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Please begin with an informative title:

Visual source: Newseum


On the eve of "Cyber Monday," online retailers reported an even stronger start to the holiday shopping season than brick-and-mortar stores.

Research firm comScore reported on Sunday that e-commerce spending jumped 26 percent on Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, compared with the same day a year ago. ComScore reported $816 million in online sales for the day, up from $648 million.

The 26 percent growth rate for online sales compares with a 7 percent retail sales increase reported for Black Friday by ShopperTrak, which gathers data from individual stores and shopping malls. At $11.4 billion, the brick-and-mortar sales total still dwarfs the online total.

Many people can access Cyber Monday from home, rather than waiting to go to work on Monday.

bbb linked a different section of this Ann Selzer interview yesterday by Molly Ball, but it's so good, I did it again.

What's so different about polling the caucuses?

Any pollster who would look at, on paper, what it takes to do it would walk away and say, 'It can't be done.' Because it -- especially when you just have one caucus and you don't have the other side -- the cost of each contact in the poll is high because [caucus-goers] are so hard to find. You're going to hang up on so many people to get a qualified person. Cell phones are something to worry about. We use the secretary of state's list of registered voters and the phone numbers that are listed there. We take our best shot for the resources available, but that leaves a lot of room to worry about who we do miss. You can register that night [at the caucus], so those people are not on the list. We do know that more than 90 percent of Iowans who are eligible to be registered are, in fact, registered, so that doesn't feel like a bad compromise.


I know -- it's Iowa. [laughs]

In Iowa, no one is ahead. Arguably, another mistake by Romney in not making it a priority.

Meanwhile, in NH (from MSNBC):

In a significant development in the Republican presidential contest, the New Hampshire Union Leader newspaper endorsed former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich as his campaign surges in polls both nationally and locally. Despite his tumultuous political past, Gingrich was cited by the paper to have conservative credentials they believe to be critical to win the GOP nomination.
Union Leader:
This newspaper endorses Newt Gingrich in the New Hampshire Presidential Primary.

America is at a crucial crossroads. It is not going to be enough to merely replace Barack Obama next year. We are in critical need of the innovative, forward-looking strategy and positive leadership that Gingrich has shown he is capable of providing.

Newt Gingrich got an important boost when he won the Union Leader’s endorsement on Sunday — but the paper’s track record shows he’s still far from a lock in the first primary state.
LA Times:
Democrats plan to propose paying for the [payroll tax] extension with a surtax on millionaires, which Republicans oppose.

"By taxing people who provide jobs, you put off the day we have economic recovery and job creation in this country,” said Sen. John Kyl of Arizona, one of six Republican members on the super committee that called it quits last week. "It would hit those people, the small businesses who we all acknowledge are the ones who create the jobs."

But Kyl, speaking on "Fox News Sunday," stopped short of saying that there would be no deal on the payroll tax cut extension.

The assertion that the surtax would hurt small businesses is overstated, according to the nonpartisan fact-checking site PolitiFact, which cited several reports showing that only a tiny percentage of such business owners make more than $1 million annually.

Carl T Bogus reflecting on Wm Buckley and the modern conservative movement:
From its origins in 1951, the conservative movement has perceived itself not essentially as an advocate for a more effective political philosophy but as a bulwark against evil. Though many liberals may be naive rather than malevolent, they are nonetheless leading America into something foul and wicked.

It is this sentiment that has imbued the modern conservative movement with so much fervor. It is what motivates the bombast of Rush Limbaugh and many imitators. It is why Ann Coulter books are titled "Treason," "High Crimes and Misdemeanors," "Guilty: Liberal 'Victims' and Their Assault on America" and "Demonic."

The sentiment also explains why so many Republican presidential candidates do not believe in evolution. Many on the right equate Christianity with conservatism, and demand purity in both.

The real conservative legacy from EJ Dionne:
The deficit that should most worry us is a deficit of reasonableness. The problems the United States confronts are large but not insoluble. Yet sensible solutions that are broadly popular can’t be enacted.

Why? Because an ideological bloc that sees every crisis as an opportunity to reduce the size of government holds enough power in Congress to stop us from doing what needs to be done.


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