Attention Kmart shoppers, the gods rest your weary souls. Unidentified benefactors are paying off strangers' layaway accounts all across the country, especially for poor folks looking to buy loud and blinky toys for their snot-factory children. It's a nice gesture, but not as nice as giving people a living wage or unshackling them from unreasonable debt or buying them slightly better crap from slightly better stores. Like Walmart.

Fox News viewers got to watch the Republican presidential wannabes say things about things again. Mostly those things were nasty things, and they were aimed at Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich. Blah blah. No one cares. Wake me when the FEMA camps open.

Congress was "busy," too. Another stopgap spending bill ought to keep the wheels of government spinning all greasily for another few months. And, speaking of grease, House Speaker John Boehner has laid out a condition for his agreement not to raise taxes on working Americans: Allow construction to begin on the 1,700-mile Keystone oil pipeline before environmental reviews are finished.

For the first time since probing the mortgage crisis,
the Securities and Exchange Commission is pursuing in court top executives from government-owned mortgage outfits Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae. Next time, maybe they'll learn to "adequately disclose their firms’ exposure to risky mortgages." So there!

In the world of WikiLeaks! Founder Julian Assange was given permission by Britain's Supreme Court to appeal his extradition back to Sweden on sex charges, prolonging his stay for a few more weeks. And! Bradley Manning, the private first class accused of leaking sensitive diplomatic cables to WikiLeaks, made his first court appearance this morning amid heavy security as protesters and supporters gathered outside.

A Penn State assistant coach tells a courtroom that, in fact, he was pretty clear, when he spoke to senior school officials, that he had seen another coach raping a young boy several years ago. No, he still didn't tell police, too.

The worst part of the Fukushima disaster is over.
Officials say the Japanese plant's reactors are "stable." Of course, thousands of residents remain barred from a 12-mile radius of creepy, irradiated wasteland stretching around the plant.

If any city was going to allow its Occupy camp to stick around, legally, for several more weeks, it'd be Eugene. And that's what the city council has done again, extending a permit until January 11. That ought to be a helluva New Year's party.

It almost makes too much sense. In a departure from temperance-fueled puritanism, the Oregon Liquor Control Commission might allow residents to—HOLY SHIT!—buy their beer and wine at the same store where they also buy their liquor.

Cheating firefighters? The city's fire bureau is looking into some shenanigans over promotions tests.

Dust to dust.

DO YOU LIKE TO LOOK AT "EROTIC" THINGS?
HOW ABOUT "PRANKS"? HOW ABOUT BOTH? THEN, OH MAN, HAVE I GOT THE THING FOR YOU! SUBURBAN HIGH SCHOOL ATHLETES PASSIONATELY MAKING OUT WITH THEIR PARENTS!