When Barbara met W, Ferrera to help Sen. Clinton, Braxton recovering from surgery

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Thankfully Barbra Streisand made nice with outgoing POTUS, George W. Bush, during Sunday night's Kennedy Center Honors.

Everybody was all twitchy and nervous beforehand because Babs, who has been one of the prez's staunchest critics, has called him everything but a child of God.

But Ms. Streisand allowed Mr. Bush to plant a kiss on her cheek.

Then she ran and washed her face.

Just kidding.

We love BS as a performer, but she sometimes goes waaay overboard with her political musings.

We believe in respectful discourse.

In addition to Ms. Streisand, others honorees were Oscar-winner Morgan Freeman, The Who's Pete Townshend and Roger Daltry, choreographer Twyla Tharp and country legend George Jones.

America Ferrera is lending a helping hand this holiday season.

The "Ugly Betty" star is pitching in to help Sen. Hillary Clinton get rid of her $7.5 million campaign debt.

How will she do that, you ask?

Ms. Ferrera will be master of ceremonies for a Dec. 15 debt-retirement "conversation" with the New York senator, former presidential candidate and soon-to-be secretary of state.

Of course, we're still waiting for someone to help bail us out of our debt. Thank goodness we're not holding our breath on that one or we'd be dead.

Heath Ledger's family accepted an award from the Australian Film Institute on the actor's behalf last weekend.

Mr. Ledger, who died earlier this year from an accidental drug overdose, received the institute's international award for best actor for his role as the Joker in "The Dark Knight."

Picking up the award on his behalf were his father, Kim; his mother, Sally and sister, Kate.

Anyone who might have been wondering why Toni Braxton missed the "Dancing With the Stars" finale, wonder no more.

Ms. Braxton was recovering from surgery to remove a lump from her breast, reports TMZ.

She discovered the lump during the competition but didn't want to have the surgery until she was eliminated.

Fortunately, it was benign.

But girl, please don't take a chance like that again. There are plenty of B- and C-list stars to help fill out the "DWTS" roster, but your children only have one momma.

A judge dismissed drug and battery charges against mammoth former record mogul Suge Knight.

Suge was charged with beating up his girlfriend in Vegas.

What a sweetheart!

Anyway, TMZ reports that the charges were dismissed because of a "lack of production in discovery and the failure of witnesses to be subpoenaed."

That basically means nobody wanted to talk.

Can't say that we blame them. Suge is bigger than some small countries.

Monica Haynes can be reached at mhaynes@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1660.


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