The Note

On the battle to become the Dean Alternative: "I'm very interested to see what the Edwards, Kerry, Lieberman, Clark, strategy will be in terms of positioning themselves as the one other guy."

"I think there will be every opportunity for someone to do that."

And, because, as we told you, we are suckers for history, here is a fun matching game that reviews some past debate stuff.

In each case, pick from the lettered list to choose which journalist/questioner asked this questions from this year's earlier Democratic presidential candidate debates:

1. "I want to ask you, Senator Lieberman, how do you separate the good guys from the bad guys?"

2. "Lady and gentlemen, I have one question to ask all of you, and I don't want to mess up the format of this debate, so please answer very quickly. This is for the Gen X crowd, and it's very personal. What's your favorite song?"

3. " … it's not quite boxers or briefs, but Macs or PCs?"

For each, was it:

A Maria Elena Salinas (Univision) B. Huel Perkins (WJBK TV, Fox 2 News) C. Carl Cameron (Fox News) D. Farai Chideya ( Or E. Alexandra Trustman (Brown University)

Food For Thought — a preview:

Attention Note readers trying to stay slim in spite of the holidays:

On Monday night, our esteemed ABC News colleague Peter Jennings (who rumor has it reads The Note on occasion) takes a hard primetime look at the reasons that Americans keep getting fatter that have nothing to do with lack of self-control (although we at The Note acknowledge late at night we are often tempted by just one more scoop of Haagen Dazs). Peter points to the role the food industry and the government play in America's obesity epidemic.

Peter goes where few on the Hill have been willing to travel — down the road of farm subsidies. With tough questions to some familiar Washington faces, including Secretary Thompson and Senator Lincoln, Peter finds that despite concerns over the implications of Americans growing girth, no one in Washington is making the connection between the billions of agriculture dollars Congress hands out and the battle to control the nation's bulge.

It gives new meaning to the term "fat cat lobbyist."

Tune in to "Peter Jennings Reporting: How to Get Fat Without Really Trying" on Monday at 8:00pm ET and see how the government and the food industry are helping to make us fat.

The economy:

According to ABC News' Ramona Schindelheim, economists had forecast an increase of 150,000 or more jobs for November. The Labor Department reported the economy added just 57,000, a very disappointing number. This is still below the 200,000-plus a month needed to make a significant dent in the unemployment.

Manufacturing lost jobs for the 40th consecutive month, but the rate of job loss has slowed.

Manufacturing lost 17,000 in November and 14,000 in October.

Per the AP:

"The nation's unemployment rate slipped to 5.9 percent in November, the lowest level in eight months, as employers added new jobs for a fourth-straight month."

"The Labor Department reported Friday that the rate fell from 6 percent in October. The last time it was lower was in March, at 5.8 percent."

"U.S. companies added 57,000 new jobs in November, boosting payrolls by 328,000 during the past four months following a half-year hiring drought."

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