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3:25 PM ET, December 2, 2011


 Top Items: 
Bureau of Labor Statistics:
Employment Situation Summary  —  Transmission of material in this release is embargoed USDL-11-1691 until 8:30 a.m. (EST) Friday, December 2, 2011  —  Technical information:  —  Household data: (202) 691-6378 * *
Shobhana Chandra / Bloomberg:
U.S. Jobless Rate Unexpectedly Declines to 8.6%  —  Payroll gains in the U.S. picked up last month and the jobless rate unexpectedly fell to the lowest level since March 2009, a decline augmented by the departure of Americans from the labor force.  —  Payrolls climbed 120,000 …
Catherine Rampell / New York Times:
Signs of Hope in Jobs Report; Unemployment Drops to 8.6%  —  The American unemployment rate unexpectedly fell to its lowest level in two and a half years in November, despite the many global crises batting against the economy.  —  The unemployment rate fell to 8.6 percent …
Derek Thompson / The Atlantic Online:   8.6% Unemployment: The Good, the Bad, and the Mysterious in the Jobs Report
Phil Izzo / Real Time Economics:
Why Did the Unemployment Rate Drop?
J. Bradford DeLong / Brad DeLong:
The Household Survey: A Note on the December 2, 2011 Report
Discussion: Modeled Behavior and Angry Bear
Josh Boak / The Politico:
Unemployment hits 2-year low
Discussion: CNN and The Political Carnival
Charles Krauthammer / Washington Post:
Mitt vs. Newt  —  It's Iowa minus 32 days, and barring yet another resurrection (or event of similar improbability), it's Mitt Romney vs. Newt Gingrich.  In a match race, here's the scorecard:  —  Romney has managed to weather the debates unscathed.  However, the brittleness he showed …
Ramesh Ponnuru / National Review:
Romney's the One  —  Even though nobody has yet cast a vote in the primaries, Republicans are increasingly resigned to Gov. Mitt Romney's winning the party's presidential nomination.  Every week he gets a few more endorsements from Republican officeholders.
Dan Amira / New York Magazine:
Fundamentally: Newt Gingrich's Favorite Word  —  By now, we've all become familiar with Newt Gingrich's habit of using a few choice adverbs to make the things he says sound just a bit more intelligent to his listeners. … But none of them are as vital to the Gingrich lexicon as fundamentally …
Jonathan Bernstein / Washington Post:
Gingrich presidential run inspires fear and loathing in top GOP circles
Hotline On Call:
Insiders Not Sold on Gingrich
Discussion: GOP 12
Gschwarzcnn / CNN:
Santorum on Gingrich: ‘Humility is an important thing’
David Weigel / Slate:
Absolution for Newt  —  How evangelicals are finding a way to support Gingrich.
Scott Johnson / Power Line:
Nixon's the one!  —  I take myself to be the average Republican primary voter.
Jeremy W. Peters / The Caucus:
Trump to Moderate Republican Debate  —  It's officially a reality television Republican primary now.  —  Donald Trump is pairing up with Newsmax, the conservative magazine and news Web site, to moderate a presidential debate in Des Moines on Dec. 27.  —  “Our readers and the grass roots …
Allison Samuels / The Daily Beast:
Herman Cain's Marriage Shaken by Infidelity Charges  —  As the one-time GOP frontrunner meets up with his wife to discuss his political future, friends say fresh charges of infidelity reopened old wounds in his marriage.  —  In October, Herman Cain was having the time of his life, according to those who know him well.
Washington Post:
Herman Cain nearing decision on candidacy
Discussion: ABCNEWS
Justin Sink / The Hill:
Cain highlights female supporters on new website
Discussion: CNN
Tom Jensen / Public Policy Polling:
Nelson up double digits  —  Several Florida Senate polls conducted shortly after Connie Mack IV's entry into the race found a toss up contest, but PPP's newest look finds that any announcement bump Mack may have received has now receded.  Bill Nelson leads him by a 46-35 margin.
Discussion: Taegan Goddard's …
Alexander Bolton / The Hill:
Conservatives craft bill to prevent IMF bailout of crumbling eurozone  —  Conservatives say they will try to block the International Monetary Fund from bailing out Italy and Spain, which they say could leave U.S. taxpayers with a huge bill.  —  Republicans on both sides of the Capitol complain …
Paul Krugman / New York Times:
Killing the Euro  —  Can the euro be saved?  Not long ago …
Discussion: US Politics
Greg Mankiw / Greg Mankiw's Blog:
The Draghi Deal  —  If I understand the news coming …
Discussion: Wall Street Journal and EconLog
Teen stopped at airport for design on purse  —  17-year-old missed flight to Jacksonville after agents inspected gun replica  —  A teenage girl's sense of style got her in trouble at the airport.  —  Vanessa Gibbs, 17, claims the Transportation Security Administration stopped …
Jennifer Jacobs / Iowa Caucuses:
Iowa Poll: Herman Cain support in Iowa takes nose dive  —  Herman Cain (David Purdy/Des Moines Register file photo)  —  Herman Cain's once-surging popularity in Iowa has plummeted in the wake of an allegation of a 13-year extramarital affair, leaving him at single-digit support with the Iowa caucuses just over a month away.
Washington Post:
Payroll tax break: Extension proposals from both parties fail in Senate  —  The Senate late Thursday rejected competing partisan visions for extending a temporary tax break that benefits virtually every American worker, clearing the way for more serious negotiations over how to cover the cost of the tax cut.
Russell Berman / The Hill:
Boehner hopes to avoid GOP Senate fate on payroll taxes
Discussion: The Politico
First-grader accused of sexual harassment  —  A Boston elementary school is investigating a 7-year-old first-grader for sexual harassment after he struck another boy his age in the groin.  But the mother of the accused said her son was fending off the other child, who had choked him in an altercation on a school bus on Nov. 22.
James Taranto / Wall Street Journal:
The Meathead Vote  —  For liberal baby boomers, it's always 1972.  —  In hilarious fashion, National Journal's Reid Wilson picks up on this week's predominant theme, Democrats and demographics.  He paints a sunny picture of President Obama's re-election prospects based on Ruy Teixeira …
Discussion: Don Surber and
Alexis Madrigal / The Atlantic Online:
Other Websites That Ran That ‘Women for Cain’ Stock Photo  —  This morning, Herman Cain's campaign launched a new website called ‘Women for Cain,’ on which women can submit stories of their support for the embattled Republican presidential candidate.  This is the leader image for the site.
Josh Peterson / The Daily Caller:
Under assault for liberal bias, Politico's traffic dives  —  Internet traffic and Web search measurement tools from several sources indicate that despite massive promotion efforts on MSNBC and in other venues, is rapidly losing readers, especially outside of Washington, D.C.
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 More Items: 
Tim Mak / The Politico:
Christine Todd Whitman to Jon Huntsman: Run third party
Discussion: Taegan Goddard's …
Suzan Clarke / Yahoo! News:
Anonymous ‘Secret Santa’ Brings Christmas Cheer
Discussion: Sister Toldjah
Jeffrey M. Jones / Gallup:
Obama's November Approval Weak From Historical Perspective
Jeffrey Goldberg / The Atlantic Online:
Netanyahu Cancels Anti-Diaspora Ad Campaign
The White House:
Upgrades Will Create Tens of Thousands of Jobs and Save Billions
Discussion: ThinkProgress and Swampland
Jenna Johnson / Washington Post:
Cuddly puppies help law students de-stress before exams
Discussion: Gawker and Law Blog
 Earlier Items: 
Erik Wasson / The Hill:
White House warns spending talks are on track for another shutdown ‘crisis’
Discussion: The Politico
Jake Tapper / ABCNEWS:
Gingrich Breaks from Some in Anti-Abortion Community on When Life Begins
Discussion: and National Review
Sam Dagher / Wall Street Journal:
Turf Battle Forms Over Hussein's Palaces
Discussion: MyFox Boston and Booman Tribune
Jeffrey Goldberg / The Atlantic Online:
Is Iran Already Under Attack?
Discussion: Harry's Place and Sister Toldjah
Alexandra Petri / Washington Post:
Michele Bachman gets things straight on gay marriage
David Brooks / New York Times:
The Spirit of Enterprise  —  Why are nations like Germany and the U.S. rich?