There are many types of freedom.
Leftovers: The EU and IMF have agreed on how to divide up what's left of Greece. First private investors get to take a haircut - “ public debt tender purchases of the various categories of sovereign obligations...” at prices “no higher than those at the close 23 November 2012." - and the ECB will give EU central banks up to €15bn
already sucked from Greece made on Greek bonds. And Greece was promised €40bn k-December which it can then give to European central banks while going even deeper into chattel slavery debt. But, they emphasize, “This is not just about money.” Good one.
Waffle House: The US wants to keep around 10,000 US troops in Afghanistan…after formal combat operations in that country end in 2014, for training and counter-terrorism operations. But that depends on Afghanistan agreeing to both the size of the garrison and to granting them complete immunity for any and all recreational crimes.
Essay Question: On balance, has Wal-Mart been good or bad? Define for whom Wal-Mart has been good or bad and how you define those terms. Whose side are you on, anyway?
Marley's Ghost: Home equity lines of credit are back and are expected reach nearly $80 billion by the end of the year and climb to $104 billion in 2013 as banks and borrowers forget what happened last time in their rush for profits and purchases. Merry Christmas shopping, one and all.
Fiscal Fantoms: Anybody seen the bond vigilantes lately? Nah, me neither, but that doesn't stop the hypocrites who want to cut Social Security and Medicare and the taxes on the rich from wringing their hands and predicting doom.
riverrun, past Eve and Adam's: Four of the world's great rivers, the Colorado (US) the Yellow (China), the Orange (South Africa) and the Murray Darling (Australia ) are suffering from drastically reduced flows as a direct result of water extraction – mostly for irrigation. Climate change “will aggravate changes in river flows” but the real solution requires sharing water between humans and the environment. Good luck with that.
Through A Glass, Darkly: Morgan Stanley's 'pessimistic scenario' for 2013 is a global GDP plunge of 2% if governments and central banks don't keep handing out the honey money.
Clip and Save: The Supremes have blocked enforcement of the Illinois law that made photographing police illegal.
Four Degrees and Climbing: Humans must immediately implement a series of radical measures to halt carbon emissions or prepare for the collapse of society and the death of hundreds of millions. If that doesn't motivate you to demand that all burning of fossil fuels stop immediately, then we are all doomed. So, we're all doomed. Let's party.
All In Good Fun: Two former Florida GOP leaders and current party strategists admit that the GOP-imposed early voting laws were designed to limit Democratic voters, especially minorities. Former GOP Chairman Jim Greer maintains “The Republican Party, the strategists, the consultants, they firmly believe that early voting is bad for Republican Party candidates. They never came in to see me and tell me we had a (voter) fraud issue. It’s all a marketing ploy.” Which we all knew long ago.
Headline Only: “That Shortage of Skilled Manufacturing Workers is Really a Shortage of Employers Willing to Pay the Market Wage.”
Majority Rule, No? The Senate's Majority Leader, tired of the minority using 'The Filibuster' to thwart even discussion of any topic they are afraid of, is considering changing the rules to prevent filibusters from being misused in this way. He also may seek to require filibusters to be... well, filibusters. The Republicans say this would “take away minority rights...” and promise to throw a tantrum if they don't keep getting their way. Grow up.
Porn O'Graph: Fill in the blank.
The Parting Shot:
Laetiporus sulphures, Chicken of the Woods.