So... don't spend your pile of holiday gift cards yet (thanks, lazy people!)—at least not until you make sure if the IRS or your favorite utility companies will accept them as payment. Sure, Barack Obama is all, "I stopped going on vacation in tropical Hawaii to do this deal on the fiscal cliff." But fellow Democrat Harry Reid, leader of the Senate, is predicting a terrible failure.

Russian strongman Vladimir Putin
will officially sign a piece of paper keeping Russian orphans out of the loving arms (and McMansions) of Jesus-loving (and Walmart-shopping) American do-gooders.

The head of the Environmental Protection Agency is stepping down after four years of not accomplishing much other than crying "uncle" amid a stream of attacks by Republicans and people who make money from pollution.

A United Nations envoy says it's time to set up a transitional government in Syria. Which might be a good idea, except there's no word if the man who currently controls (most of) the country, Bashar al-Assad, will agree to stop bombing rebel-loving civilians long enough to go along.

China finally has decided to appreciate, and not persecute, its Muslim population. Why? There might be some neato investment opportunities in the Arab world, and well... that's business!

Crack cocaine! It's why Brazilian cities in 2012 = American cities in 1986.

It snowed like mad across the eastern United States, once again mucking up air travel across much of the country. But not in Portland where, dare I say it, the sun might make an appearance?

The economy's pinch on bookstores—we're too busy paying for gas and food and emotional suffering to load up on shiny new books—has predictably made for bustling business at public libraries.

America's oldest living president, George Herbert Walker Bush, has been admitted into intensive care because of a fever that refused to withdraw from his body, eschewing a clear path to Baghdad, after liberating Kuwait.