Economics and Investing:

What the New Tax Bill Deal Means for You. JWR’s Comment: I’m very skeptical about what went on in back-room deals to get this legislation passed so quickly, particularly in the U.S. Senate. Were promises made about acquiescence to one or more upcoming treaty ratifications or the DREAM illegal alien amnesty bill? Time will tell, but something seems amiss.

The Lumberman sent this: Food Stamp Rolls Continue to Rise. (Nearly 43 million people in the U.S.–14% of the population!)

Frequent content contributor John R. sent the next few items:

Doomsday for the US Dollar: Post Mortem for the World’s “Reserve Currency”   (Mike Whitney)
Failing to Prosecute Wall Street Fraud Is Extending Our Economic Problems – Washington’s Blog  
Sidestepping the U.S. Dollar, a Russian Exchange Will Swap Rubles and Renminbi

Items from The Economatrix:

Eurozone Debt Crisis Spreads to Belgium  

Silver at $40 Will be Best 2011 Metals Bet, Standard Bank’s Ikemizu Says  

The Dire Collapse Taking Place  

Ruble-Remninbi Trading to Start in Russia 

Extreme Weather Sparks Global Commodities Rally  

Public Pensions Face Underfunding Crisis  

Kids Write Santa For Basic Needs This Year Instead Of Toys. [JWR Adds: Julenissen is bringing my kids ammo and silver for Christmas. They said that they wanted “tangibles”, bless their hearts.]