Something funky in the Bush camp. In what cynics (like me) might consider merely a photo op to build support among African Americans for Bush, Colin Powell appointed the Godfather of Soul to a fictitious cabinet post, saying "I hereby appoint you secretary of soul and foreign minister of funk."

Halliburton: gouging the guv'ment. The US is paying Halliburton "an average of $2.64 a gallon to import gasoline and other fuel to Iraq from Kuwait, more than twice what others are paying to truck in Kuwaiti fuel, government documents show."

How Dems got their groove back? Former Clinton advisor Sidney Blumenthal writes that Gore's early endorsement of Dean indicates, at the very least, that Democrats have regained their voice. Let's hope so.

Dear Santa. South Africa's Advertising Standards Authority has banned a commercial by the Post Office that invites kids to write letters to Santa Claus. The ruling, spawned by a complaint from journalist Andrew October, found the commercial to be misleading to kids. According to October the commercial encourages "a falsehood that could break the fragile spirits of the already disillusioned youth of South Africa."

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