TPM News

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.

Reuters reports:

Maggie Daley, the wife of former Chicago Mayor Richard Daley and a driving force for the arts and education in the city, died on Thursday, current Mayor Rahm Emanuel said. She was 68.

Daley was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer in 2002 but continued to make public appearances and downplayed her illness despite numerous trips to the hospital.

Some political observers attributed the emotional drain of her illness in part to her husband's retirement this year after a city record 22 years in office.

"Chicago has lost a warm and gracious First Lady who contributed immeasurably to our city. While Mayor Daley served as the head of this city, Maggie was its heart," Emanuel, President Barack Obama's former chief of staff who won election to succeed Daley, said in a statement.

President Obama sure looked like a two-term president in November 2008 as he presided over an electoral map more dominant than many thought possible after two ultra-polarized contests in 2000 and 2004. But with a weak economy that shows little signs of serious improvement before election day, things are going to be a whole lot tougher this time around. Will his wide playing field from 2008 hold up again four years later?

The good news for Obama is that even though he's heading for a tough fight, few of his 2008 swing states have moved off the board entirely. Indiana, a narrow and surprising blue state that year, is likely unwinnable. But other states that moved into the Democratic column for the first time in decades -- namely and Virginia and North Carolina -- are still looking like competitive races.

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