We're about a week into December, so it's once again time for US politicians to create havoc in the markets. Keep in mind, as part of the last deal reopening the government in October, a bipartisan group is required to begin budget discussions by December 15th. Talks have already begun however as both sides hope to avoid another embarrassing shutdown. Some topics on the table so far: delaying certain parts of the automatic spending cuts known as sequestration, keeping emergency unemployment benefits from expiring, ending Saturday mail delivery, and raising airline passenger fees. Nothing being discussed at the moment appears to include raising the debt ceiling, which will be hit again in early February. Let's hope this time around Washington can get its act together early enough to keep the financial markets from being spooked. (VIEW LINK)