Morning six-pack: What we're reading Thursday

U.S. Capitol building Washington
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Happy Thursday. We're still holding out hope for a Jobs Friday, but in the meantime plan to live in the moment.

And a Happy Anniversary to TARP. The Troubled Asset Relief Program—aka welfare for Wall Street—was signed into law five years ago today, and probing minds continue to debate its legacy. (The Guardian)

Strange but true: The infamously Middle East-oil-dependent U.S. is now the world's largest energy producer. Believe it! (The Wall Street Journal)

If you can't beat 'em, bribe 'em. In Tennessee, you get a free smartphone for signing up to Obamacare. (Nashville Business Journal)

You need government, you really do. Lots of regular folks are suffering during the shutdown, including the Ku Klux Klan, which had to—sniff—cancel a rally it had scheduled in Gettysburg. (Politico)

Here's a lesson to remember for billionaires: No matter how many Beanie Babies you sell, you still have to pay your taxes. (Chicago Tribune)

And, finally: It's never too early to start stressing over the holidays, and the National Retail Federation is way ahead of you in that regard.'s Katie Little explains.

_ By CNBC's Jeff Cox. Follow him @JeffCoxCNBCcom on Twitter.