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Welcome to the recovery:

Retailers did not get all that they wanted for Christmas, with December sales coming in lower than expected. But the holiday season altogether was still the strongest since 2006, and several categories including luxury continued their growth.

….“A lot of companies and sectors out there did well, better than analysts expected,” particularly the more exclusive retailers, said Chris Donnelly, a senior executive in the retail practice at Accenture, the consulting firm.

….Luxury items continued to rise, even more so than analysts had expected, with the two higher-end stores reporting results — Nordstrom and Saks Fifth Avenue — beating estimates by the biggest amounts. At Saks, sales at stores open at least a year, a measure called same-store sales, rose 11.8 percent, beating estimates of 3.9 percent. And Nordstrom’s rose 8.4 percent, versus estimates of 3.4 percent.

Italics mine. Holiday sales overall weren’t bad, which is a promising sign. But maybe not so promising for ordinary working schlubs.

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REAL QUICK, REAL URGENT

Minority rule, corruption, disinformation, attacks on those who dare tell the truth: There is a direct line from what's happening in Russia and Ukraine to what's happening here at home. And that's what MoJo's Monika Bauerlein writes about in "Their Fight Is Our Fight" to unpack the information war we find ourselves in and share a few examples to show why the power of independent, reader-supported journalism is such a threat to authoritarians.

Corrupt leaders the world over can (and will) try to shut down the truth, but when the truth has millions of people on its side, you can't keep it down for good. And there's no more powerful or urgent argument for your support of Mother Jones' journalism right now than that. We need to raise about $450,000 to hit our online fundraising budget in these next few months, so please read more from Monika and pitch in if you can.

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