Government in Action! 

Among the accusations that emerged from an FBI investigation of the U.S. government's beleaguered Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction (according to a December Washington Post report) is that the deputy director of that office, Ginger Cruz, a self-described Wiccan, had been threatening to place hexes on employees if they co-operated with outsiders' evaluations of the agency. (She was cleared of those charges by the internal SIGIR staff.)

A commercial, pre-packaged ham-and-cheese sandwich using one slice of bread is regulated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which conducts daily inspections under its jurisdiction, but a ham-and-cheese sandwich on two slices of bread falls to the Food and Drug Administration, which inspects plants about once every five years. That anomaly surfaced in the current presidential campaign and was verified by a Congressional Quarterly-St. Petersburg Times "Politifact" researcher in December. A USDA official admitted to the Times that there "is no rationale or logic" behind the distinction: "(I)t's an issue that makes it look like we don't know what we're doing."

Political Campaign Strategies: Lee Myung-bak was elected president of South Korea in December, perhaps attributable in part to his organization's spraying a sharp fragrance they call "Great Korea" in the air at campaign events and then on election day at polling places, hoping for an olfactory influence on undecided voters.

Matthew Lajoie, 21, could have used chemical help in his race for an at-large school board seat in Brunswick, Maine, in November. He spent the campaign trying to convince voters that he is a changed man from the one who had amassed 18 criminal convictions in the previous two years. (He lost but received 10.5 percent of the votes.)

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