Vive La Difference: Somehow we're supposed to feel better if some corporation keeps tracks us 24/7 instead of the NSA. How's that work?
Ring Of Fired: As a bribery/corruption investigation creeps ever closer to Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan (and it couldn't happen to a nicer guy), three of his top cabinet ministers resigned because their sons had been implicated, and Erdogan fired 10 ministers “so they could run in mayoral elections” and replaced them with party hacks loyal to him. Justice officials say the administration is interfering with a court-directed investigation. Statoil and Total have withdrawn from a planned pipeline designed to carry Azerbaijani natural gas to Europe, and the Turkish lira fell sharply.
Christmas Spirit: Despite the supposed economic recovery underway in Europe as a result of the ECB/EU 'all austerity all the time' programs, in Italy Christsmas sales were down 11.4% and one in five families did without presents.
The Light's Better Over Here: The White House is delighted to point out that the federal budget deficit has dropped to 4.1% of GDP. They don't so much point out that the the 2009 – 2012 deficits were the biggest since WWII.
Travel Advisory: Tourists considering traveling to or through Montana should be aware that Judge Baugh – the idiot who sentenced a teacher to one month in jail for raping a 14 year-old student – is now forcing a man who beat his girlfriend to a pulp and broke her face in three places to write “Boys do not hit girls” 5,000 times.
Uphill Battle: The US Chamber of Commerce says it wants to make sure that in 2014 the GOP has “no fools on our ticket.” Not including incumbents running for re-election, one supposes.
Suspicious Behavior: Trying to improve his knowledge of a foreign language earned a traveler at Philadelphia International Airport six hours of detention, screening and interrogation by Homeland Security and FBI agents, who thought that flashcards in Arabic were decidedly a threat to national security. And a judge says it was reasonable and acceptable.
Settling The Bill: A Federal judge has rejected BP's attempt to weasel out of paying for $7.8 billion of the damage they did to Gulf Coast businesses.
Merry Christmas: Obama has sent 75 Hellfire missiles and 10 drones to Iraq in the wake of an outbreak of
Doing God's Work: The only Roman Catholic official actually jailed in the US in all of the sex abuse scandals of recent years has been freed, because child endangerment laws do not cover what the Roman Catholic priests routinely did (and still do?) to little kids.
Resolution: "Any honest budget expert will tell you that the U.S.’s fiscal position is unsustainable. Two lines -- outlays and revenues -- growing further apart in perpetuity. Economist Herb Stein famously said that if something can’t go on forever, it will stop. He didn’t say when."
Priorities: While Congress is happily cutting food stamps and tossing over a million unemployed into the gutter, the Pentagon is spending $355 billion over the next decade to modernize its nuclear weaponry. Didn’t the Soviet Union collapse in 1989? Isn’t China our biggest trading partner? Just who are we so afraid of?
The Parting Shot: