Help Us, We're Poor

THE STORY: Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner sent Congress a holiday card and warned that we'll hit our debt limit this coming Monday. Whoops.

THE WHAT: Just like your Average 'Do you take credit cards?' Joe, America has a borrowing limit. Turns out, we're about to hit it. Geithner's note to Congress promised   he'd take "certain extraordinary measures" to keep the government operating (uhh, thanks?). Dun dun dun.

WELL THIS IS A PRETTY LAME NEW YEAR'S. It gets worse. Normally, these "extraordinary measures" would buy time for Republicans and Dems to argue over increasing our borrowing limit (yes, they can do that). However, since Congress hasn't figured out that whole fiscal cliff issue yet, Geithner can't say how much time lawmakers have to raise the limit.

HAVEN'T WE HAD THIS ISSUE BEFORE? Good memory. Congress really went to the mattresses in the last battle to raise the debt limit in 2011, which led to our first-ever credit rating downgrade. Yay teamwork!

HOW'S THAT CLIFF FIGHT WORKING OUT? It's been better. With no compromise in sight on how to create a debt-reduction deal and its own New Year's deadline approaching, the president and the Senate are heading back to Washington today with Democrats blaming Republicans and Republicans blaming the Democrats for the stalemate. True love.

 THE WHY (DO I NEED TO SKIMM)? Congress' struggle to figure out how the government should raise (taxes) and spend (cuts and such) money isn't just giving us all headaches and making us hate the words 'fiscal' and 'cliff,' but actually really messing things up. Come together people, at the very least for Starbucks' sake.

REPEAT AFTER ME...What to say at a bar... This vodka makes me cry, because it's probably the only thing Russian I can bring back home with me anytime soon. A controversial Russian measure that bans adoption of Russian children   by US families could make adoption a lot harder. The measure is going to President Putin and may be signed into law. The US leads in adoption of Russian children. This is all in retaliation for a US law that imposes travel and financial restrictions on Russian human rights abusers. #LeaveTheKidsOutOfThis

What to say on a date... Premature acceleration is not what I'm into. Toyota learned that the hard way with its customers, many of whom complained to federal regulators in 2010 that their Toyota's were speeding up without warning, causing accidents in a form of horrific magic. Toyota agreed to pay  more than $1 billion to settle a class-action lawsuit over the speedups, the cause of which is still debated. The proposed settlement is big, one of the largest of its type in the car industry. I'm thinking they really just want to rebuild their image and it might just work.

What to say at drinks with girlfriends...  Get ready to say PopoZao, or maybe UncleZao. Christopher Federline, K-Fed's brother, claims he is the father  of Britney Spears and Kevin Federline's eldest son, Sean Preston. C-Fed has filed a restraining order against Britney, his ex sister-in-law, for blackmail, harassment, and charging up a ton of comics on his credit card. If he went to the police, he says she threatened to go public with him being Sean's real father. Because she would want that to get out... Doesn't sound like she'll let him hit it one more time.

What to say while shoe shopping... George H.W. Bush would know exactly which socks to sport with those ankle boots. My thoughts are with the 88-year-old former president, as he battles a "stubborn fever" that has forced him into the intensive care unit. He's been hospitalized since late November for complications from bronchitis. Here's to seeing him skydive again in 2013.

What to say when you're in trouble... I asked for permission and got two different answers. I went with the 'yes'. NBC's famed Sunday political show "Meet the Press" is feeling some heat from DC police who are investigating host David Gregory for a potential gun law violation. Gregory held up what appeared to be a 30-round magazine while interviewing NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre. Gregory was asking him if it should be banned. The problem? The high-capacity bullet container is illegal in DC, where the show is filmed. It looks like "MTP" asked for permission to show and tell and got two different answers. Which program can they go on to talk about it?

What to say about the holidays... It sure was great spending all that quality time. Grandma asked me when I'm getting a haircut and creepy Aunt Judy asked for too many details about how my boyfriend sleeps. And now I have to deal with Euclid, the winter storm from travel hell. As the storm swept parts of the Midwest and South, it caused horrible traffic and canceled flights, one NBA game to be postponed, and led to the deaths of at least six people. Now snow, ice and rain are expected as the storm continues to move East. Ho ho ho, get me home.

SKIMM FAVOR: Did you say something like this   after opening your presents? No one can take away the gift of one-upping someone at a party by dropping some knowledge. So pass on theSkimm and give someone a great New Year.

BIRTHDAYS:  Dayna   April (Los Angeles, CA); Stephanie Feldman (Boston, MA); Jason Bjorgo (Redmond, WA); Kim McGinty (New York, NY); Kristen Folkes  (Atlanta, GA); Elizabeth Reinhardt (Aldie, VA); Jill Waldron (Medford, OR); Willi Max Rapaport (New York, NY)

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