TPM News

Pepper spray: It's not just for peacefully protesting college students anymore.

The usual Black Friday shenanigans across the country were marked by the emergence of a new trend: pepper spraying people at Wal-Mart. On both coasts, shoppers scrambling for video games at the discount retailer were met with a face full of burning as clouds of Megyn Kelly's "food product" were blasted into the unruly hordes.

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Remember when Michele Bachmann was a heavyweight rival to Mitt Romney, even winning the Ames Straw Poll and being referred to by CNN as "a viable contender for the White House"? So do we, vaguely... But only very vaguely. So we got to reflecting on what happened to Michele Bachmann. Obviously a large part of it has to do with the rise of Perry and Cain, and the consequent fracturing of support from the tea party and evangelicals. But TPM's Thomas Lane thinks that something else is at work... and he explains what in the video below.

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Updated at 1:10 PM

As expected, Newt Gingrich is taking a lot of hits from his opponents and the conservative right following his decision to risk it all by professing compassion for a subset of illegal immigrants.

Social conservatives are freaking out, and Gingrich's decision to insert the word "humane" into an answer about illegal immigration at the last presidential debate seems to be putting some Iowa voters on edge weeks before the caucus vote. But, importantly, while Gingrich's opponents attack him, they're declining to say what they'd do differently when it comes to families who've been living, working (and paying taxes) in America for decades without legal immigration status.

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A Kansas teenager got in some trouble with her school for comments she posted on her Twitter account -- in which she claimed to have trashed Gov. Sam Brownback (R) to his face during a field trip.

Emma Sullivan, an 18-year old high school senior, was at an event in Topeka this past Monday for Kansas Youth in Government, which was addressed by Brownback. During the event, Sullivan posted to her Twitter account:

Just made mean comments at gov brownback and told him he sucked, in person #heblowsalot

But as it turns out, Brownback's office watches Twitter for comments about him. Brownback spokeswoman Sherriene Jones-Sontag told the event organizers about the comment, "so that they were aware what their students were saying in regards to the governor's appearance," the Wichita Eagle reports, also adding: "We monitor social media so we can see what Kansans are thinking and saying about the governor and his policies."

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Here’s a bit of holiday cheer from CNBC:

Stocks closed in negative territory in thin, shortened trading Friday as investors were reluctant to go long ahead of the weekend and amid ongoing worries over the euro zone. The Dow and S&P posted their worst Thanksgiving week since the Great Depression on a percentage basis. 

“Stocks posted seven straight sessions of losses on Friday, ending the worst week in two months, as the lack of a credible solution to Europe’s debt crisis kept investors away from risky assets,” Reuters reports.

“51% of voters in the state view Paterno favorably to 28% with an unfavorable opinion,” PPP reports. “With all the recent controversy those are still far better numbers than any politician in the state can boast. Every demographic group PPP tracks continues to have a positive take on Paterno.”

Read the poll here.