve high-level math.
Capitol Hill (CNN) - The Occupy Wall Street protest may be holding ground in New York and at sites around the country, but protesters apparently have yet to make a deep mark inside the U.S. Capitol.
(Click here for this week's American Sauce podcast on how protests are changing in America, including how the Occupy movement and the tea party may be more similar than they'd like to admit.)
CNN's American Sauce asked a number of senators what they think the movement is about, and the initial responses were consistent.
Washington (CNN) – Forget hurricanes and earthquakes, the most lasting American disaster remains the jobs crisis.
This week, American Sauce asks two questions: Why are jobs still comatose? And does the unemployment rate truly capture the scope of the problem?
Hint: government and politicians are lynchpins in both.
Comment below. Or keep reading for more.
(CNN) – Some 2012 candidates give out pies. Others label their speech location "the best place in the country". All of them eat corn dogs and insist they're not regular politicians. The cheese is getting thick in the presidential campaign.
So this week in our American Sauce podcast we ask, "Can we take any of these politicians seriously?" Listen here. It's a good show.
To help candidates and voters alike, we've crafted our own sort of political sincerity test, assigning a point value to each campaign cliché, moment of hokiness and high-cheese factor. Comment below with what you'd add. Keep reading to look or take the test.
Capitol Hill (CNN) – How does the jobs picture look for the U.S.? Friday's government report shows slight improvement for Americans who have jobs now, but that things have gotten worse for those who are looking for work. And a lot worse for female veterans. Read our one-page American Sauce cheat sheet on where the country stands with jobs.
Capitol Hill (CNN) - Confused or annoyed by the debt deal? We have a podcast and cheat sheet to simplify your life and ease your pain.
Listen to this week's American Sauce here. We lay out the debt deal, look at Congress' addiction to crises and go over the deadline lawmakers missed: to keep the Federal Aviation Administration funded and running.
Capitol Hill (CNN) - For weeks now, lawmakers in Washington have produced intense drama over the debt ceiling with no lasting results or clear meaning. Terrible politics, but perhaps it could make for a good movie. Or farce.
To help understand the bottom lines and broad themes in debt negotiations, the crew of CNN's American Sauce podcast asked a team of Hollywood screenwriters to look at the debt debate and present their pitches for National Debt: The Movie.
Capital Hill (CNN) – What exactly would happen if Congress does not raise the debt ceiling before Aug. 2?
In this week's American Sauce podcast, we lay out the specifics, including why August is particularly a difficult month for this to happen. We also summarize the debt negotiations so far through the eyes of two Hollywood screenwriters. Listen here.
Or follow our cheat sheet.
Capitol Hill (CNN) - Let's just say the obvious here: the 2012 presidential campaign is here. Like it or not. We had the first significant debate last week. And Republican candidate number eight joins the ring this week.
But remember, another nine potential candidates have said 'no.' (Barbour, Jeb Bush, Christie, Daniels, Huckabee, Pence, Ryan, Thune, Trump.)