Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:
As the saying goes, politics can make strange bedfellows. Well, conservative anti-tax activist Grover Norquist is teaming up with liberal blogger Jane Hamsher in calling for White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel to resign.
They've sent a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder saying Emanuel's time on the board of directors at the government-backed mortgage giant Freddie Mac from 2000 to 2001 may have given him some knowledge of alleged financial irregularities. The unlikely duo claim Emanuel and the White House are stonewalling, writing: "A 2003 report by Freddie Mac's regulator indicated that Freddie Mac executives had informed the board of their intention to misstate the earnings to insure their own bonuses during the time Mr. Emanuel was a director."
We've reached out to the White House, but have not heard back.
From Russia With Love
Fifty million dollars — that's what Russia apparently is paying the tiny pacific nation of Nauru to recognize two Russian-backed territories. A Russian newspaper reports the island, with a population of 14,000, requested the economic aid in return for its diplomatic gesture.
Nauru becomes the fourth country along with Russia, Nicaragua and Venezuela to establish formal relations with South Ossetia and Abkhazia. Russia has lobbied its allies to recognize the breakaway enclaves since last year's war with Georgia, but with little success — convincing only three other countries out of 195 around the world.
The cash payment to Nauru comes at a good time for the island nation since its main resource — phosphates formed by centuries of bird droppings — is running out. It turns out fossilized bird droppings are a limited resource.
Star of Wonder
Some are calling it a Christmas miracle in Sonoma County, California.
A local newspaper reports acting county administrator Chris Thomas apologized on Wednesday and rescinded his order banning decorative angels and stars in county buildings — they couldn't top Christmas trees or be hung anywhere in any county office.
The reversal followed a deluge of letters, e-mails and comments aimed at both Thomas and the atheist whose original complaints prompted the ban. After the reversal, a sign could be seen on the door of one department reading: "Caution! Enter at your own risk. Christmas angels in here."
Since most county offices closed Wednesday afternoon for the holiday, employees had little time to celebrate the return of the angels and stars.
— Fox News Channel's Lanna Britt contributed to this report.