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December 11th, 2011
04:52 AM ET

SOTU Early Bird for December 11th

(CNN)-It's early, and State of the Union is bringing you the best of the morning headlines to go with your cup of coffee.

On our radar:  The latest GOP presidential debate:  Newt fights off rivals while Romney makes a expensive one.

Check out what we're reading and watch our interviews with Rick Santorum and Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe today at 9am/12pm ET.


Gingrich comes under attack in GOP debate

Republican debate: 7 takeaways

Debate: Santorum wants “Made in USA” on more factory goods

Debate: Bachmann declares victory following Iowa debate

“ABC News said I won the debate!” Bachmann shouted above the din to a crowd of perhaps 50, who had been watching the ABC News/Des Moines Register debate on a projection screen.

“Let’s call it even and say I won Iowa!”

2012 RACE

Two Romneys: Wealthy Man, Thrifty Habits

Friends, co-workers and relatives describe Mr. Romney, now seeking the Republican presidential nomination, as something of a paradox: a man exceedingly deft at and devoted to making money who has never become entirely comfortable with his own wealth.

Newt Gingrich’s faith journey: How a thrice-married Catholic became an evangelical darling

Inside Newt's Stunning Comeback

Romney over Huntsman?

Huntsman is arguably more conservative than Romney. Even if he's just as moderate, he comes with none of Romney's issues. He never supported an individual mandate for health insurance, and he hasn't the record of flip-flopping. Romney is defined by that . It's what people think of when they think of Mitt Romney. Romney also is closely associated with "Wall Street," which could be a liability in this election, and is something we already know the Obama campaign will exploit. Huntsman has none of those negatives.


E-mail isn’t killing the Postal Service

The Internet Age may be wreaking havoc with the post office and its mail-delivery business, but what industry in America isn't going through the same wrenching experience? And not many institutions enjoy the benefits that federal law confers on the Postal Service: It pays no income or property taxes, it's exempt from vehicle licensing requirements and parking fines, and it has the power of eminent domain. Most significant of all, it has a legal monopoly on the delivery of mail: The federal Private Express statutes make it a crime for any private carrier to deliver letters. The only exception is for "extremely urgent" letters, and even those may be delivered by a private company only if it's willing to charge a much higher rate than the Postal Service would have charged.

Yet with all its privileges, the Postal Service is struggling, while UPS and FedEx flourish. Why? Because they have something invaluable that the post office lacks: Competitors.


At least 2 killed in Mexico earthquake

New U.N. climate deal struck, critics say gains modest

General: Iran won't return U.S. drone it claims to have

Beyond Guantánamo, a Web of Prisons for Terrorism Inmates

Protests Swell Across Russia

Thanks for reading!

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