Does Bob Gates count as a Republican?

U.S. President-elect Barack Obama has indicated that he wants to appoint Republicans to his cabinet, and rumor has it negotiations are underway to keep current Secretary of Defense Robert Gates in office past January 20. But would Gates really count as a bipartisan pick if he's technically not a Republican?

Below is an exchange between CNN's John King and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid from Sunday's Late Editon

KING: There's been some talk of keeping Secretary Gates on for some time. Is that acceptable to you?

REID: Sure. I think we need a good transition there. I am confident that Senator Obama has somebody in mind for secretary of defense but Gates -- you know, it's interesting, my conversation with Secretary Gates, he's not even a Republican. Why wouldn't we want to keep him? He's never been a registered Republican.

Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images


Friday Photo: Kim Jong Il photoshop fakery

The BBC is reporting that the following photograph of North Korean dictator Kim Jong Il, released earlier this week, may be a fake:

From the above distance, everything looks fine. It's just Dear Leader, the paragon of health, inspecting the troops as normal. But zoom in, the BBC found, and a few inconsistencies raise red flags:

Maybe North Korea has stolen CNN's hologram technology?

On a serious note, the inconsistencies in the photograph raise the question of whether Kim is in fact incapacitated, or even dead. The latest speculation is that Chang Sun-Taek, Kim's brother-in-law, is running the show. But nobody really knows for sure.

So, should we be worried about a destabilizing succession battle in this paranoid, impoverished, nuclear-armed regime? Stuart Reid of Foreign Affairs, in a new piece for, says the answer is, surprisingly, no. Check it out.

UPDATE: It appears the top photo is not the exact same one as that examined by the BBC. Thanks to readers for alerting me to this, and sorry for the mistake. Also, South Korea's intelligence community believes the Kim photo is real.